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It's [personal profile] markdeniz again with another post about horror, or rather following on from the previous one (as promised).

Thanks to all those commenting on the previous one and I shall endeavour to reply to those as soon as I have finished this one.

Okay, well, horror, what on earth is it and why do we write/read/publish it?

I'm going to start with an excerpt from a paper I wrote whilst at university in 1996 and then carry on from there:

I constantly inform people that horror is my favourite of the literary genres, but have since realised that horror is actually not a genre at all. This is something that I will not examine further here, as this paper is assuming that those with an interest in this topic are actually aware of this. Two classic examples to emphasise this are Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, coming under the tag of Romanticism and Bram Stoker's Dracula, one of the many Victorian classics.

Horror is found in all aspects of literature: contemporary, science-fiction, fantasy, to name but a few and whilst many back away from the tag of horror, other genres appeal. Detective fiction is consistently one of the most popular forms of literature and contains titles which many horror writers would be proud to have on their cvs.

There is not one single genre that can be said to have escaped fully from horror, as even children's literature and romance have their fair share. It is an ubiquitous form, which tells us much about the human condition. For what is overlooked as cheap gimmicks and shock value can often lead to some of the best stories regarding humans and human suffering...

When I think of the best TV series I have been privileged to witness, I immediately think of Carnivale, one that was advertised as science-fiction (a bit like Supernatural there) and drama, and is unquestionably horror in essence. Did I love it for its horror? Well yes, but because its horror tells us something about the characters, about what they went through, about how they suffered, how they grew. Characterisation reaches new heights when dealing within these situations.

Orwell's 1984 is a serious horror book, as is Huxley's Brave New World - both societies that we must not become for any reason. (I am currently playing Half Life 2 and this game makes me think of these two books often.)

I am also reading Dr. Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick and as you may have guessed am getting a fair dose of post-apocalyptic worlds, which incidentally is a genre I have been drawn to over recent years (the best post-apocalyptic being that of horror).

[profile] amandapillar talked about The Letter being inspired by a newspaper article and funnily enough my story Corvus, was inspired by a web news report about the birds falling to the death inexplicably in Australia. The news story was supplied by [personal profile] girliejones in her wonderful live journal and after I'd read the report I couldn't stop thinking about it and how we would react if it was the start of the end.

My human race became panic-stricken and shot every bird there was before realising it wasn't limited to our avian neighbours. What do you do then?

Horror for me is an investigation into the psyche and for me it all started with Mr. Poe way back when I was six years old, followed by Mr. Stoker when I was ten. I love to be scared but love to think what makes us scared, what is fear, what is horror and how does it manifest itself in us and how do we deal with it?

I am sincerely hoping that no one who submits to Eneit Press is interested in the cheap gimmick style of horror writing as it is not a kind that is read favourably by any of the three editors. We want gripping, we want well written and we want humanity.

All our emotions and elements need exploring, horror needs a home.

May 2013

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