Ето няколко за начало:
За Едгар Алан По
За Брам СтокърWhen I do public appearances, I’m often-no, always-asked what scares me. The answer is almost everything, from express elevators in very tall buildings to the idea of a zealot loose with a suitcase nuke in one of the great cities of the world. But if the question is refined to “What works of fiction have scared you?” two always leap immediately to mind: Lord of the Flies by William Golding and “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.
Most people know that Poe invented the modern detective story (Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is in many ways the same detective as Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin), but few are aware that he also created the first work of criminal sociopathy in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a story originally published in 1843. Many great crime writers of the twentieth century, from Jim Thompson and John D. MacDonald to Thomas Harris (who in Hannibal Lecter may have created the greatest sociopath of them all), are the children of Poe.
The details of the story are still gruesome enough to produce nightmares (the cutting up of the victim’s body, for instance, or the old man’s one dying shriek), but the terror that lingers-and the story’s genius-lies in the superficially reasonable voice of the narrator. He is never named, and that is fitting, because we have no idea how he picked his victim, or what drove him to the crime. Oh, we know what he says: it was the old man’s gruesomely veiled eye. But of course, Jeffrey Dahmer said he wanted to create zombies, and the Son of Sam at one point claimed his dog told him to do it. We understand, I think, that psychopaths offer such wacky motivations because they are as helpless as the rest of us to explain their terrible acts.
This is, above all, a persuasive story of lunacy, and Poe never offers any real explanations. Nor has to. The narrator’s cheerful laughter (“A tub had caught… all [the blood]-ha! ha!”) tells us all we need to know. Here is a creature who looks like a man but who really belongs to another species. That’s scary. What elevates this story beyond merely scary and into the realm of genius, though, is that Poe foresaw the darkness of generations far beyond his own.
Ours, for instance.
За ЛъвкрафтFew novels had the impact оn me that Dracula did. In college, even guys in my literature class talked about it, and as I read and re-read it, I realized it was the original vampire cloth from which all others had been cut. I know one thing, it scared the blооdу well-hell out of me.
The story seemed а simple оnе. А young solicitor named Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to assist Count Dracula in а real estate transaction. While the first chapter starts off pleasantly enough, Harker soon begins to note odd happenings and details of the people and events he experiences while traveling deeper and deeper into the Carpathians. Gloomy castles standing high in the mountains, odd figures half-obscured by the dark, eerie landscapes with flashing lights, and howling wolves trail Harker as he journeys ... unaware of the mystery and horrors he and his love Mina Murray are soon to become entangled with. Only with the help of such noted characters as Professor Van Helsing, John Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and Quincey Morris does good prevail over evil.
There was talk in literary circles that Stoker had been inspired by the stories of Vlad The Impaler and а few others, but had he been inspired by anything, I believe it was Joseph Sheridan LeFanu's (1814-1873) Gothic vampire novella Carmilla (1872) that was the main influence. Nobody will ever know, for Bram Stoker took the secret to his grave, but not before he penned а sequel, Dracula's Guest, which was published posthumously.
While Stoker wrote numerous novels and short stories, he is chiefly remembered today as the author of this best-selling novel.
Of all the monsters in my closet, this is the one that scares me most, and probably always will.
He struck with the most force, and I still think, for all his shortcomings, he is the best writer of horror fiction that America has yet produced.
За Arthur MachenВъздействието, което Х. Ф. Лъвкрафт оказва върху читателя, е неизмеримо; неговата проза прогаря във въображението ни неизличима следа и аз все още смятам, че той е най-добрият писател на хорър в Aмерика. Когато Х.Ф.Л. пише "Плъхове в стените" или "Обитателят на мрака", той ни най-малко не се шегува, нито пък целта му е да изкара някой друг долар. Лъвкрафт вярва дълбоко във всичко, което разказва, и мисля, че точно тази негова сериозност, както и всички останали качества на прозата му, ни кара да откликваме и да го боготворим. Х.Ф.Л. е мрачният и несравним крал на ужаса на XX век, който развива концепцията за външното зло по уникален начин, и когато е в перфектна форма, както например в "Нещото на прага", Кошмарът в Дънуич" и "Шепнещият в тъмнината", разказите му са като парен чук, който премазва съзнанието ни и ни кара да почувстваме безкрайната студенина на Вселената и съществуването на зловещи космически сили, способни да унищожат цялото човечество. Може ли атомната бомба например да се сравнява с Великия Ктхулу, Нйарлатхотеп, Дебнещия хаос, Козирога с хилядното потомство или Обитателя на мрака? Докоснеш ли се веднъж до зловещото очарование на Лъвкрафт, Верни читателю, никога няма да гледаш на Вселената по същия начин.
Arthur Machen’s "The Great God Pan" is one of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language.
