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Thinking Horror Volume 1: A Journal of Horror Philosophy

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THINKING HORROR: a Journal of Horror Philosophy is a nonfiction journal devoted to modern and contemporary horror literature consisting of essays, editorials, and in-depth interviews. The journal will be focused on the contexts and concepts of horror fiction. Unlike other markets, it’s going to eschew the regular columns you’re used to—no news, no promotional fluff pieces, THINKING HORROR: a Journal of Horror Philosophy is a nonfiction journal devoted to modern and contemporary horror literature consisting of essays, editorials, and in-depth interviews. The journal will be focused on the contexts and concepts of horror fiction. Unlike other markets, it’s going to eschew the regular columns you’re used to—no news, no promotional fluff pieces, no reviews. Instead, this is going to be about horror itself, its philosophical mechanics, about how it interacts with us, and we with it. Each volume of the journal will focus on a single theme, the first of which is Horror in the Twenty-First Century featuring interviews with Nate Southard, Molly Tanzer, Simon Strantzas, Michael Kelly, Nathan Ballingrud, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia and essays by Kurt Fawver, Gary Fry, Helen Marshall, Jeremy R. Smith, Andrew P. Williams, and Michael Cisco.


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THINKING HORROR: a Journal of Horror Philosophy is a nonfiction journal devoted to modern and contemporary horror literature consisting of essays, editorials, and in-depth interviews. The journal will be focused on the contexts and concepts of horror fiction. Unlike other markets, it’s going to eschew the regular columns you’re used to—no news, no promotional fluff pieces, THINKING HORROR: a Journal of Horror Philosophy is a nonfiction journal devoted to modern and contemporary horror literature consisting of essays, editorials, and in-depth interviews. The journal will be focused on the contexts and concepts of horror fiction. Unlike other markets, it’s going to eschew the regular columns you’re used to—no news, no promotional fluff pieces, no reviews. Instead, this is going to be about horror itself, its philosophical mechanics, about how it interacts with us, and we with it. Each volume of the journal will focus on a single theme, the first of which is Horror in the Twenty-First Century featuring interviews with Nate Southard, Molly Tanzer, Simon Strantzas, Michael Kelly, Nathan Ballingrud, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia and essays by Kurt Fawver, Gary Fry, Helen Marshall, Jeremy R. Smith, Andrew P. Williams, and Michael Cisco.

30 review for Thinking Horror Volume 1: A Journal of Horror Philosophy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    Reading “Thinking Horror: A Journal of Horror Philosophy Volume One Horror in the Twenty-First Century” has acted as an eye opening examination as to what “Horror” really is. The book is a combination non-fiction essays and author interviews with leading edge authors that acts as a bridge between academic journals and fanzines. Each interview begins by asking the author a quite simple question “What Is Horror”. And I must say these are some of the best interviews I have read in quite some time. T Reading “Thinking Horror: A Journal of Horror Philosophy Volume One Horror in the Twenty-First Century” has acted as an eye opening examination as to what “Horror” really is. The book is a combination non-fiction essays and author interviews with leading edge authors that acts as a bridge between academic journals and fanzines. Each interview begins by asking the author a quite simple question “What Is Horror”. And I must say these are some of the best interviews I have read in quite some time. They have made me want to go out and buy or re-read all of the authors interviewed back catalog. As far as the essays are concerned, I found a couple of them a bit pretentious and a couple of others greatly fascinating. The books contents are: 005 – Editorial – S.J bagley 007 – Interview –Simon Strantzas 025 – Essay – Gary Fry 035 – Interview – Nate Southard 048 – Essay – Jeremy R. Smith 065 – Interview – Michael Kelly 083 – Essay – Hellen Marshall 089 – Essay – J.T. Glover 094 – Interview – Silvia Moreno-Garcia 110 – Essay – Andrew Williams 122 – Interview – Molly Tanzer 139 –Essay – Kurt Fowler 151 – Interview – Nathan Ballingrud 168 – Essay – Michael Cisco Highly Recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ross Lockhart

