Recommend good horror novels and short story anthologies
April 14, 2012 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Recommend good horror novels and short story anthologies

I'm really into horror fiction at the moment want to find more of it to read. I have hardly anything that falls into the horror genre on my E-reader and want this to change.

You may recommend horror novels and short story anthologies by single authors, or various authors; it doesn't matter.

posted by GlassHeart to Writing & Language (27 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Linda Addison's anthology, How to recognize a demon has become your friend, recently won a Bram Stoker Award.
posted by spunweb at 9:37 PM on April 14, 2012

Justin Evan's A Good And Happy Child creeped me right out.
posted by nicwolff at 10:18 PM on April 14, 2012

An oldie but a goodie is Stephen King's short story collection collection, Night Shift. Some of his best writing.
posted by pianoboy at 10:20 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Several years ago I received American Gothic Tales (edited by Joyce Carol Oates) as a 'secret santa' gift from an internet forum. It was totally unexpected but it is now one of my favorite short story anthologies (whether horror or any genre actually). Here's a goodreads link about it. I really can't recommend it enough.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:01 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Probably not what you had in mind, but Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the classic horror novel and a truly interesting read!
posted by désoeuvrée at 1:04 AM on April 15, 2012

What about H.P. Lovecraft? Cthulhu Chick has a free ebook anthology of all his works. (It's also available at Amazon for 99 cents.)

Also, I recently read The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen which is available free from various places like Amazon, Project Gutenberg, Apple, etc.
posted by cropshy at 5:20 AM on April 15, 2012

Peter Straub, Joe R. Lansdale and Dan Simmons are not exclusively horror writers, but have done significant work in the genre.

Clive Barker is far more of a fantasy writer these days, but his Books of Blood short story collections had a lot to do with revitalizing the horror genre back in the 80's.

I always found the (sadly, currently defunct) "Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" anthologies great resources - not only for the stories themselves, but as a way to discover new writers. (Also movies & graphic novels & other stuff, since the first part of the books was an encyclopedic overview of virtually anything horror or fantasy- related that had been released the previous year.)

These were edited for years by Ellen Datlow. I think I have always found something worthwhile in any collection she's edited.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:34 AM on April 15, 2012

For a wonderful and original take on zombies, I HIGHLY recommend The Living Dead short story anthology.

I loved the heck out of it. It's nice and big and thick and hefty.

Should you like it, there's a second volume out as well.
posted by THAT William Mize at 6:25 AM on April 15, 2012

Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
posted by Thorzdad at 6:33 AM on April 15, 2012

Any of the Mammoth Books of Best New Horror.

Anything by Ramsey Campbell. (A lot of his stuff isn't available for Kindle but some is.)

Caitlin R Kiernan's The Red Tree.
posted by tiger tiger at 6:38 AM on April 15, 2012

Generation Loss and Available Light by Elizabeth Hand
posted by dizziest at 6:40 AM on April 15, 2012

posted by zadcat at 7:40 AM on April 15, 2012

Check out Thomas Ligotti.
posted by Bron at 9:11 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Black Water and Black Water 2 are deliciously creepy compilations of tales of the uncanny from famous and obscure writers from various cultures. I kinda prefer Balck Water 2, but they're both excellent, and can be re-read repeatedly.
posted by ovvl at 10:48 AM on April 15, 2012

(yes, my hands were shaking)
posted by ovvl at 10:49 AM on April 15, 2012

ChiZine Publications is the press you are looking for. Everything available in ebook form. and if you get the physical books, you get the ebooks too.

I recommend The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet, Eutopia by David Nickle, and A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (first in a series).
posted by bleary at 11:14 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Imago Sequence by Laird Barron good good good.
posted by bleary at 11:18 AM on April 15, 2012

Weird Fiction Review with lots of material.


The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer
posted by bleary at 11:30 AM on April 15, 2012

The Datlow mention above reminded me that she is still doing a yearly horror anthology, The Best Horror of the Year. Between that and the Mammoth Best of the year I mentioned above and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror you can really get a good sense of who is doing the best current work in the genre and what you like, and seek out other work by those writers.

Also, Ash Tree Press publishes high quality supernatural short fiction anthologies and collections, and is slowly converting much of their catalog for Kindle (including a lot of long out-of-print books).
posted by tiger tiger at 11:40 AM on April 15, 2012

The thirty volumes of The Pan Book of Horror Stories.
posted by Dr.Pill at 4:08 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ditto Laird Barron. Besides The Imago Sequence, he has another collection, Occultation. His first novel is also due out early in May.

I've really dug Joe Hill's stuff as well--Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, and 20th Century Ghosts (two novels and a story collection, respectively). Ghosts has some great stories in quite a range of genres.
posted by xenization at 7:42 PM on April 15, 2012

If you haven't read Lovecraft yet, you probably should. It's good stuff.
posted by Estraven at 8:52 PM on April 15, 2012

Two Stephen King books which scared me just ridiculously are "The Shining" and "Salem's Lot." I read them as a grown man and was still creeped out, I'd stop reading and look around the room, scared. Which is just lame, right? I mean, come on, a book about a hotel? A book about vampires? Gimme a break. Except that I was scared. King is good.

Almost reluctant to add them here, as I know anyone who is interested in him have already read these, plus it's not some far-out recommendation that no one else has ever heard of; still, scary books.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:59 PM on April 15, 2012

I'm a big fan of Lansdale's horror: The Drive In trilogy is fantastic, it is however about as bizarre of a thing I've read that wasn't Naked Lunch. I like his Bumper Crop short story collection, but any of his short story collections should serve. He writes in a couple of styles though, so maybe read a couple pages before buying. If you've seen Bubba Ho-Tep, or the Master of Horrors episode Incidents on and Off a Mountain Road, he wrote the stories both of them were based on.

Scott Sigler is also great. He's sort of sci-fi horror, and he gets a lot of the science right. As a bonus he releases some of his books as free pod casts as he writes them, so if you need some listenable fiction, check out his webpage (I should mention that my wife has a character named after her in one of his books, so I may well think he's cooler than he is).

I'm a little surprised Matheson hasn't been mentioned: he wrote the short stories I Am Legend and The Legend of Hell House, among many many others. There's a great Anthology of stories written in tribute to him called "He Is Legend."

Eternal Lovecraft is another good tribute anthology, as is Poe's Children.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:45 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

These were edited for years by Ellen Datlow. I think I have always found something worthwhile in any collection she's edited.

Enthusiastically seconded - her editorship seems to be a reliable mark of quality.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on April 17, 2012

If you haven't read Lovecraft yet, you probably should. It's good stuff.

And once you have, or at least the good stories, The Book of Cthulhu is an awesome anthology of works in the same spirit that avoid a lot of the cod-Lovecraft pitfalls you see people falling into.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on April 17, 2012

The good Lovecraft stories
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on April 17, 2012

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