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Bizarro and Splatterpunk > Top 10 Greatest Splatterpunk Authors

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message 1: by Lorenzo (last edited Jul 01, 2010 02:59PM) (new)

Lorenzo Escobar 10. John Skipp
9. David J. Schow
8. Richard Christian Matheson
7. Brian Keene
6. Edward Lee
5. Poppy Z. Brite
4. Joe R. Lansdale
3. Richard Laymon
2. Jack Ketchum
1. Clive Barker

feel free to edit or start your own list.

cheers!


message 2: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 5370 comments Put that on my list, too. Thanks.


message 3: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Escobar Yeah Joe Lansdale is for real, a really underrated writer for sure. "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks." is in my honest opinion a better read than any of the zombie books that Keene has done and that says a lot because Keene is the Zombie master.

also Bubba Ho-Tep! brilliant.

McCammon, yeah, I felt bad about putting him on this list, because he's so much more than a splatterpunk, as is Clive Barker, but at the top of the list, their respect is well payed, I'd say.


message 4: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 957 comments If you consider McCammon and Barker, would there be room for James Herbert. The Fog is incredibly violent. Also, maybe Bentley Little.


message 5: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Escobar Adam wrote: "If you consider McCammon and Barker, would there be room for James Herbert. The Fog is incredibly violent. Also, maybe Bentley Little."

I like both James Herbert and Bently Little, as well as Richard Christian Matheson, Thomas Tessier, Graham Masterson, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Tuttle, but I dislike Dean Koontz lol. They could all probably make the list in some form, I guess.

I wouldn't feel too bad about kicking Schow and Skipp out of the top ten, but they both kind of helped coin splatterpunk.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Lorenzo wrote: "Yeah Joe Lansdale is for real, a really underrated writer for sure. "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks." is in my honest opinion a better read than any of the zombie books that..."

I wish that story was a book. I'd love to know more about that world.


message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Lorenzo wrote: "Adam wrote: "If you consider McCammon and Barker, would there be room for James Herbert. The Fog is incredibly violent. Also, maybe Bentley Little."

I like both James Herbert and Bently Little, ..."


They qualify as splatter trust me are you taking them out for some of their work that wasn't? Was Curious why you didn't think them splat.


message 8: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments Just looked up the term splatterpunk on wikipedia. It has McCammon, Richard Matheson, and Jack Ketchum listed as splatterpunk authors. I don't know. I never considered them splatterpunk because their horror didn't seem so extreme to get that label. Maybe I'm not understanding the definition.

I would consider an over-the-top, non-stop gorefest of a book to be splatterpunk. Richard Matheson?


message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Tressa wrote: "Just looked up the term splatterpunk on wikipedia. It has McCammon, Richard Matheson, and Jack Ketchum listed as splatterpunk authors. I don't know. I never considered them splatterpunk because the..."

I agree except Ketchum has written books like Offspring, Off Season, and Red that are very graphic. So I can understand him being on there.


message 10: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments I didn't think Red was that graphic; it was more literary than Offspring and Off Season. I would consider Ed Lee to be splatterpunk.

Interesting article:

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/24/boo...

While the term splatterpunk is gaining acceptance by the publishing world as a catchy marketing device, some of the writers included in Mr. Sammon's book reject the label. "I don't want to be identified with a group," said the novelist Richard Laymon. "Especially not that one." Ray Garton's 1987 novel "Live Girls" is far more artful than most splatterpunk writing; the novel's singular idea -- female vampires working as Times Square strippers and prostitutes -- operates as a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic. Mr. Garton also objects to the splatterpunk label. "I welcomed the inclusion at first," he explained "but then took a few steps back and thought about it a little. I began to think that a lot of writers -- myself included -- were throwing in a lot of graphic sex and violence just for the hell of it, just to outdo their last book . . . and it was getting pretty disgusting."


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments I think it depends on a person's idea of splatterpunk. Not everyone was out to outdo the gore after all. Good point from Garton though.


message 12: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 957 comments Amanda, I just wasn't sure about Herbert for sure but now that I think about it, he does belong there. I guess that because some of his most graphic stuff was published in the seventies, I wasn't sure if it qualified.
And I've read five books by Robert R. McCammon (Blue World, Boy's Life, Gone South, Stinger, and Swan Song) and none of them were splatterpunk in my opinion. No more so than Koontz or King because I put McCammon on the same level as them. I'm not complaining that McCammon was labeled that, but I think it gives the wrong idea about his writing. Still, I've only read five so maybe some of his other novels qualify.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Adam wrote: "Amanda, I just wasn't sure about Herbert for sure but now that I think about it, he does belong there. I guess that because some of his most graphic stuff was published in the seventies, I wasn't s..."

