10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Oh, lookie, another chance to talk about the books we want to read but will probably actually never get around to. Well, we’re not gonna lie and say we’re going to actually get around to reading these, because that would be wrong. And delusional. And they don’t make a pill strong enough yet to help self-admitted bookworms with that “I can read all the books!” self-delusion.

However, these are 10 sci-fi and horror books on our Fall TBR. Some of them we might actually read, others we’ll look longingly at, and the rest we’ll probably forget about as soon as another book with a shiny cover twinkles our way. (Or waves the promise of a blood-splattered gorefest at us. Don’t judge.)

By the way, Top Ten Tuesday topics are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

If you’re looking for upcoming science fiction and horror books for 2017 (well, what remains of it), look here at our More 2017 Science Fiction and Horror Novels to Look For (July-Dec).

 

10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR

(Lilyn)

Doctor Arnoldi by Tiffany Thayer – Tiffany Thayer, who was prominent in the Fortean Society, wrote many unusual novels in the first half of the 20th century but DOCTOR ARNOLDI is one of the most elusive. Now, for the first time since its initial publication in 1934, it’s available. The story is an old one — what happens when death is defeated — but no one has ever written about it as Thayer has.

I just recently came across this one in an article I was reading, and it intrigued me. Especially the scene they talked about where a guy was ran through a meat grinder and the meat came out still moving. I need to read this. I also need the gumption to spend 15+ on the book since my library can’t get it. So, it might wait a while.

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The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith – You feel ecstatic! Until you kill yourself. – The Happy Chip is the latest nanoengineering wonder from the high-flying tech company, NeoHappy, Inc. Hundreds of millions of people have had the revolutionary chip injected into their bodies to monitor their hormonal happiness and guide them to life choices, from foods to sex partners. Given the nanochip’s stunning success, struggling science writer Brad Davis is thrilled when he is hired to co-author the biography of its inventor, billionaire tech genius Marty Fallon.

That is, until Davis learns that rogue company scientists are secretly testing horrifying new control chips with “side effects”—suicidal depression, uncontrollable lust, murderous rage, remote-controlled death, and ultimately, global subjugation. His discovery threatens not only his life, but that of his wife Annie and their children. Only with the help of Russian master hacker Gregor Kalinsky and his gang can they hope to survive the perilous adventure that takes them from Boston to Beijing.

The Happy Chip, an edge-of-your-seat thriller, spins a cautionary tale of unchecked nanotechnology spawning insidious devices that could enslave us. It dramatically portrays how we must control our “nanofuture” before it’s too late.

I liked Dennis Meredith’s Wormholes well enough, and the concept of a happy chip isn’t too far-future, neither is the misuse of it. I’m curious to see what the author could do with it. Its terrestrial sci-fi, and sometimes that’s just what I’m looking for. 

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Mars One by Jonathan Maberry – Go on the adventure of a lifetime with a teen and his family after they are selected to colonize Mars in this thrilling new novel from multiple Bram Stoker Award–winning author Jonathan Maberry.

Tristan has known that he and his family were going to be on the first mission to colonize Mars since he was twelve years old, and he has been training ever since. However, knowing that he would be leaving for Mars with no plan to return didn’t stop him from falling in love with Izzy.

But now, at sixteen, it’s time to leave Earth, and he’s forced to face what he must leave behind in exchange for an uncertain future. When the news hits that another ship is already headed to colonize Mars, and the NeoLuddite terrorist group begins threatening the Mars One project, the mission’s purpose is called into question. Is this all worth it?

I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series. His other work? Ehhh, hit or miss. He’s definitely not an author that’s on my ‘must buy’ list. However, he is talented, and I’m really really curious to see what he can do with a straight up science fiction novel. Especially a young adult one. 

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Counting Heads by David Marusek – Counting Heads is David Marusek’s extraordinary launch as an SF novelist: The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete. Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries. Loyal mentars (artificial intelligence) and robots do most of society’s work. The Boutique Economy has made redundant ninety-nine percent of the world’s fifteen billion human inhabitants. The world would be a much better place if they all simply went away.

Eleanor K. Starke, one of the world’s leading citizens is assassinated, and her daughter, Ellen, is mortally wounded. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother’s financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, if she, herself, survives. Her cryonically frozen head is in the hands of her family’s enemies. A ragtag ensemble of unlikely heroes join forces to rescue Ellen’s head, all for their own purposes.

 Another terrestrial science fiction novel, this one looks like it could just be off-beat enough to intrigue me. I mean, it’s Mission Impossible to rescue a *head*.  I know it’s the first book in a series, so it makes me a bit wary, but… good things? And it’s old enough (but not too old!) so that my library should have it! Found this one just recently through random browsing.

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Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan – It’s the twenty-fifth century, and advances in technology have redefined life itself. A person’s consciousness can now be stored in the brain and downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”), making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Onetime U.N. Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Resleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.

I’m not actually a huge fan of massive conspiracies because I tend to sort all that out way too quick, but this one has too many recommendations for me to not at least think hard about giving it a try. Got it whilst googling “Best hard science fiction novels of the 21st century.”

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(Gracie)

Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s – Grady Hendrix: Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of the 1970s and ’80s . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. It’s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of two iconic decades, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. You’ll find familiar authors, like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, and many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

I love covers and the ’70s and ’80s had some great cover art. Hopefully, if it’s successful, they continue through to the present day. Although I fear it will add greatly to my TBR list. Oh well, the more the scarier!


Haunted Nights – Edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton: Sixteen never-before-published chilling tales that explore every aspect of our darkest holiday, Halloween, co-edited by Ellen Datlow, one of the most successful and respected genre editors, and Lisa Morton, a leading authority on Halloween.
In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and trick or treating in the future, Haunted Nights also offers terrifying and mind-bending explorations of related holidays like All Souls’ Day, Dia de los Muertos, and Devil’s Night.

I love Halloween and short story collections. What could be better for a fall read than a short story anthology with stories based all around the Big Three of the October holidays?


Halloween Carnival, Volume 1 – Edited by Brian James Freeman: Robert McCammon, Kevin Lucia, John R. Little, Lisa Morton, and Mark Allan Gunnells put the horror back in Halloween with a quintet of devilishly delightful tales, curated by acclaimed author and editor Brian James Freeman.

Yup. More Halloween themed short stories. I hope. It looks to be a series that will be released all through October, one each week. I’m interested to know if it will be sold as a collection after the different volumes are released and if there will be a wraparound story or if the stories stand on their own. 


