I've been reading a lot of horror this year. More than I usually do, which was already a large amount. I've been feeling the need for extreme escapism. And despite the truism that good horror reflects current societal fears, I still find it very escapist. Recently, I shared this article from Tor about women characters in … Continue reading Why read horror?
In a small town somewhere in America, when the children reach adolescence, they breach. On the nights of the full moon, they give in fully to instinct and run wild and naked in the streets. Everyone else stays indoors. There is sex, there is violence; anything can happen, and almost everything is allowed. Lumen Fowler, … Continue reading Recommended Reading: When We Were Animals
October always gets me in the mood to give myself the creeps. I've been behind in posting book recommendations lately, so here are three recs for the price of one, all guaranteed to make you shiver. First up is The Three by South African writer Sarah Lotz. Four planes crash simultaneously in different parts of the world, three … Continue reading Recommended Reading: Three creepy reads for October
I was saddened to hear of the death of Katherine Dunn. I only recently read her “underground” novel, Geek Love. While it may not be what is conventionally considered horror, it is still a horrifying book–in only the best way. In Geek Love, the owner of a struggling carnival and his wife decide to “create” … Continue reading Recommended Reading: Geek Love
Finally, I have a new book to recommend, and it's a really good one: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. When she was eight years old, Merry's big sister Marjorie developed severe schizophrenia--or perhaps, as their dad came to believe, she was possessed by a demon. Desperate for both money and a cure, Marjorie's parents agreed … Continue reading Recommended Reading: A Head Full of Ghosts
It's been over a month since I've posted a reading journal update. Most of my reading has lately not-so-inspiring--although I did enjoy reading Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor so much that I wrote a rather long response to it. Another post-apocalyptic book I enjoyed was Far North by Marcel Theroux. It is set in post-climate change Siberia and … Continue reading Reading Journal: Beginning of April
As I was reading Margaret Atwood's Negotiating with the Dead, it hit me that the six identities of the writer she explores can also be interpreted as six story archetypes. Almost every story I could think of fit at least one of the archetypes, and many took elements from several of them.Clearly, these are stories that resonate deeply … Continue reading Six identities, six stories
I've posted a reading list of great haunted house stories on my project blog, Noir Femme. Check it out! And have a haunted Halloween...
Yes, I’ve started a new blog project called Noir Femme. This one is kind of a sister project to Sci Femme, about women writing horror and dark fiction, as opposed to science fiction. But before I could get started on the reading, I had to identify (for myself, anyway) exactly what horror is. Here’s my stab at it.
Horror has one goal: to disturb. To remind us that we don’t have all the answers. To explode our illusions of being in control.
There may be monsters or the supernatural, but there doesn’t have to be.
There may be blood, gore, and guts, but there doesn’t have to be.
There may be psycho killers running around with axes, but again, it’s not necessary.
Horror can be, and often is, scary, but more important is a lingering feeling of unease, a delicious sensation of being unsettled.
The best horror takes place in our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. The best horror shatters the comfortable little worlds we’ve constructed for ourselves. It pulls back the veil and reveal the things in the shadows. Horror helps us understand exactly how insignificant we are in a vast, unknowable universe.
It reminds us that we are animals, and sometimes we are monsters. It reminds us…
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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer is everything I liked about Lost, but much better executed. An expedition of four unnamed female scientists ventures into the mysterious Area X, and bad things happen. Area X, like the island in Lost, is a weird, unsettling, indefinable place where disquieting things happen that cannot be explained. Those who venture into it are irrevocably … Continue reading Recommended Reading: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer