So, random recs now that I've had a brownie and burned off some times.
H.P. Lovecraft, works of - to send me into a slow ecstatic fit, mention The Elder Gods and grey dust. Seriously. He's a hard hit-or-miss, the first writer who I could alternately fall into the story or stare blankly and think, my God, Lovecraft old man, tell me you didn't write this. I think three quarters of it was when he stayed in sideways implication--I am perfectly capable of scaring myself to death with minimal assistance. It's when he went for the big reveal of the monster that everything would fall apart.
Hmm. I think what I like about him best is the fact that he's so pervasive in modern horror. The first time I read him I was in my very early twenties and it was like coming home, all those half-understood themes from horror all seemingly originating here. He also presents such a complete universe, all bound up in these stories, all the old gods peering out from just beyond our senses, wanting back in. Even the non-scary ones added to that, and I think that may be the reason I like him so much--he lived here, it existed intensely and vividly for him, and his stories are postcards from there, like quick letters to tell what's over there, very real, even at the most ridiculous. It makes me wonder if he really was always there, that his head was that rich with this, filled with this.
The Colour Out of Space is still a favorite, and I really try never to re-read it, even though I want to. The idea behind it just absolutely scared me to death, and I'm pretty sure too much re-reading would strip away its power. Same with Pickman's Model, which really works best after reading two or three Lovecraft stories and getting in the mood, then reading it. The Rats in the Walls - that massive dark history lingering in it, behind it, giving it substance. The Outsider - not really scary, but *interesting*. The Thing in the Doorstep - heh. Oh come on. The idea alone is cool, and the result is damned creepy. The Vault - should totally be (and probably was) an episode of The Twilight Zone. The weight of history is in so many of this--before computers and cars and buggies and domestication, before roads and before rationality, before iron and before civilization, there was this place where these things lived and took what they wished from us, and there was no where to run and no concept that we could. And we got away, mostly, and forgot when we used to hide.
Oh yeah. I'm doing a submergence this weekend.
Really enjoy him.