Wednesday, 16 November 2011

House of Love

Jonathan Oliver's House of Fear anthology of haunted house stories has been receiving a lot of love on book blogs and genre websites lately.

Here's what Spooky Reads had to say about the book:

In a classic twist from his editing last year’s strong horror anthology The End of the Line with its focus upon the Underground, Solaris’ editor Jon Oliver has continued to pull out the stops with House of Fear to deliver a top-notch collection of short stories themed around the haunted house. And he really has created a quite sublime selection here, and some dark delights are afoot for the horror fiction massive.

The contributors to this tome of terror include some of the genres finest writers, and as with the previous anthology, the selection is far from staid in its nature. Each story is lovingly crafted, with a different focus, some classic, others contemporary, some retrospective; all of them are worthy however, and I can’t emphasise how enjoyable making my way through this book was...

Jon Oliver has weaved together a strong selection of dread literary vignettes, and created a worthy collection in
House of Fear. It’s exciting stuff indeed, and as with last years The End of the Line, is proof of Oliver’s eye for detail in the sea of horror fiction and ability to bring together a strong body of written works, cementing together a terrible construct that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

And those Keepers of the Keys to the Kingdom of Geekdom over at the Geek Syndicate said this:

In House of Fear, Jonathan Oliver has gathered nineteen short horror stories by both horror and science fiction authors who have all excelled in creating believable tales with well fleshed inhabitants and worlds that could well be our own. Each and every story will give you that delightful frisson of fear, and yet all are without a single vampire within them...

Jonathan Green, perhaps better know for his steampunk, creates a gruesome story of happy families...

All in all this is and excellent book for those who truly love horror, but I would suggest that you don’t read it just before you go to sleep.

GS Rating 5/5

You can what Jon himself had to say about putting together the collection when he was interviewed by the guys at Read Horror both here and here. But to end on, here's a piece from the interview which struck a happy chord with me:

Read Horror: How closely do the stories we see in House of Fear resemble the original submissions pre-editing?

Jon Oliver: Ninety-nine per cent of the time they are the final product. I don’t think I’ve asked anybody to re-write anything. There may have been the odd typo here and there, but on the whole the stories were submitted as you see them on the page. There was no editorial interference on a massive scale – these people know what they’re doing.

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