За Ричард МатисънArthur Machen’s The Great God Pan, a story that (like Bram Stoker’s Dracula) surmounts its rather clumsy prose and works its way relentlessly into the reader’s terror-zone. How many sleepless nights has it caused? God knows, but a few of them were mine. I think “Pan” is as close as the horror genre comes to a great white whale, and that sooner or later every writer who takes the form seriously must try to tackle its theme: that reality is thin, and the true reality beyond is a limitless abyss filled with monsters.
To say that Richard Matheson invented the horror story would be as ridiculous as it would be to say that Elvis Presley invented rock’n’roll — what, the purist would scream, about Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Stick McGhee, the Robins and a dozen others? The same is true in the horror genre, which is the equivalent of rock’n’roll — a quick hit to the head that bobs your nerves and makes hurt so good.
Before Matheson came dozens, going back to the author of the Grendel story, to Mary Shelley, Horace Walpole, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft . . . But, like rock’n’roll, or any other genre that skates across the nerve endings, horror must constantly regenerate and renew or die.
In the early 1950s, when the Weird Tales magazine was dying its slow death and Robert Bloch, horror’s greatest writer at the time, had turned to psychological tales (and Fritz Leiber had fallen oddly silent) and the genre was languishing in the horse latitudes, Richard Matheson came like a bolt of pure ozone lightning.
He single-handedly regenerated a stagnant genre, rejecting the conventions of the pulps that were already dying, incorporating sexual impulses and images into his work as Theodore Sturgeon had already begun to do in his science fiction, and writing a series of gut-bucket short stories. What do I remember about them? I remember what they taught me; the same thing that rock’s most recent regenerator, Bruce Springsteen, articulates in one of his songs, no retreat, baby, no surrender. I remember that Matheson would never give ground. When you thought it had to be over, that your nerves couldn’t stand any more, that was when Matheson turned on the afterburners. He wouldn’t quit. He was relentless. The baroque intonations of Lovecraft, the perfervid prose of the pulps, the sexual innuendoes, were all absent. You were faced with so much pure drive that only rereadings showed Matheson’s wit, cleverness, and control.
When people talk about genre, I guess they mention my name first, but without Richard Matheson I wouldn’t be around. He is as much my father as Bessie Smith was Elvis Presley’s mother. He came when he was needed, and these stories hold all their original hypnotic appeal.
Be warned: You are in the hands of a writer who asks no quarter and gives none. He will wring you dry. . . and when you close this volume he will leave you with the greatest gift a writer can give: he will leave you wanting more.
За Робърт Хауърд
Robert E. Howard's "Pigeons from Hell" is one of the finest horror stories of our century.
This sort of fiction, commonly called "sword and sorcery" by its fans, is not fantasy at its lowest, but it still has a pretty tacky feel; mostly it's the Hardy Boys dressed up in animal skins and rated R ( and with cover art by Jeff Jones, as likely as not). Sword and sorcery novels and stories are tales of power for the powerless. The fellow who is afraid of being rousted by those young punks who hang around his bus stop can go home at night and imagine himself wielding a sword, his potbelly miraculously gone, his slack muscles magically transmuted into those "iron thews" which have been sung and storied in the pulps for the last fifty years.
The only writer who really got away with this sort of stuff was Robert E. Howard, a peculiar genius who lived and died in rural Texas ( Howard committed suicide as his mother lay comatose and terminally ill, apparently unable to face life without her). Howard overcame the limitations of his puerile material by the force and fury of his writing and by his imagination, which was powerful beyond his hero Conan's wildest dreams of power. In his best work, Howard's writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks. Stories such as "The People of the Black Circle" glow with the fierce and eldritch light of his frenzied intensity. At his best, Howard was the Thomas Wolfe of fantasy, and most of his Conan tales seem to almost fall over themselves in their need to get out.
За Робърт Блох
За Charles L. GrantPerhaps the finest psychological horror writer.
One of the premier horror writers of his or any generation.
For anyone who can afford to leave all the lights burning after the last page has been turned.
За Клайв БаркърJolting terror... scary, dreamlike... wonderful.
Видях бъдещето на ужаса... и то се казва Клайв Баркър.
За Уилям ГолдингI think Clive Barker is so good that I am literally tongue-tied. He makes the rest of us look like we've been asleep for the past ten years.
За Джон Уиндъм
За Дан СимънсPerhaps the best writer of science fiction that England has ever produced.
Изпитвам страхопочитание към Дан Симънс.
За Питър СтробСимънс пише романи, които са различни от всичко друго под слънцето.
За Дийн КунцКогато Питър Строб се включи с пълна мощност, никой от фабриката за писъци не може да се мери с него.
За Ричард ЛеймънYou’ve got Dean Koontz, who can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful.
За Рей БредбъриIf you've missed Laymon, you've missed a treat.
За Ед Макбейн:Ray Bradbury wrote three great novels and three hundred great stories. One of the latter was called 'A Sound of Thunder.' The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty.
