(Poll) Stephen King fans: What other horror authors have you read?

The two other horror novelists I read fairly regularly are:

John Saul, though I think his earlier stuff was a lot better than his newer stuff.

Graham Masterton, who I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned yet. He’s more known in Britain than the U.S., but he’s written a whole bunch of really good horror novels, including The Manitou, Picture of Evil, The House that Jack Built, Ritual (which is without a doubt the goriest horror novel I’ve ever read, King included), Mirror, The Doorkeepers, and many, many more. His earlier stuff is a little hard to find but well worth the search. If you want to start reading him, though, I strongly recommend not starting with his latest, Unspeakable. Every author can have a bad book, and this one is Masterton’s. I finished it just a couple of days ago and it was terrible. Other than that, though, he’s very good. He especially likes to do gory takes on old historical legends (Native American, mostly, with a dash of Japanese and others).

The Borderlands series of anthologies, published from 1991 to the present (now up to volume 5), offer some really cutting-edge, soul-disturbing horror. See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1880325373/qid=1110078996/sr=2-3/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_3/102-8440714-6264122, http://www.borderlandspress.com/bpre.htm.

Interesting replies; there’s almost no overlap between what people have mentioned in this thread and what I’ve read. I’ve had much more exposure to the old Weird Tales-type material and haven’t read anywhere near as much modern stuff.

I liked Poppy Z Brite too. I’m fond of Phil Rickman’s Merrilee Watkins horror stories too and some of his stand alones aren’t too bad either. Clive Barker is wonderful.

I admit to having read quite a bit of John Saul and V.C. Andrews before I quit.

I still read Stephen King, but the Dark Tower series is quite a slog for me.

I have read some Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Peter Straub. I tried one Anne Rice book and nothing else of hers yet. I’ve also attempted Clive Barker but it just didn’t grab me somehow.

There are some truly excellent Koontz stories, I think that is what is so dissappointing about the formulaic aspect he stumbles into. He’s obviously got some great ideas, but what the heck, man?

Note: never let your imaginative seventh grader read Darkfall. ::shudder::

I have a nice Borderlands story! Not one I wrote, of course. :slight_smile:

Borderlands 5 had a special limited edition, signed by all the contributors, including Stephen King. (Anything King signs is special and collectors snap them up.)

I preordered the book when I had a job, but by the time it was published, I didn’t have a job, and I couldn’t justify spending $75 for one book, even if it did have a King signature.

I contacted the publisher and asked them to cancel my order. As luck would have it, the book had just come out, and it was in the UPS truck. I arranged with the publisher to return it, unopened.

Here’s the good part: The book had completely sold out. The publisher was wanting to run a promotion with the limited edition as a prize, but they didn’t have one. They used my returned copy as the prize.

But here’s the best part: The publisher sent me a copy of the trade edition of the book, no signatures, of course, but still a damn fine hardcover edition – for free!

When I was very young, I had a huge penchant for Alfred Hitchcock and read much of his work. I even had some really old Hitchcock Mystery Magazines from the 50’s and 60’s.

I’ve read my fair share of Stephen King over the years. I’ve also read Koontz, Straub, Barker, Rice, Andrews … and a bunch of others. My FAVORITE horror writer ever is Ambrose Bierce. I’m sure others have also read his stories. I’d encourage anyone who reads this to pick up a ‘best of’ anthology of his. He wrote in the 1800’s and I’ve never read anything that can match it or make me feel half as creeped out.

What V.C. Andrews writes is horror fiction? I thought it was Harlequin romance left in the sun to spoil.

I still read King, and I think I’ve read every other horror author mentioned here, but That was when I was younger. (I ate up Sci-fi too) I read more main-stream stuff now. I guess, I’ve seen enough first hand. No one can make up worse stuff.
Now my worst fear is that all my favorite authors will die off, and I’ll be left with nothing to read.

Let’s start off classic: Mary Shelley.
Would you call The Time Machine, by HG Wells, horror? I would.
And there’s no question that The Haunting of Hill House qualifies.
HP Lovecraft is a classic, as is Edgar Allen Poe.

Moving into modern times…
Peter Straub
Poppy Z. Brite
Joyce Carol Oates (and if you don’t believe she’s a horror writer, you’ve not read Zombie)
Clive Barker
Dean Koontz
Anne Rice (blech)
Most of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies over the last fifteen (?) years.
Others I’m forgetting
Stephen King

King is, at his worst, insanely awful. Chattery teeth? Are you fawking kidding me?
But his best is quite good indeed. There are stories, such as the one about the drug-smuggling doctor crash-landed on a desert island, that stick with me almost twenty years after having read them.

Hunter, if I give you one or two King recommendations, would you take them? Here’s one or two:

  1. The Long Walk, a novella he published under the name Richard Bachman. Very, very good.
  2. Skeleton Crew, a bunch of short stories; “Survivor Type” is my favorite in the bunch.


Have you (or has anyone else here) read The Taking? I read the jacket and the premise sounds interesting (if maybe a little reminiscent of The Mist).