Madness on the Orient Express – Edited by James Lowder: Trains embody the promise and peril of technological advance. They unlock opportunities for wealth and travel, but also create incredible chaos—uprooting populations and blighting landscapes. Work on or around the rails leads to unwelcome discoveries and, in light of the Mythos, dire implications in the spread of the rail system as a whole.

A certain path to uncovering unwelcome truths about the universe is to venture beyond our own “placid island of ignorance” and encounter foreign cultures. The Orient Express serves as the perfect vehicle for such excursions, designed as a bridge between West and East. Movement into mystery forms the central action for many stories in this volume. The only limitation placed upon writers for this collection was that their works somehow involve the Orient Express and the Mythos.

The last warning whistle has blown, and we are getting underway. Have your tickets at the ready and settle in for a journey across unexpected landscapes to a destination that—well, we’ll just let you see for yourself when you arrive. We promise this though: murder will be the least of your problems on this trip aboard the Orient Express!

There’s something about trains, don’t you think? It could be assumed that I’m adding this because of the movie coming out but Agatha Christie ain’t got anything on Lovecraft and I’d rather read about Cthulhu stalking the rails rather than a commonplace murderer.


2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush – Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and John McFetridge18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds 

The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio that is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.

Enduring stark dystopian struggles or testing the limits of the human spirit, the characters populating 2113 find strength while searching for hope in a world that is repressive, dangerous, or just debilitatingly bland. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts . . . with wonderful results. This anthology also includes the seminal stories that inspired the Rush classics “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones,” as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to the groundbreaking Rush album 2112.

Lilyn brought this one to my attention back in the spring and it’s been hovering on my periphery ever since. Anyone who comes to the site often is probably well aware (too aware, some might say) of how much I love music. I do like stories based on songs (and songs based on stories) because I like to see how that particular author interprets the song. I may not always agree but it’s always interesting.

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So, there you go. Our theoretical list of reading material for fall (that doesn’t include all the new releases).

How are you with these type of things? Do you ever actually read most of the books you put on your lists?

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10 Books We Keep Going Back To

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.So this Top Ten Tuesday was a throwback freebie from Broke and Bookish. Since the site hasn’t been around long enough to dredge up ‘old’ books that we loved, we’re taking this in a slightly different direction. This Tuesday we’re talking about the books that we keep going back to. Books that hold an evergreen appeal for us. It doesn’t matter that we’ve re-read them a thousand times (okay, more like five hundred), we will gladly read them again. Some we found in our childhood, some we just recently discovered.

Feel free to chime in with your evergreen reads! We know with everything that has been happening lately (Harvey, Irma, Katie, Jose, wildfires, earthquakes, etc), we all need a comfort read.

 

 

10 Books We Keep Going Back To

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

How many times I think I’ve read it: 5

 

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another

How many times I think I’ve read it: 4-5

 

 

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) from Dennis E. Taylor

The book cover for We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

How many times I think I’ve read it: 3

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

Book cover for The Martian

How many times I think I’ve read it: 10

 

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

How many times I think I’ve read it: 8

 

GracieKat

Hell House – Richard Matheson

How many times I think I’ve read it: 6

 

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

How many times I think I’ve read it: 10

 

Ghost Story – Peter Straub

How many times i think I’ve read it: 3 – 4

 

The Shining – Stephen King

How many times I think I’ve read it: 4 – 5

 

IT – Stephen King

How many times I think I’ve read IT: 2 – 3


We hope you and your loved ones have been safe, and continue to be safe through everything that has already happened and is lined up to happen. We can’t do much, but we have donated to the Red Cross, and now we’re reaching out with the only comfort we know how to offer. Talk of books.

Ten Times We Toiled to Trudge Through the Type

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Isn’t it lovely when you open a book, and from the very first sentence, time seems to fly? Your fingers flip the pages so fast you’re surprised in retrospect that you didn’t get papercuts. You couldn’t stop reading the book. It was just that awesome. You couldn’t wait to finish it. You didn’t want to finish it! You found your little piece of bookworm heaven.

Yeah, this post isn’t about those books. Sorry.

This is about the books that forced us to focus. That taught us the true meaning of relativity.

To rip-off one of my favorite bad-good movies and turn the phrase into one more fitting:

“You open up a great book, and an hour can seem like a minute. You open up a bad book, and a minute can seem like an hour.”

However, it is worth nothing that some of these books we liked in the end. (Maybe didn’t love, obviously, but liked well enough.)

Top Ten Tuesday topics are provided courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Ten Times We Toiled to Trudge Through the Type

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

I like Alastair Reynolds’ work. I really do. Its just, well, the man has a propensity for turning on the verbal diarrhea and not knowing how to stop it. Revelation Space was truly a trudge for me, and oh dear sweet baby Cthulhu, I want to forget I ever read it. Actually, wait, it was so unmemorable that I’ve basically already forgotten it. Heh!

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

I read it ’cause I said I’d read it. I read it ’cause it was one of those books you’re supposed to read. And I hated it. Then I even watched the movie because everyone said it was so much better. I couldn’t like the movie either. For a relatively thin book, it sure feels like PKD was, er, dicking around a lot.

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Extracted by R.R. Haywood

It puttered around, it stalled in the middle. The dialogue made me giggle. There were flashes of brilliance that were drowned in lakes of mediocrity. It wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been.

Ultimate Verdict: Okay


Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Can I just insert a gigantic yawn here? This is a book that promised one thing (science fiction!) and delivered another (fantasy masquerading as science fiction). There was no payoff in the end, and I can barely remember anything about this book other than it tricked me and I don’t like it.

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson

I’m not sure what was going on in Forty Signs of Rain, but it was KSR at the worst I’ve ever seen him. Dear Cthulhu, nothing happened in this book other than people being people until like the last 30 pages. It was literally a gigantic rant on how climate change is happening and politicians won’t pay attention. I like climate change fics. I agree that politicians need to pay attention! But you don’t need to dress up your rant as a book and then try to shove it down our throats. GAH!

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff 

I generally like Akexandra Sokoloff’s books. I don’t know what the heck happened in this book. The characters are insanely annoying. The detective goes back and forth between belief and disbelief he was like a human yo-yo. And he was a dick to everyone. The witch is pretentious and annoying and rather than hoping they would get together I was hoping they’d fall off a cliff.

