Perilous Candidates

I have rummaged and rummaged through my shelves, searching for Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and The Supernatural. But somehow, I’ve turned up fewer of these titles than I thought I’d have had. It seems my To-Be-Read pile consists mostly of nonfiction, these days, titles such as Oxygen: The Molecule That Made The World, Emergence: From Chaos to Order, and Building Scalable Websites.

And yet, I have unearthed a few candidates for RIP, though I may dismiss one or two over the course of this post. And here they are:

  • Imajica by Clive Barker. We all know Clive Barker from his horror work, such as Hellraiser and Nightbreed. However, this two-volume series has been described as more of an epic fantasy than horror, so for that reason (and for the fact that it’s two volumes long) I might have to dismiss it from consideration.
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This is a nonfiction book that investigates the fates of corpses that have been donated (knowingly and unknowingly) to science. It would definitely be morbid, and possibly horrifying, and only a ghost away from Frankenstein… but it is non-fiction, so including it in this challenge might be a stretch.
  • The Harvest by Perry Brass. This book appears to be a thriller about a clone running from an all-powerful corporation, rather like the movie The Island. LibraryThing calculates (with a low certainty) that I’ll enjoy it. If not, at least it’s the shortest thing on the list.
  • Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons. This is an anthology of thirteen stories that, according to the book jacket, include a woman returning from the dead, a ghostly Civil War battlefield, and a post-apocalyptic Christmas celebration. This sounds almost ideal.
  • Don’t Open This Book, edited by Marvin Kaye. Here is another anthology, this one of 39 short stories grouped into sections such as “Sinister Science and Frankensteinian Formulae,” “Satan’s Fine Print and Memoranda from Hell,” and “Read at Your Own Risk.”

I suspect I’ll start with one of the final two from the list, even though Stiff is tempting…

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