In a recent article for Writing Magazine, a UK periodical I subscribe to and read regularly, Johnny Mains of Salt Publishing was quoted as saying: "Horror in the mainstream is as good as dead, but there are faint signs of life." How can this be? It's a question I've asked a few times since, especially as horror on the silverscreen is alive and kicking (and resurrecting), and Stephen King is still writing strong and selling books by the ship-load. Is horror dead? Why then was Doctor Sleep a bestseller? And yet, when I visit my local Waterstones, there are very few new titles on the shelves. King, Herbert, Koontz dominate and the likes of Barker, Lovecraft and Straub fill the rest, with very few others featuring. Yeah, you've got you Joe Hills, Adam Nevills etc, but there's very few drops of new blood being spilt there, compared to the resurgence of fantasy and the dominance of SF. It's something I'm very concerned about as my recent project is unashamedly horror, with firm nods to those 70's horror books that I grew up with. Now while I didn't write this to make mega-bucks, I would like to know it would have some kind of audience. Seeing that audience die out from killer flu, nuclear Armageddon or, now, pure apathy, is disconcerting. It might be that King and co. are masking what really is a decline in horror popularity. We may prefer to watch blood being spilt than reading it, or maybe publishers are more canny; what we used to perceive as horror is now literary or even crime fiction. Perhaps Johnny Mains is actually wrong saying mainstream horror is dead. Maybe it's become so mainstream, it no longer has an identity of its own. What do you think?