31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 28 – THIS BOOK IS FULL OF SPIDERS by David Wong

October 28, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

spiders

David Wong has been called the Internet’s most popular author and I have a hard time disagreeing with that. He is best none and being one of the main writers and editors at Cracked.com and his first novel, JOHN DIES AT THE END, was a cult hit and adapted into a movie by Don Coscarelli. I’m a big fan of Wong’s fiction and essays with his second novel, THIS BOOK IS FULL OF SPIDERS being my favorite. Technically, it’s a sequel to JOHN DIES AT THE END but it’s really it’s own story and just features characters who appeared in another book first.

The plot is basically a cosmic horror take on INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS with invisible spiders that take over people’s brains. The story is filled with strange and bizarre plot twists that constantly keep the reader on their toes. Wong’s writing is constantly inventive and plays with tropes and cliches that are equal parts meta-comedy and deconstruction of the horror genre.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 27 – HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski

October 27, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

house of leaves

This is one of the most notorious modern horror novels. At its heart, it is a haunted house story but this novel is so much more than just a spook house. What makes the book so famous is the bizarre way in which it is written. The words on the page literally are designed in such a way to get the reader lost in the book in a way that mirrors how the characters in the story become lost in the supernatural house. Tons of footnotes, various levels of reality that intertwine with each other, and text that contains colors and strange patterns that have meaning to themselves make this one of the most unique horror novels you can ever read.

I’ve read this book multiple times over the years and even studied it in a college class (I had an English class about haunted house novels – one of the most fun classes I’ve ever taken). Every time I revisit this story I take away something different and the many layers of the house unfold. If you decide to travel into this bizarre story, I highly recommend taking about three days and basically read the book in one sitting. It’s a bit of an imposing story due to the strange way in which it is published but if you just dive in and stick with it, it’s an immensely rewarding journey.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 26 – MUERTE CON CARNE by Shane McKenzie

October 26, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

Muerte Con Carne

I first met Shane McKenzie in Austin Texas at a World Horror Convention party. Wrath James White and Nate Southard were very firm that he and I needed to meet each other. Looking back I totally understand why. Shane and I hit it off right away and have been friends ever since.

Over the years, Shane and I worked on many projects together but this story about a cannibal taco truck remains my favorite work of his. Shane took his perspective of multi-cultural Texas and used it to give us this amazing work of socially conscious horror.

He doesn’t really write too many books these days, he’s now doing comic book and movies. But, with any luck, we may see more fiction from him in the future…

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 25 – FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

October 25, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

frank

Not only is this a classic work of the English language, but it is also one of the very foundational works of both the science-fiction and horror genre. We all know the story about this book and the amazing story of the writing of it (and if you don’t, much more informed people than I have written about it. Use google). There’s not much I can offer in terms of broad commentary on this title.

I can talk about how much it blew me away personally. I read this when I was young but wasn’t very impressed. I revisited the book as an adult and was completely enraptured. It’s an absolutely brilliant and dark story about perusing one’s dreams, what could go wrong with them, how things you create can get away from you, how you are not beholden to what has come before, and how does humanity and it’s creations relate to reality itself. The story is as engaging as any pulp fiction but it tackles huge ideas and topics that almost none of the media adaptations even approached. When I reread the book, I was astounded at how the big ideas and set pieces all hit with equal impact.

There’s a reason this is considered a classic of literature. To this day, this book still lives up to the hype.

FRANKENSTEIN is in the public domain. You can download it for free from the Internet Archive.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 24 – SPLATTERPUNKS 1 and 2 edited by Paul M. Sammon

October 24, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

splatterpunks

Just as the anthology THE BOOK OF THE DEAD was one of the works that documented and cemented the beginning of the splatterpunk movement in horror, the SPLATTERPUNKS anthologies documented and cemented the beginning of what would become known as “extreme horror” or “hardcore horror” (which is kind of ironic considering their titles). These anthologies show the transition from splatterpunk into something meaner and darker.

These books were my first glimpse at some of the more extreme ends of the horror genre. This was my first time reading authors such as Robert Devereaux, Joe Lansdale, Ray Garton, Kathe Koja, and Poppy Z. Brite.

And these books didn’t just expand my horror reading. The first volume has an excellent essay by Chas. Bulan that traces extreme violence in movies that opened me up to many cult films – BLOODSUCKING FREAKS was a big one that stood out to me.

Both volumes of the anthology series are out of print but you can get them for pretty cheap on the used market.

You can get volume 1 here.

You can get volume 2 here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 23 – WZMB by Andre Duza

October 23, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

WZMB sample2

No author frustrates me more as a publisher than Andre Duza. It has nothing to do with him but everything to do with you fuckers and how you aren’t reading him! He’s one of the most brilliant horror authors I’ve ever read. He takes horror tropes that we’re all extremely bored with (in this case zombies) but he puts a spin on them that is unlike anything I’ve ever come across.

