Latest post of things horror and book related I've enjoyed recently, and think you might too.
1. From Annihilation To Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
Somehow I missed this at the time: an article in The Atlantic by Jeff VanderMeer on his Southern Reach trilogy, a series of books I called "masterful" when I first read them, and I'd still stand by that.
2. Shirley Jackson's Sublime First Paragraph in Hill House, Annotated
I surely don't have to tell most readers of this blog how brilliant Shirley Jackson's The Haunting Of Hill House is, or about its famed opening paragraph. Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer does a great job here walking through that paragraph and explaining why it's so good, the one thing he'd change, and mounting a sturdy defence of both adverbs and semi-colons.
3. The H Word: He Himself Was Not Corrupt by Lee Thomas
A really interesting piece for Nightmare about on the 'post-gay' representation of characters in horror fiction; that is, the depiction of gay characters whose sexuality is not a central point of drama or angst, but just part of who they are. Lee Thomas identifies Peter Straub's fine novel Koko as one of the key precursors here.
4. 'My Mother's Skin' by Brian O'Connell
I really enjoyed this story by Brian O'Connell, reprinted on his own site. A tale of the sea and transformation, of which the less said the better by me before you read it.
5. The Corner Of Lovecraft & Ballard by Will Wiles
A frankly superb article about the importance of architecture in the fiction of both Lovecraft and J.G. Ballard. Full of insight and close reading. Fascinating.