    An impressive collection of essays and interviews, Thinking Horror has proven to be THE must-read critical work of 2015.The articles are well-crafted and thought provoking. The interviews are focused and enlightening. If you are an aficionado of horror, but wish the discussion would stick to literature instead of getting sidetracked into film and other visual arts, Thinking Horror deserves a spot on your shelves. Kudos to Bagley and Stranzas for putting together an excellent journal. However, th An impressive collection of essays and interviews, Thinking Horror has proven to be THE must-read critical work of 2015.The articles are well-crafted and thought provoking. The interviews are focused and enlightening. If you are an aficionado of horror, but wish the discussion would stick to literature instead of getting sidetracked into film and other visual arts, Thinking Horror deserves a spot on your shelves. Kudos to Bagley and Stranzas for putting together an excellent journal. However, there are nits to pick. Typos are plentiful. Layout is serviceable, though inelegant. At least one interview appears to have been transcribed via a computer's—or phone's—speech to text application, leading to dropped and incorrect words throughout. And the prospect that the second issue will focus on the recent past—the "horror boom" of 1979–1992—instead of continuing to examine Horror in the Twenty-First Century, as this issue does, seems a misstep. But these are ultimately minor complaints. If you've been wishing for a journal of horror philosophy, Thinking Horror is here, and it's everything you've been dreaming of.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Randolph

    An in depth and scholarly journal about horror with each issue, well we'll see if issue 2 ever comes out, about a specific broad topic. Most of the essays are good with a couple of rubbish. However the interviews are marvelous and these are not the "What is your favorite food?" type, but real interesting and in depth conversations on horror literature. Expect to see words like liminal, numinous, abjection, etc. This is scholarly conversation about ideas, writers, and writing. The closest journal An in depth and scholarly journal about horror with each issue, well we'll see if issue 2 ever comes out, about a specific broad topic. Most of the essays are good with a couple of rubbish. However the interviews are marvelous and these are not the "What is your favorite food?" type, but real interesting and in depth conversations on horror literature. Expect to see words like liminal, numinous, abjection, etc. This is scholarly conversation about ideas, writers, and writing. The closest journal I can think of is Wormwood but that journal covers fantasy and decadence as well as horror. We strictly have horror here. Go buy it or get your library or school to buy it. The one criticism I have is the typesetting is appalling and the number of typos inexcusable. You can tell the book was taken from another font size and page layout without fixing things like the hyphens, etc. Small "l" is consistently rendered as capital "I". Forget that and buy it for the content.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I would have given this a 1 if it wasn't rescued by the ideas of some key pieces. The Bad: This is the most poorly edited journal I have ever read. Please tell me this is an orphan copy that somehow escaped through a funhole to plague me with its wretchedness. Seriously, the first interview of the associate editor was almost unreadable because of poor copy editing and the obvious editing errors continued throughout the issue. I was annoyed and would have thrown it in my fire pit, but I wanted to r I would have given this a 1 if it wasn't rescued by the ideas of some key pieces. The Bad: This is the most poorly edited journal I have ever read. Please tell me this is an orphan copy that somehow escaped through a funhole to plague me with its wretchedness. Seriously, the first interview of the associate editor was almost unreadable because of poor copy editing and the obvious editing errors continued throughout the issue. I was annoyed and would have thrown it in my fire pit, but I wanted to read what the authors had to say (and I had doled out money for the first two issues - the second, please tell me you learned from the first). I would sell it now that I am finished, but I wouldn't do that to another reader. There are two academic entries that are convoluted and turgid. Once again a good editor should have helped them. The Good: The interviews were generally good, especially Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Molly Tanzer, and Nathan Ballingrud. The standout essay by Kurt Fawver which provides insights into the resurgence of "the weird." Perplexed that the citational notes start at #29 - are you just fucking with us Bagley ;)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Watson

    If you have an interest in horror writing and a little bit of general horror thoughts, this journal is a good read. The interviews are interesting and informative and the essays give a philosophical spin to various subjects of horror writing. Is it worth the list price, yes I think it is, it’s something that I will definitely look back at to direct some reading and give thought to my own aspirations of writing. What I’m not currently sure of it if it might be worth picking up Vol2. It has a higher If you have an interest in horror writing and a little bit of general horror thoughts, this journal is a good read. The interviews are interesting and informative and the essays give a philosophical spin to various subjects of horror writing. Is it worth the list price, yes I think it is, it’s something that I will definitely look back at to direct some reading and give thought to my own aspirations of writing. What I’m not currently sure of it if it might be worth picking up Vol2. It has a higher price and I would need to do a bit of comparing before I jump. If I do pick one up, it may be a cheaper second hand copy but I’ll leave a review on the cost part if I do!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bernard Leman

