Saturday, November 25, 2006

Jones, Stephen and Kim Newman, eds. Horror: Another 100 best books. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005.456pp.

This is a great book based on a great idea. Ask 100 people in the extended horror fiction family to write a short essay about their favourite book and then publish the results. If you can get authors like Robert Silverberg, Poppy Brite, Nancy Collins, ST Joshi, David Morrell and a whole bunch of others, you're in business. I liked this book a lot, as well as the first book in the series published a few years ago, Horror: 100 best books. It's a great thing to leave around the house and read a chapter or two here and there -- I've been reading the darn thing since June and just finished it today. I actually read all the chapters in sequence, something I've not done yet with the original book. There are also books in the series on science fiction and fantasy. I hope to give all three of those this same treatment one day; in fact, I think I'll be putting the sf one at my bedside today. One great thing about these books is that they also have additional reading lists at the end. This one has the TOC from Horror: 100 best books as well as a year by year listing of important books from 458 BCE (The Oresteia by Aeschylus) to 2005 (The mysteries by Lisa Tuttle).

The best thing about a book like this is that is introduces you to books and authors you've never heard of or didn't know much about and gets you excited about trying out there works. It also gives you a chance to judge your own comprehensiveness in genre reading, letting you know if there are serious gaps.

By way of a meme-y thing, I present the list of 100 here, with the ones I've read bolded and the ones I want to get around to reading in italics. Many of the later, of course, suggested by my reading of the essay in the book. Many thanks to the link here for saving me a lot of typing.
  1. Robert Silverberg on The Revenger's Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur
  2. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro on Pikovaia Dama/The Queen of Spades by Aleksandr Puchkin
  3. Elizabeth Hand on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. Doug Bradley on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  5. Jay Lake on Rekopiz Znaleziony w Saragossie/The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan, Count Potocki
  6. K.W. Jeter on New Grub Street by George Gissing
  7. David J. Skal on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  8. Les Edwards on The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  9. Tony Richards on The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  10. Rick Hautala on The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" by William Hope Hodgson
  11. Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier on Le fantome de l'Opera/The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  12. Tim Lucas on Fantomas by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allan
  13. Christopher Wicking on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft
  14. Barbara Roden and Christopher Roden on They Return at Evening by H.R. Wakefield
  15. Sydney J. Bounds on Creep, Shadow! By A. Merritt
  16. Chaz Brenchley on The Trail of Fu Manchu
  17. Stephen Volk on The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley
  18. Gahan Wilson on The Haunted Omnibus ed. Alexander Laing
  19. Robert Weinberg on The Edge of Running Water by William Sloane
  20. T.M. Wright on L'Etranger/The Stranger by Albert Camus
  21. David A. Sutton on Sleep No More: Twenty Masterpieces of Horror for the Connoisseur ed. August Derleth
  22. Storm Constantine on Lost Worlds by Clark Ashton Smith
  23. Stefan Dziemianowicz on Jumbee and Other Uncanny Tales by Henry S. Whitehead
  24. Gwyneth Jones on Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural ed. Herbert A. Wise and Phyllis Fraser
  25. Joel Lane on The Opener of the Way by Robert Bloch
  26. Christopher Fowler on Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
  27. Gary Gianni on Carnacki the Ghost-Finder by William Hope Hodgson
  28. Randy Broecker on Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson
  29. Tanith Lee on Tales of Horror and the Supernatural by Arthur Machen
  30. Lucius Shepard on Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell
  31. David Bischoff on House of Flesh by Bruno Fischer
  32. Anne Billson on Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier
  33. Nancy A. Collins on The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
  34. Laurence Staig on The Third Ghost Book ed. Lady Cynthia Asquith
  35. Andy Duncan on The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney
  36. John Gordon on The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  37. Norman Partridge on The Hunger and Other Stories by Charles Beaumont
