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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Write-In Nominations for BEST Horror Novel


Edit: Write in nominations are now closed.  You can find the poll here.

I'm now taking nominations for the best horror novel.  I think in MOST cases this will be a stand alone book, but if some of you feel like a series is definitely worthy, feel free to nominate the series as a whole.

You may use whatever criteria you desire for determining what is "horror" and what is "the best."  As long as things don't get outrageous, I will take your nomination.  (Jane Eyre is not horror, for example.)  Obviously "scariest" could be a measurement, but most disturbing, best written, or most canonical would work as well.  (Though I will probably do a "best classic" series of polls.)

The RULES--You may nominate TWO (2) books at the most.  Obviously the fifteen books you love can't all be the best you've ever read.  Really I should be accepting only one "best ever," but I find that makes prolific readers have aneurisms in their brains.

You may "second" as many of the existing nominations as you wish.  So check back to see what's being nominated.  The number of seconds will largely determine what will go on the poll.

Only the best three (3) books from a single author will go onto the poll.  (I don't want this to be a "Which Stephen King Book is the Best" poll.)  Most people don't read a lot of horror, and I find their experience to be limited to just a couple of authors.  I want to get at least a few different authors on this poll.


My own two nominations are for Pet Cemetery by Stephen King and The House With the Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs (which I know is Y.A. but it scared the crap out of a little version of me).  Those are only single nominations, so they may not make the poll if others get lots of seconds.

The books that will make it onto the poll will be the ones with the most nominations.  In the case of ties (of which there are still many given that our readership is still pretty low).  I will break them in the following way:

Nominations made here rather than as replies to this post on other social media.  I will take replies from anywhere, but if it comes down to a tie, I will favor the ones made here.

If one author has another title on the poll I will break the tie with the new author.

I will take the more "genre appropriate" book.  If it's down to Harry Potter and the OotP vs. Hell House, I'm going to go with Hell House.  Even though you may use any criteria you want to determine what is horror, know that it might be rejected if it comes down to a tie.

First come, first serve!  I'll leave the nomination up for a while and if we get way more than one poll's worth of nominations, we'll do run offs like we have before, but eventually I will cut things off, so getting a nomination in early is important.

The poll should be up in a week or two--depending on how fast the nominations come in and how soon the input dies down to a tiny trickle.

Also, just FYI, I'm going to start taking nominations for future polls while the old one is still running so that we pretty much always have a poll going.  So be ready for that change.

47 comments:

  1. Gotta say, for me this is the really hardest. I'll put a second on "Pet Semetary" but for Stephen King my favorite is "Christine". However, as an overall epic work I have to admit that "It" is just plain scarier. So my King nomination goes to "It".

    My other nomination will go to Brian Lumley's "Necroscope" series. Or, if you prefer singles, just the first book. It's pretty damned good on its own.

    I will trust that someone else will nominate Bram Stoker's "Dracula" so that I can second it since that would be my third choice if I were allowed one.

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    1. If you think the whole Necroscope series deserves the nod, let's go with that.

      I will consider Dracula auto-seconded if it gets a nomination. :)

      I agree with you about King though. I think I liked Christine more, but It scared me more.

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  2. King's "Tommyknockers" scared the crap out of me. I still get creeped out by a certain shade of green.

    Nothing else even comes close.

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    1. Seconded.

      The book, not the "nothing comes close."

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  3. "Song of Kali", by Dan Simmons.
    --callie "breaks your polls" fournier

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  4. I tried commenting before, but I guess the internet ate it. If it double-posts, that's why.

    I throw my vote in for "World War Z" by Max Brooks. The only horror novel that I've ever read multiple times and every time gave me nightmares.

    The next one is "The Stepford Wives" by Ira Levine. It braids in multiple creepy scenes and some interesting politics.

    Special mention: "The Yellow Wallpaper". It is a short story, so doesn't fit this, but it is super creepy. (Of course, I find lots of literature with a feminist sort of angle to be super creepy, but most of it does not fall into the horror genre.)

    Antigone10

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  5. Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hell House

    Richard Matheon's I Am Legend

    For a few years now, I've heard some people call these books novellas, but I suspect that's because modern expectations for the length of novels seem to be very lengthy. When I first read these stories as a kid, each story was its own book, not part of a collection of other works.

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    1. Seconding Shirley Jackson, and noting that the title is The Haunting of Hill House.

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    2. I think the 73' movie messes people up on the title.

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    3. Yes, it's Hill not Hell. I'm confirming the correction because Matheson also wrote Hell House, which I started to nominate with Jackson's book, but changed my mind because I think Legend is better.

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  6. For me the Scariest Book and Best Horror Novel are two different categories, thank goodness we get two nominations. :) Even so, I only need one because for Scariest Book I wish to second (third?) Pet Sematary, the ending gave me the chills. I would like to nominate the classic, Dracula by Bram Stoker as best. Dracula is dicidedly more gothic than horror but that may be splitting hairs.

