Hey! You, web surfer! Yeah you.
C’mere for a sec.
See, I’m part of the Christian Sci-fi/Fantasy Tour, and we just talked about a cool and creepy book called Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso. I talked about it Monday with an overview, and Tuesday with a review.
I don’t really want to talk about it today.
Not directly, at least.
Like I said, I’m in a book tour for Christian speculative fiction. There’s cool people here that like interesting books. There’s an interesting aspect of this month’s tour I wanted to investigate.
The book was brought to us for a speculative angle – the protaganist in modern times finds pages from a Civil War officer’s journal, in his own handwriting. The book is considered in the CBA realm as “supernatural suspense.”
The thing is, the book is really a horror book.
It’s not horrible. Hor-ror. It is scary and spooky [insert Addam’s Family theme song here]. It has a purpose in its scare factor, but it definitely has the chills factor.
It seems the CBA industry is scared of labeling books as “horror.” I don’t mind that a speculative fiction tour is featuring this book, it is pretty good, and I’m glad I got to read it. I think it serves a certain type of reader, and does it without some of the hopelessness found in regular horror fiction.
I don’t have all the insights in this quirk of the CBA. For a better authority, I’ll refer you to Mike Duran on his posts concerning “Can Horror Fiction Be ‘Redemptive'” (part 1, 2, 3) and a quick discussion on covers speaking about horror here, as well as Mike Dellosso’s own words in this post.
Seemed like a good time to take on this idea of the label of “horror” vs. “supernatural suspense” to a group that enjoys speculative fiction. I’ve read CBA books ranging from a ghost story (Robin Parrish’s Nightmare, labeled as “paranormal suspense”) to vampires (Eric Wilson’s Jerusalem Undead series) that would fit into a horror genre in a normal bookstore, but don’t get promoted that way in the CBA.
Why is that?
I have my thoughts, but what say you, the well-read and clever folks of the CSFF Tour? Let me know what you think, and I’ll answer back in a few days.
Uh, to get back on track, here’s where you can find all of the other fine posts on Darkness Follows from my tourmates.
Thanks for stopping by.