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Bram Stoker Awards
2015 (Novel)
A Head Full of Ghosts
Book Jacket   Paul Tremblay
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780062363237 Now here's a cool idea for a reality TV show: follow a family whose daughter is possessed by a demon. That's the set-up for this compelling horror story. The Barretts are an unremarkable suburban family unremarkable, that is, until teenage daughter Marjorie starts undergoing a shocking mental breakdown. When traditional methods of curing her fail, the family turns to spiritual methods and eventually to an exorcism. Because they need the money, they agree to have their intimate lives played out on television screens around the world. Let's just say none of it the exorcism and the reality show goes well. It all goes very badly, indeed. The novel is stylishly written and well-conceived, with lifelike characters and an air of plausibility about it, as if all this really could happen. Tremblay, a Bram Stoker Award nominee, has delivered another quality horror novel.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062363237 Is the protagonist of this book a demon-possessed victim or a clever, manipulative teen? This savvy tale of horror tantalizingly keeps the reader waiting for an answer. When 14-year-old Marjorie Barrett begins behaving as though she's demonically possessed, her Massachusetts family starts a reality-based television show, The Possession, to earn the money they desperately need to keep their household together. But is Marjorie really channeling a creature of supernatural evil, or is she just good at Internet research, which keeps her one step ahead of her gullible parents and doctors? Marjorie's younger sister, Meredith, who is recounting these events 15 years after her family's ordeal, even wonders whether it's possible for Marjorie "to be both possessed by a demon and faking it too." Tremblay paints a believable portrait of a family in extremis emotionally as it attempts to cope with the unthinkable, but at the same time he slyly suggests that in a culture where the wall between reality and acting has eroded, even the make believe might seem credible. Whether psychological or supernatural, this is a work of deviously subtle horror. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062363237 The Barretts are an ordinary family living in a Boston suburb until older daughter Marjorie suddenly displays symptoms of acute schizophrenia. Her increasingly erratic behavior affects her whole family. Her mother drinks and tries to get Marjorie professional help, her father turns to the Catholic Church for aid, and younger sister Merry just wants her sibling to go back to being normal. Is Marjorie sick? Is she faking? Or is she possessed by the devil? Because they are broke, the Barretts take a rather modern solution to the problem by having a film crew chronicle them for a new reality TV show. VERDICT In this brilliantly creepy novel, Tremblay (The Little Sleep) uses the clever framing device of a reporter who wants to write a book about the Barretts by convincing Merry to tell her version of the events. The author also acknowledges the books and movies that influenced his story, most obviously Peter Blatty's The Exorcist but also Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. [See Prepub Alert, 12/15/15.]-MM © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062363237 A creepy but not too creepy title. Young Marjorie Barrett is possessed by a demon, and her family decide to allow a TV crew to film them and the possession episodes, with an exorcism to be the series finale. Not surprisingly, this goes very, very badly. The novel's narrator is Marjorie's younger sister, Merry, who tells the story from her current perspective as a 23-year-old adult and from her point of view at eight years old, as the events at the Barrett house transpired. And then there's Karen, a blogger rewatching the TV series while live blogging about the episodes. What actually happened in the Barrett household and whether or not Marjorie was possessed are discussed by all three narrators-readers will have to decide if any of them is reliable. One of the more interesting moments in the work occurs in Merry's apartment when she meets with a reporter to discuss the possession and the reporter sees shelves of classic possession books and DVDs, except for one glaring omission (the missing title, Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, should give readers a heads-up about what's really going on). The horror here is less graphic than in The Exorcist or The Omen and will appeal to readers who aren't sure how deeply into the genre they want to go. Merry's bookshelves will provide a great bibliography for next reads. VERDICT The questions surrounding what possession is (and is not) as well as how television crews can manipulate reality will intrigue readers.-Laura Pearle, Milton Academy, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
2015 (First Novel)
Mr. Suicide
Book Jacket   Nicole Cushing
2015 (Young Adult)
Devils Pocket
 John Dixon
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2015 (Graphic Novel)
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
 Sam Weller
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062122681 Ray Bradbury's recent death renders this loving tribute anthology-a "homecoming" of "fantastic brethren from all over the world," as Bradbury writes in the introduction-all the more poignant. The nameless narrator of Neil Gaiman's "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" has forgotten Bradbury's name, but not his stories. The heroine of Alice Hoffman's "Conjure" has her destiny and her closest friendship changed by Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bonnie Jo Campbell tells the origin story of an illustrated man in "The Tattoo," and Bayo Ojikutu's "Reservation" describes a dystopia that is a near cousin to that of Fahrenheit 451. Some of the best stories pay tribute in their evocation of Bradburyian themes: the vast possibilities and indescribable melancholy of childhood in Joe Hill's "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain," the profundity of loss in John McNally's "The Phone Call," and the renewing power of storytelling in Robert McCammon's "Children of the Bedtime Machine." Bradbury biographer Weller and horror doyen Castle have produced a fine remembrance of a great writer, a deeply moving testament to his enduring appeal. