Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Meaning of the H Word - Paula Guran

"But defining what "works" in horror is a tricky thing because we respond in such individual ways. A time-tattered ghost story can deliver emotional wallop for one reader and not raise a goosebump for someone else, someone who needs horror that is more macabre, visceral or perverse to respond. Taste in horror is like taste in music: It all has a beat but that doesn't mean you want to dance to every tune. Despite individual preferences and a certain stigma, horror is still a handy inclusive noun that encompasses the basic "dark" emotions -- fear, abhorrence, aversion, antipathy, disgust, dread, terror, alarm, dismay, shock, disquietude, consternation, panic. And, even though I personally tend to use the term "dark fiction" in an effort to broaden reader perception of the literature I deal with, horror is still as good a term as any. We are not going to change the name of the HWA to the Scary Writers Association. Don't look for the Bram Stoker Awards to be given in recognition of Superior Achievement in Weird Fiction. None of us will be going to the World Dark Fiction Convention." 3.5 out of 5