I can't stand them. Really, i don't think I've ever read a whizz-bang start that didn't herald a mediocre book. Read books by Christoper Golden, Andrew Hurley, Scott Smith, Keith Donohue, John Langham, Guillermo Del Toro, Michelle Paver, John Malerman, etc; they allow themselves to treat the readers like adults, not gaming teenagers.

I know the 'first page' thing places a big burden on writers. Thriller and horror writers are especially vulnerable, which is why I've written this here. I'm not really sure why I'm ranting, but I do know the best writers don't start you off with the MC tied up in a dark place with blood running down his face, or in a white room with a mysterious antagonist, or mid zombie-chase. They trust that readers might want horror and thrills, but they have to be presented on a foundation. I'm not saying give us two chapters of throat-clearing. I am saying I'd rather trust an opening that'll be relevant and useful later on in the story than one that feels it has to hit you over the hit or you'll move on.

But that doesn't seem to be how people think decision-makers in the industry think.

Or maybe I'm just an old bat moaning at the changing of the world. Readers want what they want. Maybe readers like me are in the minority.

Maybe we should make the category 'literary horror' more official? So readers know what to expect? Is that what I'm saying?