За Джеймс ЕлройEvan Hunter, known by that name or as Ed McBain, was one of the most influential writers of the postwar generation. He was the writer to successfully merge realism with genre fiction, and by so doing I think he may actually have created the kind of popular fiction that drove the best-seller lists and lit up the American imagination in the years 1960 to 2000. Books as disparate as The New Centurions, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Godfather, Black Sunday, and The Shining all owe a debt to Evan Hunter, who taught a whole generation of baby boomers how to write stories that were not only entertaining but that truthfully reflected the times and the culture. He will be remembered for bringing the so-called "police procedural" into the modern age, but he did so much more than that. And he was one hell of a nice man. His passing leaves a hole that cannot be filled.
За Лорънс БлокIf you asked me to name the best living American novelist, I'd probably come up with 50 names. I might be able to winnow the list down to a dozen, then I'd have a nervous breakdown. But ask me to name the best living novelist who's fierce, brave, funny, scatological, beautiful, convoluted, and paranoid — and who seems to feel that the real American Experience stopped happening right around the time Richard Nixon helicoptered away into obscurity — and it becomes simple: James Ellroy. If insanity illuminated by highly dangerous strokes of literary lightning is your thing, then Ellroy's your man.
За Джон Д. МакдоналдДнес Америка има един голям атор на криминални романи и той се нарича Лорънс Блок.
The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller.
За Джим ТомпсънJohn D. MacDonald has written a novel called The End of the Night which I would argue is one of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century. It ranks with Death of a Salesman, it ranks with An American Tragedy.
За Майкъл Макдауъл (Michael McDowell)My favorite crime novelist - often imitated but never duplicated - is Jim Thompson.
За Scott SmithThe finest writer of paperback originals in America today.
За Денис Етчисън (Dennis Etchison)When I heard that Scott Smith was publishing a new novel this summer, I felt the way I did when my kids came in an hour or two late from their weekend dates: a combination of welcoming relief (thank God you're back) mingled with exasperation and anger (where the hell have you been?). Well, it's only a book, you say, and maybe that's true, but Scott Smith is a singularly gifted writer, and it seems to me that the twelve years between his debut--the cult smash A Simple Plan--and his return this summer with The Ruins is cause for exasperation, if not outright anger. Certainly Smith, who has been invisible save for his Academy Award-nominated screenplay for the film version of A Simple Plan, will have some 'splainin to do about how he spent his summer vacation. Make that his last twelve summer vacations.
But enough. The new book is here, and the question devotees of A Simple Plan will want answered is whether or not this book generates anything like Plan's harrowing suspense. The answer is yes. The Ruins is going to be America's literary shock-show this summer, doing for vacations in Mexico what Jaws did for beach weekends on Long Island. Is it as successful and fulfilling as a novel? The answer is not quite, but I can live with that, because it's riskier. There will be reviews of this book by critics who have little liking or understanding for popular fiction who'll dismiss it as nothing but a short story that has been bloated to novel length (I'm thinking of Michiko Kakutani, for instance, who microwaved Smith's first book). These critics, who steadfastly grant pop fiction no virtue but raw plot, will miss the dazzle of Smith's technique; The Ruins is the equivalent of a triple axel that just misses perfection because something's wrong with the final spin.
It's hard to say much about the book without giving away everything, because the thing is as simple and deadly as a leg-hold trap concealed in a drift of leaves…or, in this case, a mass of vines. You've got four young American tourists--Eric, Jeff, Amy, and Stacy--in Cancun. They make friends with a German named Mathias whose brother has gone off into the jungle with some archeologists. These five, plus a cheerful Greek with no English (but a plentiful supply of tequila), head up a jungle trail to find Mathias's brother…the archaeologists…and the ruins.
Well, two out of three ain't bad, according to the old saying, and in this case; what's waiting in the jungle isn't just bad, it's horrible. Most of The Ruins's 300-plus pages is one long, screaming close-up of that horror. There's no let-up, not so much as a chapter-break where you can catch your breath. I felt that The Ruins did draw on a trifle, but I found Scott Smith's refusal to look away heroic, just as I did in A Simple Plan. It's the trappings of horror and suspense that will make the book a best seller, but its claim to literature lies in its unflinching naturalism. It's no Heart of Darkness, but at its suffocating, terrifying, claustrophobic best, it made me think of Frank Norris. Not a bad comparison, at that.
One only hopes Mr. Smith won't stay away so long next time.
За Рамзи Кембъл (Ramsey Campbell)Etchison is one hell of a fiction writer
За Джеймс ХърбъртHe is literate in a field that has attracted too many comic book intellects, cool in a field that tends toward panting melodrama by virtue of its subject matter, fluid in a field where many of the best practitioners fall prey to cant.
За Бентли Литъл (Bentley Little)James Herbert is probably the best writer of pulp horror to come along since the death of Robert E. Howard.
За Jack KetchumA master of the macabre!
Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.
© Stephen King... the closest thing we have to an American Clive Barker... no writer who has ever read him can help being infulenced by him, and no general reader who runs across his work can easily forget him. He has become an archetype.