Alvin Schwartz is a children’s author who is best known for his Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. You can find numerous blog posts about this much-loved series online, most dealing with the way in which it seemed far too scary for younger readers when Stephen Gammell’s surreal and unsettling illustrations are taken into account.
I have been a big fan of Soren Narnia’s Knifepoint Horror series for a while. I can’t quite remember how I discovered it, but as soon as I started to listen to the stories, I knew I’d found something extraordinary. It’s now one of my all-time favourite horror productions.
I found this collection of issues #1-4 of Ferrara’s Dead Rider on the Comics Plus: Library Edition page and immediately downloaded it. The story concerns the Dead Rider, a legendary undead cowboy who roams the old west in defiance of the country’s lawmen. Throughout the story, the Dead Rider battles a grotesque bog-witch who had previously cursed him with immortality. He seeks to finally destroy her and find peace.
As far as I can recall, this is the first real true crime/serial killer book I’ve ever read from start to finish. Previously my interest in the “genre” ranged between the occasional binge on gruesome Wikipedia articles, to half-watching online documentaries of questionable quality, and perhaps sometimes taking the odd peek into books with names like like The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. It’s obviously a grim subject with undeniable attraction, though generally it’s not a genre I stick with for too long.
I read 2001 and 2010 last year and despite enjoying both books, I didn’t get around to the third and fourth in the series until just recently, due to a slew of library books cascading off the shelves and into my home.
Unfortunately, both 2061 and 3001 turned out to be hugely disappointing. They were still both interesting enough to warrant at least one read, and they did (kind of) conclude the overarching story lines, but I don’t think I’d ever return to them.
This is only the second John Wyndham book I’ve ever read, the first being The Seeds of Time, which I read earlier this year. I enjoyed The Day of the Triffids a lot more than The Seeds of Time, and I was surprised at how subtly creepy I found certain sections of the text. One section, near the start of the novel, seemingly affected me so much that I had nightmares for three nights in a row about the same section (the first time Bill meets Josella).
A colleague left this book on my desk a few weeks ago. At the time I was just finishing off a couple of other books so I thought I’d give it a try. This was my first time reading any John Wyndham and I thought a selection of his short stories might be a good introduction, but now that I’ve finished it I think I’d hesitate to recommend this as a starting point. I think I will eventually get round to reading some of his more famous novels but I’ll probably steer clear of any more of his short fiction for the time being.