Sublime Horror

Celebrating the best in horror

Category: Reading List (page 1 of 2)

Latest horror books: September 2019

It’s been a little while since we published a roundup of the latest horror books so it’s nice to return with quite an exciting bunch for September. Stephen King’s The Institute is certainly the biggest name on this list – read our review. Is there a book we’ve missed that you think should be included? Leave a comment or get in touch.

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Meta-horror – a reading list

The past decade has seen a spike in meta-horror, particularly in film. Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and The Cabin in the Woods all bring a comedic self-referential vibe to a genre known for its tropes. But what about books? Below, find a list of some of the best in meta-horror literature. From classics to contemporary fiction, there is something to haunt everyone. But be warned, reading this list may have consequences…

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Four novels to wake us up to our own climate horror story

Turn on the news today and you’ll be confronted by a headline that seems more likely to have been ripped from a movie than real life: “Record heat fuels wildfires in Alaska”; “High likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end by 2050”; “Half of the Great Barrier Reef is dead”. Cheery stuff. Even so, this isn’t a disaster movie we’re living in, it’s a slow-burn horrorfest. There’s a lingering sense of dread now that accompanies us everywhere. We know there’s something on the horizon and we’re pretty sure it’s not going to be pleasant. And while some of us are trying to rewrite the narrative to make it less apocalyptic, the rest of us are still sleepwalking to oblivion.

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Upstairs’ downfall: The decline, death and afterlife of the English country house in five ghost stories

The stately homes of England, how beautiful they stand, To prove the upper classes have still the upper hand. – Noël Coward, “The Stately Homes of England”, 1938

From the grand halls of the aristocracy to the homely manors of the gentry, the country house has been an enduring feature of the English landscape for centuries. Its inhabitants have likewise long been conspicuous on the English social scene and this is reflected in fiction. Despite urbanisation and the major social changes that have taken place in Britain since the Second World War a fascination with this class of people, their way of life and their houses has remained. One only has to think of the most popular British period dramas for confirmation.

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The nominees for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards

Today, the nominees for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards, rewarding ‘outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic’ were announced. The awards will be presented on Sunday July 14th, voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics.

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Helen Marshall: five books that inspired The Migration

In the first in a new series where authors share the inspiration behind their latest works, Helen Marshall talks to us about five books that inspired her debut novel The Migration. You can also delve deeper into the background of The Migration by reading our recent interview with Helen Marshall.

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The 11 best new horror books to read this April

In this month’s fantastic selection we see obsession driven to madness, a reimagining of the Kilkenny witch trial, the weird stories of William Hope Hodgson, folk horror in the remote Scottish highlands, John Langan’s new short story collection, the devil’s corrupting influence, and much more.

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Five supernatural tales by authors not known for horror

Some of the best tales of horror and terror have been produced by writers whose names do not conjure up the isolated castles, decaying mansions and sheeted forms of the gothic inheritance. These authors bring fresh perspectives to well-worn tropes and often use the form to explore themes found elsewhere in their works. Such stories are valuable to scholars of the supernatural in fiction, demonstrating the potential of the genre, and to those interested in individual authors, as they provide neat examples of overarching themes in a writer’s oeuvre. Most importantly, they give the reader a tale well-told.         

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The haunted academic, a reading list

Scholars, academics, learned people of all kinds, often crop up in fiction. Horror is no exception and ghost stories from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in particular, featured academics in lead roles. Sometimes this is as the result of ‘write what you know’ more than any other reason; M. R. James, coming up later (because of course he is) being a case in point. But, much more significantly, academics represent rational, empirical, and “modern” thought, in contrast to the superstitions of an older, darker age. The academic represents progress; sometimes as a means of rebutting the supernatural, but sometimes the supernatural could show that perhaps our progress had gone too far. Thank you to Sarah Burton on Twitter for prompting the idea for this reading list and thank you to those who offered suggestions (@cath_fletcher, @marccold, & @ssmithwc1n).

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Witches in fiction, a reading list chosen by Professor Marion Gibson

Witches, in one shape or form, by one definition or another, have a long literary history and are a constant source of inspiration. I spoke to Marion Gibson, Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literature at the University of Exeter, to put together this reading list of witches in fiction, starting with the relatively modern Young Goodman Brown in 1835. Clearly, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list, but a cherry-picked selection that will likely be of interest to our readers. Marion is the author of an introductory book on the study of witchcraft, the themes of which we discuss in the first episode of the Sublime Horror podcast.

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