Ultimate Verdict: Get. It. Away. From. Me


Just Plain Weird by Tom Upton

This was a book that I was so close to liking. Alas. There were way too many coincidental contrivances. Major plot points are either skimmed over or left totally unanswered. The main character is likable enough but the Love Interest? I think the author was going for Quirky, Unique and Cute but missed and landed on Annoying, Judgmental, and Psychotic.

Ultimate Verdict: Just Plain Contrived


House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

This book is creepy and interesting but holy Cthulhu. The footnotes, all the footnotes, annotations along with the kitchen sink that I’m sure is hiding in there make this a pretty hefty book to slog through. I’d recommend the full color edition. I don’t know how much different the reading experience is but it’s prettier.

Ultimate Verdict: Worth the trek but you better carve out a good month or so.


Rage of Spirits by Noel Hynd

So, so boring. To give you an idea I’ll quote myself and my Goodreads notation: “This book is moving so slow. I think it fell asleep.” I know I sure did. A lot. It took me five months to finish this book and made me very disinterested in reading any others by Noel Hynd.

Ultimate Verdict: Yawn


Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas 

It can be a fascinating book at times and at others a bit pedantic. It also reads a bit more into some things that I can’t agree with. It also overrates the Paranormal Activity series more than it should. I’m sure my antipathy toward that series has long been known. however, it raises some interesting questions about the nature of the Found Footage sub-genre and the viewer’s reaction to it. It also lists quite a few that are not very well known.

Ultimate Verdict: Interesting but only if you’re deeply interested in the film industry and this sub-genre in particular.


So, dear readers, what books did you toil to trudge through? Everyone’s is different, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you loved one of the ones we whomped on with dismay.

A Few of Sci-Fi & Horror’s Hidden Gems

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.There are books that everyone talks about. Ender’s Game, N0S4A2, IT, just to name a few. Thousands of people read them. Even people who haven’t read them generally know what book you’re talking about when you say the title. And, love or hate them, you can’t deny that they’re the celebrities of their genre. And they’re generally good, too. But it doesn’t hurt that the writers got picked up by major publishing houses, are related to someone in the industry, or have just been prolific enough that everyone knows their name.

It is what it is, and stories about stories that garnered acclaim on the weight of the story alone are rare. Sometimes, even books repped by major publishing houses get shoved to the side rather quickly. And that’s just…life. Sucks, but again, it is what it is.

However, for this Top Ten Tuesday (brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish), we’re going to look at a few of sci-fi & horror’s hidden gems. These ones may be new, they may have been around for a while. They might be repped by one of the big five, or a tiny little 1 man publishing house you’ve never heard of it. None of that matters. What does matter is that these books deserve your attention just as much as the bright and shiny books do.

They just need their chance to shine.

 

A Few of Sci-Fi & Horror’s Hidden Gems

Phaethon by Rachel Sharp – Sci-Fi & Fantasy – with a measly 29 ratings and 12 reviews on Goodreads. It’s not gonna blow your mind, but it will thoroughly entertain you when you need to turn your brain off and just enjoy something.

Book cover for Phaethon

 

Apophis by Caron Rider – Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction – One of the more interesting, imaginative takes on the post-apocalyptic world that you’ll see. What happens when humanity evolves along two separate lines when the world ends?  A ridiculous 5 ratings and 5 reviews on Goodreads. So many of you would enjoy this book if you actually read it!

Book cover for Apophis

Guns, Gods, and Robots by Brady Koch -4 ratings, 3 reviews on Goodreads.  A collection of science fiction and horror short stories that actually held my attention. A collection of science fiction and short stories that held my attention. Yes, I repeated myself and I did it for a reason. While you see anthologies listed on this site, they’re almost exclusively reviewed by Grace. I like my stories to be in depth, so it takes something special in a collection to make me glad I picked it up.

The Killbug Eulogies by Will Madden is the newest entry on this list in terms of publication date, but it’s a few months old and still only has 9 ratings and 8 reviews. If you follow me on Twitter, or even just read this site regularly, you’ll know that I have a very base sense of humor. When I’m not laughing at fart jokes, I’m cracking up at dry British humor, so I tend to run the gamut, but regardless, for a book to amuse me, it’s really got to hit a specific series of notes. This book had me rolling, y’all. You need to give it a go.

The Killbug Eulogies

New Tales of the Yellow Sign by Robin Laws – With 8 reviews and 60 ratings this book based in the King in Yellow universe really deserves to be more widely known. Even if you’ve never read the actual King in Yellow stories these are just good, solid horror stories all the way around.

Shadows in the Asylum: The Case Files of Dr. Charles Marsh by D.A. Stern – Set up to look like actual files it’s not all gimmick and no story. The story is solidly creepy and if you decide to give it a look I urge you to get the physical book. The kindle version tries admirably to recreate the illusion of it but the physical book really sells the idea of it.

The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff – This one probably has more ratings than most of the other books on here but is still way too unknown. It actually brought tears to my eyes and that’s not easy to do. I highly recommend it but I’m also hesitant to because of the subject matter. It might bother some people. It’s a short but powerful book.

They Return at Evening by H.R. Wakefield – These are classics that are majorly overlooked. Wakefield is often compared to M.R. James which really does Wakefield a disservice. Not that I don’t love James but Wakefield keeps his horror creepy, chilling and descriptive but doesn’t dive fully into the gore pool.

The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII – edited by Karl Edward Wagner – I recently re-read this because it had been a while and I have to say the stories in it are fantastic! Published in 1994 if you can find a copy I strongly suggest it because it’s a great mix and there’s sure to be something to please everyone. And the editor’s notes are hilarious.


So, there you have it ladies and gents. Another entry into our “For the love of Sweet Baby Cthulhu, would you please read these ruddy books?!” log for everyone.

So, uh… “For the love of Sweet Baby Cthulhu, would you please read these ruddy books?!”

Kthxbai!

(Psst: If you did a post like this, feel free to let us know so we can check yours out!!)

 

 

The New High School Reading List

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.So, how many times do you look fondly back on the books you were forced to read in English class? I know, I know, once we get older we ‘develop an appreciation’ for things. But, eh, I call bull$%@& on that for the most part. The Catcher in the Rye? Romeo and Juliet? (Okay, alright, yes, how dare I poo-poo the teaching of Shakespeare! But, I mean, seriously? You’re going to teach about ‘star-crossed’ lovers to a bunch of teens who are thinking more with their nether regions than their brains that its the ultimate love story to have the feels for someone so badly you’d rather die than live without them? TEENS?!) Wuthering Heights? The soap opera of the world before television? (Sorry, Gracie!) While there are some fantastic books that are taught (I’m blatantly ignoring the fact that some teachers apparently try to be hip by teaching Twilight), doesn’t our reading list need a bit of an update?

