Annal: 2003 International Horror Guild Award for Novel

Results of the International Horror Guild Award in the year 2003.

Book:Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Peter Straub

A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son—beautiful, troubled fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill—vanishes from the face of the earth. To his uncle, horror novelist Timothy Underhill, Mark’s inexplicable absence feels like a second death. After his sister-in-law’s funeral, Tim searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help him unravel this mystery of death and disappearance. 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 on Michigan Street 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.

With lost boy lost girl, Peter Straub affirms once again that he is the master of literary horror.

Book:The Book of Days

The Book of Days

Steve Rasnic Tem

The Book of Days consists of a short story told each day by a man trying to talk himself back to sanity. These dark stories take on additional weight, making each one a sharp shock that builds to an electrifying whole.

Book:Crawlers

Crawlers

John Shirley

In a secret government lab somewhere in Nevada, a young scientist cowers in darkness–waiting, listening, and calculating his chances of surviving the unspeakable carnage that has left him trapped and alone. Or almost alone.

Soon after, a covert military operation “cleanses” all traces of a top-secret project gone horrifically wrong.

Three years later, it begins again—when the quiet of a warm autumn night in a sleepy California town is shattered by a streak of light across the sky, the thunder of impact, and the unleashing of something insidious. Spreading, multiplying, and transforming everything in its path, this diabolical intelligence will not be denied until the townsfolk–and eventually, all living things–are conquered. Until they are all crawling

Book:The Good House

The Good House: A Novel

Tananarive Due

The house Angela Toussaint’s late grandmother owned is so beloved that townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington, call it the Good House. But is it?

Angela hoped her grandmother’s famous “healing magic” could save her failing marriage while she and her family lived in the old house the summer of 2001. Instead, an unexpected tragedy ripped Angela’s family apart.

Now, two years later, Angela is moving past her grief and taking control of her life as a talent agent in Los Angeles, and she is finally ready to revisit the rural house she loved so much as a child. Back in Sacajawea, Angela realizes she hasn’t been the only one to suffer a shocking loss. Since she left, there have been more senseless tragedies, and Angela wonders if they are related somehow. Could the events be linked to a terrifying entity Angela’s grandmother battled in 1929? Did her teenage son,…[more]

Book:The Night Country

The Night Country: A Novel

Stewart O'Nan

At Midnight on Halloween in a cloistered New England suburb, a car carrying five teenagers leaves a winding road and slams into a tree, killing three of them. One escapes unharmed, another suffers severe brain damage. A year later, summoned by the memories of those closest to them, the three that died come back on a last chilling mission among the living.

A strange and unsettling ghost story in the tradition of Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson, The Night Country creeps through the leaf-strewn streets and quiet cul-de-sacs of one bedroom community, reaching into the desperately connected yet isolated lives of three people changed forever by the accident: Tim, who survived yet lost everything; Brooks, the cop whose guilty secret has destroyed his life; and Kyle’s mom, trying to love the new son the doctors returned to her. As the day wanes and darkness falls, one of them puts a terrible plan into effect, and they find themselves caught in a collision of need and desire, watched…[more]

Book:Wolves of the Calla

Wolves of the Calla: Book 5 of The Dark Tower

Stephen King

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland’s youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future’s only promise. Readers of Stephen King’s epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the Dark Tower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah; Jake Chambers, the boy who has come twice through the doorway of death into Roland’s world; and Oy, the Billy-Bumbler.

In this long-awaited fifth novel in the saga, their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World’s borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community’s soul. One of the town’s…[more]

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