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  7. "Pet Semetary" is the scariest book I've ever read. Also, I don't know if foreign books count, but Maxime Chattam's "la Promesse des Ténèbres" gets my second vote. I don't think many votes will go to this last one but if you can read french (I don't think it's been translated yet), i would definately recommend that you read this book ^^.

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    1. We better stick to books that at least have an English translation for the poll, but if it gets translated or I learn passable French, I'll keep it in mind.

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    2. Ok, I suppose it should be more of a reading suggestion (and since I think Chattam is an amazing writer, I really hope it will be translated in english, he deserves to be better known).
      So I replace my second vote with a classic: "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley.

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  8. I second "Dracula" and throw my hat in the ring with "Frankenstein". Gotta love the classics. =D

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  9. Fourthing(?) Pet Sematary and thirding The Haunting of Hill House.

    Special mention to Let the Right One In, which wasn't super scary, but still very dark. And Lolita, which isn't technically a horror novel, but so creepy that I had to put it down halfway through and reread the Harry Potter series to make myself feel better.

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    1. Ha! I'm glad I'm not the only person to do that! If I get too scared or disturbed by a book I'll read a fuzzy friendly book to make myself feel better too. :0)

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    2. I just assumed that was what people did :) Everyone I know, especially when horror is not their average genre, reads "fuzzy" books so they can sleep when reading a horror story.

      Antigone10

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    3. Seconding "Let the Right One In," if that was actually a nomination. If not, I'll nominate it. I read it whilst sick with a fever and had the gawdawfulest nightmares ever.

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  10. Seconding Dracula and Necroscope.
    Adding At The Mountains Of Maddness and Vampire Lestat.

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  11. I'd like to add Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk and Misery by Stephen King.

    Also, I'd like to second Pet Sematary and Dracula.

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    1. I was kind of sort of hoping Haunted wouldn't make this poll. I should have known better. I don't mind the book myself, but I thought it was more shock-value gross than scary. But to each their own. It is certainly......disturbing.

      Thank you!!!

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    2. Hope Haunted doesn't mess with the mojo of your poll too much!

      Actually, I don't find Dracula very scary, but it is my favorite horror book (the one I have read the most times). Pet Sematary is the scariest book I've read (so much so, that I don't think I can ever read it again). Since those were both mentioned already I just decided to throw some others in the mix : )

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    3. Nah, it's okay. It's definitely genre appropriate.

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    4. Just as an aside with Haunted, I put it away after a few chapters. Too quirky for me, I guess.

      Regarding Dracula, I think that first chapter from Jonathan Harker is pretty good stuff on the creepiness scale. I love the whole novel, but after the first chapter, you don't get the same level of weirdness and surrealness. And I like my horror best served with weirdness and surrealness.

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  12. The Stand and IT from Stephen King and Resurrection from Tim Curran. Resurrection feels a bit derivative of IT in places, but aside from that it's the best zombie novel I've ever read, aside from World War Z.

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    1. I loved WWZ as a book. (I haven't seen the movie yet.)

      I will assume you meant to second the existing nomination for IT since there was already one before and you wrote three nominations. :) Also, if you have friends who are fans of The Stand, you might want to point them this way. If it gets some "seconds," it'll probably go on the poll, but Tommyknockers would be the third King book if everything stays tied.

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    2. Seconding "The Stand"

      -kijeren

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    3. Seconding "The Stand"

      -kijeren

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  13. Seconding The House With a Clock in its Walls!! The car chase scene spooked the shite out of me when I read it with a flashlight under the covers and to this day I don't like moths. My SK nomination goes to Christine. I read it when I was in high school and I saw a lot of Roland Le Bay in my father so it terrified me.

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  14. I second Song of Kali and At the Mountains of Madness.

    I suggest House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and the Great God Pan by Arthur Machen.

    --Trau

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  15. I second House of Leaves
    --callie

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  16. I thought this genre was called Gothic. :). My favorite Gothic novel is so awesome, but it might be obscure: The Monk by Matthew Lewis. I also loved Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Turn of the Screw. (but The Monk is my nominee)

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    1. Gothic kind of morphed into two sub genres. One was more modern horror and the other was (believe it or not) detective fiction. But it's old, "classic" horror, so it's okay. If I deconstructed things too far, the poll would just become a few titles from a couple of die hard fans.

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  17. Seconding "Song of Kali", by Dan Simmons and seconding "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski

    -Crystal

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  18. The Bad Place by Dean Koontz
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

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  19. IT is the scariest book I've read, and I've read a lot of Stephen King. However, that's the one that stands out the most and still creeps me out. So, I fourth or fifth IT.

    Google still not connecting, this is Alisha.

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  20. Seconded for House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski. Not a jump out of your seats scary novel. The story of house and the family inside would be eerie enough, but the descent of the narrator in to madness is extremely well done.

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  21. 'It' by Stephen King freaked me out for months and still scares me witless today (and I've lost count of the times I've read it!), but 'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson is one of the best scares ever and comes a very close second to 'It'. (Gill T from FB-land)

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