Annal: 2002 International Horror Guild Award for First Novel

Results of the International Horror Guild Award in the year 2002.

Book:A Scattering of Jades

A Scattering of Jades

Alexander C. Irvine

The great fire of 1835 burned most of New York City’s wooden downtown. Like many people, Archie Prescott thought he had lost everything. His home was a smoldering ruin, his dead wife’s body at his feet. And next to her is a child’s corpse he assumes was his daughter. It seems like the end of everything.

But it is only the beginning.

Goaded into action by New York Herald publisher James Gordon Bennett, Archie runs afoul of one of P. T. Barnum’s former sideshow workers, Riley Steen. With the help of an ancient book translated by Aaron Burr, Steen has resurrected a chacmool. This ageless Mesoamerican avatar plans to use the blood of Archie’s still-living daughter to bring about the end of humanity.

At the same time, Stephen Bishop guides tourists through the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Stephen, a slave, wants nothing…[more]

Book:The Blues Ain't Nothin'

The Blues Ain't Nothin': Tales of the Lonesome Blues Pub

Tina L. Jens

Ramble on up to the Chicago North Side, where you’ll feel the twelve-bar blues beat vibrating right through you. Welcome to the Lonesome Blues Pub, where the sign on the door says it all: “This club is haunted. If you’re afraid of ghosts, go away.”

Grab a stool by the bar, toss back a cool one and join Miss Mustang, the Lonesome Blues proprietor, and a colorfully quirky cast of neighborhood regulars and the ghosts of blues legends both real and imagined. Chicago author Tina L. Jens’ new episodic novel will make you shiver with fright, will surely make you chuckle, and may even make you shed a thoughtful tear or two during your delightfully surreal stay in this haunted blues club.

Book:The Fallen

The Fallen

Dale Bailey

Saul’s Run is a great place to raise a family. Life is good, folks live to a ripe old age, and there hasn’t been a violent crime in nearly a generation. It’s almost as if some force were protecting the God-fearing folk of the Run from harm…

Henry left the quiet town almost a decade ago—after his mother’s tragic death and a terrible falling-out with his father. Ever since, he has shut out his memories of the Run. He has tried to not think about the day his mother died. But now—after the startling news of his father’s suicide—Henry is coming home…

Home, where his former girlfriend is waiting on her dying mother and her living dreams.

Home, where his boyhood friend is mysteriously drawn to something inside an abandoned mine.

Book:The Horned Man

The Horned Man

James Lasdun

The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world. As Lawrence Miller—an English expatriate and professor of gender studies—tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur. As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers. Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable first novel by an acclaimed writer and poet of unusual power.

Book:The Snowman's Children

The Snowman's Children

Glen Hirshberg

The Snowman’s Children is a poignant, psychologically intense first novel that tells the story of an incident from one man’s childhood in the 1970s, when a serial killer called The Snowman stalked the streets of suburban Detroit. The incident, a result of good but woefully misguided juvenile intentions, forced his family to leave their home, and eventually forced him, at age twenty-nine, to return to his hometown in search of three old friends.

Reminiscent of both To Kill a Mockingbird in its touching portrait of childhood, and the beautifully written brand of suspense that calls to mind Smilla’s Sense of Snow, The Snowman’s Children is an unusually controlled and original novel that establishes Hirshberg as an important new voice in American literature.

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