Supernatural Fiction Readers discussion

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General Discussions > What supernatural element is a turnoff, or you just don't like to read about?

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 295 comments Is there a supernatural theme that will cause you to avoid reading a book? Such as vampires, ghosts, demons, angels, reincarnation, etc?


message 2: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (guidohenkel) | 15 comments If a story has strong religious undertones I usually steer away from it.


message 3: by Steven (new)

Steven | 3 comments It's easy to burn out on the current fad-of-the-year.
And recently it's snowballing - so I stopped reading
zombies and vampires (and even vampire zombies).


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I know where you're coming from, Steven. Urban fantasy is beginning to get old for me.

I'll also agree with Guido, although I think I'd phrase it 'preachy' books. I'm not reading a horror book to buy anything except some entertainment.


message 5: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1787 comments Generally speaking, I don't get into novels or stories based on the idea of reincarnation. It's not just that I don't believe in it (I don't, but then I don't believe in vampires, ghosts, werewolves, etc. either, and I read about them avidly). It's that (to me) it's aesthetically unsatisfying: it seems to diminish the uniqueness of each character's one life, and the ultimate significance of his/her choices.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 295 comments I'd have to agree with you about reincarnation, Werner. It doesn't float my boat.

Also:

Cannibals
Zombies
Serial Killers (okay I know it's not usually supernatural, but I don't like it, period)


I really dislike the Scooby Doo plot device. It turns out it's not real after all. Major letdown.

I'm not at the point where I dislike vampires. I just think they have oversaturated the dark fantasy/urban fantasy market.

I'm not that into witches practicing as a religion theme. I like the witches who are magically gifted, not a religion-type stories.


message 7: by Caitlyn (new)

Caitlyn (quietcait) | 15 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "I'd have to agree with you about reincarnation, Werner. It doesn't float my boat.

Also:

Cannibals
Zombies
Serial Killers (okay I know it's not usually supernatural, but I don't like it, pe..."


I agree with Lady Danielle. Can't HANDLE anything with cannibals which also covers flesh-eating zombie types. Never have been able to handle that. And dislike the Scooby Doo thing, let it be real, that's why it's escapism.


message 8: by Jackie (last edited Sep 02, 2010 12:54PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Zombies, for sure. I can't think of a more stupid story. I hadn't thought of cannibals until I read it above but yes, throw them in my list of hates too. I mean, what are zombies but dead cannibals anyway.


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) "Night of the Living Dead" is one of my all time favorite horror films, but I must admit that the idea has been beaten into the ground.


message 10: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) That movie scared the hell out of me...but I was 10 yrs old when I saw it.
You're right, Jim, it has been done to death. And none of them are any better, nothing original to add to the story.


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Oh, I thought "Dawn of the Dead" was good, too. I first saw it when I was in the Army at a drive-in. It was cool to think of living in a shopping mall & doing what you wanted. It certainly wasn't on par with "Night", but it was entertaining - once. I don't think I've ever watched it all the way through a second time & it's been 30 years, so I guess that says something.
;-)

I thought "Shaun of the Dead" was fun. I've seen that a couple of times. There was an older spoof that was fun, too. I can't think of the name, though. "Day of the Dead" was a pointless horror-fest, though. So were most of the rest.

Oh what's the name of the flicks based on that game where everyone gets infected, including our heroine? (Begins with an 'r', sounds like... damn, senior moment...) Milona ovitch is the star? She winds up being a cloned mutant, but is still hot (considering she's flat chested) & kicks everyones' ass. I guess I should consider them zombie movies, but they're more like action cartoons.

I guess the point is, zombies can be fun, either in horror or comedy, but it isn't easy anymore. Romero pretty much had the first & last word on the subject, as far as I'm concerned. That's the problem with a true classic. (My wife says "Night" is just horrible, but she doesn't think "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", "Wizards" or "Forbidden Planet" are classics, either. I mean seriously, how can anyone not like them? If she hadn't picked me, I'd say she had no taste at all...)
;-)


message 12: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1787 comments Jim, I'm not a computer game player, but is the series you're thinking of possibly "Resident Evil?"


