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Night Shade Message Boards » Shepard, Lucius » Who is your favorite contemporary horror writer? « Previous Next »

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bryan
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:20 pm:   

right now, for me it has to be glen hirshberg. his short story collection 'the two sams' is a really great read. i just started his novel 'the snowman's children' and so far so good. he's sentimental and familiar in the right way, kinda like the film donnie darko.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:53 pm:   

Sorry. Don't read. A short story here and there, the occasional book by a friend, but that;s all I have tine for. I think a read a story by Hirschberg once--it seemed pretty good.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 11:17 pm:   

H.R. Milton Cavendish. Seriously overlooked.
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Cornelis Alderlieste
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 04:02 am:   

Anthony Horowitz! Especially his children's books.
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mike bishop
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 04:46 am:   

We ask that question on Lucius's messageboard and don't lead off with, Why, duh, Lucius Shepard, and then go into our runner-ups? Anyway, my answer is LS, even if he works other areas of the speculative spectrum just as expertly.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 05:58 am:   

I would agree mr. Bishop, although much of Lucius' work seems more like dark fantasy, then straight up horror. Still he's probably my favorite modern horror writer.

What about, who many consider the best and most consistent exclusivly horror writer alive and writing today? Is it still Ramsey Campell if looking at British writers?
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 06:08 am:   

Also, Jeff Vandermeer, and Jeff Ford, are writing stories that may be considered horror or dark fantasy, both very well. Let's not forget Mr. Bishops contributions to the Horror genre, going back further than Lucius, or the Jeffs. I tend to like writers, like all of the above, who work well in all forms of the fantastic, and care about style as well as plot and characters, and about writing great fiction, not just selling lot's of books. I bow to you all.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 07:39 am:   

Thanks for the good words, mike...
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 10:27 am:   

Ramsey Campbell, yes, still does it for me. Not always, but when he's on, there's no one onner. (As you know, Lucius, I need me a bit o' the tentacle.)

He was writing "thrillers" for a while, of which I most admired THE LAST SAFE PLACE, but he's come back to supernatural horror with THE DARKEST PART OF THE WOODS, which has all the James/Machen/Blackwood influence one would want in a modern novel, while still being pure Campbell.

And among his many short stories, I believe there are more pure classics than anyone alive has written. He just consistently does this thing that no one else can do.

Not even H.R. Milton Cavendish.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 10:28 am:   

I meant THE ONE SAFE PLACE. Look before you post!
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 12:52 pm:   

Thanks, StephenB. I came out of the horror field, but by the time I got even close to good, I was writing imaginary world fantasy with a horror influence.

Besides Lucius, Thomas Ligotti comes to mind. I still think he's the greatest living horror writer, even though he's "gone quiet" a bit lately. Some of his work seems repetitive, and you don't want to read a lot of it back-to-back, but his recent work has been, I think, superb.

But I don't read much straight horror these days--I find it in books marketed as other things.

JeffV
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 04:49 pm:   

Since I only read short fiction the following are the writers of short horror stories (or novellas) I think are terrific:
Peter Straub
Lucius Shepard
Steve Rasnic Tem
Terry Dowling
Stephen Gallagher
Jeffrey Ford
Kelly Link
Nick Royle
Joel Lane
M. John Harrison
Elizabeth Hand
Brian Hodge
Terry Dowling
Joyce Carol Oates
Glen Hirshberg
Thomas Ligotti
Terry Lamsley (he's been silent but has a novella in a Steve Jones antho coming this year)

oh and a dozen (at least) more :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 05:10 pm:   

Elllen, I hope you're happy I cleaned up my board. :-)
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 06:23 pm:   

You did? I hadn't noticed because I've been going directly to "last day" when I read posts.

Nah...still way too many topics. CLose down the dead threads or enclose them into an overall thread.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 06:35 pm:   

I can;t do that unfortunately...Well, I like it.
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EDatlow
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:15 pm:   

If you like them all fine :-) but it gets a little cluttered. Housecleaning is a good thing on occasion.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:20 pm:   

I can;t do it -- I don't have the technical facility.