I don't think McCammon really qualifies either the closest thing he had to it was the opener for Mine and while that scene is brutal nothing else he's written has ever struck me that way. I haven't tried Herbert yet.


message 14: by Branden (last edited Jun 28, 2010 09:51AM) (new)

Branden (Psymin1) | 279 comments I have been hearing a lot about On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks recently, but I am having a hard time finding it. Can anyone link me to a collection it might be found in, or just a way to read it at all? Thanks!

EDIT: Nevermind, just alittle bit more googling has helped me out. Thanks anyway. I'm just excited to read this now!


message 15: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments Looks interesting. Here's a link to that story if anyone is interested:

http://web.archive.org/web/2002080315...


message 16: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments Good story!


message 17: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 957 comments Lansdale's stuff is hard for me to find too. I read The Bottoms and liked it. I only have A Fine Dark Line and By Bizare Hands available to me now and I'm planning on reading both.
Also, Amanda, James Herbert is really good, but some of his books are hit and miss for me. Try the Fog. That one is hard to forget, or the Rats trilogy.


message 18: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Adam wrote: "Lansdale's stuff is hard for me to find too. I read The Bottoms and liked it. I only have A Fine Dark Line and By Bizare Hands available to me now and I'm planning on reading both.
Also, Amanda, J..."


I own The Dark and Sepulcher from him and also the Jonah but I can't read it cause some yuck car junk got on it :(


message 19: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 957 comments Uhh, I hated Sepulchre. I read it and honestly don't remember anything from it except that it was hard to read and uninteresting. The other two I haven't read yet.


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) I think McCammon got thrown in with the Splatterpunks because of two of his short stories: "Eat Me" from Book of the Dead, and "Nightcrawlers". I haven't read "Nightcrawlers" yet (it's available in his collection Blue World), but "Eat Me" is both a terrific love story, and ripe w/ grotesqueness.

Is Richard Matheson or (his son) Richard C. Matheson listed as a Splatterpunk? RC Matheson is considered one because of his story "Red" featured (along with another) in the first Splatterpunks anthology


message 21: by Scott (new)

Scott Was that the "Nightcrawlers" that was made into a Twilight Zone episode?


message 22: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) YES!! :)


message 23: by Scott (new)

Scott That was pretty controversial at the time. It seems tame now but it was considered extremely violent for television then.


message 24: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) I used to watch the 80s Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories, but I've never seen the Nightcrawlers episode. Read and read about it, but never seen it. Grrrr.


message 25: by Scott (new)

Scott The whole series is on DVD. A very underrated show.

Amazing Stories was okay but it was never dark enough for me and it was too, well, Spielberg.


message 26: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments Just because someone writes a couple of splatterpunk short stories does not make them splatterpunk authors. Boy's Life and Speak the Nightbird or his other books aren't splatterpunk.


message 27: by Mark (last edited Jun 30, 2010 10:37AM) (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) Right, Tressa, I agree. I don't think Richard C. Matheson is splatterpunk either. But he hung out w/ David J. Schow. A lot of the assignment to the club is/was based on who you know and are associated with. To me, Laymon is a big ol' splatterpunk, and aside from "Mess Hall", he was rarely grouped w/ the original crew in the late 80s/early 90s, whereas McCammon writes two stories, and gets the label. And Ketchum! He was never mentioned in that original Splatterpunk anthology either. I found that it to be a good read, but it was kinda lopsided in who was represented and who wasn't; who was discussed and who wasn't.

Thanks for the heads up on TZ, Scott! I'll have to pick that up sometime. I was about 9 or 10 when the shows originally aired - guess that's why I remember more of the Amazing Stories than TZ redux - no TV in my room at the time.. :D


message 28: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 957 comments Thank you, Tressa. It doesn't bother me but if that is the reason for McCammon being called that, it's missleading at best. He is much more than just a splatterpunk author. He's one of the best I've ever read. I think that his novel Swan Song is as good as or better than The Stand and Boy's Life is one of the best books I've ever read.


message 29: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments Boy's Life is a great book.

The best splatterpunk book I've read is The Summer I Died (and that's me giving it that label). I'm sure y'all are sick of me mentioning this book, but it's relentless from beginning to end. It's fantastic.

I don't even know of anything splatterpunk that Matheson has written. I've read Shrinking Man and I Am Legend and a time travel book, all of which are definitely not splatterpunk.


message 30: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Escobar Tressa wrote: "Just looked up the term splatterpunk on wikipedia. It has McCammon, Richard Matheson, and Jack Ketchum listed as splatterpunk authors. I don't know. I never considered them splatterpunk because the..."

