Best of


The Green Mile, Part 1: The Two Dead Girls

Stephen King - 1996
    No one understood their brutal deaths, not even the man who killed them. But John Coffey is about to gain a new insight, about his life in prison, and about the one man who will walk him down that green mile . . . toward destiny.Prepare yourself for Stephen King's boldest exercise in nerve-twisting suspense. A multi-part serial novel that begins on death row and goes on from there to realms of revelation that make death seem sweet. This is Stephen King's most irresistible journey ever. To be continued . . . --back cover

The Green Mile

Stephen King - 1996
    Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with "Old Sparky," Cold Mountain's electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he's never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefes... and yours.

The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness

H.P. Lovecraft - 1996
    Lovecraft inspired the work of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker. As he perfected his mastery of the macabre, his works developed from seminal fragments into acknowledged masterpieces of terror. This volume traces his chilling career and includes:IMPRISONED WITH THE PHARAOHS--Houdini seeks to reveal the demons that inhabit the Egyptian night.AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS--An unsuspecting expedition uncovers a city of untold terror, buried beneath an Antarctic wasteland.Plus, for the first time in any Del Rey edition:HERBERT WEST: REANIMATOR--Mad experiments yield hideous results in this, the inspiration for the cult film Re-Animator.COOL AIR--An icy apartment hides secrets no man dares unlock.THE TERRIBLE OLD MAN--The intruders seek a fortune but find only death!AND TWENTY-FOUR MORE BLOOD-CHILLING TALES

The Witches' Companion

Katherine Ramsland - 1996

Just an Ordinary Day: The Uncollected Stories

Shirley Jackson - 1996
    Soon after her untimely death in 1965, Jackson’s children discovered a treasure trove of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, many of which are brought together in this remarkable collection. Here are tales of torment, psychological aberration, and the macabre, as well as those that display her lighter touch with humorous scenes of domestic life. Reflecting the range and complexity of Jackson’s talent, Just an Ordinary Day reaffirms her enduring influence and celebrates her singular voice, rich with magic and resonance.  Praise for Just an Ordinary Day   “Jackson at her best: plumbing the extraordinary from the depths of mid-twentieth-century common. [Just an Ordinary Day] is a gift to a new generation.”—San Francisco Chronicle  Praise for Shirley Jackson   “[Jackson’s] work exerts an enduring spell.”—Joyce Carol Oates   “Shirley Jackson’s stories are among the most terrifying ever written.”—Donna Tartt   “An amazing writer . . . If you haven’t read [Jackson] you have missed out on something marvelous.”—Neil Gaiman   “Shirley Jackson is unparalleled as a leader in the field of beautifully written, quiet, cumulative shudders.”—Dorothy Parker   “An author who not only writes beautifully but who knows what there is, in this world, to be scared of.”—Francine Prose   “The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable.”—A. M. Homes   “Jackson enjoyed notoriety and commercial success within her lifetime, and yet it still hardly seems like enough for a writer so singular. When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name.”—Victor LaValle

The Girl Who Cried Monster

Megan Stine - 1996
    . . but no one believes her! Lucy likes to tell monster stories. She's told so many that her friends and family are sick of it. Then one day, Lucy discovers a real, live monster: the librarian in charge of the summer reading program. Too bad Lucy's told so many monster tall tales. Too bad no on believes a word she says. Too bad the monster knows who she is . . . . . . and is coming after her next.

Dracula: Usborne Classics Retold

Mike Stocks - 1996
    Include informative notes on the authors and original texts.

An Eye for an Eye: The Doll

John Saul - 1996
    But the building's fate hangs in the balance as financing problems halt the project. Contractor Bill McGuire, all set to proceed, can't hide his dismay: with a family and another baby on the way, he can't afford delays. Then a package arrives at the McGuires'--a beautiful antique doll with long blonde hair. His daughter, Megan, wraps her arms around it; his wife, Elizabeth, remains suspicious. Who sent the doll? Who is it for? What neither Elizabeth nor Bill can know is that this innocent-looking gift brings with it a murderous menace...