So, when Broke and Bookish gave us a Back to School Freebie, we decided to commit the ultimate no-no, and screw with The High School Reading List. Du-du-dum!

Forgive us, English teachers everywhere, for we have sinned. (But not too badly, because we kept a few of the best ones around.)

 

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The New High School Reading List

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Why we should keep it: Just look around. This book is scarily relevant. That’s reason enough.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Why we should teach it: Because it teaches Other in a way anyone can understand.

Damocles by S.G. Redding

Why we should teach it: Because it’s a first contact novel that isn’t a huge series, isn’t all about war, and showcases the beauty in connections that can happen when you’re willing to look past each other’s physical differences.

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Why we should teach it: Because it discusses non-binary genders, expands upon the idea of survival in space beyond what everyone else writes about, and makes the reader think about not only the immediate impact of their actions but the far-reaching ripples as well.

The Dean Machine by Dylan Lee Peters

Why we should teach it: Because it’s a book that makes you think. It could provoke hours of discussion in the classroom on everything from ethics to simply the recognizable homages in the book. Because, ultimately, it’s a book that will make readers uncomfortable, and we all need that sometimes.

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

Why we should teach it: Because it is a classic example of an unreliable narrator. It’s ending and themes virtually guarantee an interesting class discussion.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Why we should teach it: It is an excellent study in personal responsibility as Dr, Jekyll is not a saint. He does not wish to separate himself from evil but merely wishes to ‘Hyde’ behind him.

The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction – Dorothy Scarborough

Why we should teach it: It’s good to know the roots and evolution of any kind of literature. Horror fiction is no different.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson

Why we should teach it: With the psychological aspects of it and part mystery it is guaranteed to create some interesting discussions in a classroom.

Out of Tune – Edited by Jonathan Maberry

Why we should teach it: Why? Well, music appreciation, of course. And the fact that the stories are based on old ballads and poems, which would give a deeper meaning to music to know where it came from and how it’s evolved.

 


Well, there you go. We decided to keep this post fairly minimalist, but I think we got our point across.

What about you? What books have you read since ‘growing up’ that you think should have been taught in high school, and why?

 

The Top Ten Worst Horror Movies of the Last Decade

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Okay, it’s a sad fact that it is far easier to make a list of bad horror movies than good ones. So we tried to make it a bit harder by choosing the absolute worst horror movie from each decade for the last ten years. Keep in mind, this list is only of movies that we’ve actually seen. So, while we’re certain there are some far worse movies out there, these are the stinkers that stood out to us. (And because we’re nice ladies, we also gave you a list of movies to watch instead from those years as well.)

Broke and Bookish are taking a break until August 15th with their topics for Top Ten Tuesday, so we’re going to fill the slot with some movie related lists until they’re back at it!

 

 

 

 


 

The Top Ten Worst Horror Movies of the Last Decade

 

2017

The Bye Bye Man

Synopsis: Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind unspeakable acts.

The stupid. Just..the stupid. That’s all I can say. The only thing I can give them credit for is avoiding the one cliche move with the little girl at the end.

IMDB Rating: 4.3

Watch Instead: Get Out

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2016

The Blair Witch

Synopsis: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

 I refused to watch this one on principle. And after reading Gracie’s review, I’m damned glad I did.

GracieKat: I loved the original and I was very sad that this was such a mess. It had a lot of potential to it.

IMDB Rating: 5.0

Watch instead: The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

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2015

The Gallows

Synopsis: 20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but soon discover that some things are better left alone.

I still remember how annoying the characters were. Just thinking about this movie makes me hunch up my shoulders and shudder.

IMDB Rating: 4.2

Watch instead: A Christmas Horror Story

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2014

As Above, So Below

Movie cover for As Above So Below

Synopsis: When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.

Honestly, I know that I watched this one, but I’m pretty sure I was reading a book at the same time, it was so blah.

GracieKat: I generally don’t get sick from the found footage style of movie but this one made me a bit queasy and headachy. The main actress was kind of blah and they really didn’t make as much use of the catacombs as they could have.

IMDB Rating: 6.2

Watch Instead: Deliver Us From Evil

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2013

The Green Inferno

Synopsis: A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.

 Oh, lookit, an hour of torture, almost torture, and public humiliation. *yawn*

IMDB Rating: 5.4

Watch instead: Oculus

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2012

The Apparition

Synopsis: A couple is haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment.

 Everyone said this movie sucked. I was in a recalcitrant mood, so I rented it anyways. Dear god, it sucked.

IMDB Rating: 4.1

Watch instead: Sinister (NOT THE SECOND ONE!)

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2011

Silent House

Synopsis: A girl is trapped inside her family’s lakeside retreat and becomes unable to contact the outside world as supernatural forces haunt the house with mysterious energy and consequences.

Look, 2011 sucked in terms of horror movies in general. This one gets this list because a gimmick is not a strong enough reason to make a movie.

GracieKat: Yup. There’s only so many shots you can watch of a girl hiding and covering her mouth that you can watch until you long for a bit of plot to get going. 

IMDB Rating: 5.3

Watch instead: The Innkeepers

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2010

The Nightmare on Elm Street reboot

Synopsis: The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.

Do I really need to detail all the reasons this movie sucked? ‘Cause…ain’t nobody got time for that.

GracieKat: I…don’t want to talk about it *sniff*

IMDB Rating: 5.2

Watch instead: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

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2009

The Human Centipede

Synopsis: A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums.

“You know what would be so disgusting? If a bunch of people were trapped ass to mouth.” “Disgusting means scary, right, dude?” “Yeah, man. Totally means scary!” “Oh, okay. Well, here’s  some money. Make the scary film, dude!”

GracieKat: I never wanted to watch it and the pictures that popped up definitely does not make me regret that decision.

IMDB Rating: 4.4

Watch instead: Drag Me to Hell

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2008

The Eye

Synopsis: A woman receives an eye transplant that allows her to see into the supernatural world.

 While I am a firm admirer of Jessica Alba’s…well, not her brains or or acting ability … this movie had absolutely nothing going for it. Not all J-Horror flicks need to be Americanized, yeah?

IMDB Rating: 5.4

Watch instead: Pontypool

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2007

The Girl Next Door

Synopsis: Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt…and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.

