We all love top 10 lists (don't know why that is. Perhaps it's a psychological need for order). So every day this week I will be doing a top 10 of the things I love.
Day 1 - Top 10 Horror Novelists:
1. Brian Keene:
Keene is my absolute favourite author for many reasons. One being that each of his stories is so vastly different from the next. His stories features monsters and demons from all types of mythology, folklore and Abrahmic Religions (and a few pagan ones here and there). The worlds he creates are rich ones full of unspeakable evils and dark magic, but what makes his body of work all the more exciting is his overarching mythos of the 'labrynth' that ties every one of his stories together in one way or another. All that, besides that fact that Keene pumps out novels and novellas quicker than any other author I know means that he provides a constant source of entertainment for me.
Check out: Dead Sea, The Rising, Ghost walk, and 20 odd others that are great.
2. Stephen King:
I may be unpopular for this one, but I thnk that if you take King's work as a whole then you have to appreciate his skill. While some of his books are better than others, his epics such as the Stand, Under The Dome, Desperation, It and a few others provide an experience that no other authors can provide. While his input is slowing down as he reaches old age, his recent work seems to be closer to his original stuff, which brings his career full circle in an organic and pleasing fashion.
Check out: Under the Dome, Desperation, The Green Mile, The Stand, Pet Cemetary
3. Simon Clark:
My favourite British Author because he presents horror in a modern english setting that I can identify with. While I have only read a few of his books so far, I found Blood Crazy and Ghost Monster to be brilliant and original tales.
4. Jeff Strand:
I only recently discovered Strand but since I did I have not looked back. I started with his Bram Stoker award winning Pressure, which sucked me in more than any character driven horror story ever. It really is fantastic and you have to check it out. Then I read his heart-wrending novel Dweller. I have to say that this novel left me devastated and actually in mourning. It spans an entire man's lifetime along with his friendship with a monster named Owen. One of my favourite books ever.
5. Scott Sigler:
Again I only recently discovered Sigler with his technothriller Ancestor. It was like Jurassic park meets James bond and I loved it. Then I read Infected and Contagious, the 1st two parts of a trilogy, and again I must say I was glued to the pages. It's like The Fly crossed with Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
6. Jack Kilborn:
Or J A Konrath to quote his real name. Kilborn is a similar writer to Jack Ketchum (Would be number 11 on my list if it went that far) in that he loves to shock, but I also found him very unique in the stories he creates. For example, his story Origin is like nothing I have ever read before. He is also a great guy that works really hard to help aspiring authors, so you owe it to the man to buy his work.
Check Out: Trapped, Afraid, Endurance
7. J F Gonzalez:
Not as well known as some, but has some fantastic books to his name. Writes some really uniqe characters that perhaps stem from his unique heritage and is similar to many of my other favourite authors that focus on characters more than plot.
Check out: Survivor, 'The Clickers' series
8. Kim Paffenroth:
The guy has only written one fictional series that I know of, Dying to Live; but goddamn what a trilogy. If you think zombie novels are all blood and gore then think again. This triolgy of books studies the human condition as much as any "high brow" piece of writing and I truly feel that Paffenroth is one of the most intellectual yet humanistic authors alive. You really have to check out his work
Check out: Dying to Live trilogy
9. Z A Recht:
Tragically this author died two books into his Morningstar Trilogy. Like the man above, Recht had imagined a zombie universe that blows all else away. While Paffenroth wrote a thinking man's zombie trilogy, Recht created an epic "Hollywood" universe full of action, suspense and scares that keeps you turning the pages long into the night.
Check out: Morningstar Strain 1 and 2
10. Richard Laymon
Again, another tragically passed author that I think had at least another ten books in him. The man's back list is immense and almost entirely brilliant. It is a travesty that this author didn't get the credit he deserved while he was alive and is only just recieving it now (partly thanks to his daughter Kelly Laymon). He was one of the progenitors of the "Splatterpunk" genre that is still alive today. He is the master of creepy characters, stalkers, saddists, perverts, and psychopaths.
Check Out: Cuts, The Beasthouse trilogy, Come Out Tonight, Darkness Tell Us, Glory Bus, The Midnight Tour, and a dozen others.
You really should check out every one of these authors and I hope you will. Let me know if you think I missed anyone that should or shouldn't be on the list?