American Gothic Tales

Joyce Carol Oates - 1996
    She is able to see the unbroken link of the macabre that ties Edgar Allan Poe to Anne Rice and to recognize the dark psychological bonds between Henry James and Stephen King. This remarkable anthology of gothic fiction, spanning two centuries of American writing, gives us an intriguing and entertaining look at how the gothic imagination makes for great literature in the works of forty-six exceptional writers. In showing us the gothic vision—a world askew where mankind’s forbidden impulses are set free from the repressions of the psyche, and nature turns malevolent and lawless—Joyce Carol Oates includes Henry James’s “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes,” Herman Melville’s horrific tale of factory women, “The Tartarus of Maids,” and Edith Wharton’s “Afterward,” which are rarely collected and appear together here for the first time.Added to these stories of the past are new ones that explore the wounded worlds of Stephen King, Anne Rice, Peter Straub, Raymond Carver, and more than twenty other wonderful contemporary writers. This impressive collection reveals the astonishing scope of the gothic writer’s subject matter, style, and incomparable genius for manipulating our emotions and penetrating our dreams. With Joyce Carol Oates’s superb introduction, American Gothic Tales is destined to become the standard one-volume edition of the genre that American writers, if they didn’t create it outright, have brought to its chilling zenith.rom Wieland, or The transformation / Charles Brockden Brown --The legend of Sleepy Hollow / Washington Irving --The man of adamant / Nathaniel Hawthorne --Young Goodman Brown / Nathaniel Hawthorne --The Tartarus of maids / Herman Melville --The black cat / Edgar Allan Poe --The yellow wallpaper / Charlotte Perkins Gilman --The romance of certain old clothes / Henry James --The damned thing / Ambrose Bierce --Afterward / Edith Wharton --The striding place / Gertrude Atherton --Death in the woods / Sherwood Anderson --The outsider / H.P. Lovecraft --A rose for Emily / William Faulkner --The lonesome place / August Derleth --The door / E.B. White --The lovely house / Shirley Jackson --Allal / Paul Bowles --The reencounter / Isaac Bashevis Singer --In the icebound hothouse / William Goyen --The enormous radio / John Cheever --The veldt / Ray Bradbury --The Dachau shoe / W.S. Merwin --The approved / W.S. Merwin --Spiders I have known / W.S. Merwin --Postcards from the Maginot Line / W.S. Merwin --Johnny Panic and the Bible of dreams / Sylvia Plath --In bed one night / Robert Coover --Schrödinger's cat / Ursula K. Le Guin --The waterworks / E.L. Doctorow --Shattered like a glass goblin / Harlan Ellison --Human moments in World War III / Don DeLillo --The anatomy of desire / John L'Heureux --Little things / Raymond Carver --The temple / Joyce Carol Oates --Freniere (from Interview with the Vampires) / Anne Rice --A short guide to the city / Peter Straub --In the penny arcade / Steven Millhauser --The reach / Stephen King --Exchange value / Charles Johnson --Snow / John Crowley --The last feast of Harlequin / Thomas Ligotti --Time and again / Breece D'J Pancake--Replacements / Lisa Tuttle --Spirit seizures / Melissa Pritchard --Cat in glass / Nancy Etchemendy --The girl who loved animals / Bruce McAllister --Ursus Triad, later / Kathe Koja and Barry N. Malzberg --(from Geek Love) The nuclear family: his talk, her teeth / Katherine Dunn --Subsoil / Nicholson Baker

Interview with Anne Rice

Michael Riley - 1996
    1 cassette / 90 minutesAn Audio Exclusive! For the first time on audio, Anne Rice, the literary phenomenon of the late 20th century, speaks.In the novel that introduced Anne Rice to the world, Interview with the Vampire, a reporter seeks out the facts behind an extraordinary life.  In the years since that publication, Anne Rice has become one of the world's bestselling authors and has herself been the subject of countless interviews, profiles, and a full-length biography.  Yet who Anne Rice is, and the beliefs, fascinations, desires, fears, and passions that inspire her work, remains an endlessly fascinating topic.Now, for the first time ever in an audio format, Anne Rice discusses -- with her longtime friend, Michael Riley -- everything from her latest novels to her relationship to some of her characters; from the relationship of movies and music to her work to issues about gender, eroticism, religion, personal freedom, adolescent sexuality, and more...


Jack Kelly - 1996
    They have delighted in the romance of Jane Austen, thrilled at the adventures of Jules Verne, and pondered the lessons of Aesop. Introduce young readers to these familiar volumes with Great Illustrated Classics. In this series, literary masterworks have been adapted for young scholars. Large, easy-to-read type and charming pen-and-ink drawings enhance the text. Students are sure to enjoy becoming acquainted with traditional literature through these well-loved classics.