Torture, brainwashing, child abuse, torture, brainwashing, child abuse. Oh gee, look, more torture, brainwashing, and child abuse. With a side of murder, rape and all that lovely stuff. *eyeroll*

IMDB Rating: 6.7

Watch instead: 28 Weeks Later

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Are there any movies you guys found absolutely uninteresting that we missed? Drop a comment down below. You’re free to try and defend a favorite that we tanked, nicely of course or we will have to sic Coolthulhu on you.

The Best Sci-Fi and Horror Books We’ve Read In 2017 So Far

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This is the big one, the one we’ve all been — Nah. It’s not that one. But what it is time for is our listing of the best books we’ve read so far far in 2017. Gracie and I both picked 5 to share with you. I have to say, counting just books with more than 150 pages, I’ve read 121 books this year, and only a handful of them even got considered for this list. It’s been mostly a ‘meh’ year thus far. I hope the second half is better or the Best Books of 2017 list is going to be seriously difficult to do! Our lists are ranked from least best to most awesome.

As usual, Broke and Bookish are responsible for the TTT prompt.

 

 

 

 


The Top Ten Science Fiction and Horror Books We’ve Read in 2017 So Far

Lilyn’s Picks:

Book cover for Killing Gravity

5. Killing Gravity by Corey J. White

Killing Gravity Synopsis: Mariam Xi can kill you with her mind. She escaped the MEPHISTO lab where she was raised as a psychic supersoldier, which left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.

Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.

Read my review here.

 

 

 

 

Book cover for When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie

4. When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

When Worlds Collide Synopsis: A runaway planet hurtles toward the earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans. A crackling plot and sizzling, cataclysmic vision have made When Worlds Collide one of the most popular and influential end-of-the-world novels of all time.

Read my review here.

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover for Kill Switch3. Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry

Kill Switch Synopsis: What do you do when the power goes off?

A terrorist group has acquired one hundred E-bombs. Each bomb’s electromagnetic pulse is powerful enough to blow out all power and all technology from a major city. The terrorists plan to hit one hundred American cities in a campaign of destruction. Word has gotten out about the coming blackout and gangs, criminals and terrorist strike teams are poised to attack when the lights go out.

Joe Ledger knows how to stop them. He has the names, locations, abort codes. But a targeted EMP weapon kills the electronics aboard his plane. Joe crashes in the deepest and most remote part of the vast rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Joe and his combat dog, Ghost, survive the crash -but they are lost in the wilderness with no weapons and no way to get the information to the authorities.

Time is running out. And Joe is being hunted by a terrifying new kind of assassin. A team of remote viewers have the ability to take over any person and turn ordinary citizens into killers.

Joe and Ghost may have to kill the innocent in order to save the entire country from falling during a night of darkness and mass murder.

Read my review here.

 

Book cover for Devil's Colony2. The Devil’s Colony by Bill Schweigart

The Devil’s Colony SynopsisThe greatest monster is man. From the author of The Beast of Barcroft and Northwoods comes a chilling descent into the depths of horror and human depravity.

Ben McKelvie had a good job, a nice house, a beautiful fiancée . . . until a bloodthirsty shapeshifter took everything away. Ever since, he’s been chasing supernatural phenomena all across the country, aided by dedicated zoologist Lindsay Clark and wealthy cryptozoologist Richard Severance.

Now they face their deadliest challenge yet. In the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a man named Henry Drexler operates a private compound called Välkommen, which is Swedish for “welcome.” Indeed, Drexler welcomes all visitors—so long as they’re racists, neo-Nazis, or otherwise in cahoots with the alt-right. But Drexler is no mere Hitler wannabe. Once he was Severance’s mentor, and his research may well have summoned a monster to the Pine Barrens.

To find out the truth, Ben and Lindsay must enter the camp incognito. There, under the watchful eyes of Drexler’s bodyguards and sociopathic son, they will learn that the most dangerous beasts lurk in the human heart.

Read my review here.

 

 

Book cover for Stone Cold Bastards1. Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

Stone Cold Bastards Synopsis: Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.

Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.

Humanity’s last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles—including a cigar chomping, hard-ass grotesque—come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.

Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the Sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.

All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last Sanctuary is about to fall.

Read my review here.

 

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Gracie’s Picks:

5.  The Minstrel’s BargainRichard Ayre

The Minstrel’s Bargain Synopsis:   ‘A tale of horror, hell and heavy metal.’
Newcastle. 1988….
They say that music is the food of love. Reporter Phil Sturgess would disagree with this. He would argue that some music is the stuff of nightmares. Some music can literally tear out your soul and drag it, kicking and screaming, down to hell itself.
Sturgess loves rock music. He loves it so much he makes a living from it. But when he hears of a band called Minstrel’s Bargain, Sturgess’ life descends into horror. As the city he lives in succumbs to ever more violent and macabre episodes of grisly murders and barbarous acts of self-destruction, Sturgess begins to understand that there is something very wrong with Minstrel’s Bargain. Something very wrong indeed.
With time running out for humanity, Sturgess is threatened with an age old evil. And to stop that evil he is forced to confront the terrifying stranger who has been dogging his footsteps for months. The only question is; will Sturgess do what needs to be done? If not, the souls of millions will be destroyed.
Sturgess has to make a choice. Fight or flight? Heaven or Hell? Live or die? Whatever he chooses, it will be a Devil of a decision.

Read My Review Here

 

 

4. Crow Shine Alan Baxter

Crow Shine Synopsis: The dark fantasy collection features 19 stories, including the Australian Shadows Award-winning “Shadows of the Lonely Dead”; and original title story “Crow Shine” in addition to two other never before published stories.

Read My Review Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Rites of Azathoth Frank Cavallo

Rites of Azathoth Synopsis:  F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.

To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.

The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.

Read My Review Here

 

 

 

2. The Longest Con Michaelbrent Collings

The Longest Con Synopsis:  Larry Correia. Kevin J. Anderson. D.J. Butler. Orson Scott Card. Mercedes Yardley. 

Would you like to know – I mean, REALLY know – what they’re doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain’t just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.
Of course, you probably already knew that.
But did you ALSO know that…
every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I’M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell book

s, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It’s not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you’d never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

Luckily, though, you don’t have to guess.

JUST READ THIS BOOK.

And get ready to have . . . your . . . mind . . . BLOWN.*

* Disclaimer: your mind may or may not be blown.

