Best Horror Books/Authors (Outside of Stephen King/Lovecraft)

2Wycked

Ostrich
Gold Member


Please, share any recommendations you have for horror books or authors.

No need to share Stephen King or Lovecraft, as most of us already know their reputations and contributions.

Outside of Thomas Harris's Silence Of The Lambs, I don't have much to share literary-wise and I am more looking for suggestions.
 

Beyond Borders

Peacock
Gold Member
Well, if you haven't read everything King wrote before 2000 - especially his short stories - you still have a lot of reading to do. His later books have become diluted, but his older stuff is pretty hard to match. And the stuff he wrote as Bachman almost feels like another author.

To answer the question, though, be sure to catch Clive Barker's "Books of Blood."

Dean Koontz can be contrived sometimes but he has some very good books out there. One that stands in my mind from over the years, though I probably read it as a teenager, is "Watchers." You may have seen the movie.

Edgar Allen Poe is timeless.

While not categorized as horror, "The Game of Thrones" series does have enough of the elements to invoke you with some of the same emotions and could probably fit into the genre as much so as fantasy. It's one of the best series I've ever read.
 

Kitsune

Pelican
What sort of horror?

If you're into Lovecraft, you can work backwards through the Gothic classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, Woman in White.

Or you could look at the time period: Robert E. Howard, etc.

Or you can go forwards. King was influenced by people that Lovecraft influenced: a good place to start would be Richard Matheson's book 'I Am Legend' (its better than the film.)

It changes a bit when you get to Stephen King and contemporaries because King dominated the whole genre for so long. I like James Herbert's work. It's very similar to King but very British. You could also give American Psycho a try.

21st Century horror has become a bit 'SJW' infested, lots of sexuality and socio-political stuff at the expense of monsters, hence you should go to older stuff first.
 

SteveMcMahon

Kingfisher
Gold Member
This guy, Luke Smitherd:

http://www.amazon.com/Luke-Smitherd/e/B007K1CY8S

He's self-published, but one of those self-published authors who can actually write and tell an interesting story.

His stuff is great. Maybe not pure horror as in haunted houses, evil clowns and whatnot. He writes more science fiction / paranormal / horror, but always interesting.

The Stone Man is very, very good.

The Physics of the Dead is excellent.

The Black Room is good too, though I was slightly annoyed by the main character's oneitis.
 

Seamus

Woodpecker
World War Z by Max Brooks is one of my favorite books of any genre. It's absolutely fantastic, and I regularly give it as a gift.

The construct is an oral history of the zombie war, so it's basically just a series of short horror stories taking place in the same universe, which keeps things fresh and lets Brooks hit a bunch of terrifying scenarios.

I never saw the movie, because I heard it completely deviated from the book. Anything but a hard-R horror flick would've been a disservice.

Also, anybody read House of Leaves by Danielewski? It was a bestseller a few years back. I heard it was really good, but not from someone I particularly trust
 

Moma

Peacock
Gold Member
I used to like Shaun Hutson. He's a British author of horro and had some good ones. Slugs, Breeding Ground was good (for me) and so was Erebus.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
If you haven't already, read Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although I read it quite a long time ago, it has stayed in my memory as a superb and strange book which more than deserves its reputation.
 

Cal Meacham

Pigeon
If you like things that take place in a Lovecraftian universe, I can recommend Charles Stross' The Laundry Files series. It is a marriage of British spy novel like Adam Hall (Quiller) and Lovecraft. The main character is a computer science nerd who gets recruited by the government after writing a computer program that inadvertently summons eldritch horrors. He then becomes a 'computational demonologist' for the Laundy.

Seconding Dean R. Koontz. His Odd Thomas series was the last of his I read, and it was very good. Older ones like The Bad Place and Cold Fire were good as well.

If you want more action related horror, Monster Hunter International series by Larry Correia is good. I read that to my daughter and it was almost too scary. He has HPL influences, but also draws from other mythologies.
 
