Honor roll: Bram Stoker Award for First Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for First Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Dawn Song

Dawn Song

Michael Marano

Dawn Song is a darkly erotic exploration of supernatural evil in very human circumstances. Lawrence is an invisible bookstore clerk in Boston, drawn through no choice of his own into the greatest conflict of all—a struggle for dominance between two of the most powerful devils in Hell.

As the media frenzy of the Gulf War buildup enthralls the city, Lawrence feels the presence of something ethereal and beautiful that has come to Boston, as he has, in search of fulfillment and love everlasting. If he only knew what it was…

Book:The Safety of Unknown Cities

The Safety of Unknown Cities

Lucy Taylor

“Lucy Taylor’s The Safety of Unknown Cities is one of the most impressive debut novels centered around relationship-driven fiction catalyzed by horrific events mostly realistic, sometimes supernatural. The Safety of Unknown Cities is very much a supernatural horror novel. Indeed it’s sexual, it’s graphically written, but it’s also an affecting and powerful novel about heartbreak and the untimely destruction of childhood. If reading the book strikes familiar chords, the resonance’s might be with either Clive Barker for an unflinching approach to highly charged subject matter, or with Poppy Z. Brite for sheer candor…an adventurous novel of a quality that absolutely demands an audience.”—Edward Bryant, Locus Magazine

Book:Grave Markings

Grave Markings

Michael A. Arnzen

Living in pain, an insane, egomaniacal tattoo artist is obsessed with the mad images in his mind and the need for recognition, so he seeks new flesh to fulfill his ambition…

Book:Veniss Underground

Veniss Underground

Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer’s last book, City of Saints & Madmen, explored the limits of literary fantasy, garnering raves from critics, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Now, with Veniss Underground, VanderMeer explores the limits of love, memory, and obsession in a far future SF novel that combines the grotesque and the sublime in a rousing adventure-mystery.

On a far future Earth where vast deserts—ecological disaster areas—surround walled city-states slowly losing their grip on advanced technology, the mysterious Quin manipulates biological engineering to create sentient species as both toys and a growing source of manual labor. When Nicholas, a failed holo artist, decides to visit Quin, he, his programmer sister, Nicola, and her former lover, Shadrach, will all discover what it really means to know Quin, in the place known as Veniss Underground.

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]

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:Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Joe Hill

Aging, self-absorbed, death-metal rock star Judas Coyne was a collector. He collects the bizarre, the uncanny, and the grotesque. Many of these objects were gifts from the black-clad fans that made his metal band a legend and made him rich. But not all…When his personal assistant told him there was a ghost for sale on the Internet, Jude knew he had to have it for his private collection, didn t think twice. He should have. Jude has spent a lifetime evading ghosts of an abusive father, of the band mates he betrayed, of Anna, the suicidal girl he loved and abandoned. But this spirit is different. This one means to chase him to the edge of sanity. His new acquisition delivered to his doorstep in a black heart-shaped box is the restless soul of Anna s vengeful step daddy. Craddock McDermott swore he would settle with Jude for ruining his daughter s life. Soon, everywhere Jude turns, Craddock is there: behind the bedroom door; in Jude s restored vintage Mustang; outside his window; on his widescreen TV. Waiting with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand.

Book:The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones: A Novel

Alice Sebold

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn’t happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief—her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor—and begin the difficult process of healing.

In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

Book:The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club

The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club

Brian A. Hopkins

The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club is a science-fiction, action-adventure, mystery-P.I.-suspense, humorous horror novel. Yep, it really is. You have to read it to believe it.

Those of you who haven’t read any of Hopkins’ Zolotow tales, you have quite a treat in store. Those of you who are familiar with this intrepid P.I. won’t be disappointed—this is perhaps the best one to date.

Book:Lives of the Monster Dogs

Lives of the Monster Dogs

Kirsten Bakis

Here is a first novel like no other: a spellbinding tale that both creates its own fully realized world perspective and provides an incisive look at the ways that humans and animals resemble each other. A group of elegant monster dogs in top hats, tails, and bustle skirts become instant celebrities when they come to New York in 2008. Refugees from a town whose residents had been utterly isolated for a hundred years, the dogs retain the nineteenth-century Germanic culture of the humans who created them. They are wealthy and glamorous and seem to lead charmed lives—but they find adjusting to the modern world difficult, and when a young woman, Cleo Pira, befriends them, she discovers that a strange, incurable illness threatens them all with extinction. When the dogs construct their dream home, a fantastic castle on the Lower East Side, and barricade themselves inside, Cleo finds herself one of the few human witnesses to a mad, lavish party that may prove to be the final act in the drama of the lives of the monster dogs.

Views: 1,600 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.024 sec