Writer of the Purple Rage

Joe R. Lansdale - 1996
    Storylines include that of a woman who discovers grisly horror on a mountain road, a plastic love doll who becomes liberated, and a baby's diaper that is possessed by aliens.Contents:Mister Weed-Eater (1993)Steppin' Out, Summer, '68 (1991)Love Doll: A Fable (1991)Bubba Ho-Tep (1994)Man with Two Lives (1994)Pilots (1989)The Phone Woman (1990)The Diaper, or The Adventure of the Little Rounder (1990)Everybody Plays the Fool (1993)In the Cold, Dark Time (1990)Incident On and Off a Mountain Road (1991)By Bizzare Hands: The Play (1991)Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program (1994)Drive-In Date (1991)

Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse

Otsuichi - 1996
    Summer is a simple story of a nine-year-old girl who dies while on summer vacation. While her youthful killers try to hide her body, she tells us the story--from the point of view of her dead body--of the childrens' attempt to get away with murder. Black Fairy Tale is classic J-horror: a young girl loses an eye in an accident, but receives a transplant. Now she can see again, astonishingly what she sees out of her new left eye is the experiences and memories of its previous owner. Its previous deceased owner.

Dark Cathedral

Freda Warrington - 1996
    One summer, Beth visits her grandmother and meets the irresistable Morgan, and her descent into darkness begins. The beloved child they conceive foretells a future of evil.

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Ninth Annual Collection

Ellen Datlow - 1996
    Also useful for its exploration of the crossover genre known as "dark fantasy." Noteworthy authors include Peter S. Beagle, Ursula Le Guin, Stephen King, Lucy Taylor, Steve Rasnic Tem, Tanith Lee, A. S. Byatt, David J. Schow, and Joyce Carol Oates.Contents: * Summation 1995: Fantasy by Terri Windling * Summation 1995: Horror by Ellen Datlow * Horror and Fantasy in the Media: 1995 by Edward Bryant * Obituaries by James Frenkel * Home for Christmas by Nina Kiriki Hoffman * Heartfires by Charles de Lint * Screens by Terry Lamsley * King of Crows by Midori Snyder * Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros by Peter S. Beagle * The Hunt of the Unicorn by Ellen Kushner * More Tomorrow by Michael Marshall Smith * Penguins for Lunch by Scott Bradfield * Either, OR by Ursula K. Le Guin * Paper Lantern by Stuart Dybek * Lunch at the Gotham Café by Stephen King * Queen of Knives (poem) by Neil Gaiman * Dragon-Rain by Eileen Kernaghan * Llantos de La Llorona: Warnings from the Wailer (poem) by Pat Mora * Too Short a Death by Peter Crowther * The James Dean Garage Band by Rick Moody * Because of Dust by Christopher Kenworthy * Loop by Douglas E. Winter * La Loma, La Luna by Sue Kepros Hartman * Women's Stories (poem) by Jane Yolen * Swan/Princess (poem) by Jane Yolen * Switch by Lucy Taylor * Scaring the Train by Terry Dowling * Blood Knot by Steve Resnic Tem * The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (poem) by Eilean Ni Chuilleanain * The Otter Woman (poem) by Mary O'Malley * Resolve and Resistance by S.N. Dyer * La Dame by Tanith Lee * Circe's Power (poem) by Louise Glück * Dragon's Fin Soup by S.P. Somtow * The Granddaughter by Vivian vande Velde * Daphne and Laura and So Forth (poem) by Margaret Atwood * A Lamia in the Cevennes by A.S. Byatt * The Guilty Party by Susan Moody * She's Not There by Pat Cadigan * The White Road (poem) by Neil Gaiman * Refrigerator Heaven by David J. Schow * After the Elephant Ballet by Gary A. Braunbeck * Henry V, Part 2 by Marcia Guthridge * Mrs. Greasy by Robert Reed * ############## by Joyce Carol Oates * The Printer's Daughter by Delia Sherman * Prayer (poem) by Nancy Willard * Jacob and the Angel (poem) by Jane Yolen * The Lion and the Lark by Patricia A. McKillip * Honorable Mentions: 1995Edited by Terry Windling and Ellen Datlow.

The Masterpieces Of Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson - 1996
    This is a collection of three works by Shirley Jackson: the novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle and the short story, "The Lottery".

The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film

Barry Keith Grant - 1996
    Few film studies texts have been so widely read and so influential. It's rarely on the shelf at my university library, so continuously does it circulate. Now this new edition expands the already comprehensive coverage of gender in the horror film with new essays on recent developments such as the Hostel series and torture porn. Informative and enlightening, this updated classic is an essential reference for fans and students of horror movies."--Stephen Prince, editor of The Horror Film and author of Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality"An impressive array of distinguished scholars . . . gazes deeply into the darkness and then forms a Dionysian chorus reaffirming that sexuality and the monstrous are indeed mated in many horror films."--Choice"An extremely useful introduction to recent thinking about gender issues within this genre."--Film Theory

True Singapore Ghost Stories : Book 8

Russell Lee - 1996
    Take a trip to Hell and back with Russell Lee. This collection of stories is the most powerful yet of the True Singapore Ghost Stories series!