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 295 comments Funny you should mention the only zombie movies I like:

Shaun of the Dead and the Resident Evil movies. I watched Night of the Living Dead and it scarred me! Zombies creep me out!


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Werner wrote: "Jim, I'm not a computer game player, but is the series you're thinking of possibly "Resident Evil?""

That's it!!! Sheesh! I thought for minutes & couldn't bring it up. Thanks. And the chick is Milla Jovovich. I like several other movies she's been in like "The 5th Element". "Ultraviolet" was OK, too.


message 15: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (CarolynDee) | 25 comments Anything that glorifies psychics.


message 16: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) There's a new Resident Evil movie coming out but I don't know the name of it.


message 17: by The Once and (new)

The Once and Future King (caminandoenpradososcuros) | 1 comments Jackie wrote: "There's a new Resident Evil movie coming out but I don't know the name of it."

Resident Evil Afterlife is what it's called and this time it features Alice fighting the Umbrella Corporation who are hiding out in secret underground bases attempting to create a New World Order from the Ashes of the World they have just destroyed.

Interesting alteration in the Plot if you ask me.
And I agree, I dispise when they make a book that looks Supernatural and then it turns out it was all fake. Smoke and Mirrors and such. Like the Uninvited, I expected that the Ghosts and strange memories would have been Magic in nature but in the end it was just another horror story.


message 18: by Jackie (last edited Sep 03, 2010 09:28AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) El Galan wrote: Resident Evil Afterlife is what it's called and this time it features Alice fighting the Umbrella Corporation who are hiding out in secret underground bases attempting to create a New World Order from the Ashes of the World they have just destroyed.

So, are we off Zombies in this one? If so, maybe I'll watch it. I just can't do another zombie movie, even if Milla's in it.

Smoke and mirrors, the worst is when it's a dream! I read Son of Rosemary: The Sequel to Rosemary's Baby, set 20 or so years after the original, and it was pretty good...until she wakes up and it was just a dream. Man, I threw that book across the room and then into the garbage. I feel cheated when they do that. Don't waste my time, it just pisses me off.


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I liked the first Resident Evil & the second was OK. The third wasn't all that interesting, so I won't rush out to see the fourth.

I guess that brings up a supernatural element I really hate - overdoing the same thing. That can be tough to do since many supernatural/horror elements have been with us forever (fear of the dark, unexpected noises & such) but if they're not presented in a new pattern, they become much less horrible because they're familiar.

Movies especially suffer from this. Some idiot always goes out alone & gets horribly killed. Never stand near any kind of hole in the floor, something will grab your leg. Never go to an old, creepy house during a storm at night.


message 20: by Becca (new)

Becca (goblinfan) | 198 comments I shamefully admit to having horrible, terrifying zombie nightmares. They're more like night terrors. So I try to avoid zombies at all costs, in movies, shows, or books. Zombie movies are all pretty much the same. Unless its more of a comedy, in which the ending might be a little different. You know from the start how the movie is going to end: everyone dies, or will. Horribly. They're so repetitive, and not just zombie movies. As Jim wrote, the same cookie cutter story. Seeing a lot of that any more.


message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Some of my favorite horror movies are Rami & Campbell's Evil Dead trilogy. I love the campy stuff Campbell does though. Even "Evil Dead - The Musical" was neat. Did you ever see "The Man with the Screaming Brain" (with Stacey Keach as the evil doctor) or "My Name is Bruce"? Lots of fun.


message 22: by Tim (new)

Tim Byrd (timbyrd) | 8 comments For a fresh, smart, and funny take on zombies, check out 2006's FIDO, starring Billy Connolly and Carrie Anne Moss.

It's streaming instantly on Netflix, for those who have it.

Best,

Tim
www.DocWilde.com


message 23: by Simon (new)

Simon (shipscook) | 11 comments serial killers, paranormal romance, vampires who are misunderstood good guys and the present kind of mindless zombies


message 24: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (CarolynDee) | 25 comments Zombie flicks aren't my first choice, (I like the original Night of the Living Dead, but after that it got a bit redundant) but have to admit I absolutely LOVED Zombieland.


message 25: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 7 comments I don't care for most zombie movies, although I have read some good zombie stories here and there.

