The Horror Writers Association held its 25th annual World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, this past weekend. As always, the centerpiece of the WHC was the announcement of the organizations Bram Stoker Award winners. This year’s list included a mix of old and new names, celebrating a strong year for the genre. Congratulations to all the winners – and a jealous tip of the hat to those lucky enough to attend the convention.
Here are your winners!
Superior Achievement in a NOVEL
Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle Books)
Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
Isis Unbound by Allyson Bird (Dark Regions Press)
Superior Achievement in a YOUNG ADULT NOVEL (tie)
> The Screaming Season by Nancy Holder (Razorbill)
> Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Superior Achievement in a GRAPHIC NOVEL
Neonomicon by Alan Moore (Avatar Press)
Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION
“The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine” by Peter Straub (Conjunctions: 56)
Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION
“Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” by Stephen King (The Atlantic Magazine, May 2011)
Superior Achievement in a SCREENPLAY
American Horror Story, episode #12: “Afterbirth” by Jessica Sharzer (20th Century Fox Television)
Superior Achievement in a FICTION COLLECTION
The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates (Mysterious Press)
Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
Demons: Encounters with the Devil and his Minions, Fallen Angels and the Possessed edited by John Skipp (Black Dog and Leventhal)
Superior Achievement in NON-FICTION
Stephen King: A Literary Companion by Rocky Wood (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)
Superior Achievement in a POETRY COLLECTION
How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda Addison (Necon Ebooks)
In addition to these categories, the HWA awarded the “Vampire Novel of the Century” accolade to Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. Rick Hautala and Joe R. Lansdale received Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Specialty Press Awards went to Derrick Hussey of Hippocampus Press and Roy Robbins of Bad Moon Books.
As usually is the case with awards, there is debate over the true merits of the Stokers: do they resonate with the public and generate more sales for the winners? Are they won by those with the most (voting) friends and the best campaigns? I can’t answer those, but I can say that awards bestowed by peers usually have a special place in the heart of the winners, whether they care to admit it or not. If nothing else, the above list serves as a good rundown of quality work in the genre, an excellent starting point for those looking for something new and unique for their bookshelves. Support the authors, support the small presses, and support your local bookstores. The names listed above all serve as a nice place to start.