Bram Stoker Award for Novel

Bram Stoker Award logo

Bram Stoker Award for Novel

Bram Stoker Award logo

The Bram Stoker Award is a recognition presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for “superior achievement” in dark fantasy and horror writing. The Awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot of the Active members of the HWA. They are named after influential Irish horror writer Bram Stoker, author of the novel Dracula, among others. The Bram Stoker Award for Novel is presented for “superior achievement” in horror writing for novels.

2016
The Fisherman – John Langan

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman’s Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

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2015
A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls the terrifying events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories begin to surface-and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed.

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2014
Blood Kin – Steve Rasnic Tem

Michael has returned to the quiet Appalachian home of his forebears following a suicide attempt and now takes care of his grandmother– old and sickly but with an important story to tell about growing up poor and Melungeon (a mixed race group of mysterious origin) while bedeviled by a snake-handling uncle and empathic powers she but barely understands. In a field not far from the Gibson family home lies an iron-bound crate within a small shack buried four feet deep under Kudzu vine. Michael somehow understands that hidden inside that crate is potentially his own death, his grandmother’s death, and perhaps the deaths of everyone in the valley if he does not come to understand her story well enough.

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2013
Doctor Sleep – Stephen King

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the ‘steam’ that children with the ‘shining’ produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him and a job at a nursing home where his remnant ‘shining’ power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes ‘Doctor Sleep’. Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival…

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2012
The Drowning Girl – Caitlin R. Kiernan

India Morgan Phelps-Imp to her friends-is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth-or from something far, far stranger…

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2011
Flesh Eaters – Joe McKinney

Quarantined to stop the spread of the zombie plague, Emergency Ops sergeant Eleanor Norton and her team struggle to maintain order in Houston, Texas, especially when civilization breaks down and the feeding frenzy begins.

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2010
A Dark Matter – Peter Straub

On a Midwestern campus in the 1960s, a charismatic guru and his young acolytes perform a secret ritual in a local meadow. What happens is a mystery–all that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body and the shattered souls of all who were present. Forty years later, one man seeks to learn about that horrifying night, and to do so he’ll have to force those involved to examine the unspeakable events that have haunted them ever since.

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2009
Audrey’s Door – Sarah Langan

Built on the Upper West Side, the elegant Breviary claims a regal history. But despite 14B’s astonishingly low rental price, the recent tragedy within its walls has frightened away all potential tenants… except for Audrey Lucas.No stranger to tragedy at thirty-two–a survivor of a fatherless childhood and a mother’s hopeless dementia– Audrey is obsessively determined to make her own way in a city that often strangles the weak. But is it something otherworldly or Audrey’s own increasing instability that’s to blame for the dark visions that haunt her… and for the voice that demands that she build a door? A door it would be true madness to open…

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2008
Duma Key – Stephen King

When Edgar Freemantle moves to the remote island of Duma Key to escape his past, he doesn’t expect to find much there. But Duma has been waiting for him, and something in the view from his window urges him to discover a talent he never knew he had. Edgar Freemantle begins to paint. And as he paints, the island’s secrets begin to stir. Secrets of children lost in the undertow, of a ghost ship riding the distant horizon – and a family’s buried past reaching long hands into the present.

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2007
Missing – Sarah Langan

A remote and affluent Maine community, Corpus Christi was untouched by the environmental catastrophe that destroyed the neighboring blue-collar town of Bedford. But all that will change in a heartbeat… The nightmare is awakened when third-grade schoolteacher Lois Larkin takes the children on a field trip to Bedford. There in the abandoned woods, a small, cruel boy unearths an ancient horror–a contagious plague that transforms its victims into something violent, hungry… and inhuman.The long, dark night is just beginning. And all hope must die as the contagion feeds – for the malevolence will not rest until it has devoured every living soul in Corpus Christi… and beyond.

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2006
Lisey’s Story – Stephen King

Every marriage has two hearts, one light and one dark. Lisey knew it when she first fell for Scott. And now he’s dead, she knows it for sure. Lisey was the light to Scott Landon’s dark for twenty-five years. As his wife, only she saw the truth behind the public face of the famous author – that he was a haunted man whose bestselling novels were based on a terrifying reality. Now Scott has gone, Lisey wants to lock herself away with her memories. But the fans have other ideas. And when the sinister threats begin, Lisey realises that, just as Scott depended on her strength – her light – to live, so she will have to draw on his darkness to survive.