    Imprescindible para el adicto al terror escrito. No solo da una panorámica de por dónde se mueve el género, sino que abre nuevas vistas y vías de interés. Deseando estudiar el segundo número.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I wasn't keen on the essays, but the interviews were fascinating and worth the cover price. I wasn't keen on the essays, but the interviews were fascinating and worth the cover price.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ian Casey

    Thinking Horror is the right project at the right time, and with the right people behind it; certainly for me, and hopefully for other readers of horror and weird fiction. I’m increasingly excited to read not only the great works of horror fiction but also about these works and the minds who penned them, be it via literary criticism, philosophical analysis, interviews or biographies. It’s worth noting that this dovetails neatly with Scott Nicolay’s ‘The Outer Dark’ podcast and features a heavy o Thinking Horror is the right project at the right time, and with the right people behind it; certainly for me, and hopefully for other readers of horror and weird fiction. I’m increasingly excited to read not only the great works of horror fiction but also about these works and the minds who penned them, be it via literary criticism, philosophical analysis, interviews or biographies. It’s worth noting that this dovetails neatly with Scott Nicolay’s ‘The Outer Dark’ podcast and features a heavy overlap of names either contributing or subject to discussion, including a podcast episode with Thinking Horror co-creators S.J. Bagley and Simon Strantzas discussing this very project. Both podcast and journal are bursting at the seams with the kinds of authors who are now filling my physical and electronic shelves, many of whom I’ve yet to have the pleasure of starting on. The mix of interviews and essays is a winning combination, as is the tone (and price) that aims for a midpoint between a fanzine and an academic journal. For the most part it’s enough to be challenging but not impenetrable to the kind of reader with an interest in literary philosophy but who isn’t on a PHD level. In other words, I’m bang in the middle of the target audience and they hit me. My one proviso is that the essay by Jeremy R. Smith was written in grad student speak that bordered on incomprehensible to me. I have only the vaguest notion of what I think he was aiming at. The copy editing was a bit loose to make a good first impression. It got off to a shaky start with the interview with co-editor Simon Strantzas being chock full of typos. Like so: Being convinced (a some times more than others) that the world is out to get or punish me, it’s not a far stretch to believe those momentary delusion in fact have some truth to them, and that the is a malignancy to the order of things. I count three typos in that sentence. For a book with such worthy, serious content, I would rather the attention to editing/publishing details be commensurate therewith. Kurt Fawver’s essay even has a typo in its title, large bold text notwithstanding. Despite the theme for this volume of ‘Horror in the Twenty-First Century’, the diversity of contributors involved leads to a wide expanse of perspectives being covered. The past is by no means dispensed with. There’s a clear sense that to understand horror in this century, one must understand its relation to previous eras such as the early Gothic, the heyday of Weird Tales, the 80s boom etc. One must first examine critically the works of, say, Lovecraft or King, before identifying the ways modern authors are moving away from them either consciously or otherwise. A highlight for me was Andrew P. Williams’ PHD essay ‘The Symbolic Liminal: Keene, Matheson and the Fast Zombie’. Apart from complementing Matt Cardin’s impressive essay on liminality in Thomas Ligotti’s story ‘The Shadow at the Bottom of the World’ (available in ‘The Thomas Ligotti Reader’), it was also an eye-opening deconstruction of the ‘zombie metaphor’, wherein the totality rests on the interaction of three components being the self, the other and the liminal spaces between. There are also incidental benefits to be found in the form of discovering new works to investigate. I was unfamiliar for example with Eugene Thacker’s trilogy of books on the philosophy of horror, of Helen Oyeyemi’s ‘White Is for Witching’ and Fred Chappell’s 1968 reimagining of ‘Dagon’ until they were used as points of reference here. All told, consider me hooked and I hope this project has a long and vibrant future. Bring on Volume Two.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    This is a journal devoted to the critical study of horror fiction. Two types of non-fiction here: interviews with figures in the field such as writers and editors, and interpretative essays. The interviews discuss ideas, instead of trivialities that one finds in popular magazines. The essays are not book reviews, but are like critical essays in academic literary journals. Sometimes these essays resort to academic jargon, unfortunately. I was pleased to see that two of the people interviewed have This is a journal devoted to the critical study of horror fiction. Two types of non-fiction here: interviews with figures in the field such as writers and editors, and interpretative essays. The interviews discuss ideas, instead of trivialities that one finds in popular magazines. The essays are not book reviews, but are like critical essays in academic literary journals. Sometimes these essays resort to academic jargon, unfortunately. I was pleased to see that two of the people interviewed have views similar to mine concerning the slasher/gore style of horror: NATE SOUTHARD: ...I know my tastes in horror have changed as I've grown to see the world in different ways. The hack and slash stuff that I used to really enjoy as an escapist thrill now bores the living shit out of me. Other things I've grown to appreciate more... MICHAEL KELLY: If your mention the term 'horror' to the average person, most will, unfortunately, have a certain unflattering idea about what that entails: steaming entrails, butchered limbs; misogyny of the highest fucking order. I blame cinema from the 80s. The horror boom created hundreds of dreadful slashed flicks. They were all the same film, really, and none of them had much redeeming value. Later, you could blame Leisure Books, as well, but really very few people actually read those... The essay "The Symbolic Liminal: Keene, Matheson, and the Fast Zombie" by Andrew P. Williams, Phd. make a between the slow zombie and the fast zombie. Unlike the traditional slow and shambling zombie, the fast zombie is just as agile and strong, and perhaps more so, than regular humans. The essay "Why Weird, Why Now?: On the Rationale for Weird Fiction's Resurgence" by Kurt Fawner deals with something I've been thinking about. The weird tale has been in a resurgence since the early 21st Century. Why? One partial reason given is the rise of globalization and cultural interconnectedness, because of the internet. I agree that's a part of it. I think an additional factor, which the author does not discuss, is the changes in publishing. In the first half of the 20th Century, short story magazines flourished. One of them, in fact, was called Weird Tales, where Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and other giants in the field were published. Then starting in the late 1950s, there was a steep decline in short fiction magazines. This decline has been discussed in science fiction community. I think there were various reasons for the decline, ranging from alternative forms of entertainment (TV becoming a mass phenomena, and later VCRs and video games) to the tastes of fiction readers--the preference for novels over short story collections. You know, I've recently seen another online reviewer say that they don't care for short fiction! The internet has brought changes to publishing. Short stories are published online. E-publishing has made publishing short and medium length fiction more economical. The essayist expects that "interest in weird fiction will undoubtedly wane at some point in the future.." I've wondered about that too. I see no reason, though, that interest in the weird tale cannot stay at a good level, as long electronic publishing exists.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aksel Dadswell

