An Untimely Death

Velvet Lining Gustave DoreHorror, as a genre, is dying. We see it in bookstores and on book websites. We watch it on the screen. We can smell the decay in the air. The vultures are circling overhead. It’s drawing in those final death rattles. The undertaker is arranging services as I write.

Many writers are now cautioned to classify their books as supernatural thriller, suspense, anything, but horror. In film, most horror movies have become “supernatural thriller.”

It wasn’t always like this. So, what happened?

In a nutshell, the 1970s and 1980s slaughtered the genre. It was a gruesome scene, too. Book after book of implausibility, bad writing, bad stories, crippling gratuity, and literary mimicry overtook everything. It was an infestation of dreadful parasites that sucked the life from every story involved. This doesn’t even consider the film industry, which was twice as horrific, and not in a good way.

The parasites were difficult to locate and the horror fiction and film industries today still haven’t exterminated them. The goal of this section of the site is to identify those leeches and yank them from the genre’s dying body. It’s an especially sad passing because horror was once such a popular genre, with all the morbid titillation from a public who wasn’t sure if they liked it or not. That uncertainty kept them coming back.

Unfortunately, the public decided they did not. In droves. By the hundred thousands.

We can assign blame to a host of causes, but that doesn’t help in any way. I’m sure we could even lob a volley at Stephen King, himself. After all, when Stephen King grew popular, suddenly every horror writer wanted to be him. You can also imagine they all wanted to write like him. And, they were encouraged, by a publishing industry drunk on its own power, which cared more about possibly reaching a bottom line than nurturing a viable genre. So, every writer getting published for years was also the literary equivalent of a “Big Mac and fries.” Therefore, naturally, audiences came to believe that was all the genre offered. Now, what has blame accomplished? Absolutely nothing.

This virtual laboratory is dedicated to creating the best horror material possible, that will reach as wide an audience as possible, not dealing blame or bitterness. The industry is what it is and we must acknowledge the issue to overcome it.

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