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2005
Creepers – David Morrell

On a cold October night, five people gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and prepare to break into the Paragon Hotel. The once-magnificent structure is now boarded up and marked for demolition. They are creepers: urban explorers with a passion for investigating abandoned buildings and their dying secrets. Reporter Frank Balenger joins them to profile this highly illegal activity for the New York Times. But he isnt looking for just another story, and soon after they enter the rat-infested tunnel leading to the hotel, he gets more than he bargained for. Danger, fear, and death await the creepers in a place ravaged by time and redolent of evil.

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2004
In the Night Room – Peter Straub

Willy Patrick, the respected author of the award-winning young-adult novel In the Night Room, thinks she is losing her mind-again. One day, she is drawn helplessly into the parking lot of a warehouse. She knows somehow that her daughter, Holly, is being held in the building, and she has an overwhelming need to rescue her. But what Willy knows is impossible, for her daughter is dead. On the same day, author Timothy Underhill, who has been struggling with a new book about a troubled young woman, is confronted with the ghost of his nine-year-old sister, April. Soon after, he begins to receive eerie, fragmented e-mails that he finally realizes are from people he knew in his youth-people now dead. Like his sister, they want urgently to tell him something. When Willy and Timothy meet, the frightening parallels between Willy’s tragic loss and the story in Tim’s manuscript suggest that they must join forces to confront the evils surrounding them.

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2003
Lost Boy Lost Girl – Peter Straub

A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son– fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill–vanishes. His uncle, novelist Timothy Underhill, searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help unravel this horrible dual mystery. He soon learns that a pedophilic murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before his mother’s suicide, Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge. No mere empty building, the house whispers from attic to basement with the echoes of a long-hidden true-life horror story, and Tim Underhill comes to fear that in investigating its unspeakable history, Mark stumbled across its last and greatest secret: a ghostly lost girl who may have coaxed the needy, suggestible boy into her mysterious domain.

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2002
The Night Class – Tom Piccirilli

When he returns to college after winter break, Cal Prentiss is stunned to discover that someone was brutally murdered in his dorm room while he was gone, and as he sets out to find the truth about the horrible crime, he comes face to face with a dark evil.

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2001
American Gods – Neil Gaiman

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the time until his release ticks away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But the storm is about to break…

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2000
The Travelling Vampire Show – Richard Laymon

On a hot August morning in 1963, the rural town of Grandville is covered with fliers announcing the coming of something extraordinary – a one-night-only performance of The Travelling Vampire Show, featuring Valeria, the only known vampire in captivity. For three local teenagers, it’s a show they don’t want to miss. The trouble is, the show starts at midnight and they’re supposed to be home by then. And in any case, Janks Field, where the show will take place, has been declared off-limits because of its own sinister history. But they can’t just sit at home and let Valeria do her thing without them, can they?

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1999
Mr X – Peter Straub

Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan is cursed with visions of horror committed by a savage figure he calls “Mr. X”. This year, Ned’s visions will become flesh and blood. A dreadful premonition brings Ned home to find his mother on her deathbed. She reveals the never-before-disclosed name of his father and warns him of grave danger. Driven by a desperate sense of need, Ned explores his dark past and the astonishing legacy of his kin. Accused of violent crimes he has not committed and pursued by a shadowy twin, Ned enters a hidden world of ominous mysteries, where he must confront his deepest nightmares…

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1998
Bag of Bones – Stephen King

When Mike Noonan’s wife dies unexpectedly, the bestselling author suffers from writer’s block. Until he is drawn to his summer home, the beautiful lakeside retreat called Sara Laughs. Here Mike finds the once familiar town in the tyrannical grip of millionaire Max Devore. Devore is hell-bent on getting custody of his deceased son’s daughter and is twisting the fabric of the community to this purpose. Three year old Kyra and her young mother turn to Mike for help. And Mike finds them increasingly irresistible. But there are other more sinister forces at Sara Laughs – and Kyra can feel them too…

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1997
Children of the Dusk – Janet Berliner & George Guthridge

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1996
The Green Mile – Stephen King

The Green Mile: those who walk it do not return, because at the end of that walk is the room in which sits Cold Mountain penitentiary’s electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of the brutal murder of two little girls. But nothing is as it seems with John Coffey, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story. Evil murderer or holy innocent – whichever he is – Coffey has strange powers which may yet offer salvation to others, even if they can do nothing to save him.

