Friday, June 19, 2015

Chet Williamson Born Today, 1948

"Books don't scare me. When I read horror, I don't read it really to be scared. I read it to be moved..."
Chet Williamson, in Dark Dreamers, 1990



Ron Clinton said...

I'm a big Chet Williamson fan. His story, “'Yore Skin’s Jes’s Soft ‘N Purty' He Said” was one of the highlights of one of the better Dark Harvest anthologies to come out, RAZORED SADDLES.

Incidentally, he has a brand-new HC collection that was just released by PS Publishing. He also has a new novel coming out next year that riffs off the Psycho legacy...should be good!

Lincoln said...

Is there a good place to start with CW, Ron?

Ron Clinton said...

Lincoln, the frustrating problem with Williamson is that his long fiction has never equaled his short fiction, the latter of which is simply -- and, more importantly, consistently -- fantastic. Unfortunately, his Ash-Tree Press collection collected only his quieter, Jamesian'ish horror -- which, while fine, wasn't really the Williamson that I'd come to know. I don't know what his PS Publishing collection will offer as I haven't yet seen its ToC, but I'm certainly excited to find out very suspicion is that it will be the more overt horror stories, which will be a fine thing indeed.

While all his novels have their assets and are recommended to varying degrees -- e.g. LOWLAND RIDER, SOULSTORM, ASH WEDNESDAY, DREAMTHORP, REIGN, and others -- probably the one I'd recommend is SECOND CHANCE, even though it is probably the most atypical of his long work -- and perhaps that's, in fact, why it stands out for me. That, and the fact that its nod to the alternate-time novels of Richard Matheson and Jack Finney is a big plus for me.

Lincoln said...

Thanks Ron, might pick up his new collection.
'Dreamthorp' sounds interesting, as well.

Joe G said...

I loved SOULSTORM when I first read it. Don't remember much except that the cast of characters were locked in the haunted house via steel doors (solving the old conundrum of all haunted house stories "Why don't they just leave?"). Also that one of the characters was demonically musclebound.

Rob K. said...

Oh yah, I liked SoulStorm and esp. Ash Wednesday a lot. I'd forgotten about them! Williamson is a good, imaginative writer. I too liked the short fiction of his that I'd read in various places.