The Horror, the Horror | 2017 Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization for writers of horror and dark fantasy, has announced the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot. Named in honor of the author of Dracula, the prizes are presented annually in 11 categories, including fiction, poetry, screenplays, and nonfiction. Listed below are the nominees in four major categories, with LJ and SLJ reviews cited when available. For the full list of categories, see the HWA website. For collection development librarians, it is noteworthy that all the nominees in the first novel category come from small presses, so keep your eyes on these niche publishers for the best in new horror.

The winners will be announced at a gala banquet March 3, during the third annual StokerCon™, to be held March 1–4 at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Providence.

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Golden, Christopher. Ararat (St. Martin’s)
Those who dare to read this novel will enjoy a spine-tingling tale with rich imagery and a buoyant cast of characters.” (LJ 6/1/17)

King, Stephen and Owen King. Sleeping Beauties. (Scribner)
Violent, subversive, and compulsively readable, this latest novel from King (Mr. Mercedes), collaborating here with son Owen (Double Feature), derives more horror from its realistic depiction of violence against women than from the supernatural elements.” (LJ 9/1/17)

Malerman, Josh. Black Mad Wheel. (Ecco: HarperCollins)
Readers of weird, atmospheric fiction with a conspiratorial bent will enjoy Malerman’s latest offering. (Starred review,  LJ 3/15/17)

Miskowski, S.P. I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)
The ghost of a theater critic haunts the mean streets of 1990s Seattle as she seeks to solve her own murder.

Tem, Steve Rasnic. Ubo. (Solaris)
Experiments conducted by roaches on their human prisoners explore the roots of violence.

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Cabeen, Robert Payne. Cold Cuts.  (Omnium Gatherum Media)
A  tale of ecoterror set in Antarctica.

Davidson, Andy. In the Valley of the Sun. (Skyhorse)
Serial killer and vampire tropes are combined in a West Texas setting.

Hayward, Matt. What Do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem)
The Thing meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Hepler, Jeremy. The Boulevard Monster. (Bloodshot)
In exchange for financial security, all Seth has to do is dispose of a few bodies.

Thomas, Scott. Kill Creek. (Ink Shares)
Four famous horror authors spend the night in a notorious haunted house.

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

French, Gillian. The Door to January. (Islandport)
“A provocative mystery that would be a strong purchase for libraries’ supernatural/mystery collections.” (SLJ 9/1/17)

Leveen, Tom. Hellworld (Simon Pulse: S. & S.)
“This intriguing, well-crafted tale will engage fans of horror, mystery, and adventure.” (SLJ 9/1/17)

Liggett, Kim. The Last Harvest. (Tor Teen)
“An additional purchase for collections catering to avid fans of suspense and horror.” (SLJ 11/1/16)

Lukavics, Amy. The Ravenous. (Harlequin Teen)
“A must-have for horror collections. Future fans of Stephen King will devour this one.” (SLJ 8/1/17)

Porter, Sarah.  When I Cast Your Shadow. (Tor Teen)
“Heartache, possession, strong language, sex, murder, and just a hint of incest, all with a supernatural twist—readers searching for something different will certainly find it here.” (SLJ 7/1/17)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Butler, Octavia E. (text) & Duffy, Damian (text & illus.).  Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. (ComicArts: Abrams)
“This slave narrative through the eyes of a modern woman will continue to grip readers as they come to understand that “kindred” means all Americans, who together share the ancestry of slavery personally and collectively.” (LJ  4/1/17)

Carey, Mike & Ethan David Arvind. Darkness Visible. (IDW)
The uneasy coexistence between demons and humans is threatened by terrorist conflict as a cop charged with maintaining the balance is possessed.

Ferris, Emil. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Vol. 1. (Fantagraphics)
“Combining elements of historical fiction, family drama, a coming-of-age-tale, and a murder mystery…this debut has already netted Ferris comparisons to (and praise from) some of the lions of the graphic novel field, and it’s the rare title that actually lives up to the hype.” (Starred review, LJ 6/1/17)

Hickman, Jonathan. The Black Monday Murders. Vol. 1.  (Image)
Imagine a world run by various schools of magic under the guise of secret international banking cartels.

Liu, Marjorie. Monstress. Vol. 2: The Blood (Image)
Maika has a monster living inside her and must travel to Thyria in search of answers to her past.


Wilda Williams About Wilda Williams

Wilda "Willy" Williams ( is LJ's Fiction Editor. She specializes in popular fiction and edits the Mystery, Science Fiction, Christian Fiction, and Word on Street Lit columns.

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