Tag: Horror

Horror with Humor

Are you watching iZombie?  The new show about a girl infected with a zombie virus who works in a morgue and solves crime? On the CW on Tuesday nights?  Well you should be.  It’s one of the most promsiing combinations of witty, banter-y humor and horror that I’ve seen in a while.

It also made me realize that while I’m a fan of horror in general I really love horror that knows how to laugh at itself.  Because I’m more sensitive to visual scares than written ones, I actually refused to watch any horror movies until Evil Dead came along. There’s something so cathartic about laughing in the middle of something terrifying. While there are a lot of horror (novels and films both) with moments of unexpected humor, I’m talking here about laugh-out-loud funny stuff, rather than the dark-as-night black humor of something like Bret Easton Ellis.  Some of my favorites are genuinely scary horror with comic relief, some are more comedies that adopt horror scenery, but they all combine that desire to bring you to an uncomfortable place through a scary or gross set-up and then make you laugh. This kind of push-pull of maintaining tension and then releasing it through humor is actually incredibly impressive, so if you like to laugh-scream, here are some picks for you. (more…)

Horror for Beginners

I am sure there are many readers who would swear on a stack on bibles that they don’t read horror, but who might read certain horror that sneaks onto the bestseller lists or gets literary love.  I thought, in honor of Halloween and All Hallow’s Read (you know– the super-fantastic tradition that Neil Gaiman invented where everyone gives someone a scary book for Halloween?), I would highlight some books that are fantastic horror novels that for one reason or another are read far beyond the normal genre audience for horror.  Sometimes these are books by well-respected literary novelists who are dabbling in a darker hue; sometimes they are subtle horror novels that skirts the edges of the genre. They might be as scary as anything Stephen King ever penned, but they sit on our “literature” shelves rather than in the horror ghetto.  These scary books have gotten a lot of critical love and might be just the thing to give someone who doesn’t think they read horror. (more…)

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett



TITLE: The Troupe
AUTHOR: Robert Jackson Bennett
PUBLISHER: Orbit, 2011

THE BOOK: In an undefined turn-of-the-last-century time when vaudeville was still going strong, we meet young George Carole, a piano player at a small Vaudeville theatre in the middle of America somewhere/nowhere. Sixteen-year-old George is working at Otterman’s theatre for only one reason:  he hopes his father will play there someday so he can finally meet the man. But when he does finally track down his father’s vaudevillian troupe, nothing goes as planned.  His father, Hieronymus Silenus, is involved in something bigger and scarier than a simple entertainment and when George see the Silenus troupe play, his life is changed forever. Between the creepy puppet act, the tantalising dancing of the beautiful Colette, and the mesmerizing song that ends the act, George is fascinated.  But it is his encounter after the show with a spooky gray man who sucks all the light out of the world around him that decides George to sign on with the Troupe. Because Silenus is somehow using his show to battle back all the evil of the world.  Or is he? (more…)

Restorer by Amanda Stevens


Title: Restorer
Author: Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira, 2011
Series: Graveyard Queen, Book 1

THE BOOK: Amelia Gray is a young woman with an unusual job: she restores cemeteries for a living. Working in and around her home base of Charleston, she has built up a reputation as an expert in meticulous restorations of historic burial places. She learned the trade from her father, and grew up watching him work as a caretaker at a local cemetery. But it appears she inherited more than a professional aptitude from her father. (more…)

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher


Title: The Burning Dark
Author: Adam Christopher
Publisher: Tor, 2014
Series: Spider Wars, Book 1

THE BOOK: From the moment decorated war hero Captain Idaho Cleveland arrives on the U-Star Coast City he knows something is not right. No one on board seems to have heard of him. Ego aside, the battle that he survived should have been known to anyone in the military, as it was the only successful fleet action against the Spiders. Ida is being eased out of the military, and this posting to the station is his final assignment. (more…)

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Title: The Shining Girls
Author: Lauren Beukes
Publisher: Mulholland Books, 2013

THE BOOK: Harper Curtis is a time traveling serial killer.  How about that for a one-sentence pitch? Harper discovers purely by chance a key to a very creepy house whose doors open on different times.  The catch is that the house wants Harper to find and kill certain girls —  girls that shine. (more…)