Read My Review Here

 

1. Wicked Witchesedited by Scott T. Goudsward, David Price and Daniel G. Keohane

Wicked Witches Synopsis:  New England has a rich, dark history with the supernatural. From this region many writers of dark fiction have fueled their stories. One chapter in history has been the stuff of legends and nightmares: the Witch. Look to ancient mythology or your next door neighbor and you will find them, practicing arts both Dark and Light. The New England Horror Writers proudly present a new anthology which pays tribute to those whose ancestors were accused, hung, pressed, drowned, or burned at the stake. Enter these pages, wander the hard roads of Colonial America or modern corporate boardrooms, to face the Witch. Wicked Witches, fiction from New England’s most talented writers: G.D. Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter N. Dudar, Jeremy Flagg, Joshua Goudreau, Catherine Grant, Jan Kozlowski, Patrick Lacey, Izzy Lee, Nick Manzolillo, John McIlveen, Paul McMahon, James A. Moore, Errick A. Nunnally, Ogmios, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Doug Rinaldi, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, K.H. Vaughan, Morven Westfield and Trisha J. Wooldridge Introduction by Penny Dreadful; Cover art by Mikio Murakami

Read My Review Here

Ten Books That Define Me (Us)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Imagine that you could introduce yourself to someone by showing them your bookshelf. What ten books would you put on that shelf that would give people a glimpse into who you are? They might not be all your favorites, but books that resonated with you in some fashion.

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was supposed to be about series you wanted to start. Er, that doesn’t work too well for us since we can’t think of a single series we want to start. So we chose to gleefully derail the train for this week, and instead do something else. But, as usual, Broke and Bookish is responsible for bringing you the topics every week. They can’t help if it if we occasionally don’t listen well.

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These are the Ten Books That Define Me (Lilyn)

Book cover for Stone Cold BastardsThe Book: Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

The Reason: The violence tempered with humor that pervades the book. I am not someone who screams and shouts when I get upset, but I do have a violent streak that’s only tempered with some very dark humor at times.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The Johnson ProjectThe Book: The Johnson Project by Maggie Spence

The Reason: The logical way the family in the book handle the responsibility of their cure for humanity appeals. Appeals so much. This amount of common sense makes me happy.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The Mammoth HuntersThe Book: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

The Reason: This is two-fold. The first is Ayla herself. She’s intelligent yet naive. She has trouble grasping social cues and often wants to just do the thing that it makes sense to her to do. I identify strongly with Ayla. The second is the rich detail that Auel uses to paint her pre-history world. Though I am not one that loves the thick fantasy books, I love sinking into one of these books and living in that pre-history world which is so believable.

 

 

 

 


 

 

The Book: House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The Reason: Because House of Robots appeals to my inner child on a massive level. This series is pretty much perfect in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for Naked in DeathThe Book: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

The Reason: Eve and her inability to grasp why the hell humans act so…human. (Are you sensing a theme here?) She’s a complete hardass that’s tormented by her past, and it would be much easier if people just did the logical thing (and also didn’t try to kill each other.) Plus, she’s got a violent streak. Oh, and there’s Roarke, who is pretty much the definition of “Let us engage in act of coitus! Multiple times!” for me.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After AnotherThe Book: Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The Reason: I’m pretty sure Markum is my spirit animal. Beyond that, the unbridled enthusiasm that Max brings to anything she’s fascinated with, the absolute clumsiness she exhibits, and the snark that slips out of her mouth on an every-other-word basis. If there was anyone that came closest to being me in book form – it’s Max. With a side of Markum.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for MagoniaThe Book: Magonia by Mariah Devanah Headley

The Reason: My daughter. Reading this book will make you understand how love and pain and life and the threat of death can all twine together so closely its almost impossible to tell one from the other.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Damocles by S.G. Redling - 10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by WomenThe Book: Damocles by S.G. Redding

The Reason: Because it captures one of the primary reasons I love science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good military sci-fi, and a good sci-fi horror fic or flick can never go wrong. However, Damocles is all about the wonder and the possibilities in meeting an alien race. It’s gorgeous and touching and imaginative and… perfect.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The MartianThe Book: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Reason: Watney’s snark coupled with his inability to give up. That’s it in a nutshell. Mostly his snark, though.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Apocalypse CowThe Book: Apocalypse Cow

The Reason: The puns, the horny cows, it’s all there. If you don’t at least snicker looking at the cover for this book, then I’m afraid we simply don’t stand a chance of being friends.

The Re-Moo Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Book: Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Reason: Because it’s proof that I’m female? Nah, this one gets included just because its my favorite book, and I think that even if I can’t ‘identify’ with it or anything like that, the fact that it is my favorite does mean it deserves a place on this list. As long as whomever is looking at my shelf keeps in mind that it’s the only romance book on here. So, y’know, pulling the mooshy-gooshy with me has a slim chance of ever actually working. And I mainly like this book for the *-ahem-*. Well, it’s not for the exquisite plot, I’ll tell you that much. Not exactly a Catcher in the Rye type novel, yeah? Heh.

The Review.

 

 

 


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These are the Ten Books That Define Me (GracieKat)

The Book: Complete Collection of H.P. Lovecraft – H.P. Lovecraft

Reason: This should surprise exactly no one that knows me but I love the Cthulhu Mythos. I love most of the stories that don’t even have anything to do with the actual Mythos (except the Dream Cycle, I just can’t get into those). After getting tired of D. Seuss and Goodnight Moon I started reading Lovecraft to him. Worked like a charm. Plus, I find the deep ocean terrifying. Who knows what could be lurking down there?

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Book: Shock Rock – edited by Jeff Gelb

Reason: I love horror, I love music and I love short stories. Put them all together and hot damn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Book: Out of Tune – edited by Jonathan Maberry

Reason: Ok, this might seem like a bit of a repeat but hear me out. Shock Rock is more about modern music while Out of Tune is based more on folklore and balladry, which is the root of all modern music. Plus, people who talk about modern music being violent and filled with sex have obviously never encountered a murder ballad or raunchy tavern song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Book: A Pleasing Terror – M.R. James

Reason: I love classic horror and a lot of the stories are either completely dark or humorous. James has a knack for keeping his stories can be extremely dark or have slight touches of a dry humour to them that I enjoy very much. I don’t mind a bit of lap-stick comedy now and then but in general I prefer dry, caustic humour that can scorch as easily as it can make you laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction – Dorothy Scarborough