  38. Robert Irwin on The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat
  39. Mark Morris on The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
  40. Howard Waldrop on A Scent of New-Mown Hay by John Blackburn
  41. Ed Gorman on A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
  42. Muriel Gray on The Weirdstone of Brinsingamen by Alan Garner
  43. Terry Dowling on Tales of Terror ed. Charles Higham
  44. Peter Atkins on Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon
  45. Jack Womack on We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  46. Darrell Schweitzer on The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell
  47. Peter Crowther on Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  48. Ian MacLeod on The Collector by John Fowles
  49. Glen Hirshberg on Who Fears the Devil? By Manly Wade Wellman
  50. Simon Clark on A Wrinkle in the Skin by John Christopher
  51. Nancy Holder on Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
  52. Ellen Datlow on The Playboy Book of Horror and the Supernatural Selected by
    the Editors of Playboy
  53. Terry Lamsley on Pages from Cold Point by Paul Bowles
  54. John Farris on Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
  55. Stephen Baxter on The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg
  56. Elizabeth Massie on Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
  57. P.N. Elrod on The Night Stalker by Jeff Rice
  58. Michael Swanwick on Blood Sport by Robert F. Jones
  59. Nicholas Royle on Nightshade by Derek Marlowe
  60. Roz Kaveney on Peace by Gene Wolfe
  61. David Drake on The Year of the Sex Olympics: Three TV Plays by Nigel Kneale
  62. Marc Laidlaw on Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber
  63. Paul McAuley on The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
  64. Jo Fletcher on Darkness Weaves With Many Shades by Karl Edward Wagner
  65. Sir Christopher Frayling on The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
  66. Thomas Ligotti on Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
  67. D.F. Lewis on The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen by Elizabeth Bowen
  68. Christopher Golden on Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror ed. Kirby McCauley
  69. John Burke on Tales from the Nightside by Charles L. Grant
  70. Yvonne Navarro on They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon
  71. Poppy Z. Brite on The Face That Must Die by Ramsey Campbell
  72. David Stuart Davies on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
  73. Michael Marshall Smith on Pet Sematary by Stephen King
  74. Anthony Timpone on Clive Barker's Books of Blood Volumes One, Two, and Three by Clive Barker
  75. Nancy Kilpatrick on Perfume: The Story of a Murdered by Patrick Suskind
  76. Bill Sheehan on Finishing Touches by Thomas Tessier
  77. Kelly Link on Strange Toys by Patricia Geary
  78. Allen Koszowski on The Dark Descent ed. David G. Hartwell
  79. Graham Joyce on Misery by Stephen King
  80. Frank M. Robinson on The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  81. Mark Chadbuurn on Prime Evil ed. Douglas E. Winter
  82. Jay Russell on By Bizarre Hands: Stories by Joe R. Landsdale by Joe R. Lansdale
  83. Peter H. Cannon on The Grotesque by Patrick McGrath
  84. David Morrell on Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
  85. Stephen R. Bissette on From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
  86. David McGillivray on American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  87. Brian Hodge on Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
  88. China Mieville on The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison
  89. Adam Simon on Flicker by Theodore Roszak
  90. Paul Di Filippo on X, Y by Michael Blumlein
  91. Caitlin R. Kiernan on Skin by Kathe Koja
  92. Tananarive Due on Throat Sprockets: A Novel of Erotic Obsession by Tim Lucas
  93. Simon R. Green on The Off Season: A Victorian Sequel by Jack Cady
  94. S.T. Joshi on The Nightmare Factory by Thomas Ligotti
  95. Roberta Lannes on A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell
  96. Michael Shea on Reprisal by Mitchell Smith
  97. John Pelan on A Haunting Beauty by Sir Charles Birkin
  98. Jeff VanderMeer on House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  99. Richard A. Lupoff on Feesters in the Lake & Other Stories by Bob Leman
  100. Tim Lebbon on More Tomorrow & Other Stories by Michael Marshall Smith
Hmmm. Only 21 read (23/100 in the first book), not that impressive for someone who likes to think they're a horror fan. On the other hand, I do tend to do best on sf lists with horror in the middle and fantasy worst, so it's not too surprising. The good news is that there's lots of good reading ahead for me to catch up!

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