R.L. Stine - 1996
    Slappy is no ordinary ventriloquist's dummy. When he's around, weird things happen. Nasty things. Evil things. But it CAN'T be the dummy causing all the trouble, can it?Three books in this volume - Night of the Living Dummy, Night of the Living Dummy II, Night of the Living Dummy III.

Goosebumps Monster Edition #2

R.L. Stine - 1996
    After Lindy finds a ventriloquist's discarded dummy in the trash, nasty things start to happen.Includes:Night of the Living DummyNight of the Living Dummy IINight of the Living Dummy III

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Tenth Annual Collection

Ellen Datlow - 1996
    Morlan, Robert Silverberg, Michael Swanwick, Jane Yolen, and many others. Supplementing the stories are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantastic fiction, Edward Bryant's witty roundup of the year's fantasy films, and a long list of Honorable Mentions-all of which adds up to an invaluable reference source, and a font of fabulous reading.


Jack Ketchum - 1996
    He smells gun oil too, too much oil on a brand-new shotgun. These aren't hunters, they're rich kids who don't care about the river and the fish and the old man.Or his dog. Red is the name of the old man's dog, his best friend in the world. And when the boys shoot the dog -- for nothing, for simple spite -- he sees red, like a mist before his eyes. And before the whole thing is done there'll be more red. Red for blood...


Tamara Thorne - 1996
    Gertrude’s Home for girls. As autumn fills the air, the townspeople prepare for the festive Halloween Haunt, Moonfall’s most popular tourist attraction. Even a series of unsolved deaths over the years hasn’t dimmed Moonfall’s renown. Maybe because anyone who knew anything about them has disappeared.Now, Sara Hawthorne returns to her hometown…and enters the hallowed halls of St. Gertrude’s where, twelve years before, another woman died a horrible death. In Sara’s old room, distant voices echo in the dark and the tormented cries of children shatter the moon—kissed night.But that’s just the beginning. For Sara Hawthorne is about to uncover St. Gertrude’s hellish secret…a secret she’ll carry with her to the grave…


Tom Savage - 1996
    Her writing has captivated thousands of fans, but she has always been safe from the terrifying scenes she creates. Until now. Somewhere in the shadows of New York City, someone is watching her. He knows her every move, her every fear, almost before she knows it herself. He is as devoted as a lover, courting her in his own mysterious way - leaving notes in her mailbox, gifts on her doorstep, messages on her answering machine. His motives are as cryptic as the name he goes by: Valentine. But his intentions are deadly clear. For Jill Talbot, the terror has just begun. Wherever she runs, he will find her. And soon she will meet him on his terrible day of judgment. His triumphant day. Her darkest day. Valentine's Day.

The Enchanted Attic

M.D. Spenser - 1996
    Nicole thinks the nighttime noises she hears are nothing more than the scurrying of mice. Then she starts to hear eerie music coming through her ceiling. She realizes with a cold, clammy shiver that something far more terrifying than mice must be in the house. . . . And it is up to her to find out what it is, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!

Terror in Tiny Town

A.G. Cascone - 1996
    Even though everything in it is really small, it takes up half the basement. There's a tiny castle with tiny knights in armor and tiny dragons. There's a tiny pioneer village with tiny log cabins and tiny farm equipment. There's even a tiny First Family in Tiny Town, called the Weevils. But ever since Willy added Hurley the Hobo to his tiny collection, Tiny Town has been... well, strange. Willy's toys aren't always where he left them, and sometimes Willy even hears the Tiny Town train hooting in the night. But tiny little figures can't really be plotting to take over Willy's house - can they?