Reason: I like reading about the history of things. Well, I’ll qualify that. I like learning the history of things I really like. At the end I was making a list of all the stories I wanted to look for. If anyone else has any more that they know of I’d love to hear them because I’ve read all of mine several times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Reason: I really love Jane Austen and the reason I chose Mansfield Park in particular is because it gets dumped on so much. The heroine isn’t bright and sparkly and witty. She’s quiet, very timid and shy. I can certainly relate. Before I was the dazzling personage you see before you I was very shy with no confidence at all. I like Fanny a lot. Even though she is all of those things listed she also has an inner strength that I find endearing. She doesn’t cave in to peer pressure and does not bow to pressure to marry someone she is not in love with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: 365 Silver Screams – Bryan Senn

Reason: I love movies. A lot.  If you were to look at my movie shelves that’s almost the only kind of movie I have. I have been falling behind a bit in my movies but I’m very  stuck in my routines and I’m very adverse to change so I like to re-watch things a lot. Which brings me to another thing I love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: Silent Hill 2 –  Sadamu Yamashita

Reason: I love video games and of all the different types or genres I love survival horror. They usually have unique stories to them. My first foray into the genre was the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 3 as a matter of fact. Of them all I love Silent Hill 2 the best. It’s filled with intriguing characters, great music, symbolism and one hell of a twist at the end. I won’t mention it here, suffice it to say that it was the first game to make my jaw hit the floor in shock. If you’re curious, the second game to make me do that was the end of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.  Thus, my obsession with horror games had begun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Book: Dracula – Bram Stoker

Reason: This is one of the first horror novels I ever read and as such it holds a very dear place in my heart. It also got me hooked on vampires. Throughout my teen years I devoured a ton of vampire books, movies and more. I’m not really sure why Dracula has been pegged as the start of the ‘sexy’ vampire (personally, I think Anne Rice holds that dubious distinction). If you really listen to the descriptions he does not sound sexy. At all. Distinguished at times, perhaps but sexy? C’mon! He has stinky breath and hairy palms. And we all know what that means. Don’t even get me started on the movie: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or, by all means ask, just be prepared for a rant a mile long.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Book: The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

Reason: I generally don’t stray too far from my horror zone but when I do I prefer off-beat, somewhat darker titles. It’s a book that has no real conclusion or closure. It’s a bit different in that you know the end from the very beginning but are wondering what happens along the way. There is a ‘captive princesses’ theme with the neighborhood male teens fancying themselves the knights in shining armour. I’m not really sure what genre this book is in. If I had to choose one it would probably be of the avoidable tragedy dramatic variety. It’s also told in a distantly obsessive way that’s interesting to me.


Our Favorite Dads in Sci-Fi & Horror

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This isn’t going to be a TTT that just draws from books. Because, for as much as we read, it’s hard to think of dads in science fiction and horror. At least that aren’t weird or disgusting or, y’know, murderous. And it’s for that reason that we also need to clarify that this list of our favorite dads in sci-fi and horror may not include all blood-related fathers, but also step-fathers, honorary fathers, and father figures. This is also not a list in any particular order.

Psst: As usual, the prompts for Top Ten Tuesday are provided courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

 


Our Favorite Dads in Sci-Fi & Horror

  1. Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Okay, while I had a seriously skeevy crush on the old man in tweed when I was younger, even I can admit he was also a great father figure to Buffy and the crew. I wanted him for his intelligence and his books. They needed him for everything else. And they got it. Giles stepped up for the crew in a way that no one could have expected, and I loved the family unit that they became, trials and allIcre Cream Gif.
  2. Bobby Singer from Supernatural. Can anyone argue there’s a more awesome father figure out there? Bobby has no obligation to Sam and Dean, and yet he would give his life for them. He loves the kids, comes to their rescue, and has no problem letting them know when they’re being ‘idjits’. And they are. Idjits, that is. Quite regularly. There might have been sniffles involved in the real world when Bobby Singer finally bit it.
  3. Professor X from X-Men. Okay, this is solely based off the movies. And we’re talking the Patrick Stewart Professor X. Not the weird reboot with the dude from Split. But Professor Xavier was awesome. Who didn’t want him to show up at your door, take you to a school where there were others just like you, and teach you to be a super-hero? Okay, he wasn’t perfect, and he was definitely the distant father-figure type, but you knew that he cared and that he was regularly trying to save the world. So totally earns his place on this list.Idits gif
  4. Harry from Silent Hill (game, not movie): While Harry in the movies was a good guy, Harry from the game was an awesome dad in a very strange situation. He and his wife originally found Cheryl after Cheryl was split off from the main girl, Alessa. Harry and his wife adopted Cheryl. After his wife’s death, when Cheryl was 7, they went back to the town of Silent Hill. Cheryl was rejoined with her other half, Alessa. After Alessa was killed she split herself into another baby and gave it to Harry. Harry took the baby, whom he named Heather and raised her until his death, when Heather was 17. So, to sum it up, Harry raised an adopted daughter until she went missing and literally went through hell trying to get her back. At her “death” he raised the baby left with him. Caring for Heather and protecting her from the cult that was trying to reclaim her. On the dad scale he gets a ten from me.
  5. Arthur Kritikos from Thir13een Ghosts. Ok, you can argue whether the movie is good or bad forever but one thing you can’t argue with is that Arthur is a great dad. After the useless nanny runs off with the kids and then gets separated from them, Arthur spends the rest of his time trying to get his family back together. He even leaps through spinning death rings to get to his kids. (Lilyn says: Executive decision – we both think its awesome, so if you don’t, you can go state your opinion somewhere else. Hmph.)

That’s all we have in terms of our favorite dads in sci-fi and horror. Let’s face it, in these two particular genres, good dads are a bit hard to find.  However, there’s some bonus content below this adorable video, so keep reading!

Bonus content: 5 Awesome Men Who Suck as Dads in Sci-Fi & Horror

  1. John Winchester from Supernatural – Okay, the lusty part of me looks at John Winchester and just thinks grownup thoughts, but when I can shove my hormones to the side for a moment, you have to admit, he’s an awesome dude. Sucks as a dad, considering he basically left his kids to raise themselves frequently, or foisted them off on Bobby, but an awesome ass-kicking monster hunter.
  2. Mr. Church from Joe Ledger – His relationship with his (known) child, Circe, tends to consist of “we don’t acknowledge our relationship ever”. And even when people get in on the know, he never goes out of his way to be dad. However, when push comes to shove, he will unleash hell to protect his daughter.
  3. Walter Bishop from Fringe – Crazy, lovable, previously psychotic Walter. He’s a genius, funny as hell, batshit crazy….and absolutely sucks as a father. He gets an A for effort though!
  4. Jack Taggart, Sr.  from Jeepers Creepers 2 – Okay, yeah, he’s not exactly a great dad, but the man does get vengeance for the Creeper’s nabbing his boy for spare parts in fairly epic stabby fashion. I don’t think anyone can disagree how awesome the harpooning of the Creeper is and that’s not enough for him. And then there’s the wheeelchair scene.
  5. Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid – Big Boss may not win any Dad of the Year awards but you can’t deny he’s one kick-ass mercenary. Creating a non-UN nation dedicated to freelance mercenaries takes a lot of time. It also requires the ability to recognize talent. Whether it’s in the soldiering department or brainiacs to create mobilized, nuclear armed mechs. His kids/clones don’t really want to spend Thanksgiving with him (especially after the whole Zanzibar Land incident) but he comes through in a big way for small countries struggling to make it on their own.

