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Author Topic: Horror Short Story Recommendations?  (Read 2042 times)


  • Matross
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on: January 29, 2021, 04:03:26 PM

EDIT: I should have posted this in the "Chamber of Horror" section. Sorry about that.

I don't really know much about the horror genre; I've heard far more stories on Pseudopdo than I've ever read. Can anyone recommend some good horror stories that aren't already available at Pseudopod?  I'm not into bodyhorror but I'm game for anything else.

p.s. Just to be fair, I'll list a few below that I like. Most of them are very well known, I think, so I've got nothing to offer the horror connoisseur I'm afraid.

"Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" - Fredric Brown
"How Much Land Does a Man Need?" - Leo Tolstoy
"Lazarus" - Leonid Andreyev
"Pollock and the Porroh Man" - H.G. Wells
"The Black Cat" - Edgar Allan Poe
"The Girl From Tomango" - Rick Ferreira
"The Horror in the Lighthouse" - Edgar Allan Poe & Robert Bloch
"The Interlopers" - Saki
"The Invaders" - Terry Tapp
"The Man Who Liked Dickens" - Evelyn Waugh
"The Playfellow" - Lady Cynthia Asquith
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"The Seed from the Sepulchre" - Clark Ashton Smith
"The Squaw" - Bram Stoker
"The Tower" -  Marghanita Laski
"Two Bottles of Relish" - Lord Dunsany
"Uneasy Lie the Drowned" - Donald Wandrei
"Worms of the Earth" - Robert E. Howard
“If You Take My Hand, My Son” - Mort Castle
“The Human Chair” - Edogawa Rampo
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 06:08:36 PM by Marlboro »


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Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 05:13:12 PM
Dark Forces edited by Kirby McCauley is an excellent anthology that presages the horror boom of the 80's. It was approached as the horror answer to Dangerous Visions.

Foundations of Fear edited  by David G. Hartwell is on my to-read pile under Shawn's recommendation as a great overview of the genre.

The Weird edited by the Vandermeers is an excellent anthology overview of where horror and The Weird overlap.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


  • Matross
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Reply #2 on: February 17, 2021, 01:08:29 AM
Cool. All three of those look promising. Hopefully I'll be able to dig out of all this snow and get to a bookstore soon.

The only horror anthology I own is 65 Great Spine Chillers edited by Mary Dansby. It's good, but you've probably already read 90% of the stories in it.


  • Matross
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Reply #3 on: August 11, 2021, 09:56:07 PM
I've had some extra free time over the last couple of months and I've been reading a lot of short fiction. I finally got around to checking out Dark Forces. I don't know why but I think the Richard Matheson story "Where There's a Will" was my favorite. I think I was just in an EC Comics kind of mood when I read that one and it just hit the spot. I'm a little over half way done with The Weird. I recently read a time travel anthology edited by the same folks who edited The Weird.

I also recently read:

Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural edited by Mary Wise (1944)

The Great God Pan, The Black Cat, The Monkey's Paw, Leiningen Versus the Ants - lots of classics in this one. I had read almost all of the better stories previously, but it was nice to revisit them.  There are a couple of ghost stories that were new to me that I thought were interesting: "They" by Rudyard Kippling and "The Ghost Ship" by Richard Middleton. Neither of them are intended to be scary, but I liked them nonetheless.

Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural   edited by Marvin Kaye

This one is also good. The editor is an old fogey who doesn't care for newfangled movies like Rosemary's Baby, The Shining, and the "Hammer Draculas with their bottomless buckets of blood." It's cool though because while I disagree with him about some of the (then) modern horror stories I do agree with his overall point that the best stories are rarely the goriest. And he also seems to have a genuine love for the genre.

The book has an incredible range of authors from Bram Stoker to Orson Scott Card, from Alfred Tennyson to Damon Runyan, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to J.R.R. Tolkien.  And, while I can't say that I love all or even most of the stories, there are a number of them that have elements to them that make them stick with you for a long time.

My favorites of those that I had not previously read:

"Sardonicus" by Ray Russell, "The Question" by Stanley Ellin, "The Silent Couple" by Pierre Courtois and "The Hungry House" by Robert Bloch.

The Best American Noir of the Century

I bought this book and expected stories in the vein of Double Indemnity and Out of the Past.   The folks who put this thing together have a very odd definition of noir, imo,  because a good chunk of the stories veer very close to non supernatural horror. I mean, if "The Paperhanger" by William Gay is noir fiction then why wouldn't Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" qualify as well?  I only mention this book because there may be some people here who like their crime fiction with a teaspoon of horror.

My favorites:

"All Through the House" by Christopher Coake
"Man in the Dark" by Howard Brown
"Texas City, 1947" by James Lee Burke
"Forever After" by Jim Thompson
"The Paperhanger" by William Gay

Anthologies in progress:

The Weird
Dark Crimes: Great Noir Fiction
The Sword and Sorcery Anthology (ed. David G. Hartwell)
100 Wild Little Weird Tales
Specialty of the House by Stanley Ellin

Mighty Muse

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Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 05:49:21 PM
The Cask of Amontillado by Poe


  • Matross
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Reply #5 on: September 18, 2021, 02:49:55 PM
The Cask of Amontillado by Poe

Oh yeah that one's a classic for sure. Poe just gets horror in a way that almost no other writer does. 

Here is Vincent Price doing a very nice performance of The Cask of Amontillado: