Faces sunk in. Eyes rolled back. Limbs twisted and cracked.
Welcome to the November 1st stop on the blog tour for DedKode – Connected by Chad R. Hunter with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, more guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
The Importance of Horror in Literature
Perhaps it is the idea of something in the dark. Maybe it is the terrifying words that conjure up a horrific phantom rising from a grave. Whatever the image, whatever the wording, it all serves one dark purpose – to scare us. And as we fear the thing that is horror, we must acknowledge the not only do we like it, we need it.
Horror is a genre of literature that is meant to frighten, unnerve and at times repulse us. It looks to the primal reactions that scares the parts of us that we don’t even know ourselves. Horror is one of our earliest reactions as even newborns jump at loud noises. The genre explores themes of death, darkness, and the unknown. While it would be easy to discount horror as nothing more than cheap chills and shlocky thrills, truth be told there are three major reasons why horror is important in literature.
1. Horror explores our deepest fears.
Face it, we LIKE to be scared. Look at the sales of horror novels, movies, TV series and games. We relish the terrifying genre because it allows us to explore deep fears in a safe environment. We can close the book, turn off the TV and end that video that is just too much for us to handle. The benefit of facing what scares us is the chance to develop coping mechanisms for real life events. Additionally, when we explore what scares us, we are faced with what is truly important to us.
Take for example, the classic horror novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. As the author explores the fear of the death (the greatest unknown we face), she also puts us face to face with the fear of losing control of a creation. Who can read “Frankenstein” and not think of what death means to them and the importance of keeping their loved ones safe?
2. Horror challenges our assumptions about the world.
We get up, we go to work, we come home, we go to bed. Horror takes all of that and flips it upside down and inside out. The genre challenges what we think about the world and our place in it. Look at the works of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary concept of cosmic horror. According to Lovecraft, everything we think we know about the world and even the very universe is a best a lie, at worst a terrible truth of our unimportance.
Horror stories can force us to question what we believe, what we see as right and wrong and what we accept about the supernatural. Horror makes us ask ourselves “Is this the way things really are?” In this challenge, we also can learn to accept others’ points of view that are different from our own.
3. Horror can be a powerful tool for social commentary.
No other genre can force us to explore society and community like horror can. Tales of fright can be used to look into our collective issues in society and as a community. Horror makes us question just what we as a whole consider right and wrong. Take a look at the concept of “Dracula” where Bram Stoker questions how we view the stranger and the other. Or consider Stephen King’s “Carrie” or “It” which both can be seen as commentaries on teenage and town mob behavior. And if you want to see how society can quickly fall apart, look at any zombie film or read any zombie book such as “World War Z” or the newest zombie hit “DedKode: Connected.” (not that I’m biased at all!)
Horror is an important genre of literature because it makes us think about what we hold dear, it makes us explore our deepest fears and teaches us valuable lessons about life. It can entertain. It can terrify. It can disgust. Of all literary genres, horror has the most tools to affect readers. It has been with us since the first early human trembled at the sound of thunder, jumped at the first flash of lightning and clung to fire from the first shadow watching from the back of the cave.
About the Book
DedKode – Connected
by Chad R. Hunter
Published 28 October 2023
Genre: Science Fiction / Horror
Page Count: 468
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Without warning, the demonic computing device rose up. Red arcs of crackling electricity snapped out from the server and struck the men and women in the chest. Involuntarily, they each screamed out in dying shrieks. Each worshiper hovered off the floor, transfixed and held for feeding.
DedKode moved forward but James knew it was too late. He placed his hand out and stayed the young, undead hacker.
The worshipers continued to undulate and now fluids ran from their orifices; heavy thick drops collected in puddles beneath each of them.
Faces sunk in.
Eyes rolled back.
Limbs twisted and cracked.
After what seemed like hours, but was only minutes, of watching these men and women sucked dry of their lives, the bodies collapsed to the flooring. Several landed in the pools of their bodily fluids – that which the server did not demand.
The server hovered still, humming like a thousand computer room fans and the singing of a damned chorus. The crimson energy that had drawn life from the worshipers crackled and snapped in oscillating arcs around the device.