The New Lovecraft Circle

Robert M. Price - 1996
    P. Lovecraft was the eerily prescient genius who first electrified readers in Weird Tales magazine. His tales changed the face of horror forever and inspired the bloodcurdling offerings of a new generation. These brilliant dark visionaries forge grisly trails through previously uncharted realms of mortal terror.  THE PLAIN OF SOUND by Ramsey Campbell: In the beginning they could find no source for the throbbing vibrations; in the end they could find no escape. THE HORROR ON THE BEACH by Alan Dean Foster: Along the coast of Santa Barbara, the mighty Pacific Ocean can no longer contain—or conceal—an ancient, insatiable evil stirring in its depths.THE KISS OF BUGG-SHASH by Brian Lumley: It mattered not how innocent the students’ motives seemed; the demon had been summoned, and the price had to be paid—every last red drop of it.THE FISHERS FROM OUTSIDE by Lin Carter: A man obsessed with unlocking the secrets of a race older than time would not be disappointed—doomed perhaps, devoured possibly, but definitely not disappointed.  AND TWENTY-ONE MORE TALES OF FEAR . . .  THE STONE ON THE ISLAND by Ramsey Campbell THE STATEMENT OF ONE JOHN GIBSON by Brian Lumley DEMONIACAL by David Sutton THE SLITHERER FROM THE SLIME by H. P. Lowcraft THE DOOM OF YAKTHOOB by Lin Carter THE KEEPER OF THE FLAME by Gary Myers DEAD GIVEAWAY by J. Vernon Shea THOSE WHO WAIT by James Wade THE KEEPER OF DARK POINT by John Glasby THE BLACK MIRROR by John Glasby I’VE COME TO TALK WITH YOU AGAIN by Karl Edward Wagner THE HOWLER IN THE DARK by Richard L. Tierney THE WHISPERERS by Richard A. Lupoff LIGHTS! CAMERA! SHUB-NIGGURATH! by Richard A. Lupoff SAUCERS FROM YADDITH by Robert M. Price VASTARIEN by Thomas Ligotti THE MADNESS OUT OF SPACE by Peter H. Cannon ALIAH WARDEN by Roger Johnson THE LAST SUPPER by Donald R. Burleson THE CHURCH AT GARLOCK’S BEND by David Kaufman THE SPHERES BEYOND SOUND (THRENODY) by Mark Rainey

The Panic Hand: Stories

Jonathan Carroll - 1996
    The Panic Hand assembles in one volume the shorter works of this master, including the World Fantasy Award-winning tale Friend's Best Man and the short novels Uh-Oh and Black Cocktail.

Obake Files: Ghostly Encounters in Supernatural Hawaii

Glen Grant - 1996
    Included are 8 full-color reproductions of "uncanny photographs" taken in the Islands. Based upon archives, newspaper articles and extensive firsthand accounts collected over twenty-five years, Obake Files is the definitive reference book for anyone interested in the supernatural traditions of Hawai'i's multicultural people.". . .I thought about the presence that I had felt at my right shoulder during the ceremony and held back my tears, as we drove through the mystic Kohala night under the lunar bow. From that time forward, I realized that I could never look upon the supernatural tales that I was gathering in a wholly objective light. . ." - Glen Grant

Lime 5 : Exploited by Choice

Mark Crutcher - 1996
    A unique and uncensored look at our nation's most wrenching social issue, it has already become a must read for anyone seeking to learn the truth about the abortion issue. It fully documents that women are being sexually assaulted, mutilated, and killed inside perfectly legal abortion clinics. It also shows how pro-choice groups have used raw political power to fight off regulation of the abortion clinic business. One chapter exposes a massive cover-up of abortion clinic disasters being carried out by an agency of the U.S. government. Other subjects include: the medical evidence of a connection between abortion and breast cancer; how the abortion clinic business is collapsing because of the toll that abortions take on abortionists and abortion clinic workers; the barriers faced by women injured by abortion who seek compensation in the courts and suggestions for solving these problems.

Cage of Night

Ed Gorman - 1996
    In the well, a Voice. . . . The Voice speaks of lust, and blood, and murder to any who listen. Under the spell of Cindy Brasher, almost any young man will listen. In its first general release, here is Ed Gorman's underground classic of dark suspense--"An amazing noir like no other," declares Duane Swierczynski. Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine describes Gorman as "one of suspense fiction's best storytellers." Bestselliing author Dean Koontz adds: "Gorman's writing is strong, fast and sleek as a bullet.

James Herbert's Dark Places: Locations and Legends

James Herbert - 1996
    He explains his fascination with graveyards, old and abandoned houses and dark, gothic churches.

Phantom of the Opera (Hollywood Archives Series)

Philip J. Riley - 1996
    The existing print of the film is actually a silent version of a 1929 dubbed sound reissue, which is missing at least 35 minutes of development scenes, opera scenes, titles and some of the best atmospheric photography and set designs in motion picture history. The present unmasking scene is pale compared to the original. In this comprehensive history of this landmark horror film, author Phil Riley presents the complete, complex production of this amazing film. The 320 page book includes: the complete shooting script, the complete press book, rare behind the scenes photos, and recreations of lost scenes. Contributions by Mary Philbin ("Christine"), cinematographer Charles van Enger, Ray Bradbury, Ron Chaney and more!