Werewolves are a complete turnoff to me for the most part in film & books, although I like the original Wolfman starring Lon Chaney Jr. That's probably because it's more of a tragedy than a horror story, or that's the way I see it. I really felt for his character.

I agree with the posters who said anything that turns out to be a dream is just a stupid cop-out. It says to me that the author couldn't come up with a good ending and threw in the towel.


message 26: by Woolfie (last edited Sep 06, 2010 04:48AM) (new)

Woolfie Silvanus (nightlightknight) | 12 comments As popular as they are I think that Werewolves, Ghosts, Zombies and particularly Vampires, forgive the pun, have been done to death, and in my opinion there either needs to be a credible reworking or a shift to focus on another supernatural 'target'

The only trouble with a reworking is that it can fall under the headline of franchise reboot,re-envisaging, alternative takes, and that dreaded word 'remake'. Either it will be;
1) Derivative with slight slterations; Underworld, Twilight

unsatisfactorily re-envisioned which will draw traditionalists like pirahna's to blood; The WolfMan, The Dummy Mummy trilogy

The fact that other supernatural sources have also been tapped almost dry; as in aliens, UFOs strange Eastern-inspired ghost stories ( The Ring, The Grudge etc)

So, what else is there? Is there hope for the genre?


message 27: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1787 comments Even though a person may like a particular type of cereal or flavor of ice cream, eating it every day for months might cause him/her to get a bit burnt out and bored with it. That individual reaction is natural, but it probably wouldn't inspire any questioning in the food industry as to whether there's, say, any "hope" for corn flakes. The intrinsic appeal of the food to eaters in general is still there. I may be all wet, but I think there might be an analogy here for literary genres.

As discussed on one of our other threads, this genre meets certain kinds of wants or needs, for many of us, in our reading experience. These needs seem to be pretty much constants in human psychology, generation after generation; and they don't require extreme variety or novelty for their fulfillment. In fact, part of the appeal of this kind of literature is from familiarity, not novelty; we turn to it precisely because we know what to expect, and we want exactly what we're expecting. Of course, we crave some novelty and variety, too. That element comes from the infinite variety of individual styles, plot events, settings, characterizations, etc. that the imagination of individual writers can conceive, even within the constraints of certain foundational assumptions and conventions. So I think there's still vitality in the supernatural genre, and always will be. (And of course there are occasionally significant new developments that build on the foundation and open up a new wing --like the shift from vampires as evil automatons with teeth to actual characters with personalities and moral choices.) In a sense, the Hebrew sage was right 3,000 years ago that there's "nothing new under the sun;" but in another sense, each freshly crafted book or story is something new, its own contribution to the tradition.

All of that said, if you never read anything but supernatural fiction (or Westerns, or mysteries, or mainstream "general" fiction, or whatever), if you're like most people, you'll eventually get glassy-eyed and wonder if there's any hope that the genre can become fresh and interesting again. When that happens, a vacation in the pages of some other genre might be what the doctor would order! :-)


message 28: by Carolyn (last edited Sep 06, 2010 08:27AM) (new)

Carolyn (CarolynDee) | 25 comments Like its monsters, the genre will never die. The universal themes and archetypes which touch upon our collective psyche will always retain its appeal. Take zombies: they touch on some very primal real fears such as the inevitable decay of our (and loved one's physical bodies), loss of our soul/personality/moral compass, and the very basic fear of being destroyed and consumed by something we can't fight off. That's why we find it gratifying when the hero is able to kill the zombie (or rather cancer, dementia, psychopath or whatever other real-life horror it may represent to us).

