The Librarians Walk Among Us!

This morning I drove out to St. Cloud, MN to speak on a horror genre panel with author (and editor at Skullvines Press) S.D. Hintz at the MN Librarians Association conference. The event took place in the St. Cloud Civic Center and was surprisingly noisy for a building packed with librarians. The civic center there is also the home of the Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame which, God willing, Joe Mauer may sneak into someday now that he's earned his third batting title while still in his mid-twenties. There were a lot of cool Twins memorabilia items in glass cases, an enormous Louisville slugger with Kent Hrbek's name on it, and a lot of pictures of local baseball legends from places like New Ulm, Rochester, etc.

Our panel, which was actually split up by a St. Paul librarian named Jennifer giving a great 9,000 word presentation on the horror genre and then S.D. and I answering questions/talking about horror from our angle, was packed and went well. Jennifer talked about a sub-genre called splatterpunk which I hadn't known even existed, but it does, with really graphic violence and sex and seems to be aimed at making the reader uneasy, with Clive Barker and Poppy Z. Brite standing out as two such authors. We also talked about why readers like to read horror in the first place (it's a catharsis, it makes your own non-being-chased-by-evil life seem better, you really get behind your protagonist, etc.) Here's some horror titles Jennifer recommended in case you're looking for a freaky Halloween read this fall:

The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson (1959)
Books of Blood (1-3) by Clive Barker (1984)
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton (2006)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954)
The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo (2008)
Naked Brunch by Sparkle Hayter (2003)
The Overnight by Ramsey Campbell (2005)


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