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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What is the Best Horror Novel/Novella (Write In Nominations Needed)

Image description:
spooky light behind a cemetery with some bats flying around.
What is the best horror Novel/Novella?

It's been three years since we ran our first Best Horror Novel poll, and there are lots more people following Writing About Writing these days, so I thought we might revisit the old topic for our October poll this year.

Please remember to keep voting for our current poll–Best Modern Science Fiction–while we gather nominations for October's poll. It's already the fifth, so expect the turn over to be quick.

But while you're wrapping that poll up with your votes, we also need write in nominations for our October poll: BEST HORROR NOVEL!

The Rules:

You may nominate TWO (2) books. Obviously the fifteen books you love can't all be the scariest you've ever read. Any nominations you give me beyond your first two will be ignored because I'm awful. (Though I will count them as "seconds" if someone else nominates the same book.)

As usual, I leave up to you what "best" means. Scariest? Best written. One that still makes you shudder? Canonical? I know some of you shudder to think of Tommyknockers going up against Dracula, but the more I try to control what "flavor" of best I ask for, the less participation seems to occur. (Perhaps some day when W.A.W. has far more readers, we can do some polls with more focused parameters.)

I'm also going to leave it up to you what "horror" means. You may have to make a case for your suggestion (especially if you want a Harry Potter book to count or something) in order to get anyone to go along with giving you a second, but genre policing is a big waste of energy.

You may, and SHOULD, "second" as many of the existing nominations as you wish. Nothing will go on to our poll if it doesn't have a second, and sometimes, in the interest of keeping a poll to one month (like a HALLOWEEN POLL...nudge nudge), instead of running semifinals, I may limit the final poll to every title that got three or more "seconds." SO PLEASE SECOND STUFF YOU WANT TO SEE ON THE POLL!

While I technically take nominations from anywhere, you should make a comment to this post. Comments left on social media where I cross post (like my Facebook page) don't tend to get seconded there because they are so quickly buried beneath ever spewing content.

Note: 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. If we get more than 3 titles from a single author  I will pick the three with the most number of "seconds."

*Totally hypothetical example, obvi.

52 comments:

  1. The Red Tree - Caitlín R. Kiernan (hands down the scariest book I have ever read)

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  2. NOS4A2 (Nosferatu) by Joe Hill seriously terrified me. It's also fun to read in the winter, if you're misanthropic about the holidays.

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  3. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe and It by Stephen King stick out as the two most memorable horror stories for me (perhaps because they were the first "adult" horror I read as a teen after a steady diet of Christopher Pike and Goosebumps).

    I am looking forward to some good recs from this though :)

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  4. "Snow, Glass, Apples" by Neil Gaiman may be too short, but it's haunted me for years.

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    Replies
    1. Second. Definitely a creepy read.

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    2. Second! Hauntingly beautiful and terrifying

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  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly and cell by Steven King

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    Replies
    1. A third for Frankenstein.

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    2. I didn't think it was *scary* but it tore my heart out. One of my all time favorite books.

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    3. Seconding Frankenstein as well

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  6. Nominating Pet Sematary by Steven King. May have to have a secondary poll excluding King. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Second Pet Sematary

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    2. Second Pet Cemetery. Ruined the name Zelda for me.

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  7. Hobgoblin by John Coyne, great book for anyone who has played D&D and blurred the line between fantasy and reality.

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  8. "The Island of Doctor Moreau" by H. G. Wells.
    "Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe

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    Replies
    1. Second The Island of Doctor Moreau. I love H G Wells so much

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    2. Seconding Fall of the House of Usher!

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  9. "It" by Stephen King
    "Heart Shaped Box" by Joe Hill

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  10. Dracula by Bram Stoker (I mean, come on!)
    The Monk by Matthew Lewis

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  11. I nominate House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewksi
    and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
    but listen, you, this was VERY VERY HARD.

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  12. The Haunting of Hill House from Shirley Jackson

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank goodness. Seconded!

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    2. Second The Haunting of Hill House

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  13. At The Mountains Of Maddness, HP Lovecraft

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  14. The Girl With All The Gifts, MR Carey

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  15. For me I think it is Gerald's Game by Stephen King. I read it in maybe 2 days, but thought about it for weeks after. it just kept eating at my brain. So it wasn't the scariest necessarily IN THE MOMENT, but the implications are vast, and super creepy.

    And although I love IT, and Pet Sem... I think Shining was scarier than those two.... but scariest? Gerald's Game.

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  16. The most horrifying story I've ever read is The Brass Teapot by Tim Macy. I'd also like to nominate Stephen King's The Shining. Moving topiary is just wrong.

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  17. Cujo by Stephen King

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  18. Silence of the Lambs. It was one of the first adult horror novels I read so it holds a special place in my heart :)

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  19. I'm limiting myself to one because Stephen King's It has already been nominated multiple times. Peter Straub Ghost Story deserves a spot on this poll. While I was not a fan of the sequel, the Ghost Story is both well written and seriously creepy.

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  20. Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Read in the mountains in the rain by candelight. Scary as hell!

    Stopped reading Stephen King after Pet Cemetery, because it creeped me out so badly, so I suppose I could give that another vote!

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