Ah, horror fiction. This isn’t exactly my favourite genre. In my younger days I had the misfortune of reading Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon before bedtime. What ensued was a sleepless night leading to an oath never to go into a forest by myself. Such is the power of horror fiction – not only do they scare the daylight out of you, they leave irreparable psychological damage. For me, at least.
What exactly is horror fiction them? Generally, we regard them to be tales instilling sense of fear, dread or dismay. For most people, the first thing that they associate with horror is ghost. Stories about poltergeists, the occult and monsters are usually regarded as horror. However, there is more to the horror genre than just such stories. The Horror Writers Association notes that supernatural stories involving ghosts are just a subset of the horror genre; anything that elicits strong negative emotional response can be regarded as horror. As such, the difficult themes in The Lovely Bones could make it horror fiction. Similarly in my abovementioned Stephen King’s title, the sense of fear comes from the psychological thrill, not some scary monsters.
Some household names of the Horror genre include H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul and Robert McCammon. They need no further introduction; you can’t go wrong picking up a book by one of these horror masters. This month, I want to introduce some horror fiction published this year.
Click this link to look at some recently published horror titles.
Contributed by Lo Wan Ni, Associate Librarian, Public Libraries Singapore