 

If you missed our Mother’s Day post(s), you can find them here and here.

Ten Creepy Kids Books I’ve Added to My TBR Lately

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.For this Tuesday’s Top Ten List, we’re going to be looking at ten creepy kids books that I’ve added to my TBR lately. These books aren’t necessarily ones you would find in the kids horror section, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an unsettling look or feel to them! (I feel it only fair to state that I’ve read or am in the proces of reading at least half of these, but technically I *did* just recently add them to my TBR, so it counts! – LG)

As usual, Top Ten Tuesday prompts are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Covers link to Goodreads.

 

 

Ten Creepy Kids Books I’ve Added to My TBR Lately

Book cover for Shadow Weaver

Shadow Weaver – MarcyKate Connolly – Jan 2, 2018 – Purchase on Amazon

The shadows that surround us aren’t always as they seem…Emmeline has grown up with a gift. Since the time she was a baby she has been able to control shadows. And her only friend and companion is her own shadow, Dar.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

With the noble’s guards on her trail, Emmeline’s only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline’s not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it’s hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.

The first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology, MarcyKate Connolly weaves a tale filled with shadows, danger, and magic that has the feel of a new classic.

Book cover for The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street – LIndsay Currie – October 10th, 2017 – Purchase on Amazon

A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.

Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.

When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.

With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!

Book cover for GhostlightGhostlight – Sonia Gensler – August 4th, 2015 – Purchase on Amazon

Avery is looking forward to another summer at Grandma’s farm, at least until her brother says he’s too old for “Kingdom,” the imaginary world they’d spent years creating. Lucky for her, there’s a new kid staying in the cottage down the road: a city boy with a famous dad, Julian’s more than a little full of himself, but he’s also a storyteller like Avery. So when he announces his plan to film a ghost story, Avery is eager to join in.

Unfortunately, Julian wants to film at Hilliard House, a looming, empty mansion that Grandma has absolutely forbidden her to enter. As terrified as Avery is of Grandma’s wrath, the allure of filmmaking is impossible to resist.

As the kids explore the secrets of Hilliard house, eerie things begin to happen, and the “imaginary” dangers in their movie threaten to become very real. Have Avery and Julian awakened a menacing presence? Can they turn back before they go too far?

 

Book cover for Ghost KnightGhost Knight – Cornelia Funke – May 1st, 2012 Purchase on Amazon

Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure…

Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there’s just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?

 

 

 

Book cover for Time of Blood Time of Blood – Robin Jarvis – July 25th, 2017

Whitby has never been a more sinister and dangerous place to be, and the murdered dead refuse to rest in peace…

Trapped in Whitby’s Victorian past, with no hope of getting home, Lil and Verne must seek a way to destroy the invincible Whitby has never been a more sinister and dangerous place to be, and the murdered dead refuse to rest in peace. Mister Dark, whose malignant presence threatens everyone’s future. Fortunately the two young friends make surprising allies; Nannie Burden – the Whitby witch of the time, Brodribb – a mysterious man of many disguises, the secretive aufwaders beneath the cliff and a holidaying theatre manager called Abraham.

 

 

Book cover for Thornhill

Thornhill  – Pam Smy – August 29, 2017 – Purchase on Amazon

Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.

1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

 

Book cover for The Dead Boys

The Dead Boys – Royce Buckingham – September 10th, 2010 Purchase on Amazon

There’s a dark side to Teddy’s new town…

When Teddy Mathews moves to Richland, his main concern is making new friends. But something is not right about this quiet desert town: All the boys he meets seem to vanish before his eyes, while the imposing shadows of the giant tree outside his house appear to be hiding more than darkness.

With the branches of the massive sycamore scratching at his window, Teddy’s life becomes a waking nightmare that no one else believes. Can Teddy escape the tree’s terrifying grasp and solve the mystery of the missing boys before he becomes the next boy to disappear?

 

Book cover for I Text Dead People

I Text Dead People – Rose Cooper – June 9th, 2015 – Purchase on Amazon

You can’t block the dead.

Annabel Craven hopes she’ll fit in—maybe even be popular—at the Academy. She’s worried she’ll stay friendless and phoneless (it’s true). But when she finds a mysterious phone in the woods near the cemetery, one of her problems is solved . . . and another one is just beginning.

Someone won’t stop texting her. And that someone seems . . . dead. How is Annabel supposed to make friends when her phone keeps blowing up with messages from the afterlife? And what will happen if she doesn’t text back?

 

 

Book cover for The Ghost by the SeaThe Ghost by the Sea – Eileen Dunlop – December  1996 –  Purchase on Amazon

While a guest at Culaloe, Robin discovers that the spirit of Milly, a young girl who tragically drowned prior to World War I, is haunting the house, and she and her cousin, John, begin a search for answers to the mysterious happenings involving their family.

 

 

 

 

Book cover for The Stone Child The Stone Child – Dan Poblocki – August 5th, 2009Purchase on Amazon

What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real?

Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That’s why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen years ago. Even better, Eddie finds a handwritten, never-before-seen Nathaniel Olmstead book printed in code and befriends Harris, who’s as much an Olmsteady as he is. But then the frightening creatures of Olmstead’s books begin to show up in real life, and Eddie’s dream turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Harris, and their new friend, Maggie, must break Olmstead’s code, banish all gremlins and monster lake-dogs from the town of Gatesweed, and solve the mystery of the missing author, all before Eddie’s mom finishes writing her own tale of terror and brings to life the scariest creature of all.

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

I know, I know,  there’s not a single Neil Gaiman book on this list. And I didn’t include the Night Gardner. But this isn’t a list of top ten creepiest kids book, but a list of the top ten creepy kids books I’ve added to my TBR lately.

So tell me, what creepy kids books would you recommend I add to my list?