Annal: 2004 International Horror Guild Award for Novel

Results of the International Horror Guild Award in the year 2004.

Book:The Overnight

The Overnight

Ramsey Campbell

A bookstore can be a wonderful, welcoming place of both commerce and curiosity. That’s the goal for Woody, an American recently transferred to England to run a branch of Texts. He wants a clean, orderly store and lots of sales to show his bosses when they arrive from the States for a pre-Christmas inspection. Not easy given the shop’s location in a foggy strip mall.

And things keep going wrong. No matter how often the shelves are put in order before the doors are locked at night, when the staff returns in the morning, books are lying all over the floor, many damp and damaged beyond repair. The store’s computers keep acting up-errors appear in brochures and ads and orders disappear completely. And even when the machines are turned off, they seem to glow with a spectral gray light.

The hit-and-run death of an employee in the store’s parking lot marks a turning point. One employee accuses another…[more]

Book:A Handbook of American Prayer

A Handbook of American Prayer: A Novel

Lucius Shepard

A man walks into a bar. A dispute ensues, and the bartender kills him. He’s sentenced to ten years for manslaughter. In prison, the convict, Wardlin Stuart, writes prayers addressed to no god in particular. Inexplicably, his prayers—whether it’s a request for a girlfriend or a special favor for a fellow inmate—are answered, be it in days or weeks. When his collection of supplications, A Handbook of American Prayer, is published by a New York press, Stuart emerges a celebrity author.

Settling into a new life in Arizona, he encounters a fundamentalist minister. The two are destined for a confrontation. In the interim, it seems that the god to whom Stuart has been praying has manifested himself on the earth.

In this short novel about America’s conflicting love triangle—celebrity, spirituality, and money—Shepard negotiates the thin line between the real and the surreal, expounding upon violence and redemption along the way. This story of an unlikely American messiah shows why The Wall Street Journal has compared Shepard, an award-winning author, to Graham Greene, Robert Stone, and Ward Just.

Book:In the Night Room

In the Night Room

Peter Straub

In his latest soul-chilling novel, bestselling author Peter Straub tells of a famous children’s book author who, in the wake of a grotesque accident, realizes that the most basic facts of her existence, including her existence itself, have come into question.

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…[more]

Book:Kings of Infinite Space

Kings of Infinite Space: A Novel

James Hynes

Paul Trilby is having a bad day. If he were to be honest with himself, Paul Trilby would have to admit that he’s having a bad life. His wife left him. Three subsequent girlfriends left him. He’s fallen from a top-notch university teaching job, to a textbook publisher, to, eventually, working as a temp writer for the General Services department of the Texas Department of General Services. And even here, in this world of carpeted partitions and cheap lighting fixtures, Paul cannot escape the curse his life has become. For it is not until he begins reach out to the office’s foul-mouthed mail girl that he begins to notice things are truly wrong. There are sounds coming from the air conditioning vents, bulges in the ceiling, a disappearing body. There are the strange men lurking about town, wearing thick glasses and pocket protectors.

The Kings of Infinite Space is a hilarious and macabre spoof on our everyday lives, and gives true voice to the old adage, “Work is Hell.”

Book:Mortal Love

Mortal Love: A Novel

Elizabeth Hand

A tragedy that occurs in a hospital for the insane in Frankfurt, Germany, will have repercussions across decades and eras. Several weeks after the death of a female patient in a terrible fire, the poet Algernon Swinburne follows a mysterious woman through the shadows toward a remarkable event at once enthralling, stimulating, and terrifying beneath the streets of London. Years later, at the start of a new century, a struggling young artist, Radborne Comstock, is introduced to a ravishing beauty who immediately becomes his muse, his desire, and his greatest torment. It is a legacy of pleasure and madness that will be passed down to his grandson, the dilettante actor Valentine Comstock, who is plagued by disturbing and increasingly erotic visions. And in the present day a journalist named Daniel Rowlands is seduced by the bewitching and mercurial Larkin Meade, who holds the key to lost artistic masterpieces, and to secrets too devastating to imagine. …[more]

Views: 1,133 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.018 sec