Although vampires are currently going through a teenage angst phase, there are other current books such as The Historian which resurrect the origins of the lore and appeal to those who prefer the classic take on vampires.


message 29: by Woolfie (new)

Woolfie Silvanus (nightlightknight) | 12 comments Indeed the genre is in pretty good health, no doubting that, but one would like to see something refreshingly new every once in a while.


message 30: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (CarolynDee) | 25 comments Unfortunately Lord Woolfie, some of us (me) have reached an age where it's really hard to find something original and "new", lol!


message 31: by MaryJo (new)

MaryJo (lynxette2002) | 7 comments I have always loved vampires stories because they have been dark, sensual and forbidden. This past year I am so TIREDDDD of reading about vampires as a new fad, and it has totally ruined reading these stories for me..they are getting to be like Harliquinn romance! I have even put off reading the Black dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward, until the Edward/Jacob cult took over everything.. so I have reverted back to reading Jack Ketchum. My favorite author and great guy to meet.


message 32: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (last edited Sep 09, 2010 11:46AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 295 comments I think variety is important. If you always read the same thing, you will get bored. Like Werner alluded to, it's not necessarily the food (or type of book), it's the oversaturation of your senses with that particular element.

I also would add, I like seeing how different authors can make a tried and true subject fresh.


message 33: by Ken (new)

Ken (reedr) | 4 comments I don't like zombie horror fiction or zombie horror movies, I guess... because they don't scare me. I just find them amusing and kinda silly.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 295 comments Zombies get me in two ways: 1)fear of infection is a big thing for me, 2)gore and violence, plus cannibalism--all weak areas for me.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Zombies get me in two ways: 1)fear of infection is a big thing for me, 2)gore and violence, plus cannibalism--all weak areas for me."

me also! I do not want to read about them at all.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Is there a supernatural theme that will cause you to avoid reading a book? Such as vampires, ghosts, demons, angels, reincarnation, etc?"

I am not able to read about demons altho Charlaine Harris ones are OK. But I am thinking of years ago The Exorcist! That was too scary for me. I carefully avoided it.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 295 comments I can deal with UF/paranormal demons. Not the real-life (if you believe in them) kind of demons.


message 38: by Tiffian (last edited Oct 29, 2010 08:22AM) (new)

Tiffian Eliz (tiffianeliz) | 15 comments Hi Lady Danielle: I just wrote a historical supernatural thriller called HER REIGN. It's an ebook on sale @ Barnes&Noble (.99cents) I might b able to give u something new to read about. I don't think it has been done to death. Actually, I don't think it has been done before. (At least I hope not!) I wrote a novella about the supernatural disappearance of the first female Pharaoh. Pharaoh Hatshepsut. I know what your thinking, oh no mummies! But there isn't one mummy in my entire story. I hope u give it a chance, I could really use the feedback. To answer your question. I can watch vampires and werewolves, but I can't read about them. They bore the hell out of me!


message 39: by Joan (new)

Joan (chitchatchix) | 6 comments I myself would try to steer away from demons, those with the looks of zombies. Gosh! I dream of them at night when I read about them. Sometimes, even reading about vampires creeps me out. I even curl in my bed before I sleep and not face the window 'cause I'm afraid I'll be seeing those crimson eyes. Those with the God of Death too! *shivers*


message 40: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1787 comments Tiffian, best wishes for success with Her Reign! I've just added it to our "written-by-group-members" shelf. I see from your profile that you haven't listed yourself as a Goodreads author yet. If you're not aware of that program, I'd suggest looking into it. (Let me know if you need instructions for doing that, and I'll message you --I'll have to check again on how to do it myself, since it's been two and a half years since I set up my own "author profile.")


message 41: by Tiffian (new)

Tiffian Eliz (tiffianeliz) | 15 comments Werner wrote: "Tiffian, best wishes for success with Her Reign! I've just added it to our "written-by-group-members" shelf. I see from your profile that you haven't listed yourself as a Goodreads author yet. If..."

