Try a polar horror novel for some winter's night reading

December has arrived, and the chill of colder weather is here to stay for at least a few months. Getting cozy and thinking warm thoughts might be nice for some, but for others it might be the perfect season to curl up with a horror novel from the subgenre “polar horror.”

These are horror stories set in the dark, snowy cold. If that’s the kind of thing to warm your blood, here are some suggestions.

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A famous tale of snowy horror, Stephen King’s The Shining – about a nuclear family hotel-sitting for the impassible winter season – is a masterful work of isolation, terror and a good ghost or 10. Made famous by Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, the original work contains several chilling surprises and stands on its own.

Remoteness and the cold feature in two works of classic horror: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft. Like many classic tales of horror and science fiction they explore themes of science and the unknown – the horror of man’s overreach. The HP Lovecraft story is contained within our copy of The Complete Fiction of HP Lovecraft.

Robert Masello’s Blood and Ice is a thriller set in part, in a remote Antarctic research station, where a journalist finds a young man and woman bound and sealed in ice in the polar sea. In this suspenseful thriller, he must uncover the mystery because what is dead may not be gone.

Dan Simmons has become a titan of the polar horror genre with his opus The Terror, which provides a fictionalized account (with an extra sprinkle of fanciful evil) of Captain Franklin’s doomed expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage. The library’s copy is in storage until the renovations are over, but we do have the first season of the TV series based on the book. Another Simmons novel, The Abominable, is set on the summits of Mount Everest, where three climbers find themselves pursued by someone, or something.

For more suggestions visit the library in person, email or call 604-527-4660.

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