Friday, March 22, 2013

In Memororiam - James Herbert

James Herbert, horror and science fiction writer, has passed away at the age of 69. Herbert has been a bestselling novelist since the 1970's and his works have defined the genre and became classics during his lifetime.

James Herbert first creeped us out with The Rats (M) in 1974, in which mutant, flesh-eating rodents overran London. "It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realised by a panic-stricken city. For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time – suddenly, shockingly, horribly – the balance of power had shifted…" publisher. The Rats was considered to be so disturbing that, according to The Telegraph, a London based bookstore refused to stock it inspiring teenagers to buy it up and make it a bestseller.

Herbert went on to publish 23 novels, several of which were made into movies. His stories are atmospheric and gruesome and he is quoted as saying that he wanted to reader to really experience the violence, to have a sense of what it would feel like if your leg was being chewed. In more recent years, he published fewer novels, his latest in 2012 was Ash. (M) "Deep in the countryside, ghost hunter David Ash is investigating a mysterious, secluded stately home. Reports from locals regarding strange goings-on make him think the house is haunted... But not even David Ash's long professional history of warding off evil spirits can prepare him for the shocking discovery that awaits. International bestselling horror writer James Herbert weaves a terrifying narrative featuring his best-loved character, David Ash, the skeptical detective of the paranormal introduced in the UK number one bestsellers, Haunted and The Ghosts of Sleath. Prepare to be chilled to the marrow…" publisher

James Herbert was appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 2010, and in the same year was also honored with The World Horror Convention Grand Master Award. His obituaries have featured comments from the writers and readers he has inspired and entertained thanking him for the scares.

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