Praised by Dean Koontz as “the best novel in the genre I can remember,”Song of Kali follows an American magazine editor who journeys to the brutally bleak, poverty-stricken Indian city in search of a manuscript by a mysterious poet—but instead is drawn into an encounter with the cult of Kali, goddess of death.
A chilling voyage into the squalor and violence of the human condition, this novel is considered by many to be the best work by the author of The Terror, who has been showered with accolades, including the Bram Stoker Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the Hugo Award.
I unleashed my creativity, but it ran away.” —Mark Anderson
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The authors of The Halloween Children are sneaky geniuses in the art of storytelling—adepts who snatch your attention, get you invested and immersed in the tale and then hint at something sinister in a subtle way that provokes dread, horror and suspense. It’s as if they flick a juicy “thought drop” into the pool of the reader’s imagination and then let the ramifications ripple into obsession, inciting intrigue and fear for the fate of beloved characters.
Harris, the Stillbrook Apartment complex’s handyman, is good father, but in all honesty, he favors the side of his son, Matt, where child discipline is concerned. His wife Lynn is searching for herself and struggling with inner turmoil, on edge and ruminating over their marriage––should they divorce?––and within the family’s dynamics, her daughter Amber delights her to no end, but her son Matt needs to be watched. Then there’s matter of the creepy neighbors, the tenants of Stillbrook: a spooky no-neck woman in a wheelchair who may be faking her injuries, the Durkins’ exotic, thousand-dollar bird that shrieks unearthly squawks that sound like someone being tortured—or murdered. Which is strange because there actually had been a grisly death within the complex that was kept hush-hush by management.
The story unfolds through Harris’ journal, Lynn’s journal (as assigned by a marriage counselor she’s been seeing in secret), recordings, digital transcriptions, email and interviews. The immediacy of this technique makes for a taut, fast-paced, enjoyable read. The Halloween Children kept my eyes glued to the glow of the screen, licking my lips and swiping digital pages into the wee hours after midnight. This horror novel is a treat!
It started as a game. Six college kids at a party. Then someone suggested they try the Ouija board. The board that Corie had hidden in the back of her closet and swore never to touch again. Not after what happened last time. Not after Jake’s death…
They were only playing around, but the Ouija board worked, all right. Maybe too well. A spirit who called himself Butler began to send them messages—and make demands. Butler promised them a hidden treasure if only they would follow his directions and head off to a secluded spot in the mountains…a wild, isolated spot where anything could be waiting for them. Treasure or death. Or Butler himself.
What could be a more fitting accompaniment to today’s spooks-and-sweets-filled festivities than Andrew Nette’s splendid selection, in Pulp Curry, of vintage paperback fronts featuring Satanism, witchcraft, and black magic? The cover shown above, from the 1952 Dell paperback edition of Catherine Turney’s The Other One–a story of humiliation, possession, and the supernatural–isn’t among those Nette showcases, but it certainly could have been. The artwork is by Bob Hilbert, more of whose illustrations can be seen here.
By the way, The Other One was adapted in 1957 as a big-screen horror flick titled Back from the Dead. Turney herself inked the screenplay. According to this Los Angeles Times obituary, she had previously been the “chief architect of the script for [1945’s] Mildred Pierce, which earned [star Joan] Crawford an Academy Award.” Turney subsequently wrote for TV series such as Maverick and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.
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The Baby in the Icebox by James M. Cain
The Hot Spot by Charles Williams
The Spy and the Thief by Edward D. Hoch
The Swimming Pool by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Dog Who Bit a Policeman by Stuart M. Kaminsky
Shellshock by Richard S. Prather
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye by Horace McCoy
Slipping Into Darkness by Peter Blauner
Long Live the Dead by Hugh B. Cave
Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing by May Sarton
Shockproof Sydney Skate by Marijane Meaker
The Magician’s Girl by Doris Grumbach
Eye Contact by Michael Craft
Hold Tight by Christopher Bram
The Men from the Boys by William J. Mann
Where the Boys Are by William J. Mann
The Lord Won’t Mind by Gordon Merrick
One for the Gods by Gordon Merrick
Forth Into the Light by Gordon Merrick
Perfect Freedom by Gordon Merrick
The Sound of Heaven by Joseph Olshan
Wolverine Cirque by Joseph Olshan
Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon
Mystery Walk by Robert R. McCammon
Usher’s Passing by Robert R. McCammon
The Compendium of Srem by F. Paul Wilson
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
Lot Lizards by Ray Garton
The New Neighbor by Ray Garton
This Perfect Day by Ira Levin
Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly
Chthon by Piers Anthony
Nightwings by Robert Silverberg
Blood Music by Greg Bear
Adulthood Rites by Octavia E. Butler
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