If you only ever read three zombie books—read THE RISING, read WORLD WAR Z, and read WZMB. WZMB takes place after the zombie apocalypse and humans have essentially won and now humanity is rebuilding society. The book is a transcript for the first radio call-in show after the almost-apocalypse, complete with news-breaks and commercials. And that is what makes this book so original and insightful. We see what business, religion, politics, and pop culture all look like after the dead come back to life. Where, roughly, WORLD WAR Z ends is where WZMB begins.

Of all of the new to publication Deadite books that I have released, WZMB is one of my absolute favorites and one that is severely under-read.

You can buy this book here.

Not only is WZMB brilliant but so is the second book in the post-zombie-apocalypse universe that he wrote that recently came out, NO GIG IS TOO SMALL. While WZMB dealt with the first radio show after the end-of-the-world, NO GIG IS TOO SMALL is about the first metal band to go on tour after the end. This is what makes Duza such an amazing writer—he takes aspects of horror we’ve all seen done to death and shows them from perspectives that we’ve never seen.

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


I was featured on two Adult Swim bumps

October 22, 2018

Recently I completed a multi-year long project to see ever show that Adult Swim has made. Why did I do that? That answer is coming. But I did do it! I made some posts online about seeing all the shows and also ranked them all to my personal tastes. Adult Swim saw it and featured me on two bumps.

Here’s the first one that is them responding to what I said on twitter:

And here’s the second bump where they show my ranking for every show:

Note – This is only the TV shows made by Adult Swim. So no syndicated works, Toonami animes, specials, pilots, one-offs, or online series. I’ve seen most of them but they weren’t included in this project.


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 22 – THE RAW SHARK TEXTS by Steven Hall

October 22, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

raw

A man wakes up with amnesia and learns through clues he left himself, that he is being hunted by a “conceptual shark.” The “shark” is hunting the concept of him and if caught, will devour his memories and his sense of self.

This is a really weird and bizarre work of pulp adventure that leans heavy into surrealism and meta-fiction. As the story goes on, the “shark” itself begins to interact with the reader and begins to hunt them. The way this is expressed in the story is totally ingenious as the text itself beings to change as the “shark” comes closer.

This may all sound a little pretentious and hard to follow but the book is presented in an extremely readable style. It reads more like a work of mainstream thriller fiction than an abstract literary bore. But make no mistake, the villain of this book is a monster and the plots goes to places that fit this into the horror genre.

It’s just disappointing that Steven Hall has not written any more books since THE RAW SHARK TEXTS was published in 2007. Instead, he’s worked on DOCTOR WHO audio dramas and video games. Which is really cool but I would like to read another novel from Hall.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 21 – SUFFER THE FLESH by Monica J. O’Rourke

October 21, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

suffertheflesh

This is a really messed up book that will stay with you. Take the Stephen King story, “Quitters, Inc,” and combine it with the Stanford Prison Experiment plus add in a shit-ton of depravity and you get SUFFER THE FLESH.

The book focuses on a woman who wants to lose weight and ends up being sucked into a brutal and controlling program that involves beating, rape, and bestiality. But it’s not all just degradation, there’s a twist for the last act of the book that is a massive release of tension that everything that came before is building up to.

I first read this book in college as my local library had a copy for some insane reason (they weren’t normally good for small press horror). It blew my mind as it was one of the first hardcore/extreme horror novels I had ever read (this was the same time that I was getting into Edward Lee and Wrath James White). I was totally shocked and surprised at how far the book was willing to go. Years later, when I started working with Deadite Press, this title was at the top of my list for books that I wanted to reissue with Deadite. I was so happy when O’Rourke and SUFFER THE FLESH joined the Deadite family.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 20 – THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS by John Wyndham

October 20, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

triffids

When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.”

That right there is one of the greatest opening lines in all of genre fiction.

THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS is best known in the United States as a cheesy movie and a reference in the opening song of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. But the actual novel is a fantastic piece of sci-fi horror that has a large following in the U.K. After a meteor shower leaves most of humanity blind, they then fall victim to large, walking carnivorous plants (the Triffids from the title).

While this may sound a little out there, this novel is really the starting place for the modern zombie genre. Remember how 28 DAYS LATER and THE WALKING DEAD have the same opening with the main character waking up in the hospital? That’s how THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS opens, both 28DL and TWD were referencing this book. The general post-apocalyptic grim tone, combined with humanity turning on each other, and the slow-moving man-eaters created the template of what we think of as a zombie story but this book came out in 1951.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:

NO GIG IS TOO SMALL by Andre Duza

nogigistoosmall

CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook

bluecrisisboy

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire