A Hobby to Take to Hell – Paperbacks!
Hello There ScareTissue Readers! It’s been a long time, too long. I have been advancing my love of horror through the pandemic. And by advancing, I mean reading and watching movies. And yes of course it is all horror, all the time! Shudder has been a life changing, with Shudder Originals being added regularly, I feel I have something new to always watch!
But there has been one thing that’s really kept me going, and no I don’t mean the endless horror show videos of Karens losing their minds in Target (although, I won’t say that it hasn’t helped a little). The main thing that has occupied the main use of my brain cells is reading. With the discovery of my new bible, Paperbacks From Hell, by Grady Hendrix and Will Errickson, I have been scouring book stores, the internet, my parent’s basement, thrift shops… really any shops! What have I been scouring for? Paperbacks. But not just ANY paperbacks. I’m talking a specific type of paperback.
A Paperback From Hell is a book that would have come out in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s. The covers are shocking, they are an art piece. The stories are ridiculous, vulgar, a social commentary, or total nonsense.
Are you wanting something that speaks to your feminist soul? Lisa Tuttle and Elizabeth Engstrom have you covered. Looking for some queer horror? Poppy Z Brite would like a word. Maybe you want all out full macho man, kicking ass and taking names action? Seems like you may be a Nightblood fan. Or maybe you’re hot off Netflix’s Haunting of Bly Manor, and are looking for something up that alley? Ramsey Campbell and Bernard Taylor may be for you! In the mood for a mind-$&@#? Try Garrett Boatman or Thomas F. Monteleone.
One thing is for sure, they are entertaining as hell. The priests are horny, the animals are attacking, the word “fetid” is a staple, the babysitters are murdered, and the kids are troubled. The vampires are seductive. The Southern US is hot and sensual. Cities are disgusting! Small towns are quaint! And there’s always a cult right around the corner, ordering the locals to do their bidding. Science experiments run out of control, and guess who can save you? The townies. But sometimes they can’t folks, and guess what, you become a victim to whatever insect got out of it’s cage in the the lab down the road and now you’re a slug-person. Unless there’s a crucifix–wielding, Uzi– toting war vet in the wings, then you just might make it after all! Also in Paperbacks from Hell, sometimes sex will save everyone! Or sometimes it will destroy everyone, in which case- oops! The cussing is extreme, the music is blasting, and the pedal is to the metal!
One of the best things I’ve discovered during this time are indie publishers. Valancourt Press has been re-publishing a series of Paperbacks from Hell. They are in the process of printing out these lost gems for new fans to enjoy. I love that! Crossroad Press is also publishing Resurrected Horrors for fans to indulge in, which I am now dipping into with my first purchase of Dreamthorp.
This has also led me to discovering small publishers that are producing new, independent horror lit, by new authors who are reigniting this old sub-genre in a new and current way. This I will get into in another post. You can follow me on my journey through literary hell here.
Reviews of some books soon to follow, I just wanted to reintroduce myself to the ScareTissue readers.
I’m back, and this time, I’ve brought my heavy metal, my crucifix, and my bookmark you mother%$^*@#!!!!!!