Sunday, September 7, 2014

Some important horror fiction you can read online, at least at this time:

A few examples of the better horror fiction you can currently read online (no promises that any given item will still be posted tomorrow, but I'm avoiding the more obviously criminal sites on the web, or anything that demands that you download):

Fritz Leiber:
Conjure Wfie (original magazine publication)
"Smoke Ghost"
You're All Alone (original magazine edit)

Theodore Sturgeon:
"Shottle Bop"
"The Professor's Teddy Bear"

Damon Knight: 
"Special Delivery"

Robert Bloch:
"The Weird Tailor"
"The Man Who Collected Poe"

Ray Bradbury:
"The October Game"

H. Russell Wakefield:
"Ghost Hunt" (if you were wondering about ancestors of The Blair Witch Project)

Beasts and Super-Beasts (for a sample, try "Laura," the second story)

Ambrose Bierce:
Can Such Things Be?

and, for some Real Life Horror (aside from that included among the above):
William Saroyan:
"Seventy Thousand Assyrians"

(a few suggestions for Prashant Trikannad and others...more to be added soon)


pattinase (abbott) said...

THanks, Todd. Very useful.

Todd Mason said...

You're welcome, Patti! Of course, the issues that some of these (so far) are in usually make for at least Interesting reading, in addition to these selected stories...helps make up, in part, for the rough distraction of some of the reproduction...

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Thanks very much, Todd. This is, indeed, useful, particularly "Seventy Thousand Assyrians" by William Saroyan, a writer I have been meaning to read for a while now. I have sampled Saki but don't remember much. UNZ and Gutenberg is where I usually head during my weekly hunt for early and vintage fiction. In terms of works of authors, Gutenberg has its limitations, I think.

Todd Mason said...

Yes. Gutenberg gains points, however, for taking care not to violate copyright and for putting the texts into fairly legible format...less distracting to read, I'd say, in the HTML presentations than the occasionally distractingly tattered facsimile copies of Unz's site (where he's making a figleaf effort to avoid copyright questions). These examples would've already been augmented by Manly Wade Wellman and Margaret St. Clair citations, at least, since they both have a fair amount in WEIRD TALES, at least, but I wanted to review which stories I'd recommend first to the theoretical casual or new reader...much of their best short work was published in F&SF, which Unz has pulled from his site, much as much of the best Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, and others is in F&SF and FANTASTIC. The Knight story not being under copyright, and available through Gutenberg, is good for readers, if too bad for Knight's estate.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Todd, some of the periodicals on Unz are "fully readable" and contain shorts stories by writers like Gardner, JDM, Bradbury, Lessing, and Hemingway. I have read quite a few of them. I suppose the owners of those periodicals have lifted the copyright.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Very curious about the magazine edition of CONJURE WIFE Todd, thanks very much - just tried viewing it without much luck (I get a message saying I have reached my bandwidth limit, which is nonsense) but will give it another go when I get home.

Todd Mason said...

No,'s just that Unz and his associates are guessing/hoping that no one is likely to make a copyright claim on some magazines, and is likely on others...or perhaps someone has made a claim or inquiry on one or another story in the magazines that are not currently viewable. But it's not been done in a particularly discriminate fashion (at least not with the fiction magazines)...mostly, Unz and co. are suspecting, I think, that any magazine that didn't exist much along into the 1960s is no longer covered by copyright, and any magazine that did continue into those years and beyond is still covered. I'm very much aware of the fine work that is still up in facsimile format on the site.

Yes, Sergio, it's a a cute bug or somesuch on the Unz site that simply wants you to go ahead and hit the specific document button on their page, after a certain number of page views. FWIW, doing so gives a better view of the page, anyway.