Thank u so much for adding it. I just checked my email and finished my profile. Please let me know where I can sign up for the program. And by the way, I'm reading Angels & Demons (I know I'm late to the party) u guys have probably already read that.


message 42: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Angels & Demons? No, I read The Da Vinci Code & wasn't all that interested in reading another. I read Day Of The Cheetah years ago & several others by Dale Brown over the years, but generally as fill-ins when I didn't have anything better at hand. He's not a bad writer, but just never blew a lot of wind up my skirt.


message 43: by Werner (last edited Oct 29, 2010 10:31AM) (new)

Werner | 1787 comments Tiffian, I was going to send this information in a personal message; but it turned out to be simple, and I think other group members may be interested in it, too (since we have a number of authors). So I decided to just go ahead and post it.

To learn about the Goodreads Author Program, just click on "explore" on the Goodreads toolbar at the top of any page on the site; then choose "authors" from the pull-down menu. That will take you to a page with a link to the Authors Program right up near the top (on your right as you face the screen). The page that links to has complete information (or links to it), and all that you need to get yourself listed and to turn your Goodreads profile into an author profile.

P.S. --I haven't read Angels and Demons (or any of Brown's work) either. My oldest daughter read that book, but she panned it.


message 44: by Tiffian (new)

Tiffian Eliz (tiffianeliz) | 15 comments Jim wrote: "Angels & Demons? No, I read The Da Vinci Code & wasn't all that interested in reading another. I read Day Of The Cheetah years ago & several others by [author:..."

I read The Da Vinci Code, I liked it, but I went to Catholic schools all my life. We were actually taught about some of the things he wrote about.

I have to admit the whole Jesus was a "baby's daddy" thing was new. But, my sister went to a Luthern school when she was younger and she was taught that Jesus had a kid. Go figure!


message 45: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Not limited to supernatural elements, but I HATE logic errors. I'm reading an urban fantasy right now, Blood Rites, the 6th Harry Dresden novel & I just want to smack Jim Butcher for crappy proof reading. I've noticed blips in other books, but I just read through two major ones in a single chapter. Harry's staff is in two places at once. Worse, his old VW, which he just finished telling us was a manual, gets shifted into drive, then 2d gear.

Please STOP!!! Butcher is making money hand over fist. He can afford a decent editor & a gaggle of proofreaders. Heck, he could get the latter for free here on GR. I do it for free for several authors.


message 46: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 16 comments What turns me off in supernatural books? Demons, excessive blood, vampires (they're just silly), werewolves (too unbelievable), and I do not read sci-fi ever.


message 47: by Amy (new)

Amy (red_stitches) I actually never liked books about psychics either, I always found the main characters in these extremely annoying.
I don't like books about "good" vampires, or "good" fallen angels. People say they're different from demons, but it's NOT true.
I don't mind books about demons as long as they're not saving the world, but I hate angel books. They always seem slightly... warped. I feel guilty after, and even upset, because the writers always seem to mess the story up so badly.


message 48: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 16 comments I agree with almost everything you have said, Amy. I don't like psychics in books either. I don't even like the Harry Potter books, because I think the author cheated: every time the kids got in a pickle, the author just invented a new magic spell to save them. I never saw the characters use their minds or develop as people. I read the first four, then gave up.


message 49: by K.A. (new)

K.A. (kamlady) | 1 comments Sherry wrote: "What turns me off in supernatural books? Demons, excessive blood, vampires (they're just silly), werewolves (too unbelievable), and I do not read sci-fi ever."

Sherry - all I can say is that if all of the great monsters turn you off then you haven't been reading the right books.... Laurell K. Hamilton - excellent heroine - BA - and the monsters are sexy,cut throat and the history and charactization believable. Keep searching - there are more stories out there. Not your same story, different people, different setting - don't pick up the standard series. Look for the oddities - you'll find some monsters that rock.

Best ~ K.

Jim wrote: "Not limited to supernatural elements, but I HATE logic errors. I'm reading an urban fantasy right now, Blood Rites, the 6th Harry Dresden novel & I just want to smack [author:Jim Butc..."



message 50: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 16 comments Is it not okay for me to simply choose not to read the supernatural genre? I find plenty to read without going out of my way to read things that are unbelievable to me. Please, the question was what turns me off about the genre. I am not putting down your choice of what you read, just stating that I am not interested in it.


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