Tuesday, August 2, 2011

They don't always sparkle...

It's that magical time of the year: we're coming up on Halloween. Well, maybe not yet. It's still August. Still... never too early to get a head start, right? Especially if something dark and hungry might be chasing you.

So, to put you in the mood for ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night, I offer you a selection of odd, offbeat, and obscure books that you really ought to know about.

The Vampire Tapestry
Suzy McKee Charnas
This remains one of my favorite vampire books: the story of anthropologist Edward Weyland, who manages to be both monstrous and truly vampiric without being in any way supernatural. An absolutely fascinating - and as far as I know, completely unique - take on vampire lore.

Of Tangible Ghosts
L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
An alternate-history world in which the spirits of the dead have a real, tangible presence, Of Tangible Ghosts offers a fascinating look at how such routine hauntings might affect all aspects of life.

Steven Brust
Another in the "Wow, that was not what I was expecting" category - and almost anything I could say about it would be a spoiler. Do yourself a favor: don't check the reviews. Don't read the back the cover. Just get the book, open it up, and start reading.

The Golden
Lucius Shepard
A murder mystery among vampires - this sort of genre blend has become very popular these days, but this is one of the first (and, to my mind, one of the best) examples of it.

Some of Your Blood
Theodore Sturgeon
I don't even know how to classify this one. A mystery? A novel of psychology? A startlingly macabre little horror story? (It's fairly short, more a novella than a novel in length, but that doesn't detract from its impact.) This is another book that's better read than described.

How about you? What's the scariest thing you ever read? What's the most interesting approach to a classic monster that you've encountered? Do you have any obscure recommendations (books, film, whatever) to help us get ready for All Hallow's Eve?


  1. Vitals by Greg Bear. That book had me paranoid for weeks after I read it. Mind control via bacteria. And since our bodies are host to so many bacteria...

  2. Mind control by bacteria? How about mind control by parasites? Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer isn't fiction, but it's creepy as hell. Heck, it's creepy because it's real.


Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!