Annal: 2000 International Horror Guild Award for First Novel

Results of the International Horror Guild Award in the year 2000.

Book:Adams Fall

Adams Fall

Sean Desmond

It’s an especially bleak and gray October at the College, and the brooding protagonist of Adams Fall finds himself under the classic strains of first semester senior year-a thesis to write, grad schools and fellowships to apply for, a future to ponder, and a girlfriend to elude. A full, but manageable load for any bright-eyed, self-starting English honors student.

But our protagonist resides in Adams House’s reportedly haunted B-entry where he becomes eerily attuned to its dark, gothic strength, creaking floorboards, and shadowy stairwell and tunnels. And when he finds himself the object of the house’s sinister attentions, his world quickly begins to unravel. As his grades and aspirations slip, so slips his mind…

Into his crumbling Ivy League existence enters a charming and vindictive playboy from the College’s past who continually harasses the protagonist about the circumstances surrounding the suicide of his freshman year roommate. When faced with the grisly…[more]

Book:Damned If You Do

Damned If You Do

Gordon Houghton

Hades is dead and the Agency needs a replacement, a new apprentice to carry on its good work. After a vote, corpse number 72 18 9 11 12 13 49 is selected and promptly yanked from his grave, to serve a seven day trial sentence. Each day our hapless narrator is to assist Death in the killing of one unfortunate soul, but as he encounters each victim, and as he begins to grasp the functions of Death and the other three modern-day Horsemen, he begins to unlock strange memories of his own prior life. It is not until he understands the backhanded politics of the Four Horsemen’s run-down row house, and the sinister circumstances of his predecessor’s demise, that he can recognize his true purpose in, well, er, life…

Book:House of Leaves

House of Leaves: A Novel

Mark Z. Danielewski

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices. …[more]

Book:Raveling

Raveling

Peter Moore Smith

“Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.” Yeats’s words seem fitting for the slowly disintegrating Airie family and their son Pilot, a schizophrenic. Twenty years ago, Pilot’s little sister, Fiona, disappeared. In the aftermath, the Airie family fell apart—”unraveled,” Pilot observes. Old sins have long shadows, and Pilot both welcomes and fears the darkness those shadows offer. His memories of Fiona’s disappearance haunt him, but they are also an anchor to a past that seems more authentic than the present.

Pilot’s schizophrenia is all the more…

Book:Run

Run

Douglas E. Winter

The buyers find us. Establish their bona fides. Then, and only then, we run.

Burdon Lane is a businessman living out the American Dream in a shiny suburb of Washington, D.C. His business card lists him as Executive VP of UniArms, Inc., a legitimate arms dealer that’s a front for a gunrunning empire. His girlfriend thinks he’s a salesman. His best friend thinks he’s a role model. His boss thinks he’s a good soldier.

This weekend’s run should be business as usual—guns for money, money for guns—moving the product north on the Iron Highway from Dirty City to Manhattan. But this weekend is going to teach Burdon something he doesn’t yet know about who he is…and isn’t. When the meet in Manhattan turns into a five-alarm fire and an all-out war on the tenth floor of a New York hotel, there is only one way out: an uneasy alliance with a hard case named Jinx and the street gang known as the U Street Crew. And once…[more]

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