Oh well....
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:52 pm:   

Ohhh. Ask Jason or Jeremy. It's easy --if you know what your password is...if you want I can talk you through it (if you have two phone lines)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:40 am:   

My personal taste is to have the old archives still there--it can be fun to troll through the old chats. And if you're a regular, you never go through the main topics menu anyway . . . just one crank's opinion, of course.
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bryan
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 08:53 pm:   

saw 'hero' tonight, it's worth seeing, even if part of me thinks it's primarily nationalistic eye candy. there was a really pretty action scene with blowing leaves, made me want to grab a candle and carve a pumpkin. i have really mixed feelings about this movie.

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bryan
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 09:41 pm:   

oops, meant to post the above on the movie thread.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 11:34 pm:   

The HERO ads are selling Jet Li so hard, they almost completely missed my part of the demographic: if you look really closely at the trailers, you can see that Maggie Cheung is in it.

I'll be in the front row, sighing wistfully.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 05:18 am:   

I'll add Grahm Joyce to the list. I really liked the novel Tooth Fairy, I'd like to read more of his work. Again, I tend to like writers who could appeal to mainstream "literary" crowds, as well as genre, because I just like good writing in general, and I also sometimes read mainstream authors.
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Forrest
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 02:11 pm:   

Thomas Ligotti, no doubt. I think that he doesn't always write up to the level of his talent, but isn't that true of all writers? There are a lot more to add to the list of horror writers I really like, but you asked for my favorite, and there you have it.
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Erik J.
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 11:57 am:   

Favorite Contemporary Horror Writers:

Neil Gaiman
Jeff Vandermeer
Caitlin Kiernan
Graham Joyce
Jonathon Carroll
Joe Lansdale
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 02:42 pm:   

I like Gaiman, Carroll and Landsdale as well. Gaimans great, I've read half of his sandman comic series. I never really saw Carroll as horror, more fantasy, sometimes dark. Lansdales is a horror writer forsure, I havn't read that much by him, but what I have I've liked. I've never heard of Caitlin Kiernan, what has she written? Nice list.
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BANDWIDTH EATER
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 08:20 pm:   

Stephen, when will you learn that nobody gives a fuck what you think. Go eat some mushrooms and practice your New Age woo-woo spirituality bullshit, you dolt.
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bill reynolds
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 09:49 pm:   

I am taking a fairly short time span as defining "contemporary" if for no other reason than to make the list manageable enough to be usable as a tool to bring to hungry readers newer work of which they may have been aware. (Or where they may not have known enough to have risked sprining for the dough.)
I agree on Caitlin Kiernan
After Veniss I would also have to include Jeff. Saints and Madmen was more surreal.
Marc Laidlaw, loved Mandala
Tim Lebbon
** Some better than average post-Lovecrafts are appearing these days such as:
Nick Mahatmas with Move Underground,
Dan Clore who is a real piece of work (and, Dan, I mean that in the nicest possible way,)
Charles Stross because of the Atrocity Archives and "A Colder War,"
Shadows over Baker Street was a real disappointment. Too much Shadows Over Innsmouth resulting in too much Dagon and not enough of the other members of the Great Old One Hardroll Fascist Goon Squad with the exception of the standout story of the book: "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman.
Alan Rogers, first noticed via "Her Misbegotten Son."
Stephen Mark Rainey. Yes, you could make a case for an excess of Eric Zann, but Rainey is so good that this works as a developmental
Leaving HPL territory and bending my vaugue rule about onset date: Graham Joyce, Joe Landsdale, Poppy Brite, Michael Blumlein, and Kim Newman - who I like even better as a film critic.
Finally, just to ensure that I immediately lose the respect of everyone reading this, I thought that Babylon 5 telefilm Thirdspace was a terrifying poat-Lovecraft piece.
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 10:17 pm:   

Nick Mahatmas with Move Underground

Nick Mamatas with Move Under Ground.