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1995
Zombie – Joyce Carol Oates

Meet Quentin P. He is a problem for his professor father and his loving mother, though of course they do not believe the charge of sexual molestation of a minor that got him in that bit of trouble. He is a challenge for his court-appointed psychiatrist, who nonetheless is encouraged by the increasingly affirmative quality of his dreams and his openness in discussing them. He is a thoroughly sweet young man for his wealthy grandmother, who gives him more and more, and can deny him less and less. He is the most believable and thoroughly terrifying sexual psychopath and killer ever to be brought to life in fiction, as Joyce Carol Oates achieves her boldest and most brilliant triumph yet – a dazzling work of art that extends the borders of the novel into the darkest heart of the truth.

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1994
Dead in the Water – Nancy Holder

When a group of shipwrecked vacationers meets the gleaming H.M.S. Pandora at sea, they are taken from all their worldly concerns for good. For the Pandora is equipped to deliver each passenger, one by one, into a metaphysical sea of terror… an unspeakable madness… and a watery grave.

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1993
The Throat – Peter Straub

A tormented writer, unable to exorcise the demons of his past…an all-American town, plagued by horrific secrets… a beautiful woman, brutally murdered by a twisted killer thought long dead – or by an even more terrifying copycat?

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1992
Blood of the Lamb – Thomas F. Monteleone

A young priest from a Brooklyn parish becomes the center of a religious upheaval when he discovers that he has miraculous powers and is informed by a secret Vatican tribunal that his powers are the result of a scientific experiment.

1991
Boy’s Life – Robert R. McGammon

Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson — a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake — and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible vision of death that will haunt him forever. As Cory struggles to understand his father’s pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that are manifested in Zephyr. From an ancient, mystical woman who can hear the dead and bewitch the living, to a violent clan of moonshiners, Cory must confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown — for his father’s sanity and his own life hang in the balance.

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1990
Mine – Robert R. McCammon

Laura Clayborne faces a terrifying journey into a world of madness and obsession when her newborn son is taken from the hospital by Mary Terrell, a battered survivor of the radical Sixties who now lives in her own hallucinatory world of murderous rage.

1989
Carrion Comfort – Dan Simmons

Carrion Comfort penetrates the darkest recesses of the 20th century, as one man seeks to justify his belief that a secret society of powerful beings is behind many of the world’s most horrific catastrophes. Ranking among the greatest reinventions of the vampire legend, this classic novel explores humanity’s attraction to violence and what it means for our future.

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1988
Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris

An FBI trainee. A psychopath locked up for unspeakable crimes. And a serial killer getting ever closer to his latest victim… FBI rookie Clarice Starling turns to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, monster cannibal held in a hospital for the criminally insane, for insight into the deadly madman she must find. As Dr. Lecter invites her into the darkest chambers of his mind, he forces her to confront her own childhood demons as the price of understanding, an unspeakable tuition he exacts to teach her how the monster thinks. And time is running out…

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1987
Misery – Stephen King

Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing. That’s when the car accident happened, and he woke up in pain in a strange bed. But it wasn’t the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs. The good news was that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all. And now he had to bring Misery back to life. Or else…

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Swan Song – Robert R. McCammon

“We’re about to cross the point of no return. God help us; we’re flying in the dark and we don’t know where the hell we’re going.” Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the President of the United States to the homeless on the streets of New York City – will fight for survival. Swan Song is Robert McCammon’s prescient vision of a post-Apocalyptic nation, a grand epic of terror and, ultimately, renewal. In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth’s last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity: Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets… Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station… And Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan’s gifts. But the ancient force behind earth’s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself…

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When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.
Erasmus