Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Horror Books for January 2018


I've been exploring podcasts that center around the horror genre and books. In the next few months, I'll be telling you about them and sharing their links so you can discover them too.

First up is The Horror Show with Brian Keene podcast which debuted on January 29, 2015. Originally horror author J.F. Gonzalez had the idea for a podcast but, unfortunately, he passed away before he could see it through to fruition. His original idea was to have him, Brian Keene, David Thomas and Geoff Cooper co-hosting a podcast about horror.

Today Brian is the regular anchor with David Thomas as the sound engineer and the most regular co-host. Horror authors Geoff Cooper and Mary SanGiovanni, film director Mike Lombardo, the bubbly Phoebe, and young Dungeonmaster 77.1 have joined as regular co-hosts.

The show was officially a hit by the third episode.

Brian Keene, who -- I think -- sets the agenda for the podcast, is a serious horror writer (this is how he makes his living) and is a serious horror fan.

What does that mean? It means he believes passionately that being a horror writer requires you to be well read in the genre. Being a horror fiction scholar requires you to be well read in the genre. Being a serious horror fan requires you to be well read in the genre.

Brian is the one who coined the phrase I love so much in his Keynote Speech "Roots" from Anthocon, 2011 and reprinted (with some alterations) in his column at Cemetery Dance Online see: Brian Keene's History of Horror Fiction: Chapter One: Not the Man for the Job

"Know your genre. Know your history. Read a book."

Cursory readers of horror fiction may pass, of course, but they'll be missing out on a lot.

Brian, Dave and the gang talk about the horror genre which includes books, movies, television shows and more. They have news and interviews with horror writers and detailed news segments. In 2018 they are starting a book club. I recommend you check out the The Horror Show with Brian Keene 2018 Book Club Selections book list for more details including a list of books they're going to read and discuss.

These people are opinionated, they are passionate, and they are funny as hell. They also swear a lot. . . . A LOT.

You should listen to the podcast. You can start with the latest episode and/or go all the way back to the first episode and work your way forward. I'm doing both. After you look at this book list, select one of these links to begin listening:

I want to try the latest episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene podcast

I want to start at the very beginning. Episode One of The Horror Show with Brian Keene podcast

Although I've been keeping up with the most recent episodes, I'm currently listening to the series from the beginning. There is a whole lot of horror history and book recommendations -- as well as funny bits, lots of funny bits -- and is worth the investment of time to download and listen to the back issues.

To see additional Essential Horror Books lists, check out the links below:

Essential Horror Books for: January, --|-- Essential Horror Books for: February,

Essential Horror Books for: March, --|-- Essential Horror Books for: April,

Essential Horror Books for: May, --|-- Essential Horror Books for: June,

Essential Horror Books for: July, --|-- Essential Horror Books for: August,

Essential Horror Books for: September, --|-- Essential Horror Books for: October,

Essential Horror Books for: November, --|-- Essential Horror Books for: December,

If you have any suggestions, feel free to mention them in the discussion section below the list.

This book list is now complete -- no more titles will be added. Published 1/6/2018.

Updated: 1/26/2018 added the bonus book (technically ebook) by Tim Waggoner.

-- Gregory Fisher, Riffle Horror Editor and Undead Rat