The room was still empty as DedKode’s hacks were still running and fooling the security systems.
“What’s the plan now, Devon?” James asked, keeping his eyes on the demonic equipment hovering either obliviously or without care at his presence. “Do we still try to shut this thing down and take it back or—”
Suddenly DedKode held his hooded skeletal head. Palladino’s attention shifted to his teammate.
“What is it?”
There was a feeling that stirred up from a buzzing between where DedKode’s ears once were to a deafening roar he could not ignore. It was an energy, a swelling that circled the room, and DedKode could feel it in part. “Shit, King James, look —”
He pointed a gloved bony finger towards the now pulsating vibration only he could feel. The zombie hacker directed Palladino’s gaze to the dead, robed corpses.
They were rising to their feet.
Their hoods fell away and it was clear that they were once alive and were now resurrected dead. Jaws were sunken in, eyes pulled back into black sockets completely void of life. Mouths hung in slow, smacking moans and patches of hair fell with each step, covering the floor along with tears of desiccate flesh.
Arms lifted up and bony hands reached out in trembling grasps.
A hoarse cry rumbled from within breathless, shrunken lungs.
Wriggling, hungry and insatiable pupa squirmed, crawling, pushing over and between one another. All countless white and wet creatures with their single dark dot eye and mouth were finding homes inside Devon Collier.
Worse yet, they were finding a meal inside the man.
He continued his pained walk to the tube, the chamber which he routinely rested within. It was only a few moments but, as in moments of heated conflict or in times when his body was battered and broken, Collier could feel the internal battle slip between the man and the monster.
His head would haze.
His mind would fog over.
The man would be lost and the zombie that he was, the undead creature that he was, would rise up and take control.
It was then that DedKode would be the ultimate threat to his friends—a brain-craving, flesh-hungering thing hellbent on feeding on the living. It had happened before—several times during his time with King James and twice since the Kanapilly sisters joined up. Three times, it had been because of massive injuries to his body. One time it was due to a long battle against a digitized dark entity made flesh. A final time, the worst in DedKode had appeared due to failure to reach the man-sized steel and glass tube.
This was the purpose of the restoration chamber. With its large piping and ventilation system, the creation would fill the space with a thick fog that carried adenosine triphosphate, taurine and finally, vaporized brains. Several hours in the chamber and Devon Collier would be restored to the best of his current state.
However, he would never be restored to his previous nature amongst the living.
DedKode reached the controls to the chamber and tapped the lock. The clear door hissed and opened quickly.
In his darkest moments, the zombie would weep. It had been too long since he had been alive. Nearly two years had passed since Collier could feel like the living, crave food and drink like the living, love like the living.
The skeletal faced man finally slid into position. It was to his design comfortable at least.
The door hissed again and the chamber closed.
Another sound of air exchange and the seal within the tube was completed.
The large tubes began to vibrate and wiggle as they pumped in the special fog that Collier had come to depend on.
DedKode could feel the biting within begin to subside. As he allowed the chamber to perform its task, he looked through the glass at his workstation.
His monitor read back input from Our Lady of Grace cemetery. It was focused on a specific gravestone.
About the Author
Chad Hunter was born in East Chicago, Indiana. Raised by a single mother in the city’s Harbor section, he is the youngest of four. Growing up in the Midwest and a proudly self-proclaimed “Region Rat,” Hunter has written and published several books and novels. He has written for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and has been published in several languages. His writings have been called sophisticated yet humorous, sharp witted and unrelenting.
Most often, Hunter’s writings have been considered so wide and diverse that they span a scale that would include multiple writers with multiple forms. If anything binds his varied styles, it is Hunter’s theme of the human condition, humor and family closeness – all to the backdrop of romantic love, vibrant remembrance and even monsters themselves.
Chad Hunter will award a randomly drawn winner a $10 Amazon/BN gift card.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Oct 30||Long and Short Reviews||Kenyan Poet|
|Oct 31||Fabulous and Brunette||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews|
|Nov 1||Westveil Publishing||–|
|Nov 2||Sandra’s Book Club||The Avid Reader|
|Nov 3||Literary Gold||–|
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