While going back over what books I read during 2014, I came to a few conclusions.
1. I read and enjoyed a lot of titles published by DarkFuse. It wasn’t my intention to stock my list with DF titles, it just turned out that way.
2. I pulled the plug on more books this year than in any other year I can remember.
3. Excluding these titles, I was largely disappointed with the books I read for the year. I read a lot of other solid books that didn’t make my list, but nothing to really blow my hair back. A lot of these title were quite competently written, but somewhat lacking in creativity. I read widely. Big press, small press, indie/self-published work. Across all venues, creativity in the horror genre seems to be stuck in the mire. It’s seems like now that anyone can publish anything they want, instead of taking chances, there is a tidal wave of people finally getting their chance to write their “Stephen King” story, their “Dick Laymon” homage, their love letter to Lovecraft.
One of the reasons the horror genre is so great is that it is nearly limitless in its scope. Nearly any plotline can become a horror tale. And yet… and yet the boundaries remain largely unchanged in this unrivaled moment of opportunity in the realm of publishing.
Perhaps this is more a reflection of how I feel about my own work than an overall judgment of the genre as a whole. I always strive to write a story that couldn’t be told by anyone else. I don’t know if that is what I achieve, but that is my goal.
So without further rambling and navel-gazing, here is my list of my Best Reads of 2014:
Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon
Emergence by Gary Fry
Children of No One by Nicole Cushing
The Boar by Joe Lansdale
The Troop by Nick Cutter
A Shrill Keening by Ronald Malfi
The Last Mile by Tim Waggoner
Tyler’s Third Act by Mick Garris
Oasis of the Damned by Greg Gifune
DarkNet by John R Little
What were some of your favorite reads from the last year?