Glad ya liked it though, Bill!
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 08:51 pm:   

Same here, for the 37th Mandala, Bill. - Marcmas Ghandi.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 09:00 pm:   

By the way, I just read Gaiman's "Study in Emerald" in YBFH and loved it. Out of context of the anthology, everything in it came as a real surprise. My kids and I also really dug Coraline; I highly recommend Gaiman's audio version.

On Bill's list, I also really loved Graham Joyce's Tooth Fairy.

Kiernan's Threshold had some very fine moments, although I was really hoping for more of what made the beginning so creepy. The paleontology was more interesting to me than the seedy character studies. I'd love to see Kiernan do something more like Mountains of Madness, where the science is more central to the horror.

Has anyone read her latest? I just saw it at Borders last night.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 11:21 pm:   

I just saw the Gaiman's story won the Hugo. Yikes. I hope he accepted on behalf of H.P. Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 06:25 am:   

Like a fanous AMerican once said, Every time that guy drops a turd, he wins an award. :-)
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bill reynolds
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 09:31 am:   

Sorry, Nick!!!!! At least I spelled "Move" correctly and that, no doubt, only because of my drooling, pathetic idolatry of Roy Wood.

Lucius: Since I've never read any other Gaiman, I am not in a position to render judgement on whether or not his turds stink. I do get suspicious when someone gets that much idolatry. (Having successfully spelled "idolatry" once in this message I am exploiting my achievement.)

And now for something completey different: Lucius, there is a new Sally Timms CD being released this coming Tuesday. I.C.E. lists the title as In the World of Him. Sorry if this is mentioned on another thread. (OH GOD, whenever I hear that word it now makes me think of Pern. This just started happening and it is not a good thing.) Songwriters listed include Jon, of course, but also Kevin Coyne. Did you ever hear Syd Straw?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 09:56 am:   

Thats great about the Timms cd. And yeah, i've heard Syd Straw.

I wasn't saying that NG's turds stink, necessarily, I was saying that;s how it is. He;s a populist and those guys get the awards.
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 07:21 pm:   

MarcL--Neil did mention Conan Doyle and Lovecraft but didn't accept on their behalf.
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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 04:38 am:   

There's no question that Gaiman's story is the one standout in that otherwise drab collection. But it's also the only piece of fiction he's written (that I've read) that comes up to the inventiveness of his Sandman work.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 07:21 am:   

Hey, Paul --- How you been?

Re: a study in Emerald, I read it last night and thought it was okay.

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EDatlow
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:45 am:   

PaulW,
I think Neil has written other very good stories.
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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 09:37 am:   

Hey Lucius,

I'm doing really well, thanks. Heading down to DE for the rest of the month, where I hope to complete a big chunk of whatever it is I'm now writing -- maybe even figure that out!

Ellen -- I wasn't saying that he hadn't written other good stories, only that in my opinion this was the only thing he's done that had the spark of Sandman in it. You should get him to do something for scifiction!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 09:54 am:   

Good luck, man....

Maybe i'll see you in October.
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Erik J.
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 12:19 pm:   

Stephen B-
Kiernan has written the novels: the Five of Cups, Silk, Threshold, Low Red Moon, and Murder of Angels. She wrote the comic book series 'the Dreaming,' which picked up where Sandman left off. She has also written several short stories.

Gaiman's short story in the YA anthology 'Gothic' is a hoot.

Conspicuous by absence from the above posts is a rather well-known contemporrary writer of horror with the initials S.K.

I've never read anything by Douglas Clegg, but seen several of his books. Any recommendations as to any of them?
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EDatlow
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:35 pm:   

Lucius, Scott Westerfeld is going to be reading with you at KGB in October.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 09:03 pm:   

No Liz, huh? Oh, well....
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:08 pm:   

I see you and Eileen Gunn are at the SF Museum on Oct. 12. If I'm not there, it's because I have jury duty that day. But I will try my damndest, sir!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 02:06 am:   

Hey, cool....I'll look forward to it.
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EDatlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:22 am:   

Lucius: Nope, she copped out.

Btw, I picked up a lovely item by you at Noreascon: Moonflying --lithographs with text by you from A2 publishing. Havne't read the stories yet ;-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 08:24 am:   

Don;t bother! That was written before I went to Clarion....

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