The first horror author I read that I can remember was probably Stephen King, who needs no introduction.  Pet Sematary, The Stand, It are my favourites.  I used to devour horror stories, I’ve always liked James Herbert who writes classic English horror stories (particularly his later works like Shrine, The Magic Cottage and Sepulchre) and I rediscovered Graham Masterton a few years ago on holiday….check out The Pariah,  Mirror, Devils of D-Day, Tengu and the unforgettable and literally stomach-churning Ritual.  After that I discovered Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, which are outstanding and place the ghost story firmly in the modern context.  I’ve always enjoyed the horror classics as well – Lovecraft, M.R James.

I’m not really a science-fiction or fantasy enthusiast nowadays although I would highly recommend Jack Vance’s brilliant Cugel stories and the Lord of the Rings made a long-lasting impression.  As I recall, Stephen Donaldson wrote very good fantasy with his Thomas Covenant series and I would like to read it again some day…I think there are new books out as well.  Having said that – there are a few science-fiction authors in the list below, which shows how the genres can cross over and share ideas.

Mainstream writers – loads.  In rough alphabetical order:  Boris Akunin, Jake Arnott (The Long Firm), Luther Blisset (a pseudonmym – Q is an outstanding book), Bernard Cornwell (his Arthur ones are the best), John Le Carre, Caleb Carr, James Clavell, John Connolly (an excellent writer who combines crime fiction with horror), Neil Cross, Alexandre Dumas, James Ellroy, John Fowles (The Magus), George MacDonald Fraser, William Golding, Philip Kerr (Berlin Noir – wonderful), Kim Newman (highly original), Jean-Francois Parot (Parisian historical mysteries), David Peace, Arturo Perez-Reverte (The Dumas Club is his best), C J Sansom, Dan Simmons (The Terror is  simply breathtaking), Gerald Seymour (one of the few good modern thriller writers around), Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon is amazing).

Japanese – The Bamboo Sword and Rashomon and other stories (Akutagawa) are two wonderful collections of Japanese short stories.  Out by Natsuo Kirino is really good.

There are others as well, but that will do for now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s