Has anyone else noticed that the quantity of great horror is way down lately? It seems like anyone can become an author today (see earlier post, "Becoming"). Even Miley Cyrus has a book!
I prefer authors of yesteryear like Shirley Jackson, Ira Levin, Whitley Strieber, Jay Anson, William Peter Blatty, H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley and early Stephen King and Dean Koontz (70's and early 80's). In the old days, one really had to be gifted to get a book contract. Now, anyone who learns the writer rules can have a book out. Hell, even those that don't (see my earlier post on "Twilight")!
Not that there aren't great books coming out. They're just far and few between: Gary Braunbeck's Coffin County; Gord Rollo's The Jigsaw Man; John Everson's Covenant and Sacrifice; Scott Smith's The Ruins; anything by Ray Garton; The Girl Next Door and The Lost by Jack Ketchum; and anything by Edward Lee. But you're lucky to get a great book today. If you do, it's one in a million. That saddens me.
And then there's the slasher story. No plot, just a guy running around with a mask and a weapon chasing a nubile little minx into a shack where she has to choose between the bowie knife, sword, handgun, machete, rifle and flashlight, and she picks the fucking flashlight. Thanks to that shit, "horror" is now a bad word because it shot itself in the head in the 80's with sequel no. 34 of the same old shit, different day. What's even worse is that they're remaking all the slasher flicks from the 80's that gave us a bad reputation in the first place!
Let's strive to put out the best work we can and, to do that, one has to read like a fiend to avoid writer's block.