Selected titles from the darker side of fantasy fiction. Updated July 2011.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
One of the first, and still one of the best, occult novels.
- The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft
A collection of stories by the master of horror and fantasy, H. P. Lovecraft.
- Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber (1977)
In this award-winning horror fantasy, a San Francisco resident slowly discovers that the city is haunted or possessed by dark spirits which only he can see.
- Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (1993)
The first of a hugely popular series involving vampires, werewolves and other occult forces, in a deadly mix that must be negotiated by private detective/vampire hunter/necromancer Anita Blake. A tough heroine in a classic noir style.
- Storm Front by Jim Butcher (2000)
A sure hit with people who enjoy the Anita Blake series above. Wizard Harry Dresden seeks to protect Chicago from occult threats, while fending off the suspicions of the wizard bureaucracy. Like Anita Blake, Dresden hides a warm heart and solid values beneath a cynical exterior, and takes a beating but still fulfills his serious mission of protecting humanity.
- Blood Price by Tanya Huff (1991)
Yet another mix of mystery story, romance, and fantasy; in this case, involving detective Vicki Nelson and her vampire friend Henry Fitzroy. Not as dark as the Anita Blake or Dresden series, but equally fun.
- Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (2001)
This features another strong female character, Elena, the only female werewolf existing in the world of this book, in which werewolves are genetically only male.