swordfighter's picture
swordfighter August 30, 2012 - 12:52pm

hi all

what are some good sci-fi and Horror books to read to see how the good writers do it. and what are some bad sci-fi and horror books so I can see the difference.  I'm not sure what a good book is ( one that's written will and granularly correct this is ) I know what I like but I don't know if its written will?  I know I just like the story I know this my sound dumb  but I read slow and not that good  so when I had a hard time reading I  thought  it was me it my have been bad writing. I don't know. this way I have a heads up on what is good and. not at least from your stand point.



Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs August 30, 2012 - 6:37pm
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life August 31, 2012 - 2:00am

That is amazing! I enjoyed the fuck out of that. 

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer August 31, 2012 - 6:59am

Well-written horror novel: Rosemary's Baby.

Horribly-written horror novel: Son of Rosemary.

Both by the same author, Ira Levin. Fortunately, Son of Rosemary was Levin's only really bad mis-step.

There are some really, really bad horror novels out there, finding bad ones isn't that difficult. As far as good writing in horror, it depends on what aspect of writing you are studying at the time.

Lovecraft did atmosphere and setting brilliantly, but his dialogue sucked. Matheson wrote great, weird stories but was horrible at writing children. King is by far a better storyteller than he is a technical writer. You are better off just reading everything and deciding what you think works and doesn't work.

swordfighter's picture
swordfighter August 31, 2012 - 8:50am

thanks all

W. Jordan's picture
W. Jordan from somewhere in Texas is reading The Shining by Stephen King September 7, 2012 - 6:01pm

Honestly, I'd have to say Matheson is a very good place to start. I'm reading this short story collection by him right now: http://www.amazon.com/The-Box-Uncanny-Richard-Matheson/dp/0765361434/ref...

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks September 7, 2012 - 9:10pm

Such a good collection, W. Jordan. I fucking loved it and I've never been a huge sci-fi fan; I'll admit that I watched The Box and wanted to read him and wound up adoring the shit out of him.

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. September 8, 2012 - 7:20am

A great example for Sci-fi is the Dune series.

The stuff written by Frank Herbert - deep & engaging. The stuff by Brian, his son (and his X-files fan fiction buddy, Kevin Anderson) - shallow & gaudy. The difference in quality in their writing is staggering.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies September 26, 2012 - 9:05am

SF: China Mieville, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Orson Scott Card.
Fantasy: Neil Gaiman
Horror: Stephen King, early Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, Jack Ketchum.

I teach a class at Story Studio Chicago on writing dark fiction. If you'd like I could send you my reading list. Just send me a PM or email me at wickerkat@aol.com.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest September 26, 2012 - 10:42am

I may hit you up on that reading list as well, Richard. I read Ender's Game recently and thought it was pretty decent. I'm getting a little burnt out on the Noir and Crime Fiction lately and would like to switch it up a bit. So, expect a PM a little later this evening.

Thanks for putting that out there. Much appreciated.