Halloween Links, October 31, 2014

It’s a special, spooky edition of links to read after all the trick-or-treaters have come and gone, after you turn all the lights out and snuggle up with the leftover candy.  Enjoy — and don’t be frightened!

Here are some engravings of the Great Pumpkin Patch done in the style of Gustave Doré.  It gives the whole idea a brand new gravitas, doesn’t it?

Kirkus has 12 excellent horror reads for your scary pleasure.  I have a surprising number of these in my TBR pile — though right now I’m reading Stephen King’s It, which is frightening me out of my wits.  If those books don’t suit you, you could try this additional list of nine more books Kirkus says will trick and treat you.  And here are still more, this time offered up by John DeNardo, a real connoisseur of all things science fictional, fantastical and horrific.

Even the Great Cthulhu knew:  H.P. Lovecraft was a racist.

A.C. Wise offers a list of women who write weird fiction.  I strongly recommend Caitlin Kiernan’s The Red Tree, which is one of the most terror-filled books I’ve ever read.  It put Kiernan’s name on my list of authors whose next offering I will read, no matter what it is they’ve come up — it’s that good.  And The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, edited by Laird Barron, awaits my eyetracks across its pages, especially including stories by Wise herself, along with Sofia Samatar, Livia Llewellyn, Maria Dahvana Headley, Anna Taborska, Anne-Sylvie Salzman, Kristi DeMeester and Karin Tidbeck — not to mention plenty of fine authors of the masculine persuasion as well.

Remember those books that scared you silly when you were a kid?  They still will.

Need something scary to read by the fireplace tonight?  Try one of these eighteen free stories, from authors ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King to Kelly Link.

If you’d like a hair-raising novel to keep you up all night instead, try one of these ten novels.  I especially recommend Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls.

Take a look at these gorgeous, bookish, carved pumpkins.  I’m especially fond of the representation of Cthulhu himself, though I hope the Dark God doesn’t take his portrait amiss.  You can find even more great pumpkins here.  And this may be the most amazing pumpkin of all:  the Rosetta Stone appears on the side of a pumpkin.  Wow!

What are the ten best ghost storiesLauren Oliver answers that question, leading us to such classics of the genre as Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House — which she caused me to purchase for my own Halloween scares.

A terrific mind-meld from SF Signal lists the best female horror writers out there.   Your list of things to read is going to grow substantially as you work your way through these recommendations.  Shirley Jackson gets a couple more mentions, suggesting that yes, you really do need to read her novels.

Flavorwire lists the 50 scariest stories of all time.

Want to get really creeped out?  Spend some time with these photographs from abandoned insane asylums.  There are dozens of horror novels in those pictures; maybe the inspiration at midnight tonight will be yours!

Stephen King’s new novel, Revival, is due out soon, but in preparation you might want to look at this website, collecting people’s comments on faith, tragedy, disillusion, addiction, curiosity, obsession and death.  Not much that scarier than real life, is there?

More recommendations of horror reads can be found at this website with the whimsical name Ginger Nuts of Horror (there’s got to be an amazing story behind that name).  The links provided are to the United Kingdom’s version of Amazon, but you can switch over to the U.S. website and find these books there.  I did, and I bought them.  Yes, for me the scariest part of Halloween is the bill for books that follows.

Jeff VanderMeer writes about “The Uncanny Power of Weird Fiction” in The Atlantic.

Looking for some good scary comics?  This list will help you out with four that might appeal, but how could they leave out Hellblazer, featuring one of my favorite fictional characters, John Constantine?  And where’s Swamp Thing?  Who forgot Zatanna?

Inc. calls Cemetery Dance the spookiest little publisher in the world.  Take a look at their catalog sometime and see if you don’t agree.

If you are of a blood-quaffing persuasion, The Huffington Post has a guide to cities that are the best for vampires to live in, based on number of cloudy days, bar hours, number of blood banks and blood drives, and houses for sale near cemeteries — so that you don’t have to walk to far from your grave to your house when you rise for the night.

Boo!

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