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A Little Dark Reading

Skull and bookWhat are you afraid of?  I don't mean your day-to-day worries and trepidations-- what truly scares you?  What things freeze you in your tracks and twist your stomach, make your breath come short, your heart race, your limbs tremble, your blood run cold?  Come now, even the bravest of us have things that they fear.  (As John Wayne used to say, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.") 

Trimeresurus popeorum, Pope's pit viper (male/juvenile) - Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand by RushenbCreatures are pretty high on most people's lists-- things that growl and bite and hiss and sting.  Things that slither, things that creep or skitter or glide so silently you don't know there're there (until it's too late).  Some people are afraid of certain kinds of spaces: tight, airless rooms; tunnels deep under the earth; CNTowerNastyFall by Franklin.vpdizzying heights; empty, deserted places; lightless corners that could be hiding... well... you don't know, do you?  Are you afraid of runaway technology? Killer viruses? Do you fear crowds? Strangers? Being alone?   Or perhaps a deeper, more nebulous fear curls its icy tendrils around your heart: the fear of death.  Of all that may come after.  Of the unknown.
Brown Recluse spider
There are a lot of things in this world that scare us (chances are good at least one image on this page will do the trick-- the most popular fears are represented here).  About 10% of us suffer under the weight of a phobia-- an intense, crippling, irrational fear of a specific object or situation.  But for some people, that's just not enough.  And that's why we have the horror genre. 

LV-CET Embraer Emb.190 Austral (8164034512), (c) Aeroprints.comHorror authors take our fears further, terrifying us with things beyond the realm of human experience.  In horror, you can encounter spirits that once lived.  Creatures that won't stay dead.  Living shadows.  Witches, necromancers, sorcerers.  The possessed, the spiritually twisted.  Half-beasts, changelings, monsters, demons, evil gods... all manner of horrors we can scarcely conceive of.  And the beauty of it?  Horror writers aren't even using their imaginations against us. 

Chirurgien son robot da-vinciNo... they're using ours.

In honor of Halloween, here's a little dark reading for you this month-- a selection of horror titles (with a sprinkling of scary sci-fi and dark fantasy) that have been added to our collection within the last year.

Go aheBSPC 19 i Nyborg Danmark 2009 by Johannes Jansson/norden.orgad, read one.  They're just books.  What are you afraid of?

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn (Horror Ahlborn)
The Silence of Ghosts by Jonathan Aycliffe (Horror Aycliffe)
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (3, Book of the Art)  (Horror Barker)
Emergence by Dave Birmingham (1, Dave vs. The Monsters)  (Pbk-Fantasy Birmingham) Lalki teatru Arlekin, święto Łodzi 2010, Piotrkowska by Piastu
Letters to Lovecraft: 18 Whispers to the Darkness by Jesse Bullington, ed. (Horror Letters)
The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey (Horror Coffey)
The Deep by Nick Cutter (Horror Cutter)
The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue (Horror Donohue)
Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum (Horror Downum)
Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater (Horror Frater)
Gideon by Alex Gordon (Fantasy Gordon)
Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory (Fantasy Gregory) Bewag-Tunnel in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg by Axel Mauruszat
Station 16 by Yves H with Hermann H, ill. (GN Hermann)
The Dark Descent by David G. Hartwell, ed. (1, Dark Descent anthologies)  (Horror Dark)
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley Jackson (818.54 Jacks)
The Captive Condition by Kevin P. Keating (Horror Keating)
Outcast by Robert Kirkman with Paul Azacera and Elizabeth Breitweiser (GN Kirkman) Hypodermic syringe, Paris, France, 1851-1900 Wellcome L0058157 courtesy of Wellcome Images
The Silence by Tim Lebbon (Horror Lebbon)
World War Moo by Michael Logan (2, Apocalypse Cow)  (Horror Logan)
The Devil's Bag Man by Adam Mansbach (2, Jess Galvan)  (Horror Mansbach)
No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill (Horror Nevill)
The Returned by Seth Patrick (Horror Patrick)
Jacaranda by Cherie Priest (7, Clockwork Century)  (SF Priest)
The Damned by Andrew Pyper (Horror Pyper)
Veil by Greg Rucka with Toni Fejzula (1, Veil)  (GN Rucka)
Wytches by Scott Snyder with Jock, ill. (1, Wytches)  (GN Snyder v.1)
The Voices by F. R. Tallis (Horror Tallis)
The SquMysterious man in silhouetteidder by Ben Templesmith (GN Templesmith)
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (Fiction Tremblay)
Positive by David Wellington (Horror Wellington)
String Theory by Jim Zub with Steven Cummings and John Rauch (1, Wayward)  (GN Zub v.1)

Orage à Annemasse by YannAsian House Rat (Rattus tanezumi) - maybe? by Thomas BrownAngry german shepard by Josh Plueger (public domain)









Cattle on the road at sunset in Brazil by Daniel Julie

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