Aug. 6th, 2010

seanan_mcguire: (zombie)
So there's this publisher, Leisure Horror, that prints, well, horror. Lots of it. At least one new paperback release a month (probably substantially more, given the size of their catalog), spanning everything from the classic movie monsters to the modern splatterpunk. I love them. They're my literary popcorn, and I devour them the way my grandmother used to devour category Harlequin romances. It gets me funny looks on the train, since if you run down the line of afternoon commuters-with-books, you'll usually get "woman with romance, woman with romance, man with science fiction with big guns on the cover, me," and Leisure's graphic designers don't believe in being stingy with the arterial spray.

Last weekend at Spocon, in the dealer's hall, I was lucky enough to find a man with an entire box of Leisure Horror that I hadn't read yet. Yes, that's right: a box. I went through it to pick out duplicates, squealing as I did about how unrelentingly, gloriously terrible some of the books looked. Brooke, who was with me, initially thought I was rating them. Then she realized I was buying them, and made the best "Oh God why have you allowed this to happen?" face I've ever seen her make. I got twenty-one brand new horror novels for twenty bucks, and he threw in the box. Total win.

(My total win only increased later in the weekend, when [ profile] trektone expressed delight over my horror novel haul. Now I have someplace to dump all the ones I don't want to keep! FUCK YEAH, SEAKING!)

I have since devoured three and a half books from the haul. The first one, Snow, was an incredible reminder of why I'm not actually a very good straight horror author. See, these things come out of the snow, and they kill people. They stick their creepy snow-creature arms into peoples' backs, and drive them around like disturbing meat-suit zombies. And then they eat you. Unless you can kill them first, in which case, hey, points to you. That's it. That's all. No science, no justification, no "oh my stars and garters, the Wendigo myth was based on reality"—there are snow monsters, and they want to make you die. I loved this book. If I'd written it, it would have been twice as long, involved a lot more why-porn, and probably lost a few entrails in favor of a) the scene at the top-secret government lab where we learn about the aliens, or b) the scene at the top-secret monster-hunters' library where we learn about the folklore behind the snow-creatures. It always makes me happy when I get a reminder of why I'm not the kind of horror author I sometimes secretly wish I were.

The second book, Dwellers, was the first thing I've ever picked up from Leisure Horror that could actually be adapted into a Disney movie. It would be a sad Disney movie, sure, and it would lose a lot of, again, entrails, but it would work. Dwellers is like Harry and the Hendersons crossed with The Thing. It's sad and poignant and tragic and funny and altogether wonderful, and I really didn't expect it. Again, there's very little "why" in the book. Horror doesn't need "why." Horror needs entrails, and horror gets them, but oh, wow, is this a fabulous book.

The two I've read since then haven't been even remotely as good, which is why I'm not identifying them by name. Altogether, it's been a fantastic reminder of why I read horror, and why I'm not so good at writing it in any format longer than a short story. Why is there a monster in the closet?

seanan_mcguire: (rosemary2)
With the third book in the Toby series coming up (rapidly), I want to make sure that people who want the opportunity to read the series at all have the chance. So...

I am giving away five copies of Rosemary and Rue. I am unfortunately able to give them to US addresses only; the cost of postage is just too high for me to be able to do this with International shipping on top of everything else. What do you need to do?

1) Comment here, explaining either a) why you'd like a copy of Rosemary and Rue, or b) why I should be giving a copy to someone else (a friend, a relative, that guy who commented right before you...)

2) That's all. I'll pick winners on Sunday evening, when I draw the winners of the latest ARC contest. (Which is still going, by the way, and you have to enter if you want to win.)

Yes, you can enter both. Rock and roll!

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