RA for All...The Road Show!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Annual Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Spotlight in Booklist

August is Horror's chance to shine in Booklist, and since I write for them, I always have a heavy hand in this issue.

This issue is one of your biggest resources as you plan for the October horror onslaught, so pay attention whether you personally like horror or not!

I posted my three reviews in this issue here and have added them to the Horror Review Index here:

I also never announced the addition of another review in a previous issue that has now been added to the Index:

These are stories written in the Romero universe. It is an excellent collection on it's own and with the passing of the influential director's death it is a must buy for all library collections.

Also in this issue you can find my interview with Les Klinger, the author of The New Annotated Frankenstein (review above). It's entitled, Leslie S. Klinger and the Fine Art of Annotation. You may think this sounds boring, but I got to spend time with Les and we talked about annotating and why it is so interesting and cool. All librarians can learn from him. He has annotated Gaiman's Sandman series, Sherlock Holmes, HP Lovecraft and he is about to release an annotated Watchmen. In other words, click through and read my article.

Not involving me at all, but very important is the Top 10 list of the best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror on audio. Click here for the list which includes a lot of horror.

Finally, this issue also has the Booklist Horror Top 10 for the past year. The list was chosen by horror author and Booklist Editor, Daniel Kraus. He starts with the starred horror reviews from the past year and then he has full control to pick the lists from that narrowed down field. I am proud to say that 8 of the top 10 are books I reviewed. It makes me so happy to help these books get into libraries. Speaking of, if a book is on this list, you should buy it for your library. It represents the bare minimum of the latest horror you should own in any public library collection.  Here is the link for the full list and annotations. I have also listed the titles below; those with an * were reviewed by me and can be found in the Horror Review Index or with the link provided:

This should be enough to keep you busy for a while. Halloween is only 89 days away.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

YA Horror Novels of 2017 via Stacked

Click here for Kelly Jensen’s run down of 2017 YA horror.

Kelly runs one of the best and most comprehensive YA books sites on the web- Stacked- and she loves horror.

Remember that YA horror is often perfect for adults who don’t want too much blood and gore but still want to feel the fear.

Personally, I am not a huge YA fan. I get annoyed by the whiny teen protagonists, but then again I am living in a home with 2 teens so....

But not with YA horror. I really enjoy it. I feel like sometimes, it is better than adult horror because the authors can’t just fall back on blood and guts, they have to work to create the anxiety, fear, and terror.

I have said it a million times, Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry is one of the best zombie novels ever written.  I also like Amy Lukavics whose newest book is on Kelly's list.

Since Kelly likes YA horror so much, she has a lot of posts about it. And since she is a “reformed” librarian [her words], she has it all well cataloged. Just click here and you can pull up every horror post from Stacked.

Monday, July 17, 2017

2016 Shirley Jackson Award Winners

Over the weekend, my favorite awards were announced-- the Shirley Jackson Award winners.

For those new to the game here is all the info on this amazing cross-genre award:

Boston, MA (July 2017) — In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. 
The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology. 
The 2016 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on Sunday, July 16th at Readercon 28, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Naomi Novik hosted the ceremony.
The winners for the 
2016 Shirley Jackson Awards are: 
Winner: The Girls, Emma Cline (Random House) 
Foxlowe, Eleanor Wasserberg (Fourth Estate-UK/Penguin Books-US)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Iain Reid (Gallery/Scout)
Lily, Michael Thomas Ford (Lethe)
Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones (William Morrow)
The Wonder, Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown) 
Winner: The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com) 
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com)
“Maggots,” Nina Allan (Five Stories High)
Muscadines, S.P. Miskowski (Dunhams Manor)
The Sadist’s Bible, Nicole Cushing (01 Publishing)
The Warren, Brian Evenson (Tor.com) 
Winner: “Waxy,” Camilla Grudova (Granta)) 
“Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees,” Laird Barron (Autumn Cthulhu)
“Angel, Monster, Man,” Sam J. Miller (Nightmare Magazine)
“Breaking Water,” Indrapramit Das (Tor.com)
“The Night Cyclist,” Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com)
“Presence,” Helen Oyeyemi (What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours) 
Winner: “Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark) 
“Animal Parts,” Irenosen Okojie (Speak, Gigantular)
“The Apartments,” Karen Heuler (Other Places)
“Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark)
“Red,” Katie Knoll (Masters Review)
“Things With Beards,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld) 
Winner: A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer Press) 
Almost Insentient, Almost Divine, D.P. Watt (Undertow)
Furnace, Livia Llewellyn (Word Horde)
Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt (Shock Totem)
We Show What We Have Learned, Clare Beams (Lookout) 
Winner: The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Saga Press) 
Autumn Cthulhu, edited by Mike Davis (Lovecraft eZine Press)
The Madness of Dr. Caligari, edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (Fedogan and Bremer )
Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay (Exile Editions)
An Unreliable Guide to London, edited by Kit Caless and Gary Budden (Influx Press)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD to Ruth Franklin in recognition of the biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.Congratulations to all the winners.
Please make sure you take a look at the long list here [and above] as all of the nominated titles are fantastic and many would not be noticed anywhere else because they do not easily fit into a single genre.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

IT Re-Read With Daniel Kraus on Booklist Reader- Updates Every Monday

Click here to join in on the evil fun
Want to brush up on horror before October comes along?

Follow along [if you dare] with Daniel Kraus as he leads a re-read of IT every Monday on Booklist Reader.

Look I know many of you are scared to try to read horror for yourself but you want to understand why you patrons like it. Reading these weekly discussions will help you improve your service to horror readers without giving you nightmares.

Now the more adventurous among you may decide to also read along. But if IT is too much for you, there are plenty of other horror books I could suggest for you to try. Let me know if you need some help finding the best one for you or a patron.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Review Index Update: Ararat and Skitter

I added reviews of two new books to the review archive:
  • Golden, Christopher.  Ararat (2017)
  • Boone, Ezekiel.  Skitter (2017)

Monday, June 5, 2017

"Sometimes Horror is the Only Fiction That Understands You" via Tor.Com

Another day and yet another wonderful essay on Tor.com about the appeal of horror. As I mentioned just a few days ago in this post, Tor.com was already one of my preferred resources for horror info, but even they are outdoing themselves with a flurry of great posts recently.

Today's essay on their site about the appeal of horror is a repost of a 2013 piece by Leah Schnelbach entitled, "Sometimes Horror is the Only Fiction That Understands You," and is about what Stephen King and his work has meant to her over the years.

I say it a lot, but people who belittle the mainstream appeal of horror are just plain dumb. Stephen King is one of the highest selling authors of our times and every single one of his books [no matter the genre] invokes fear, dread, anxiety, and often, terror-- the staples of horror. Millions of people love his books, yet a large portion of those same readers say that they "don't like horror."

Well, they are liars- every single one of them.

But again, I tell you this all of the time. Why not read someone else's argument?

This post has been tagged, Why I Love Horror. Use that link to see other authors and library workers share their personal love of the genre and what it means to them.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Stephen Graham Jones Explains the Appeal of Horror

You might be sick of me explaining why readers like horror, so why not read one of today’s best horror authors tell you why it is so great in this piece on Tor.com by Stephen Graham Jones.

While you are there, click on the Horror tag to see of of Tor.com’s horror content. It is one of my favorite resources for horror info, upcoming titles, and news.