Over that time Mr. King has written his share of flops, but his best work ranks up there with the best in the history of horror fiction. So I have boiled his works down to my essential list. I know that everyone is going to jump all over my choices, but oh well, fire away.
Another writer who started out in a literary ghetto was Dan Simmons. As his career progressed he has dabbled in many genres and done exemplary work in each. He has written several horror novels worth mentioning; Carrion Comfort, Children of the Night (another great vampire novel), Summer of Night (a personal favorite of mine combining chilling horror with a nostalgic look at a boy's summer), as well as The Terror and Drood. Some people might quibble about their inclusion, but both are full of chills as well as being complex historical novels.
One of the shortest and most poorly hidden secrets in the publishing world was the identity of Joe Hill. It turned out that he was Stephen King's son. Oddly enough, he is an amazing writer. Considering his father and that his mother, Tabitha are both decent writers this shouldn’t be surprising. If you want proof read Heart-Shaped Box. It's a truly original and truly scary take on ghosts, as well as a wonderful rock n roll novel. What's really scary is that Joe Hill’s book NOS4A2 is way better. This was one of my favorite novels that I have read in the past few years, and I recommend it very much. I could go on and on, about the well-drawn characters, and the dizzying invention, etc.., but just go out and get it.
The last few years have seen an absolute deluge of vampire novels, and I haven't read most of them because almost without exception I find the idea of sexy vampires ridiculous. However, there are a few exceptions; Anno Dracula by Kim Newman is one. Originally published in the nineties it was brought back into print because of the vamp craze and it deserved it. It's a clever, daring mash-up of Victorian fiction that is scary as well. The Strain trilogy by Benecio Del Toro and Chuck Hogan is a technological horror story that features a very different kind of vampire, but still dishes out the chills.
I feel like I am just getting warmed up, but the clock on the wall says otherwise. I could go on and on, and in the future I may do so. Until then, remember that everything here is merely my opinion and I would like to hear yours. Have a horrifying Halloween.