The Convulsion Factory

Brian Hodge - 1996
    Thematic collection of 12 stories based around the theme of urban decay.# From Out of the Angry Ruins • Philip Nutman • introduction# • Godflesh • # • Childhood at the Lost and Found • # • Androgyny • # • In a Roadhouse Far, Past the Edge of Town • # • Naked Lunchmeat •# • Cancer Causes Rats •# • Mostly Cloudy, Chance of Kurt •# • Heartsick • # • Extinctions in Paradise •# • The Meat in the Machine •# • Extract • # • Liturgical Music for Nihilists •# • Endnotes: The Ticking of an Unfriendly Clock

A Fist Full of Stories (And Articles)

Joe R. Lansdale - 1996
    Lansdale is something of an icon, or a writer's writer, if you will. I began reading him in 1981, with novels like "Act of Love" and in publications like Mike Shayne and Twilight Zone. Here was a bold new purveyor of the macabre—cutting-edge and razor-sharp, with a creepy neo-Gothic style unlike anything I'd read previously—a writer daring to be different. Lansdale was just starting out back then, and his work was outstanding. I shuddered to think how good he'd be in, say, 15 years, and I'm still shuddering. Since those early days, he has written more than a dozen novels and hundreds of short stories, commentaries, and articles, and he has even done comic and television work.Let's call him...a "speculative" author, because speculative fiction, at least to me, has always been the stuff of real literature and true art—fiction that breathes more than whatever genre it might be placed in, work that resonates with something beyond the priority to entertain, work that tells us something about ourselves, our times, and our systems of belief. Lansdale isn't a horror writer, nor a suspense writer, nor a sci-fi/fantasy writer, and on the same hand, he's all of those things amalgamated, a writer whose creativity defies category. There's a certain voice to Lansdale that can't be duplicated or even effectively defined, and it's that voice that gives anything he does a thrilling and uncanny power that gets its claws right into your soul. Any given Lansdale book provides a grab bag full of surprises. You never quite know what you're going to get, but you do know youwon't be disappointed. This is a versatility most writers couldn't manage in three careers, and I suppose it's this same element that can help explain the fury his name now generates to collectors and specialty publishers, for Lansdale (in spite of a considerable profile in the mass market) has enjoyed about as positive a cult following as any author could ask. Hard-core fans simply can't get enough of this man's work (we're talking a lot of hard-core fans), and that incontestable fact clarifies this pair of classy, first-rate hardback collections.It's the rabid interest in the Lansdale muse and the man behind it. "In The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent," Lansdale nearly apologizes for some of the stories, citing that "some are, well, mediocre, and a few are just plain bad," and amusingly, he refers to "A Fist Full of Stories" as a "garage-sale collection." Not much of an endorsement from the author himself, but who cares? Lansdale needs no endorsement from anyone. It's true, a few of the stories aren't very good, but even these early clunkers reveal some delectable slivers of the Lansdale magic. Conversely, many of the pieces in both collections are not only great stories ("The Junkyard," "Master of Misery," "Night Drive," and "Drive-In Date" to name a few) but they serve to shed light on Lansdale as the young, evolving author or, more abstractly, the entity behind the superior fund of work that now trails behind him in 1997.What's particularly fascinating are the author's keenly biographical introductions (which you then catch glimpses of in the work) and the personal miniforewords to each piece. Of 'Fist Full', Lansdale writes: "This collection contains some odds and ends of my career that I don't mind seeing reprinted for followers of my work to examine." However modest that may sound, this is exactly the point of both collections—they're vehicles that enable the Lansdale reader to track the maturation and progress of the author's creative being. Not only do you get Lansdale's fiction, you get his attitude, his perceptions and opinions, his creative influences, and the things he loves and the things he hates (not to mention some utterly intriguing tales about his growing up). And there's more than just fiction in 'Fist Full:' "Drive-In Date" is written as a play, and his "Trash Theater" movie reviews (cowritten with David Webb) will have you laughing so hard, you'll be banging your head against the wall.Both volumes share impressive production standards (a must for collectors and Lansdale connoisseurs)—these are quality first editions, to be sure. For Lansdale zealots specifically, these aren't just great, they're essential books. But even to an incidental reader who's never heard of Joe R. Lansdale: Read these books and you'll be buying everything else you can put your hands on by the guy. All in all, both of these volumes present an assemblage of fine work from an author who keeps making waves and just keeps getting better.—Edward Lee


Joe Donnelly - 1996
    Ginny Marsden, a young woman leading a quiet, uneventful life, inextricably disapears. Two apparently ordinary cases for police officers David Harper and Helen Lamont to investigate.

Burn, Witch, Burn!/Creep, Shadow, Creep!

A. Merritt - 1996
    Burn, Witch, Burn--the man in the hospital bed died with a look of terror in his eyes from an unidentified illness. And Creep, Shadow, Creep--Dr. Alan Caranac returned from the jungles of Africa only to meet a menace more appalling than the savage magic of witch doctors. Original.