    Overall an immensely interesting, varied and promising journal, and one I look forward to following in the future. The interviews and essays delve into what horror really is, and come to a variety of insightful conclusions. The interviews were full of depth and insight into the writers' methods and philosophies, and most of the essays were well-written and engaging; one of my favourites was "Why Weird, Why Now?" by Kurt Fawver, which made some fantastic observations about weird fiction's current Overall an immensely interesting, varied and promising journal, and one I look forward to following in the future. The interviews and essays delve into what horror really is, and come to a variety of insightful conclusions. The interviews were full of depth and insight into the writers' methods and philosophies, and most of the essays were well-written and engaging; one of my favourites was "Why Weird, Why Now?" by Kurt Fawver, which made some fantastic observations about weird fiction's current renaissance. One of the essays, however, tended towards utterly incomprehensible esoterica full of made up words and academic babble that gave me a migraine. Another problem was the number of typos I found throughout, which really tended to detract from the engagement and quality of the volume. Hopefully this will be addressed in future issues. Otherwise though, an excellent and highly enjoyable read with a nice variety of content and a great balance of intellectual exploration and entertainment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Palacios Kindelan

    Too short, kinda pretentious, I still enjoyed the hell out of the book. I loved the essays, but some of the interviews were groan-inducing, except for Molly Tanzer, she rules. I hope part 2 comes out soon

  12. 5 out of 5

    James Everington

  13. 5 out of 5

    W. P.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Łukasz

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon Stevens

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christi Nogle

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tom Duffy

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barry Hill

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wehunt

  22. 5 out of 5

    6655321

  23. 5 out of 5

    TBRpile yuju

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Sebestyen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grant

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sirensongs

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  29. 5 out of 5

    Clint

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

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