The Horror Writers Association was created in 1987 and immediately established the Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in the genre of horror and dark fiction. Rather than select a single winner, they select titles based on superior achievement in 12 categories: novel, first novel, short fiction, long fiction, young adult, fiction collection, poetry collection, anthology, screenplay, graphic novel, nonfiction and short nonfiction. The novel selections are as follows.
“The Only Good Indians” by Stephen Graham Jones is an American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four friends from the Blackfeet Nation are hunted down to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt 10 years earlier. Someone is trying to kill them, their families and their friends.
“The Deep” by Alma Katsu is a supernatural story that ties in with the sinking of the Titanic. Some of the guests of the Titanic found themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone the moment they set sail. Years later, one survivor working in a hospital ship meets another survivor. They soon both discover that the terror of the past may not yet be over.
“Devil’s Creek” by Todd Keisling is about the legend of a death cult in Kentucky. Like most legends, there is truth buried in the stories. A church really was at Devil’s Creek and it burned to the ground after a mass suicide. Only the six children of the preacher and the grandparents survived. Many years later, one of the kids goes back to settle the grandmother’s estate, and learns about secrets that can no longer stay buried.
“Malorie” by Josh Malerman is the sequel to the popular Bird Box. In this tale, Malorie and her two small children are living in an abandoned library with their eyes tightly covered so they won’t see the creatures that made people go mad in Bird Box. She’s told that there is a way to journey to connect with loved ones but she must choose between living by the rules she imposed on herself or venturing forth into the darkness to find lost family.
“Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an intriguing story set in 1950s Mexico. A young girl goes to the home of an ailing cousin who married into an elitist European family. When Noemi arrives, she surprised to find the villa is decaying and rotten. The house has a hold on her cousin who is seeing visions and is bedridden. You’ll be shocked by the things that spunky Noemi learns about the fungus that’s growing everywhere.
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Tina Winstead is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Tuesday. Her columns may also be found online at www.thedailystar.com/community/library_corner.