Halloween Haunts: Emotional Realism in Extreme Horror Fiction by Nicole Cushing

 

First things first: let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Extreme horror fiction hasn’t always enjoyed the best reputation. Despite the commercial success of books like Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho and Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door, the field is often seen as only catering to a niche audience. Despite a pedigree that arguably extends at least as far back as the Marquis de Sade, the field is often seen as a playground for recent generations of subliterate hacks.

Perhaps that’s why so little has been said about how to write extreme horror fiction skillfully: so many …