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Book Recommendations > Favorite Horror Collections 2013

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Feb 13, 2014 03:00PM) (new)

Paul Roberts The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All ~ Laird Barron
Featuring two of the finest contemporary hunting stories I’ve read, Barron’s third collection is best consumed near a healthy fire and filtered through a decent scotch. I’m convinced there is a tsunami of readers that have yet to discover Barron. “More Dark” could be the most misunderstood story this year. With teeth, it plants Laird’s flag at the summit, and in deft contrasting brush strokes, succeeds in paying tribute whilst offering challenge to writers and readers alike. It doesn’t get better than this.

The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies by John Langan The Wide Carnivorous Sky & Other Monstrous Geographies ~ John Langan
Barron’s arm wrestling partner is the master of reinventing overused horror tropes (zombies, werewolves and vampires). Langan’s tale, “The Revel” is IMHO the greatest werewolf story put to print. John is simply the most entertaining horror writer working today. One of my reading highlights of 2013, was to re-read Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”, down a glass of Jameson and consume “Technicolor” in all its insidious glory. Langan is a true heavyweight. I ran out and bought his previous collection, “Mr. Gaunt”. And yes, it is fantastic.

At Fear's Altar by Richard Gavin At Fear’s Altar ~ Richard Gavin
Canadian Richard Gavin is a true original. His stories are simply magical and contain a strange psychedelic otherness that is hard to pinpoint. “The Abject” would make a beautiful short film; its eclipse vista is one of the prevailing images painted on my mind after a healthy year of reading. “The Eldritch Faith” is a monumental work. I immediately bought Gavin’s other collections: “Omens” and “Charnel Wine”. “The Darkly Splendid Realm” remains on my hunting list; it is out-of-print and one can only hope 2014 provides a scent trail.

The Grimscribe's Puppets by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. The Grimscribe’s Puppets ~ edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.
“The Secrets of the Universe” by Michael Cisco contains enough brilliant ideas to fuel a novel. Stories by Livia Llewellyn, Cody Goodfellow, Richard Gavin, John Langan and (the late) Joel Lane are worth the modest price of admission. Pulver, a fantastic writer himself, has collected a wonderful tribute to Ligotti. I can only wonder though, in a meta-conspiracy-rumour fugue, whether Laird Barron’s “More Dark” was submitted. Shame on me.

The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five by Ellen Datlow The Best Horror of the Year Vol. 5 ~ edited by Ellen Datlow
As both a writer and a reader, I owe a debt of gratitude to Ellen Datlow. Her 2007 non-themed anthology “Inferno” introduced me to the renaissance in today’s horror field. Her yearly summation will get you caught up on what you missed and she consistently draws my attention to stories I might otherwise have ignored. Stories by: Nathan Ballingrud, Terri Dowling, Lucy A. Snyder and the aforementioned Richard Gavin and Laird Barron are all standouts.


message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Ward (battyward) | 103 comments Fantastic list! I've read all or part of four of them and been blown away. Read the Barron twice ("More Dark" is genius, I agree), and am just starting the Langan. Working my way through the multi-author anthologies. And I just added the Gavin book to the TBR pile; thanks for the tip!


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Roberts Thanks Heidi. Yes, Gavin is ridiculously good, he will not disappoint.


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