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780062122681 *Starred Review* It's important to know the credentials of the editors of this wondrous anthology of short stories. Weller is the author of the authorized biography of Ray Bradbury, The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury (2005), and Castle is a veteran short story writer and editor of On Writing Horror (2006), a helpful guide to publishing horror novels and short stories. Editorial interest and experience converge here to produce an exciting book. Twenty-six writers celebrate Bradbury through never-before-published short stories, and their offerings bear the acknowledgment that the inspiration for incident, tone, or effect derives from their respect and admiration for the ever-popular sf and fantasy writer products of Bradbury's looming shadow, as Weller says in his introduction. In the cases of these enticing short works, then, Bradbury was each writer's master. What is amazing is the range of authors. The roster includes distinguished writers both expected and not, among the latter, Alice Hoffman, Margaret Atwood, and Bonnie Jo Campbell. What is also amazing is the potential audience for this treasury, which would include lovers of short fiction regardless of any previous attraction to sf or fantasy. Public libraries should acquire the book and cross reference it between sf and general fiction collections.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2010 Booklist
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2015 (Anthology)
The Library of the Dead
Book Jacket   Michael Bailey
2015 (Anthology)
While the Black Stars Burn
Book Jacket   Lucy A. Snyder
2015 (Non-Fiction)
The Art of Horror
 Stephen Jones
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2015 (Poetry)
Eden Underground: Poetry of Darkness
 Alessandro Manzetti
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2014 (Novel)
Blood kin
Book Jacket   Steve Rasnic Tem
2014 (First Novel)
Mr. Wicker
Book Jacket   Maria Alexander
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781935738664 Convincing in its haunting whimsy, Alexander's emotionally complex faerie tale comments on grim reality with chilling metaphors. A suicide attempt leads failed horror novelist Alicia Baum to the Library of Lost Childhood Memories and Mr. Wicker, a sinister man who arouses both her passion and her disgust, before she returns to life. She ends up in the care of Dr. Farron, a gentle psychologist researching the concept of bogeymen. Alicia strives to recover missing childhood memories as increasingly violent accidents befall her friends and family, and she grows more and more convinced that Mr. Wicker is not only real but intimately connected to her past. Alexander (By the Pricking) makes the impossible feel probable, anchoring fantasy in everyday struggles. Alicia's spitfire defiance and charming vulnerability, and the eventual romance between her and Dr. Farron, inject warmth into chilling encounters between a world that shouldn't exist and undependable reality. Illness, loss, and heartache color this splendid, bittersweet ode to the ghosts of childhood. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
2014 (Young Adult)
Phoenix Island
 John Dixon
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781476738635 An unusual premise makes Dixon's thriller debut a welcome series kickoff. Carl Freeman, a 16-year-old orphan, can't help himself from intervening on behalf of the bullied, and, given his boxing prowess, the results for the aggressors are often quite serious. After another such run-in, a judge sentences Carl to "a military-style boot camp," Phoenix Island, until he turns 18. The facility is worse than anything he could have imagined, with sadistic drill sergeants, violent fellow detainees, and plenty of bullies. Carl's independence earns him the enmity of a particularly cruel drill sergeant. Carl discovers a journal that suggests some of his predecessors were actually killed, indicating that something beyond tough love is going on. There are some predictable elements-Carl falls for an attractive girl with a secret-but the pacing and smooth prose will have suspense fans waiting for the next book, as well as the upcoming CBS adaptation, Intelligence. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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2014 (Graphic Novel)
Bad blood
 Jonathan Maberry
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2014 (Anthology)
Fearful symmetries : an anthology of horror
Book Jacket   Ellen Datlow, editor
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781771481939 Datlow's "experimental" crowdfunded horror anthology is nicely unthemed, avoiding vampires, werewolves, and zombies while including ghosts, witches, and newly trendy wendigos. The last merges quite nicely with an Arctic setting in Siobhan Carroll's "Wendigo Nights," one of the standouts. Other highlights include always reliable, always evolving authors like Pat Cadigan, Caitlin Kiernan, and Michael Marshall Smith, whose "Power" is a rare science-fiction horror tale. Gemma Files's "A Wish from a Bone" launches the volume with an elegant update to the classic "wrath of ancient gods" plot, and Helen Marshall's "In the Year of Omens" is perfectly creepy. There are a few misses-Gary McMahon's "Kaiju" feels incomplete, while Terry Dowling and John Langan both turn in surprisingly subpar tales-but on balance, this is an excellent anthology for horror fans, with a nice range of tones and styles and some intriguing new voices. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781771481939 Twenty previously unpublished tales of horror have been collected here by master anthologist Datlow (currently editor of Night Shade Books' "Best Horror of the Year" series). The contributors range from well-known horror and dark fantasy authors such as Caitlin R. Kiernan, Brian Evenson, Laird Barron, and Garth Nix, but there are also four newcomers selected from a submissions pile of over 1,000 hopeful, unsolicited writers. One of the best stories is Nathan -Ballingrud's "The Atlas of Hell," about a wise guy who goes to collect from a thief and runs into an occult artifact. Another is the creepy governess gothic "Suffer Little Children" by Robert Shearman. -VERDICT This is a satisfying collection for horror fans, including a wide range of styles and themes. On a side note, Datlow encountered resistance when she wished to put together an unthemed horror anthology, so she and ChiZine turned to Kickstarter for crowd-sourced funding to publish the book. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
