And this is no exception. I finished reading Charles de Lint's Mulengro yesterday, and here's what I don't understand: is that horror? I didn't think it was, but I know people, either here or in someone else's comments section, said it was, and there was an author's note at the beginning about how it was darker than other stuff and he'd published horror under a different pen name afterwards because of that. So clearly this is well within some people's definition of horror.
Okay...so...why? Because there are ghosts? There are ghosts in The Lord of the Rings. Because lots of people die? Lots of people die in The Lord of the Rings. Because there's a psychopath? Umm...do I even need to go on pointing this stuff out?
I had thought that the difference between (the supernatural subgenre of) horror and dark fantasy was mood. That if you have vampires or the extremely mentally disturbed but the atmosphere is not horrific, you don't have horror, and if you have everything looking totally normal but in a way that makes your skin crawl, you do have horror. Is it just that I'm a callous horrible sicko? (We know I'm a callous horrible sicko. The question is whether it's just that.) Should I have been horrified by Mulengro? Did de Lint think I should have been? Do I care at all about authorial intent here? I don't think an incomptent horror novel becomes fantasy (if I'm just not scared, it's just not horror), so that can't be it.
What's the deal?
The up side is that I thought Mulengro was a lot more interesting than a lot of the Return to Newford/Road to Newford/Rinkitink in Newford stories have been. The down side is that this was an old book. I still haven't gotten a copy of The Blue Girl, but I promised ksumnersmith and dlandon and probably some other people whose names don't rhyme with "eena" that I'd fall on that grenade for them, so there will be more de Lint reports to come.
seimaisin asked for happy thoughts earlier today, and mine were sushi and ice cream, and I've had both in good company, and I'm now having a Mack-assisted flashback to the second half of my college years (by way of the PO and a CD), listening to the Wilburys. We are still several songs from the Wilbury Twist, which is my favorite Wilbury song. One of my college friends used to actually do the Wilbury Twist along to the song sometimes. He would make sure he had a couch or flip-and-fornicate to fall on when the song got to "put your other foot up; fall on your ass." Still, that's commitment. Also, my book is behaving moderately well, accepting my additions and amendments with as close to good grace as its grouchy taciturn Finnish self can manage. So yay for that, and back to it.