The Friday Buzz: Horror will thrill in '07

Could it be a shock to anyone that The UK Independent hails horror writing as "one of the coolest literary trends of 2007?"

Horror even has a subgenre to replace chick lit: Called Para Porn (catchy, in a perverted sort of way), these "paranormal romances" are being marketed by publishers such as Piatkus, Headline, Orion and Time Warner. (Might any of you horror-savvy readers out there give me a few titles in this genre?)

Why the surge in horror/fantasy/sci-fi? LitLove has been exploring the topic -- with great subtlety and perception, as usual. The Indpendent speculates that "what meaning 21st-century readers are seeking in the new horror is disputed:"

(Publisher) Gollancz's (editor) Jo Fletcher is convinced that the prevailing culture of fear created by the "war on terror" and rising crime has helped create a market for books in which fear is contained, even though unknown "others" haunt the page. "When things are going well in the world people are less interested in horror," she claims. "When times are dark, then horror becomes more popular."

Gee, what insight. Good to know we have erudite editors manning the helm of the next literary trend.

Anyway, here are some upcoming titles for those who like their lit dark and mysterious:
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Stephen King's son) (Gollancz, March)
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (Canongate, March)
Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert (Bantam, April)


Brandon said...

I read horror from time to time, but I haven't been a fan of it since high school. It ran out of steam for me. But I've reading King lately, whom I haven't read in years. Horror's always been my first love, so I always come back to it eventually...

Courtney said...

I'm looking forward to Hill's book - I've read a couple favorable reviews and I'm interested to see if I like him as much as I like his father. Regardless, I'm a little jealous of him -

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Para Porn? Interesting.

BikeProf said...

For purely selfish reasons I do hope this is true. But has horror ever been "out"?

litlove said...

Someone, and I'm really sorry to say I can't remember who, suggested that horror and fantasy tugged at something very profound in the reader, and were in some ways a reaction to the superficiality of postmodernity. I thought that was a really interesting idea, and might well suggest why the viscerality of horror proves such a draw at the moment.

Lesley said...

I have noticed a plethora of paranormal romances in recent years - like harlequins with vampires as the leading men, that type of thing. To each their own, I suppose!

zia said...

I think there are a couple of reasons that fantasy is so big.

First, Harry Potter. HPhas led me to all sorts of other "magical kiddie lit" that has been published since I myself was an anklebiter. Then it runs out, and you're faced with adult fantasy.

Second, there is, IM(not so)HO so much CRAP out there masquerading as literary fiction. Along with kiddie lit and romance, fantasy doesn't purport to be anything that it's not. Which, to my mind, is extremely refreshing.

And third, to address the fact that there are tons of traditionally literary writers out there playing with sci-fi and fantasy: I think in the past fifty years or so, literature has focused more on an interior landscape of its characters than an exterior one with lots of action. And while some is still wonderful, popular fiction remains very action-oriented and people are getting bored with the never-ending interior monologues. Action!

On a final note, I love romance novels, but none of those paranormal ones appeal to me. And vampires? I am SO tired of the whole vampire thing.