The Damnation Game by Clive Barker

” The Damnation Game ” is a horror novel by Clive Barker originally published in the 1980’s .

A gambling addict ( Marty Strauss ) is freed from prison in order to become the personal bodyguard of a wealthy man named Joseph Whitehead . Not all is at it seems however , weird things are happening to Whitehead’s heroin addict daughter ( Carys ) , and Whitehead is in constant fear of a man named Mamoulian . They apparently had made a deal together back in World War Two and Mamoulian wants Joseph to pay up . Mamoulian does various things to haunt Joseph such as raising the dead and entering Carys mind . During all of this , Marty falls in love with Carys and becomes determined to save her during this damnation game !

This is a great novel and reading this again was a treat . It’s a Faust-like tale mixed with Clive Barker’s distinctive blend of fantasy and body horror . Now saying that , this novel is not for the squeamish . It’s brutal and downright depressing but the prose is fantastic . Check it out , if you dare !

The Strange Island of Dr. Nork by Robert Bloch

” The Strange Island of Dr. Nork ” is a science fiction short story by Robert Bloch , originally published by ” Weird Tales ” magazine .

This story starts off with our narrator , a reporter , gets sent to an island and to learn about the mysterious Dr. Nork and what experiments he is performing there . The first thing he finds on the island is a bottle with a note in it stating ” To whom it may concern : Dr. Nork is a mean , nasty old thing , so there ! ” and the second thing he encounters is a talking ape ! Enjoy this tale of a mad scientist , zombies , and … comic books ?

This story is actually a parody of a story by H.G. Wells called ” The Island of Doctor Moreau ” and it is honestly one of the funniest things I have ever read . It knows how to play with expectations and subvert stock characters . The humor in the tale surprised me because the only other Robert Bloch story I’ve read to this point is ” Psycho ” which is a totally different type of story . It’s fun and creative , if you can find it then read it .

Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz

Twilight Eyes is a suspense horror novel written by Dean Koontz , published in the 1980’s .

This novel starts off the same year as the Kennedy assassination . The main character is a 17 year old runaway named Carl Stanfeuss (but since he goes by the name Slim Mackenzie most of the novel we’ll just go with Slim ) . Slim has a special ability , he can see the future to an extent and he can see through some people and see goblins . These goblins are creatures of pure evil intent who feed off the suffering of us humans and Slim has made it his mission to kill any of them he can . Slim joins up with a traveling carnival to get some money and sanctuary . He works under the cold but beautiful Rya and begins to fall in love with her almost immediately . Things get intense though as he has visions that something bad is going to happen at the carnival . Get ready for a tale involving sabotage , carnys , goblins , psychics , betrayal , and that is just the first part !

This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine and I can’t thank them enough . It reminds me a lot of another book of his called ” The Funhouse ” , at least aesthetically , which was also pretty good . The time frame , the traveling carnival , cool side characters , a strong protagonist , a revenge plot , and a romance in a horror story that I can actually buy , all combine together to make one hell of a good read . Get it people !

Who Goes There ? by John W. Campbell , Jr.

” Who Goes There ? ” is a science fiction horror story written by John W. Campbell , Jr ( as Don A Stuart ) , originally published in the 1930’s .

A crew of scientist are on an outpost in Antarctica . They find an alien creature and it’s ship frozen in ice . Naturally curious , they strive to thaw out both . The ship is destroyed by accident but the creature survives and starts attacking the outpost dogs . The creature is electrocuted to death but the scientist discover something that instantly frightens them . The creature was turning into one of the dogs and one of the scientist admits to dreaming about the creature . In the dreams , the creature can not only change itself into any creature it ingests but it can also read minds and project it’s thoughts into others . Come read a tale of paranoia , murder , and survival .

This is a short story but it has a huge punch inside . It is one of the best uses of paranoia in a story that I’ve ever read . If the story sounds close to the John Carpenter movie ” The Thing ” , that’s because the movie is based on this story . I would recommend this story especially to people who enjoyed that movie as well as fans of old school science fiction in general .

Magic by William Goldman

Magic by William Goldman is a psychological thriller that was originally published in the 1970’s .

Corky is a successful magician but he is not yet ready to take the next big step . He goes back to his childhood city one day without telling his manager where he is going and why he is . He rents a house by a lake from an old crush of his . He spends his time trying to reconnect with her , reminiscing about his family life there , and talking to his ventriloquist dummy . You know , normal stuff . Can you imagine things start going wrong ?

I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just say this . This is a great thriller , it keeps you guessing , keeps a sense of humor , with a sense of dread throughout . Read it folks !

The Howling 3 by Gary Brandner

The Howling 3 is a horror novel written by Gary Brandner published in 1985 .

The novel takes place a year after the village of Drago was burned down . A small group of police find a teenage boy in the woods named Malcolm . He is sent to the hospital and placed under the care of a psychiatrist ( Dr. Holly Lang ) . They quickly take a liking to each other but there is a couple of problems . One: Dr. Wayne Pastory kidnaps him to experiment on him in a secret clinic in order to discover more about werewolves and two : Derak , the head living werewolf , also wants Malcolm . Eventually Malcolm escapes and joins a carnival . He becomes the star attraction and things are going relatively well for him but it just wasn’t meant to last . Dr . Pastory and Derak both find him again and it leads to an epic showdown .

I really enjoyed this one . You can read this one without reading the other two and still understand what is going on . There is some torture involved in this story so if you can’t stomach that , don’t read it . If you’re okay with it through , enjoy this dramatic tale of friendship versus heritage .

The Howling 2 by Gary Brandner

The Howling 2 ( A.K.A. Return of the Howling ) is a horror novel written by Gary Brandner , published in the late 1970’s .

The story picks up three years after the events of the first novel . Karyn is married to a new man ( David ) and has a stepson ( Joey ) , life is going okay for her except for the dreams she keeps having of the events that happened in Drago . She is seeing a therapist to help deal with them . Meanwhile , somewhere just outside the city she is living in , the werewolf survivors of Drago ( her ex husband Roy and his new lover Marcia Lura ) plan their revenge . They slowly start to drive Karyn crazy , chasing her out of her home , to her parents , and finally to Mexico . Will she be able to keep her wits ? Can Karyn defeat the werewolves of Drago one more time ? Come find out in ” The Howling 2 ” !

This novel is a solid follow up to the original novel . If you liked the first one then you’ll like this one I think . It shares most of the same elements , and the villains have a much stronger personal investment and that makes this one slightly better in my eyes . If you’re looking for werewolves , gypsies , and a solid revenge story … check this out .