Adam Cesare on What Makes a Horror Fan

Adam Cesare, author of Tribesmen, Bone Meal Broth, and Video Night wrote a great post last week about the what gets most people into horror and the split of the horror fiction fans and the horror movie fans. Here is a sample of what he has to say:

Horror fans are a diverse bunch, but every one that I’ve ever talked to has a single commonality: their obsession started when they were young.

We may keep our eyes glued to the news sites, downloading the newest trailers and demanding up-to-the minute word on our favorite creators, but our interests always loop back around to what hooked us as kids. In this way, we’re a nostalgic bunch and I hope you’ll indulge me I wax nostalgic for a minute in this post.

Notice that I didn’t say horror movie fans. I just said horror fans, which I feel is an important distinction. Well, actually I think it should be the most unimportant distinction of all, a non-existent distinction, but sadly it is one.

Confused yet? Sorry, let me try again.

It was the movies that hooked me. Browsing the video store, I was both attracted to and terrified of the horror section. I wanted so badly to enjoy these films that I begged and bartered with my parents.They were pretty permissive and let me have what I wanted. The thing was, when I was that young, I could only take about five minutes of Halloween, and the closest I got to Freddy was errant glances at his videotape covers. So I started slow, stuck with the classic monsters. Great as they are, the films of the 1930s,’40s and ’50s didn’t quite hit the same “instant terror” nerve for me as their color counterparts.

This was how I became a monster kid, which is a term that outdates me by a few decades, but still one that’s applicable to a select group of young people today. Some would claim that it’s only applicable to those who were around for the ’50s-’70s, but to hell with that. The few, the proud: the monster kids.

Continue reading “Adam Cesare on What Makes a Horror Fan”

Guest Post: Summer of Zombie Interview with Todd Brown

The Non-Horror Reader Survey is taking part of the Summer of Zombie Blog tour. We have a Guest Interview of Horror author Todd Brown (Dead series, Zomblog). We haven’t touched much on the subject of zombies here at NHRS because while it is a sub-genre, it is a large sub-genre. Many books have built the mythos of this undead creature. Just as many, if not more, have analyzed them. Whether you love them or hate them, zombies speak to a part of the human condition. If you enjoy the interview, please check out the Facebook Page of the blog tour and check out all the other posts going on.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Summer of Zombie Interview with Todd Brown”

Dark Harvest

Title: Dark Harvest
Author: Norman Partridge
Publisher: Tor
Pages: 169

One of the main tropes of horror fiction is Halloween. There is a lot to explore in just that one holiday that countless books and stories have already been written and there are still more to be offered. It is also a trope that, if done well, can set a writer apart from all other horror writers. Dark Harvest is that kind of book.

Starting right off in second person point-of-view, you are instantly unsettled. It is a artful choice considering the story Partridge paints with his succinct and immersive writing style. A story were sons are told to hunt down a a town sacrificial lamb every year in the hopes of freedom from the isolation in the cornfields and to make their families’ lives comfortable till they die. These boys are half starved and pushed by family, friends, and even themselves to win and are let loose in a fervor. Uncomfortibility is key to this story and that is what the second person point-of-view can invoke in the ready and pull the reader deeper into the story.

Partridge also does a great job at finding ways of mixing the history of Halloween and the current view of Halloween into a new idea that makes the day more eerie once you finish this book. When a writer can make candy seem innocent, yet malicious at the same time, you begin to understand the power of horror fiction and what it’s crafters can do.

While the bulk idea of the story is violent one, and while there are some gruesome moments, it is never takes away from the  unraveling hard-boil mystery that is the true momentum. Couple it with excellent control of information and rich characters, you have find even the most violent moments powerful in the discovery in the characters sense of self and strength when the world seems to be closing in ready to swallow them whole.

At only 169 pages, it is one of the shorter novels you are going to find printed in recent years. But even being short, it has as much, if not more, richness and detail as a regular length novel. Nothing is rushed, not a word wasted. It is pure, great, horror writing.

While rated Intermediate, I would still consider this a great book for those beginning or early in their exposure to Horror fiction. Everything that Horror is is done exceptionally in this book.

Horror Reading Level: Intermediate