The Nihilesthete

Richard Kalich - 1996
    Only when it's dead can we really control it." Haberman is a social worker in Harlem. It's an appalling job with brutal paperwork, a nit-picking boss, and clients whose lives are relentlessly depressing. He is deeply entrenched in his resentment of anyone who aspires to be something more, who creates and gives and believes in life. Then one day he meets his destiny: a limbless, mentally deficient man named Brodski who appears to have a spark of appreciation for art. A relationship begins, an emotionally intimate relationship in which Haberman travels out to the borders of his sanity and beyond, and Brodski desperately grows and changes and reaches for Beauty--all without words, in a bleak endgame that Samuel Beckett might've imagined.

The Windigo's Return: A North Woods Story

Douglas Wood - 1996
    Both scary and funny, The Windigo's Return is based on an Ojibwe legend which recounts the winter when the People of the North Woods began to disappear, one by one. Exquisite, earthy paintings by Greg Couch make this book as pleasing to look at as it is to read. Full color.

Passing Strange: True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors

Joseph A. Citro - 1996
    But these authors' dark imaginings pale when compared to little-known but well-documented and true tales. In this delightfully spine-tingling tour of all six New England states, Citro chronicles the haunted history and folklore of a region steeped in hardship and horror, humor and pathos.

More Kentucky Ghost Stories

Michael Paul Henson - 1996
    "Probably no section of the country can rightly claim more mystifying, more intriguing, or more enduring ghost stories and unexplained phenomena than Kentucky." With this statement, based on years of personal research and investigation, the author presents his second collection of such tales from the Bluegrass State.

Horrors: A Scary Home Companion

Garrison Keillor - 1996
    Garrison Keillor's Horrors! is a grab bag of treats from Halloween broadcasts of A Prairie Home Companion. Horrors! features eclectic musical performances, commercials for loyal Prairie Home "sponsors" like Guy's Shoes, and lighthearted comedy from A Prairie Home Companion's cast of regulars.Halloween is a time when everyone's a kid again—perhaps that's why it's so eagerly celebrated by adults. Listen to Horrors! and you'll smile, you'll shiver, and you might even take a peek to see what's lurking in the shadows. Contents:Halloween; This Wonderful World-Bats; Butch Thompson: In the Dark; The News from Lake Wobegon: The Ethics of Jokes; Blue Turtles by Rich Dworsky; The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe; Halloween: The Movie; Cafe Boeuf; That's Odd; Halloween at the Radio Station; Funerary Verse; Flies; News from Lake Wobegon: The Do-Rites; Celebrity Halloween; Little Red Riding Hood; Buried Alive; Butch Thompson: Creepy Feeling by Jelly Roll Morton

The Ebon Mask: Dark Kingdoms Volume 1

Richard Lee Byers - 1996
    Now in the Underworld, he embraces deceit and unbridled ambition -- he's no one's idea of a hero. That's too bad because something truly evil is stirring, and Montrose is the only being with a prayer of stopping it.

Motherfuckers: The Auschwitz of Oz

David Britton - 1996
    Lautreamont and Sade meet Roald Dahl. The main protagonists are everyone's favorite comic heroes - Meng and Ecker - mutant twins, rescued from the death camps for 'research' purposes by the infamous Dr. Mengele. Unsurprisingly, this book has already appeared in court in Britain....

100 Astounding Little Alien Stories

Robert E. Weinberg - 1996
    But in nearly all cases, they turn out to be not so "alien" after all. Contributors include Bill Pronzini, Rosalind Greenberg, Harry Harrison, Philip K. Dick, Fritz Leiber, others.

Behind the Mask of the Horror Actor

Doug Bradley - 1996
    He also examines the many roles the mask has played throughout time, and the physical rigours that actors who play monsters must endure. (Texas Chain Saw Massacre), Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street), and Jason (Friday the 13th). Plus, of course, Bradley recounts the making of the Hellraiser movies in detail, revealing just what it's like to actually be the man behind the mask.

Christopher Pike's Tales of Terror

Christopher Pike - 1996
    Then his past loves begin to visit him, each, they say, in their dreams. But what Mike does not know is that he has stumbled into a very evil nightmare from which there is no waking.Revenge: Ted's girlfriend suddenly dumps him and he just doesn't think that is right. So he decides to kill her, in a very strange way.The Fan from Hell: Marvin Summers, the bestselling author of teen fiction, returns to face Lassy, his No. 1 fan. Against his better judgment, Marvin allows himself to get intimately involved with this beautiful and mysterious girl. Only too late does he realize that some of his fans have studied his horror novles a little too closely.Plus other strange tales from the world's darkest corners!

