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Worlds Without End Blog

Horror Writers Association Reading List Posted at 7:37 PM by Jonathan McDonald


As part of our relentless efforts to add every celebrated genre novel to our site, we have finally begun adding novels explicitly in the Horror genre to WWEnd. While many books in our database have arguably been more Horror than Science Fiction or Fantasy, our excuse was that they could still be labelled as Dark Fantasy or that they had some elements of Science Fiction. October, appropriately enough, is going to see an expansion of WWEnd into the Horror genre, and while we haven’t quite yet added enough books to fill the historical records of any Horror awards, we decided to go ahead and gather together a genre reading list, and the Horror Writers Association’s Horror Reading List fit the bill perfectly. Here’s how they describe the list:

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) was formed, in part, to foster a greater appreciation of dark fiction among members of the general public. Whether you are new to Horror, or simply want to become familiar with some of the classics and ‘bests’ of dark fiction, the following books are a wonderful place to begin.

Also be on the lookout for an upcoming series of blog posts starting this week from Rico and I about some of our favorite scary books.


htaccess   |   04 Oct 2011 @ 17:07

I would have expected something by Clive Barker to be in there, "Weave World" probably.

Jonathan   |   05 Oct 2011 @ 08:41

That’s true, some of their selections are very odd, and I have to wonder at some of the books they left out. Still, I’m hoping to find some unexpected gems among this reading list. Time will tell.

Charles Dee Mitchell   |   15 Oct 2011 @ 11:56

This list is more peculiar than the NPR SF list. Why forty books? I could understand Top 10, Top 50, Top 100. Forty makes it sound like Kasey Kasem put it together.The classics are here, but where is Edgar Allen Poe? Sheridan Le Fanu? Ambrose Bierce? They have divided HP Lovecraft into two volumes when there is no shortage of Complete HP Lovecraft available. Same goes for Shirley Jackson, but maybe the covers of Library of America volumes aren’t horrific enough for the list. Arthur Machen gets both a novel and a book of stories. (Machen has a cult following and critical reputation I am determined to someday understand.) Consolidation would have made room for more classic authors.But who is this list for? Who, having just finished Pet Sematary is going to want to curl up with Turn of the Screw?Having groused myself out, I will now admit that I just finished Sineater by Elizabeth Massie. I read it only because I found a second hand copy and I really enjoyed it. At the same time I picked up Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite. (I think all horror novelists should be named Poppy Z. Brite.) Massie’s book is a coming-of-age story with grotesque elements. Half way into it, Brite’s novel is a dreamy, homoerotic novel of wayward youth some of whom suck blood. Both she and Massie are much better writers than I expected them to be, but then again, they did make the Top 40.

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