I am a horror fan and much of what I write is horror – or at least, I think of it that way. I am frequently subject to the following exchange:
Well-Meaning Interlocutor: "What do you like to read?"
Me: "I enjoy horror."
W-MI: "Oh, I hate horror. It's disgusting and awful. How can you like it?"
All of these works have horror elements. Some are firmly placed in the horror canon; others merely dip their toes in the horror pool.
The problem lies in definitions. For many people, horror is "that gross stuff I don't like." It is as if we each have our own sliding scale of what we can handle and what we can't, and for those who haven't thought it through, horror is anything that exceeds their tolerances.
It is time for a new understanding of horror.