Paperbacks from Hell
Part of the fun of being a horror fan is nothing is off limits. There isn't a person, location, or situation that can't find itself inside a horror novel. And nothing highlights this better than Grady Hendrix's "Paperbacks from Hell". A wonderful love letter to the backbone of horror writing: the paperback book. In the 70s and 80s there was an uptick in demand of cheap, fun, gross horror reads that could be consumed quickly. This book highlights them by category, showing you the covers and giving you a breakdown of what each one was about.
As soon as I finished this book, I had a long list of out of print treasures to go hunting for. Although you can always go online to find many out of print material, I always like to head out to the local used book stores (in Texas you know where I mean, cough *Half Price Books*cough). And scour the shelves hoping a scary treasure will be unearthed. Searching this way requires patience, gas money, and a bit of luck.
"Look, I found this out of print book for $1.25. I only had to drive from Fort Worth to Dallas to Arlington to Bedford to find it."
Well to be honest, I did find one after about a month of looking. And while I was excited to find it, I still want to read many of the great titles shown in Hendrix's book. That's where Valancourt Books comes in.
Valancourt Books is an independent small press specializing in the rediscovery of rare, neglected, and out-of-print fiction. Despite the valiant efforts of a few small presses and the availability of new technology that can make books available to readers all over the world, far too many great books remain out-of-print and inaccessible
They specialize in Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural works, but also include many important works focusing on gay interests, going all the way back to the 18th century. They also include books from neglected authors that don't quite fit into their two main categories. They look for important books from the 18th century through the 20th century that have been forgotten. And last year they decided to begin offering some of the paperbacks listed in "Paperbacks from Hell".
The first group is available through their website, in paperback or eBook. You can also get them on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles if that is where you purchase your books.
The Second group is in release now with three of the five available. If you buy them as a group you save a couple of dollars.
Hopefully they will continue to print these until they get to John Christopher's "The Little People" because who doesn't need to know how to stop the Gestapochauns, psychic Nazi leprechauns who enjoy S&M, were trained as sex slaves, and are actually stunted fetuses taken from Jewish concentration camps. Did I mention one of them is named Adolf? WTF?!