Richard Christian Matheson definitely deserves to be on that list somewhere. He is definitely the epitome of a splatterpunk, but then again, that list is completely subjective. You can post your own if you'd like.


message 31: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Escobar I'll fix the list. tay?


message 32: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments Lorenzo, I didn't even notice this was your list. I just jumped into the middle of the thread and and started posting. I thought the list was referenced from an article. Don't take offense.


message 33: by Phil (new)

Phil (philhappy) | 220 comments I think there's a bit of a mixup going on here, there's a big difference between Richard Christian Matheson and his father Richard Matheson


message 34: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments I've never read any R.C. Matheson books. What are they like?


message 35: by Phil (new)

Phil (philhappy) | 220 comments I've only read short stories by him and it was years ago, they were a lot more violent than his father's stuff though.

Saying that, I can't remember what they were called or about.


message 36: by Scott (new)

Scott I've read some of his short stories. They are a bit more explicit, I think.


message 37: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Escobar Phil wrote: "I've only read short stories by him and it was years ago, they were a lot more violent than his father's stuff though.

Saying that, I can't remember what they were called or about."


I don't think R.C. Matheson is Richard's real son. I think he was adopted, but he's still a really great writer. His stories are really punk rockish, violent, and usually have good plots and twists.


message 38: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Escobar Mark wrote: "Right, Tressa, I agree. I don't think Richard C. Matheson is splatterpunk either. But he hung out w/ David J. Schow. A lot of the assignment to the club is/was based on who you know and are associa..."

Ketchum and Laymon are considered early era S.P.


message 39: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (WillE) | 563 comments RC Matheson also specialized in writing two- or three-page stories, seen in his late '80s collection SCARS.

Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks

I read this back in the day but don't recall much, but I would say that his stories put the "punk" in "splatterpunk": they're short sharp shocks of horror.

And honestly the only people I really considered splatterpunk during that era were the guys at the core anyway, like Skipp and Spector, Schow, very early Barker and Lansdale, and the BOOK OF THE DEAD zombie anthologies. What about a novel like AMERICAN PSYCHO, or Poppy Z. Brite's EXQUISITE CORPSE? And each of those writers wrote good stuff that was NOT splatterpunk at all. James Herbert was a precursor to it but not one himself. Ketchum, Laymon, and Lee never interested me, however, so I couldn't say. They sound like they wrote the kind of simple-minded gorefests I'd avoid.

Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead 2: Still Dead


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Richard Laymon was writing splatterpunk before there was such a thing as splatterpunk.
Will, Ketchum is a fantastic writer, I assure you. His books are anything but simple-minded gorefests. Laymon and Lee...heh-heh.


message 41: by Branden (new)

Branden (Psymin1) | 279 comments Will, I just got Book of the Dead in the mail on Monday. Once I found out what it was about, and the premise for it, I immediately bought it. Only cost me $4, but the book is not in great shape. Definitely readable, which is all the matters to me. Just wanted to say thanks for bringing it up in here.


message 42: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (WillE) | 563 comments Jesse William, I might try some Ketchum at some point. I saw the movie of GIRL NEXT DOOR and "liked" it about as much as you can like a movie like that. But I've read Laymon and he was just terrible.

Branden, you're welcome. If you like it be sure to pick up its sequel, STILL DEAD. I think I like that one better, myself.


message 43: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Will wrote: "Jesse William, I might try some Ketchum at some point. I saw the movie of GIRL NEXT DOOR and "liked" it about as much as you can like a movie like that. But I've read Laymon and he was just terribl..."

Ketchum is an odd one. Red was a bit calmer book from him featuring an old man getting revenge for his dog.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Red kicked mondo-buttocks. That, The Lost, and The Girl Next Door are the best of his that I've read. Also, Peaceable Kingdom has some really great stories.


message 45: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Shoot so except for The Lost I've already red his best?


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

'Fraid so. Hyuck!
Really, though, that's just my opinion, and there's still a whole lotta Ketchum left for me to read, so I'm in no real position to deign any of his books as "the best".


message 47: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1621 comments Ok


message 48: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23545 comments I loved Red. I love when a-holes get their just deserts. Especially spoiled kids whose parents make excuses for their delinquent behavior.

I liked all of Ketchum's books except Cover. I just couldn't get into that one for some reason.


message 49: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Galstere (ThenewAmericanPsycho) | 219 comments Has anyone read either 'A MILLION VERSIONS OF RIGHT' by Matthew Revert, or 'SPARE KEY' by R. Frederick Hamilton, they are definitely bizarro/splatterpunk, They both look intriguing, so I'm going to order them soon...Any comments/reviews would be awesome!!


message 50: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 922 comments I think it would breal McCammon's heart to find himself in the Splatterpunk category. That just seems so unlike what he is after.

No love for Rex Miller?


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Books mentioned in this topic

Book of the Dead 2: Still Dead (other topics)
Book of the Dead (other topics)
Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks (other topics)
Headhunter (other topics)
Splatter-Punks: The Definitive Anthology (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Richard Christian Matheson (other topics)
Richard Matheson (other topics)