Saturday, March 19, 2016

Literary Horror

It's March 19, 2016. For a person like myself, born in the 60's, raised in the 70's... that date seems almost unreal. I don't honestly think I ever expected to live this long. I remember, as a child, watching Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and thinking that the year 2001 seemed So Far Away, almost as if it would never reach us. If the 50-year-old that I am now was to go back in time and meet that undersized, oddball little boy that I was then, what in the world would I say to him?

I've been reading a great deal of horror fiction lately -- material I've seen labeled as "literary horror" (which is an odd name, almost denigrating the rest of the genre as somehow un-literary, or illiterate).

Great writers whose work I've been wrapped up in recently include Steve Rasnic Tem -- always a favorite of mine -- Laird Barron, Nathan Ballingrud, and Caitlin Kiernan. Although I don't think anyone would label him a "genre writer", I've also been reading some short fiction from George Saunders.

Of all the writers I've just named, the one who has really connected with me lately is Nathan Ballingrud. His long story "The Visible Filth" is available on Amazon and is not to be missed, and his first short story collection NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MONSTERS is one of the finest debut collections of short horror fiction you'll ever read. The man can do no wrong in my eyes.

Take care. Live well. The world is smaller than we believe.

reading: NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MONSTERS by Nathan Ballingrud
listening: Boston's first 3 albums
watching: "Hap and Leonard" on Sundance.