The cold snap arrived in Frankfurt in August, and the weather pushed me toward the ghost stories and horror novels that so perfectly suit the rain and cold of fall a little early. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories (edited, but not written by, Roald Dahl) and Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand got me off to a running start, and now that the Readers Imbibing in Peril event has officially begun, I am so ready for more.
I have loved horror as long as I have loved reading—Edgar Allan Poe and Christopher Pike and R.L. Stein were my gateway to SFF—but the genre has taken on a heightened professional importance in my life in the past six months, when I started working on the narrative design of Hunt: Showdown. I now spend the better part of my 40-hour work week writing horror stories, and I’ve found myself studying the genre more intensely than ever. Fuck! Yeah!
In case you’re new to this rodeo, Readers Imbibing in Peril is a group reading event where everybody reads (or watches) some horror/mystery/gothic/suspense/dark fantasy/etc and discusses it a bunch on the internet. For many years it was run by Stainless Steel Droppings, but these days it is in the capable hands of Estella’s Revenge and My Capricious Life. I will be chasing the likes of Peril of the Screen and Peril the First—which is to say that I will be watching a lot of horror films (the Fantasy Filmfest is in Frankfurt next week! IT is debuting! how could I not?!) and reading at least four creepy novels. I may even review them. Secretly, my goal will really be to read 12 creepy novels because it is the 12th RIP event and why the fuck not.
The fact that I am currently mid-Tor-novella binge and 50 pages into Use of Weapons by Iain Banks might prove to be a distraction, but I have plans, so many plans, and I’ve started them off by reading The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle and Passing Strange by Ellen Klages (both which I will review on TOR Online). The rest of my RIP reading list looks something like this:
Hammers on Bone is the only of these books purchased specifically for the challenge—and is, admittedly, the title I’m most excited about—and the rest have been languishing, sad and desperate to be read, on my shelves for years. In the case of Vampires, Burial, and Death, for over a decade. Fuck. But don’t worry, books, I’ve got this. Bring on the chills and the corpses and the bumps in the night.
HOLY SHIT, I’ve just realized there are already 80 participants. Check them out yourself right here.