(No, I don’t mean me. I do enough self-promotion on this blog.)
Since we’ve reached the late summer doldrums, I thought I’d add a post about some off-the-beaten-path horror. I doubt you’ll find them at your local bookstores, (unless you have a plethora of used/new shops like we do here) but you might be able to snag a copy of their works online.
1. Fritz Leiber. Ever wonder if electricity can think? If witch hunting can ever come back into style? If the mind of a homicidal maniac is really as bad as you’ve feared? Then Leiber’s for you. His writing reminds me of the most far out edge of Philip K. Dick or Thomas Pynchon…only scarier and more paranoid, if that’s possible. Leiber even had me wondering if I should care more about those lights I leave on sometimes. You know, in case the juice that keeps them running should get…lonely or something.
2. Robert Aikman. Aikman’s work is more weird than frightening to me, but he’s a top shelf prose writer. Even the less intense stuff is engrossingly well crafted. I highly recommend his book, Strange Stories, even though it’s on the rare side and its availability is limited. Strange Stories contains the memorable “Pages from a Young Girl’s Journal,” which starts slow but has an ending so chilling it put me completely off anymore vampire fiction for a year. (Come to think of it…when was the last time I wrote a vampire story? Hmmm…)
3. Robert W. Chambers. Chambers’ work is better suited to fans of Classic Horror, espcially those who favor Lovecraft and Poe. Though Chambers isn’t for those with short attention spans, I recommend him if you are looking for writing with depth of character, gothic twists, and more thought provoking plots than can be provided by those who go exclusively for guts and gore. His collection, The King in Yellow, is more for a rainy day than a plane trip, but can be enjoyed for its high style and spine tingles.