Mr. Monster: His Books of Forbidden Knowledge, Volume One

Michael T. Gilbert - 1996
    Gilbert's "Doc Stearn... Mr. Monster" in a new book featuring seven stories of Forbidden Knowledge culled from his self-titled Eclipse Comics series. Contents include Mr. Monster classics, such as "The Case of the Reluctant Werewolf," "The Hemo Horror," "No Escape from Dimension-X" and more. Comics legend Alan Moore contributes not only the Foreword, in which he elevates Mr. Monster (alongside Captain Marvel, The Spirit, The Fighting American and Plastic-Man) into his approved pantheon of essential superheroes, but also a story of garbage-gone-bad, "The Riddle of the Recalcitrant Refuse." Supporting Gilbert's efforts to document the frightening facts forming Mr. Monster's Forbidden Knowledge are artists Williams Messner-Loebs, Roger Stewart, Jeff Bonivert, Dave Stevens and Steve Bissette; colorists Steve Oliff and Eric Vincent; and lettering wizard Ken Bruzenak. Witness the terror for yourself in Mr. Monster: His Books of Forbidden Knowledge, Volume One. Read it at your own risk!

Slave of My Thirst

Tom Holland - 1996
    John Eliot eagerly joined a top-secret mission to far-off Kilikshutra, to investigate a mysterious epidemic. He returned to London plagued by memories of a horrific disease that decimates body and soul...and shaken by its shrouded ties to vampire lore. But when an old friend goes missing, Eliot searches the city's dark underbelly -- and finds his exotic, dangerous journey has only just begun...

Seductive Spectres

Amarantha Knight - 1996
    Never before have ghostly encounters been so alluring, thanks to a cast of otherworldly characters well acquainted with the pleasures of the flesh. Amarantha Knight, the woman behind the popular Darker Passions series, has gathered a stellar roster of chilling talent, including Brian Lumley , Thomas S. Roche, Edo van Belkom, Kyle Stone, Michael A. Arnzen, Ron Dee & Lois H. Gresh, Brian McNaughton, Benoit Bisson, Nancy Kilpatrick, Karen E. Taylor, Gemma Files, John Mason Skipp

Writing Horror and the Body: The Fiction of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice

Linda Badley - 1996
    Badley places horror fiction in its cultural context, drawing important connections to theories of gender and sexuality. As our culture places increasing importance on body image, horror fiction has provided a language for imagining the self in new ways--often as ungendered, transformed, or re-generated. Focusing on the works of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice, Badley approaches horror as a discourse that articulates the anxieties of our culture.

The London Guidebook: 1920s Roleplaying in the Capital of the World

Lucya Szachnowski - 1996
    The Crown's capital city, London, in the 1920s three times older than the Crown itself, grew to he the pre-eminent confluence of old privilege, new money, dynamic creativity, social class friction, madness, tuberculosis, science, education, and advanced medical research. Bumbling criminals, evil geniuses, refugee intellectuals, social deviants, harmless eccentrics, moral reformers, occultists, and millions of utterly normal people gravitated to London. The larger any city becomes, the more it becomes the place to be, and the more reasons people find for going there. London was the largest city in the world.With detail chosen not only for social or political importance but also for the curious, bizarre, and supernatural, this book captures much of London's special flavor. Keepers and interested readers will find in it substantial background and a wide range of information, including new occupations for the game, famous people, London by district (with a half-dozen general maps, and many more detailed plans and illustrations of particular buildings and complexes), the suburbs, the Thames, parks, subterranean London, transport, annual events, law and order, crimes and criminals, institutions, recreation, occult London, a historical chronology of the city, a 1920s timeline by month, prices, how to get chloroform (or weapons, fireworks, or public records), how to send a letter or telegram, sample hotel and restaurant costs, a bibliography, an introductory scenario, and an index

The Ghost by the Sea

Eileen Dunlop - 1996
    While a guest at Culaloe, Robin discovers that the spirit of Milly, a young girl who tragically drowned prior to World War I, is haunting the house, and she and her cousin, John, begin a search for answers to the mysterious happenings involving their family.

Madeline: After the Fall of Usher

Marie Kiraly - 1996
    Years after writing The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe meets the granddaughter of the real Madeline Usher -- and uncovers a secret as twisted as the cursed House itself.

Rational Fears: American Horror in the 1950s

Mark Jancovich - 1996
    Through close analysis of a wide range of films such as I Was a Teenage Werewolf and Creature of the Black Lagoon Mark Jancovich argues that horror films of the 1950s developed a critique of conservatism, conformity, mass society and masculinity. In addition, he claims that while many critics have seen contemporary horror as the product of a break with that of the 1950s, most of the key elements within recent horror films and novels were actually established during this time.