Horror October Guest Post: Paperback Lost by PG Bloodhouse #HO17

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PG Bloodhouse is a fellow vintage bookseller and horror lover. I would buy everything in his shop if I could, so I was delighted when he agreed to share with me his two favourite, most creepiest horror paperback finds.

Paperback Lost by PG Bloodhouse

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Robert Aickman is a terribly underrated writer, whose 48 ‘strange stories’ were belatedly reissued in four lovely editions by Faber & Faber in 2014. With the boost in popularity, earlier editions were suddenly very scarce.

I have only seen this 1968 edition of ‘Powers of Darkness’ once and have held on to it with dear life. As lovely as the recent reissues are, modern book covers just cannot achieve that sense of uneasiness that 60s and 70s design could.

This cover particularly reflects Aickman’s style. His stories are unsettling and Aickman has no intention of making things easy for the reader. Often the scene is mundane, with just a sense that there is something wrong.

This subtlety was overshadowed in late 70s and 80s by the novels of more blatant British horror mongers Clive Barker and James Herbert. Their work often spelt out the horror; told you what you should be scared of.

Aickman dropped you in a peculiar place and left you to it. Alone.

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I am hard pushed to think of anything more terrifying than a little girl in an old-man mask, ascending a stately home staircase towards me. This atrocity pretty much sums up what I love about 70s book cover design.

I have always thought that horror is best served in small doses. The short story gives you little time to get accustomed with the characters and surroundings. Less chance to get comfortable.

It also means more is left to the imagination – something very few horror writers can achieve over the course of a novel. Shirley Jackson being one notable exception.

More Tales of Unease, from 1969, was the second of a trilogy of anthologies edited by John Burke, more famous for his novelisations and TV writing. This collection of stories was adapted for TV in 1970, most episodes of which were subsequently lost.

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PG Bloodhouse started selling books online this earlier this year. Accidentally stumbling into book trading in an attempt to stem (justify) his own spending….

He is currently trading on etsy at pgbloodhouse.etsy.com with a new website on the way at www.pgbloodhouse.co.uk.

You can also find him and his wonderfully creepy covers on Instagram (which is where I discovered him)!

 

Halloween sale now on, so go check out his shop!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite WEIRD Horror Book Titles #TTT #HO17

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic this week is scary titles, but I’m going one step further and choosing my favourite weird horror titles! You know, the ones where you have to do a double take…

I find all of these titles ridiculous. I’ve always thought that out of context, The Silence of the Lambs is just weird, but perhaps not as strange as ‘Nibbled to Death by Ducks’. My favourite here has to be Phantom of the Soap Opera though. What the hell? Puntastic!

I will leave you with a bonus title, and it’s a book I actually own – don’t ask! I won’t include the cover because it should probably come with a *graphic image* warning but you can check it out by clicking the title if you are intrigued…

The Human Santapede

 

I will be be astonished if anyone has read any of these (other than SOTL), but tell me if you have!

Up Next on Horror October:

Don’t miss the third entry in my Flash Fiction Battle!

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Autumnal Book Covers

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

I’m adding a twist to this week’s topic and choosing my top ten spooky covers that scream Autumn/Fall. It is Horror October after all.

These are in no particular order because that’s more than my brain can handle right now…

The above covers scream Autumn to me. They aren’t horror books, but I chose these covers because they all have something ominous about them. The fox looks sinister with his fur of autumn leaves, the skull in the Riggs book is cheesy but makes me smile, and the other two simply intrigue me!

I don’t know why most of the covers I’ve chosen have trees on, but I guess that’s what means Autumn to me. These six covers are spooky reads that I would want to pick up just as Autumn hits, solely on the basis of the covers.

I love the retro Goosebumps covers, and the Girl in the Well is a book I’ve wanted to read since it came out on the strength of that simple but foreboding cover. I don’t actually like the Kendare Blake cover that much because it screams CGI, but I do love that the leaves are falling like blood. Or is that blood dropping like leaves?

Do these covers make you want to read them?

Or have you read any of them already?