Recommended Reading List
- Simon Clark - Nailed by the Heart A couple to a coastal town with their young child and find themselves under attack from a hoard of zombies. A great debut novel that owes a lot to some classics of cinema. [in print - UK]
- James Herbert - The RatsThe first of James Herbert's Rats trilogy and an excellent start to the series. Chaos ensues in the suburbs of London as a breed of mutant rats begin devouring everyone in sight. Includes some truly horrible scenes as the fates of characters which only appear for a single chapter is revealed, showing it as an apocalypse threatening everybody whilst the core characters try and find a way of fighting back. [in print - UK]
- James Herbert - LairThe second of the Rat's trilogy and the weakest of the three, basically a rehash of the first, with the main character from the first novel trying to destroy a group of rats that escaped from London to the green belt. Still good though. [in print - UK]
- William Hope Hodgson - The House on the BorderlandStarting as a claustraphobic novel with a man and his sister trapped within a house by a group of strange hybrid pigmen, this gradually transforms into a novel of cosmic strangeness. An effective early novel of cosmic horror, though the effect is lessened slightly by the author's awkward archaic prose, and the sole female character is an extreme charicature often presented as more monstrous than the creatures themselves. [in print - UK / US]
- Stephen King - Salem's LotKing's take on Stoker's Dracula, this is a brilliant novel which works perfectly as a group of vampires infest a small american town. The central characters transform themselves into vampire slayers and eventually go after the head vampire in the scary house on the hill. A great novel combining lots of different horror aspects. My first encounter with this was through the TV series as a child, but trust me, this is better.
[in print - UK / US]
- Robert R. McCammon - They Thirst
A powerful vampire novel that gradually increases in a feeling of
hopelessness as an army of vampires begins to grow in Los Angeles until
the town is completely dominated by them. The ending is a bit lame and
rather too convenient, but even so it is definately worth reading.
[out of print]
- Adrian Ross - The Hole of the Pit
This lost classic was originally published in 1914, and remained out of print until Ramsey Campbell rescued it from oblivion by collecting it in his 1992 anthology Uncanny Banquet. It is set in the English Civil War (during the reign of Charles the first) and sees a neutral man being sent as an emissary to his brutal cousin, who has taken up residence in their ancestral home. One that is built in the centre of a legend haunted swamp. The book has a sense of dread running the whole way though. Its doom-laiden story moves slowly towards its conclusion and this helps build the tension. The aura of fearsome mystery is kept constant throughout as the source of the unassailable doom is never truely revealed. The closest comparison I can draw is with William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland, the story is just as claustrophobic, though a little more skillfully drawn. [out of print]
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