I recommend going back into Lovecraft, he truly had a grasp on cosmic horror in ways none could compare. Stephen King is too much connected to globohomo for my tastes.

The best Lovecraft story I think is The Shadow Over Innsmouth, you really understand the horror and nausea felt by the narrator when he realizes what he is in the end after experiencing the sickening reality of the people in that town.

The scariest part about that is, considering what we know of Biblical lore on ancient cults and their pantheism and idolatry (example the Philistines) , as well as unexplained maritime phenomena and sightings, the history behind the Deep Ones is something that for all literary intents and purposes meant to convey HP's disgust of miscegenation and mixing bloodlines, but may be closely related to the truth behind the modern cults and their own secretive rituals and traditions. Call me crazy, but there perhaps are legitimate half-breeds out there, half-fish, half-giants, half-whatever. God wiped away the seed of the fallen one with the flood, this we know, but what if some of those seeds survived into the present day?

As for other horror authors, I always thought Michael Crichton's "Eaters of the Dead" was a great story that alluded to historical realities, with an interesting blend of cultural embellishment. Richard Matheson's Stir of Echoes, The Beetle by Richard Marsh, and Viy by Nikolai Gogol are also interesting horror-related reads.
 
Despite not reading much horror fiction any more, one of my favourite authors of the last few years in general is Adam Nevill.

He as a fantastic way of setting a scene of unease - unequaled at times IMO, although I feel his novels could sometimes do with a bit of an edit towards the climax.

The Ritual is a great novel (film adaption isn't too bad either) , and pretty much all his output is recommended.

Despite him saying that he's a novelist first, 'Some Will Not Sleep: Selected Horrors' is the best horror short story collection I've read.

Some very unsettling pieces in there - obv. depends on your imagination - but 'Pig thing' and 'When Angels Come in' esp. the latter, stayed with me for some time.

He also talks a lot about his craft and is greatly influenced by the old School of MR James/Machen/Algernon Blackwood and more recently Ramsay Campbell.

Ramsay Campbell is also worth checking out for more 'traditional' type horror - bit hit and miss I've found personally, but he's an author that relys on the readers imagination rather than graphic scenes to get the chills.
 

Timothy Crow

Sparrow
Dennis Wheatley's black magic series is good. The Devil Rides Out, The Haunting of Toby Jugg, The Satanist, To the Devil a Daughter, Gateway to Hell and others...

Someone mentioned Rober E. Howard, he has some good stories though is better known for his Conan stories. Pigeons from Hell, Dig Me No Grave and others.
 
Horror books and movies open the realm to demonic possession. As much as it saddens me, I've stopped watching and subsequently reading (Lovecraft, damn shame).

Nightmares are demonic possession, literally "ridden by a mare", a mare being a witch.

The problem with horror is not only that someone might watch it, but that they watch it late, and therefore might awaken during Witches Hour (3am to 4am), when the risk of demonic encounters are at its highest.

Like I said, I wish I could watch horror, because I liked to watch it, but I can't deny I suffered from horrible nightmares and feelings of having someone or something in my bedroom.

I will not do it.

 
Horror books and movies open the realm to demonic possession. As much as it saddens me, I've stopped watching and subsequently reading (Lovecraft, damn shame).

Nightmares are demonic possession, literally "ridden by a mare", a mare being a witch.

The problem with horror is not only that someone might watch it, but that they watch it late, and therefore might awaken during Witches Hour (3am to 4am), when the risk of demonic encounters are at its highest.

Like I said, I wish I could watch horror, because I liked to watch it, but I can't deny I suffered from horrible nightmares and feelings of having someone or something in my bedroom.

I will not do it.

I've thought about what you discuss here. When I was at university, I read an anthology of so-called "splatterhouse" horror, which is intentionally extremely explicit and gory. The stories were very well crafted, but even decades later, I still recall some of the horrific scenes and mentally cringe. I never had nightmares about it.

I like the old school horror of a century or so past, such as the classic ghost stories, which to me are fun and atmospheric.
 
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