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Authors > Who Is Your Favorite Horror Author of All Time?

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message 1: by Stan (new)

Stan Swanson (stans_swanson) | 6 comments Who is your favorite author of horror fiction of all time? We're talking anyone from Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Graham Masterson to Poe, Lovecraft and Atherton. A list of your favorites will be published in a future issue of Dark Moon Digest. You can either post here or send an e-mail to darkmoondigest@gmail.com.


message 2: by Scott (new)

Scott Baker | 148 comments Graham Masterton, Brian Lumley, and Ed Lee.


message 3: by Simon (new)

Simon (friedegg) Thomas Ligotti.


message 4: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 4052 comments Stephen King


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Atkinson (darkened_angel) | 797 comments Stephen King and Graham Masterton


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments This is a great question because it is a difficult one to answer.

I'd say, Clive Barker, Stephen Kind, and Lovecraft. Joe Hill is quickly becoming list worthy.


message 7: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 220 comments 1. Stephen King
2. Dean Koontz (although I'm not sure if he counts here but his horror novels are amazing)
3. John Saul
4. Richard Laymon
5. Bentley Little
6. Brian Keene
7. Jack Ketchum
8. Sarah Pinborough
9. J. F. Gonzalez
10. Scott Nicholson


message 8: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) | 231 comments Stephen King


message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments Jack Ketchum, Robert Mccammon, John Skipp


message 11: by Adam (new)

Adam Wilson | 220 comments I'm really sorry about this but I must change my last list.
1. Stephen King
2. Dean Koontz
3. John Saul
4. Richard Laymon
5. Bentley Little
6 Robert R. McCammon
7. Brian Keene
8. Jack Ketchum
9. Sarah Pinborough
10. Scott Nicholson

Sorry about that, but I can't believe I left out the author of Boy's Life and Swan Song.


message 12: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Adam, sorry, you'll have to pick just one.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 215 comments That's tough. Probably MR. James.


message 14: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 65 comments HP Lovecraft.


message 15: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 177 comments Shirley Jackson.

M.R. James, Stephen King, Ligotti, and Lovecraft are among the runners up.


message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Kratky (bolorkay) | 322 comments Robert Bloch (sorry Mr. Matheson)... suspense, terror, and a devilish sense of humor.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (amandamlyons) Stephen King, Clive Barker, Brian Keene, Richard Laymon, Maryann Mitchell, H P Lovecraft, Tamara Thorne


message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 139 comments Stephen King definitely!!! No question!


message 19: by terby2011 (new)

terby2011 | 2 comments Stephen King, William Peter Blatty, Jack Ketchum (The Girl Next Door), Joe Hill


message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Galstere (ThenewAmericanPsycho) | 219 comments author, not authors......hate to be conservative but i'm going with stephen king-most consistent, with many amazing and terrifying novels!!! IT, SALEM'S LOT, THE SHINING, CARRIE,MISERY...I MEAN COME ON!


message 21: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 139 comments If we aren't limited to just 1, then my list would be:

Stephen King (of course)
Richard Matheson
Joe Hill
Clive Barker


message 22: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Galstere (ThenewAmericanPsycho) | 219 comments Then i'd go with lovecraft, laymon, and barker


message 23: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments If I had to go with just one, I'd probably go with Stephen King, as well. He's been the most prolific horror writer, the most popular, and he's done a lot for horror as a genre by influencing the horror frenzy of the 80s, which died in the 90s but was reborn in the new century.


message 24: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I have a lot of favorite horror authors, but Michael McDowell has a special little room in my heart. He didn't write as many as King or Koontz--he died in 1999--but what he did write are some outstanding southern horror gothics. He enjoyed entertaining readers and said that he didn't write for the ages but for the present day and he embraced the pulp paperback industry that got his books into the stores and into fans' hands. King himself is a big fan of McDowell's.


message 25: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Oh, and it doesn't hurt that he was born in Alabama.


message 26: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 154 comments wow another michael mcdowell fan!! i love stephen king, robert mccammon,thomas tryon,dean koontz. i'm sure there is more.


message 27: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments I'll have to check out Michael McDowell's work.


message 28: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Yes, I've loved McDowell's books since I discovered Katie in a used bookstore in the mid-'80s. I've read Blackwater series many times.There is some great character development in those books.


message 29: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments What would you suggest as a first read by McDowell, Tressa?


message 30: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 154 comments try The Elementals or The Amulet. both excellent


message 31: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Gosh, that's hard to say. Although I tend to favor The Elementals, The Amulet, and his Blackwater series because they're all set in the south, I think Katie is unforgettable.


