So, minions, how was your VD Day? (Check that out, a pun!) I got a stuffed puppy and a box of Dove chocolate (covered body parts–I like the sweetbread pieces myself. Goes good with a… well, I was going to say Chianti and Fava beans, but that’s been cooked to a crispy burnt edge.)
Oddly enough, since the hubby had to work on VD Day, we chose to celebrate the holiday on Friday–the 13th. I hadn’t been expecting that. I felt sure he’d choose to put off our commercially promoted day for LOVE until his next day off. While he doesn’t think the day is unlucky or anything, he hates to do anything on those rare occurrences because I usually spend the day reminding him it is a Friday the 13th.
We enjoyed a nice dinner together, walked the mall for a while and found that every store was having clearance sales and ended up buying clothes for the munchkins. But it was still fun.
And before you ask, no, we didn’t go see the reboot of Friday the 13th, or whatever they call it. I mean, it’s not really a reboot or remake or anything. Technically speaking, it’s a sequel–another sequel in a long line of sequels. I’m not a fan of Jason. Just, sorry, even as a kid I felt Jason was little more than a ripoff of Micheal and while I do enjoy a good slash and hack film, I never got into Jason’s. The only Jason film I’ve ever seen in its entirety was Jason X. I thought it was kind of funny as a “look how crappy we can be!” movie, but aside from that, there ain’t much in the series that’s worth viewing.
I know, I know. A horror writer that doesn’t like a horror icon. Well, sue me.
Wait, don’t sue me. Well, no, go ahead and sue me now while I have no moneys to my name and you get nothing for your trouble. I’d hate it if you sue me later down the road when I’m making bucko bucks (*pause for laugh track*) as a writer.
On to the interesting part of the blog.
So I’ve been reading the books I got for Christmas. I just finished Iain Bank’s The Wasp Factory a couple weeks ago and picked up one of the other books my good friend Fran Friel sent me, a Douglas Clegg work called The Attraction. It’s a pretty good book, but turns out that the title novel is only half of the book, the rest is another novel/novella called The Harrow (or something). But I’m not here to talk about the book itself. What caught my eye and inspired me to blog was one of those testimonials they put on books by other authors who’ve read that book or the author’s other work. The one in particular is by Bentley Little, talking about Douglas Clegg’s status as the best writer of the post-Stephen King generation.
This got me thinking. The whole post-Stephen King generation thing, though I’d have to argue that Clegg isn’t necessarily THE best writer of said time period, but definitely one of many.
It struck me then that I’m included in that bunch. (Again, the post-S. K. generation, not the best of.) Since King hit the best seller list, there really hasn’t been any writer of horror or dark fiction that’s approached his level of fame. (You can argue Koontz all you want. Not that I don’t appreciate his work–Watchers and Twilight Eyes are two of my favorite books–but let me be honest here, he’s a King knock-off. Don’t like King, go for Koontz. I mean, hell, they share the shelves at your bookstore or library (King to Koontz–nothing in between) and his early writing was a generic brand of King’s. I personally think he’s starting to finally come into his own voice, especially with the Odd Thomas series, but again, this is all my personal opinion. I like Koontz a lot as a writer and I think he still has a lot left he can do. And he’s not really post-King generation, is he? He got started at basically the same time King did. Society has never really picked him up as they have King. Just looking over their Wiki pages–there’s been 17 adaptations of Koontz’s work into other media. I can’t even begin to count the number of adaptations of King’s. There’s just no comparison here. But.. moving on…)
So I started thinking about how the post-Stephen King generation is limitless. King revived horror in a way that I don’t think anyone that follows him could ever possibly do. He’s left MAJOR shoes to fill. Not that he’s left anything yet, but I have to admit that King’s recent work isn’t as great or ground-breaking as his other work. I bought Duma Key in January 2007, started reading it.. and still haven’t finished. I put it back on the shelf and haven’t picked it up yet. It’s a lot like most of his longer works–a little slow in starting. I don’t doubt it will finish pretty well, but I just haven’t had the motivation to finish it. (That and it’s difficult to get into novels nowadays when I’m trying to focus on my own writing. I’m reading a lot of short fiction these days.)
But again.. moving on… I get so easily distracted.
Look at the current trend of society. Back in the day, books/movies like Carrie, Cujo, Firestarter, The Shining, they were all considered horrifying and scary. But now that type of “horror in the shadows” stuff–or even in the open–isn’t quite as scary as it used to be. There’s scarier stuff on the nightly news than in those books/movies. The Saw franchise, the Hostel movies, this type of torture-porn (as every copy cat movie to follow has been) are the latest fad. Bentley Little, throughout all of his books, doesn’t pull any punches. His books are the literary equivalent of these type of gross-out, disgusting bloody gore films.
It made me wonder.. in today’s society, what kind of books will the future of horror hold? Will there be a return to the “horror in the shadows” type book, where the “camera” pulls away at the last second, leaving the reader/viewer to wonder at the extent of blood and gore? Or will the current trend continue until there’s no shock left in blood and gore? What will be scary once the blood is washed away?
Also, I felt a sense of awe at being part of the future of horror. You might think there’s not a lot left to be done in horror, but you’d be wrong. The road goes on and on, as long as someone is willing to keep bricking the path. Heck, even if the path doesn’t get bricked you can still traipse through the woods. Just beware the hungry wolf stalking there.
Does this post make any sense? Probably not. I tend to jump around in my thoughts. In fact, I wish I were a little more together so I could maybe take on some political blogging. The last election jump started my political engine and now I would like to take more part in the larger mechanism. But again, I’m not a great speaker in that vein, so I’ll leave that to the pros and semi-pros, or just wanking bloggers who think they’re pros.
But I will say this. Everyone needs to read their 1984. Beware, just.. beware.