Saturday, October 4, 2008

And now for something completely different

Now that I've covered the World War Z movie, it is time to return to the topic I had originally intended. Yes, horror movies is still the primary source for winsome entertainment, but your friend and humble narrator also knows to appriciate a good book, especially if it's horror-themed. Unfortunately, in horror fiction, like everything else, Sturgeon's law applies. However, those pieces not affected by said law, is quite awesome.

As previously mentioned World War Z is awesome. Although it's not what I'd call directly scary, it's definitely providing the aprorpriate bleak zombie apocalypse feel that makes the book pretty difficult to put down. On the less typical horror side, you can find The Raw Shark texts. The book is essentially about a man fleeing from a mind-shark that eat conscience, also involved later is a villain who has achieved immortality by copying his own conscience over to an increasingly large number of new hosts. It's a fun book that really uses the potential of the media. Many, many books I've read have in reality wished to be movies, but this one ain't one of them.

While on the topic of movies and books, the book How to survive a horror movie is also highly recomended, it's a true must for the genre-savvy slasher flick survivor. If you ever wonder how to deal with the various typical horror killers or outsmarting the increasingly sadistic scriptwriters, this certainly is a book worth picking up. And yes, I said sadistic scriptwriters, as the book employs a large degree of meta-thinking to provide the "skills to dodge the kills."

Continuing to one of the oldies but goldies, one of the granddaddies of dread-inspiring fiction, none other than Howard Philips Lovecraft. I went ahead and bought a collection of his short stories (the "Necronomicon" one) this summer, and boy, was that money well spent. Some of his works are truly terrifying, although there are some a bit below average. The Horror at Red Hook didn't particularly tickle my fancy, for example. Overall, though, Lovecraft really mastered an art that many creators of horror fiction in all media still struggle with to this day. Lovecraft was a master of understatement, providing just enough scares to keep our feeble human minds guessing on the exact nature of the otherworldly horrors. While on the topic of horrors, the greatest monstrosities, those who transcend all kind of human logic and comprehension, really is what makes Lovecrafts stories shine. The mere cosmic pessimism of the notion that there exists creatures that regard the workings and morals of humans about as high as a human would regard a colony of ants.

Also, the fact that he makes a norwegian ram the great old one cthulhu in the face with a steamboat and thus saving earth temporarily, didn't exactly hurt.

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