message 32: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Thanks. Looks like I'll have to do some hunting. LOL


message 33: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 154 comments i think most if not all his books are out of print.


message 34: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Yes, mine don't leave the house. I see his Blackwater books occasionally at thrift stores, but that's in America. I doubt he'd be anywhere near Canada.


message 35: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments They are out of print, indeed.


message 36: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 154 comments i've never heard of his book Katie, it looks intriguing!
one of my customers at my bookstore loaned me his copies of the Blackwater series but i haven't given them back yet! i just found a used copy of The Elementals even though i already have one and Cold Moon Over Babylon as well.


message 37: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments A few months ago I bought The Amulet on Amazon or eBay. I don't have Toplin, or have I ever read it. It looks good.

Jason, if you ever have a chance, buy his books and read them. They're very entertaining. Luckily I started reading him in his '80s heyday.

Suzanne, get you a copy of Katie if you can. Borrow it through ILL at your local library if you have to. It is marvelous.


message 38: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 154 comments i'm willing to bet my local library does not have any michael mcdowell. many people have never heard of him.


message 39: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments I will hunt him down.


message 40: by MissT (new)

MissT (trace_is_ace) | 107 comments Mo Hayder
Tess Gerritsen

those are current authors!


message 41: by terby2011 (new)

terby2011 | 2 comments i misread the question, my favorite horror author would have to be Stephen King. oops!


message 42: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) | 133 comments King and Matheson introduced me to horror, but my favorite is prolly Lovecraft. The way he combined horror, fantasy, and sci-fi into his own special amalgam.

I'll have to give McDowell another shot. I didn't like the portions I read of Cold Moon. His style, at least in that one, seemed clumsy. I have Amulet and Elementals to try out at some point. I've read the first couple pages in Amulet and it sounds a lot more interesting.


message 43: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Mark, Cold Moon is usually hailed as McDowell's best, but as good as it is, it's my least favorite. Elementals and Amulet are much better.


message 44: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) | 133 comments That's what I'd read about Cold Moon. Imagine my surprise when I sat down to read and was like wha?? What about it didn't u like compared to his others (considering there's a way to be general and semi specific at the same time, lol)?

McDowell came to my attention via an article in Rue Morgue, The Top 50 Alternative Horror Novels. They recommended Elementals so I tracked it down b4 prices soared and eventually picked up others based on random user reviews.

I chose Cold Moon to try first based on those nearly unanimous user reviews. grrrr.

When was Elementals published? Rue Morgue said 95, another site said 82.


message 45: by Tressa (last edited Sep 01, 2010 06:00PM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments You know, it's been so long since I read Cold Moon I don't think I can tell you exactly why it didn't measure up to his others.

I remember reading The Elementals in maybe 1987, so it was published in the '80s, probably 1982 like the other source showed.

Read Elementals or The Amulet, and for God sakes, read Katie!


message 46: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments Jason wrote: "What would you suggest as a first read by McDowell, Tressa?"

Funny, I just read Candles Burning by Tabitha King , the first time I've read anything by Mr McDowell. I'll have to start hunting for the others mentioned. I thought candles burning was good, but didn't finish it, it just didn't seem to be going anywhere


message 47: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I tried Candles Burning years ago and wasn't interested in it. Tabitha King finished it. I don't know how much McDowell had already finished. This book is nothing like his others. Trust me.

Read:
Katie
The Elementals
Blackwater series (6 books)
The Amulet
Gilded Needles


message 48: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) | 133 comments Gilded Needles: I remember seeing that one listed in the back of one of those Avon paperbacks.

When did he write this Katie? 3 words: what makes that one one of his best?


message 49: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmckeejr) | 133 comments What is Tabitha King's work like?


message 50: by Tressa (last edited Sep 01, 2010 07:35PM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Three words? Girl with hammer. I mean, I can't convey to you the anxiety I felt by reading about the danger and horrible deaths that occurred any time the dull-witted Katie got near someone who had something she wanted. It's not an over-the-top bloodbath like some of these horror books, it's actually quite literary in its chills. It's not even horror in the way we think of horror, it's more of a turn-of-the-century thriller about dull Katie, her cunning stepmother, and her low IQ father chasing a bag of money across several states they killed an old invalid man for. Just read it.

I've read two of Tabitha King's books: The Trap and Small World. I love both of them even though they were much different books. Small World is a cool book about a nerd stalker who invents a contraption that will shrink humans down to Barbie size. He shrinks a woman he had his eye on and imprisons her in a small house. The story is about her attempts to escape. It's a great little read.


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