Featured on the podcast:
some of original Jon's recommended reads
by Stephen King The first Stephen King I ever read, and it still chills me as much as it did when I was a teenager. A rural doctor looks to forces he can barely comprehend when his family is hit by tragedy. The horror that plays out is matched by the strength of Mr King’s extraordinary talent and eye for characterisation.
by H. G. Wells An obvious classic that manages to balance science fiction action with the timeless tensions of the Victorian age. A Victorian man journeys across Surrey and London as Martians invade the world and lay waste to mankind. It features scenes of real terror and is still as effective now and I assume it was at the time. It casts a large shadow over genre fiction for a reason.
by James Herbert Monstrous rats emerge from the sewers and gnaw, chew and tear their way through the population. The first adult horror book I ever read, and it stayed with me. James Herbert elevates the premise with greatly paced writing and a stomach-turning eye for description. An absolute joy.
by Dan Simmons A haunting mix of historical fiction and supernatural horror. This book tells the unknown story of the twin ships The Terror and The Erebus as they got caught in the Artic Ice and adds a nightmarish creature to hound them. Every element of this novel just works as the true horror of the character’s situation unfolds for the reader and escalates with each chapter.
by Mark Z. Danielewski This mind bending and challenging novel tells the story of a young man discovering a series of papers in the flat of a deceased neighbour. They tell the story of videotape which shows the impossible things experienced by a photographer and his family as they move into a new house. It is at turns a horror, a thriller, a satire and a story about addiction, paranormal terror and love. It is not for everyone, but no one could question its ambition.
by Robin Jarvis This series of stories about a group of brave young mice facing off against a satanic cat and his cannibalistic acolytes were my first introduction to horror. They are rip-roaring adventures with a macabre bent and stand up to adult attention remarkably well.
by H.P.Lovecraft To be honest, as with many modern horror fans, the work of Lovecraft looms large but my favourite is the Dunwich Horror as it tells of a cosmic monster spreading death and fear amongst the village of Dunwich. It is one of Lovecraft’s most accessible works as it grounds his eldritch terrors by showing their devasting impact upon mankind.
some of Dave's recommended reads
By William Gibson. I read this back in the 90s. Game changer - still is.
By Harlan Ellison. The first Ellison book I bought & read, and the start of a large collection and obsession. A must-read.
Originally called 'Tiger Tiger' before being changed to the slightly more light-hearted title, which doesn't really do the dark content justice. A page-turning joy of a novel.. definitely in my top 10 sci-fi novels, if i had such a list.
By John Wyndham.. I love JW and this is a wonderful disoptian-future story, set outside of the English landscape for once. Great.
Ann Vandermeer edited anthology of feminist speculative fiction. A must for any short-story fans.
All must read Lovecraft. That is all.
Carl Sagan destroys many sacred cows with scientific generosity. A real treat for non-fiction fans.
By Jeff Vandermeer. A cracking book of short stories & also introduces Mord, the antagonist from the Borne novel (and subsequent stories).. which is also included here.
By John Buchan. Another British-based adventure romp. Spies, subterfuge, pacing.. its a classic for a reason.
A great screenwriter writes a great novel. Which also made a great film, but the novel is a real treat - get involved!
My brother gave me this back in the day & i've been following the story of Peter Grant ever since.. a wonderful series of fantastical policing.
By Susanna Clarke I absolutely adored this novel. For me, it absolutely smashed it for a fantasy novel, however i understand others find it a touch dense and with too many footnotes. They, of course are wrong. It's great.
Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals by John Gray. I took this with me when I moved abroad as a youngster.. purchasing the day before the flight. Powerful stuff & changed my thinking in a few directions..
By Akala.. If you're British or living in Britain, its a must-read. Fascinating, hugely insightful and I couldn't put it down.