2014 (Fiction)
Soft Apocalypses
Book Jacket   Lucy A. Snyder
2014 (Non-Fiction)
Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit
 Lucy A. Snyder
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2014 (Non-Fiction)
Forgiving Judas
 Tom Piccirilli
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2013 (Novel)
Doctor Sleep
Book Jacket   Stephen King
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781476727653 Iconic horror author King (Joyland) picks up the narrative threads of The Shining many years on. Young psychic Danny Torrance has become a middle-aged alcoholic (he now goes by "Dan"), bearing his powers and his guilt as equal burdens. A lucky break gets him a job in a hospice in a small New England town. Using his abilities to ease the passing of the terminally ill, he remains blissfully unaware of the actions of the True Knot, a caravan of human parasites crisscrossing the map in their RVs as they search for children with "the shining" (psychic abilities of the kind that Dan possesses), upon whom they feed. When a girl named Abra Stone is born with powers that dwarf Dan's, she attracts the attention of the True Knot's leader-the predatory Rose the Hat. Dan is forced to help Abra confront the Knot, and face his own lingering demons. Less terrifying than its famous predecessor, perhaps because of the author's obvious affection for even the most repellant characters, King's latest is still a gripping, taut read that provides a satisfying conclusion to Danny Torrance's story. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781476727653 Since The Shining was published in 1977, it has become an American classic, thanks not only to the book itself but also to the Stanley Kubrick film that it spawned, and King has become one of the most successful horror writers of all time. His latest novel, a highly anticipated sequel to The Shining, marks a return to form for the old master, who reunites loyal readers with Danny (now Dan) Torrance. Decades after the events at the Overlook Hotel, Dan is wrestling with his own demons and putting his psychic abilities to work at a series of nursing homes where he provides comfort to dying patients. When he finally finds a home-and sobriety-in a cozy New Hampshire town, Dan meets a young girl with a shining even stronger than his own. Together, he and young Abra Stone must take on a tribe of people called the True Knot, whose innocent, RV-driving appearance belies their true nature. VERDICT This is vintage King, a classic good-vs.-evil tale that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. His many fans won't be disappointed. [Previewed in "A World of New Titles," LJ 7/13; see Prepub Alert, 3/4/13.]-Amy -Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781476727653 King, not one given to sequels, throws fans a big, bloody bone with this long-drooled-for follow-up to The Shining (1977). The events of the Overlook Hotel had resounding effects upon Danny Torrance, and decades later he's a drunk like his father, wondering what his battle with the ghosties was even for. Dan still feels the pull of the shining, though, and it lands him in a small New England town where he finds friends, an AA group, and a job at a hospice, where his ability to ease patients into death earns him the moniker Doctor Sleep. Ten years sober, he telepathically meets the great white whale of shining 12-year-old Abra who has drawn the attention of the True Knot, an evil RV caravan of ­shining-eating quasi-vampires, one part Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show and one part Manson's dune-buggy attack battalion. Though the book is very poignantly bookended, the battle between Dan/Abra and the True's Queen Bitch of Castle Hell is relegated to a psychic slugfest not really the stuff of high tension. Regardless, seeing phrases like REDRUM and officious prick in print again is pretty much worth the asking price. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Even for a King book, this is high profile. The Shining is often considered King's best novel, so even lapsed fans should come out of the woodwork for this one.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
2013 (First Novel)
The Evolutionist
Book Jacket   Rena Mason
2013 (Young Adult)
Dog Days
 Joe McKinney
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2013 (Graphic Novel)
 Caitlin R. Kiernan
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2013 (Anthology)
After Death
Book Jacket   Eric J. Guignard
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780988556928 This anthology addresses one of the most basic questions of human existence: what happens when we die? The answers come in the form of 34 stories that explore diverse notions of ghosts (Edward M. Erdelac's "Sea of Dreams") and demons (William Meikle's "Be Quiet at the Back"), trapped souls (Steve Cameron's "I Was the Walrus"), mishaps in resurrection (Lisa Morton's "The Resurrection Policy"), and unbearable eternities (David Tallerman's "Prisoner of Peace"). The newly deceased protagonists may be confused, angry, resigned, or unaware that they are dead, so even those vignettes with more exposition than plot convey a sense of personal discovery (if perhaps of the hopeless kind). Though the majority of the pieces come from the darker side of the genre, a solid minority are playful, clever, or full of wonder. This makes for good variety but a bit of emotional whiplash, somewhat mitigated by Guignard's clever introductions and Audra Phillips's portraitlike illustrations. This strong and well-themed anthology is sure to make readers contemplative even while it creates nightmares. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
2013 (Fiction)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories
Book Jacket   Laird Barron
2013 (Non-Fiction)
Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing about the Master of Science Fiction
 William F. Nolan
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