horror novels to look forward to


John Skipp makes me want to write a short novel.

He also makes me want to write in pithy paragraphs and USE LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS and if you knew Skipp’s style you’d know why!

Seriously, exchanging emails with the man is like talking to someone you really enjoy who has a broad Australian accent: at some point you find yourself falling into the same drawling rhythms, the same colorful vowels, WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING, until you find yourself asking yourself, WHY THE HELL AM I TALKING (OR WRITING) THIS WAY?

In any case, the guy makes me want to write a short novel not just because he wrote CONSCIENCE but because he wrote such a fun introduction to CONSCIENCE.

So I’m particularly looking forward to THE LONG LAST CALL. A reviewer in the July ’06 issue of Rue Morgue describes it thusly:

“What if the ultimate knock-’em-dead battle between good and evil took
place in a rundown, middle-of-nowhere strip bar? John Skipp explores
this almost biblical cage match to maximum limb-strewn, bloodsoaked
effect in THE LONG LAST CALL. Just try to put this frenetic novella down, we
dare you.”


Also looking forward to Douglas Clegg’s next installment in his Vampyricon trilogy, in which he manages to take something as tired as the vampire mythos and steer it in a direction of intriguing New Weirdness:

The second book of The Vampyricon is called The Lady of Serpents. This one deals with the way the world itself has changed since Aleric, the Falconer, has emerged from the ancient fallen city to the east.

In The Lady of Serpents , several plagues have afflicted mankind — including a plague of a dream that changes the consciousness of all mortals.

Within this dream, there is a golden mask of serpents — and it is this mask which contains a power that Aleric must seek out.

The Lady of Serpents is filled with battles between warring vampyres, an arena where mortal and vampyre fight to the death, holy women turned unholy as they transform into wolves and speak with the dead, and shadow priests called White-Robes whose sorcery has brought plagues across the earth.

There is also an alchemist whose skin is metal and who has created an infernal machine called the Red Scorpion, a plague maiden who carries a secret of hope and destruction beneath her skin, strange creatures called Morns who wander the skies searching for heretics and vampyres — while Pythia, in a distant and forgotten continent across the sea, is held prisoner in an obsidian temple.

Works for me.


And eagerly waiting for China Mieville’s new novel to come out, about which I know absolutely nothing, other than this one is apparently full-fledged horror. Can I count the ways I love China? Other writers brought me into this genre, but China’s PERDIDO STREET STATION made me realize how much I want to stay in or near this crossroads of genres that he has staked out as so uniquely his own.

Plus he’s hot. (Which doesn’t and shouldn’t matter, of course, yet is a fun bit of trivia nonetheless.)

Tell you the truth, when Paperback Writer was saying what not to do in author photos, including a) Don’t lean against a wall and b) Don’t cross your arms and c) Don’t tilt your head, I of course realized that in my one author photo to date I am a) leaning against a wall while b) crossing my arms and c) tilting my head. But then I thought, Well, hell, I think China does the same thing in his, so I’m in very good company.


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