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The Essentials of Horror

The following is a short list, featuring four significant authors from the formative years of horror fiction, plus twenty prolific authors, whom you would commonly find on any list of Horror Fiction "classics" or "essentials." A list of the "best" authors in any category has to be considered subjective under the best of circumstances. However, based on the criteria of which authors' works have continued to stand the "test of time," and whose works have remained relevant to contemporary readers, the authors listed here are a good place to start. Fans and/or students of Horror Fiction are also encouraged to check in with any of our librarians for additional recommendations!

classic. Among the best of a class, of the highest quality in a group...a work that endures. -- Harper Handbook to Literature

The author links in this booklist are to the complete listings of all materials in the Lincoln City Libraries' collections by these authors. The links connect directly to our library catalog, so that you may check on the current availability of titles. Covers shown below are relative samples of some of these authors' best-known works.

THE GROUNDBREAKERS

Authors with one or two significant works early in the formative years of the horror genre.

 

(Thomas Joseph) Sheridan Le Fanu

[1814-1973]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Carmilla / In a Glass Darkly  The Purcell Papers  The House by the Churchyard

Mary Shelley

[1797-1851]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Frankenstein'

Robert Louis Stevenson

[1850-1894]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'

Bram Stoker

[1847-1912]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Dracula'  The Lady of the Shroud  The Lair of the White Worm
THE MASTERS OF THE FORM

Authors with bodies of work significant to the ongoing horror genre.

 

Clive Barker

[1952-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Books of Blood 1-3'  Visions of Heaven and Hell  Damnation Game  Essential Clive Barker  Weaveworld

Ambrose Bierce

[1842-1913]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

American Fantastic Tales'  Complete Short Stories  The Devil's Dictionary  Ghost and Horror Stories  Tales of Soldiers and Civilians and Other Stories

Algernon Blackwood

[1869-1951]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories  The Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood  the Empty House and Other Ghost Stories  The Wendigo  The Willows'

Robert Bloch

[1917-1994]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'  Hell on Earth  Psycho  Your's Truly, Jack the Ripper  Monsters in Our Midst

Ramsey Campbell

[1946-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Darkest Part of the Woods'  Ghosts and Grisly Things  Grin of the Dark  The Overnight  Secret Story

Shirley Jackson

[1916-1965]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Haunting of Hill House'  Haunting of Hill House  The Lottery and Other Stories  We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Stephen King

[1947-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Carrie'  Cujo  The Dead Zone  Salem's Lot  The Stand

Dean Koontz

[1945-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

The Bad Place'  Demon Seed  The Funhouse  Lightning  Twilight Eyes

Richard Laymon

[1947-2001]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Blood Games'  Flesh  The Lake  To Wake the Dead  Traveling Vampire Show

H.P. Lovecraft

[1890-1937]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Annotated H.P. Lovecraft'  At the Mountains of Madness  Call of Cthulhu  Dunwich Horror  Tales

Brian Lumley

[1937-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Beneath the Moors and Darker Places'  Harry Keogh and Other Weird Heroes  Necroscope: Defilers  Titus Crow, Vol 1  Vamphyri: Necroscope II

Graham Masterton

[1946-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Blind Panic'  The Cursed Man  Death Mask  House of Bones  Ritual

Richard Matheson

[1926-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Hell House'  Hunted Past Reason  I Am Legend  Nightmare at 20,000 Feet  Stir of Echoes

Robert McCammon

[1952-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Boy's Life'  Gone South  Mister Slaughter  Queen of Bedlam  Swan Song

Edgar Allan Poe

[1809-1849]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Collected Tales and Poems'  Complete Tales and Poems  Tales of Death and Dementia  Tales of Mystery and Madness  Graphic Classics

Anne Rice

[1941-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Blackwood Farm'  Interview With the Vampire  The Mummy  Queen of the Damned  The Vampire Lestat

John Saul

[1942-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Black Lightning'  Creature  In the Dark of Night  Nightshade  Right Hand of Evil

Dan Simmons

[1948-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Black Hills'  Carrion Comfort  Drood  The Terror  A Winter Haunting

Peter Straub

[1943-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

A Dark Matter'  Ghost Story  Hellfire Club  Mr. X  The Throat

F. Paul Wilson

[1946-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]  [ official web site for this author ]

Dark at the End'  Deep as the Marrow  Implant  Midnight Mass  Sims

Compiled and expanded for the Web March 2012 sdc

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