Every single one of us have our all-time favorites when it comes to genre authors. Stephen King generally graces such lists, as do studs like Clive Barker and Jack Ketchum. But those of us who read constantly tend to discover new favorites and talents that command attention. Even if some of those selections may not have accumulated the resumes to land on our ultimate fave lists (yet), they’re still really important to us, as fans.
Here are 10 authors that have blown my mind in 2015. Whether extremely active this calender year or not, these are the writers whose work I just can’t put down.
10 Linda S. Godfrey: While on a recent road trip I squeezed a little speed reading in. Linda S. Godfrey’s American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends and Sightings in America was one of three books to be plowed through in a few hours, and it had me completely mesmerized. It’s a very well-written, informative and engaging book that’s going to get a thorough, time consuming examination from me before an official review goes live. Regardless of the review, the book was great and Godfrey’s smooth approach earns her a very deserving spot on this list.
09 Gregory Lamberson: Lamberson really, really came into his own as a novelist with the final chapter of the Jake Helman saga, Human Monsters (read our review here). It’s a brilliant finale and the highlight of Lamberson’s writing career. Prior to Human Monsters I supported and praised the man’s work. After reading Human Monsters, I absolutely love the guy and will no doubt seek out his future novels. He’s got a new fan for life and a comfortable place on my current list of top 10 authors.
08 Warren Ellis: Warren Ellis is a damn genius. “The Boss” does it all, from novels to screenplays to some of the finest graphic novels and comic books you’ll unearth, there is no uncharted territory for the prolific master of fiction. Ellis has written infectious tales centered on Batman, Hellblazer, Vampirella and even Frankenstein, to name but a few. I’ve yet to read a single tale that left me feeling anything other than completely gratified and a recent re-examination of the man’s work has me in awe.
07 Joe R. Lansdale: A perennial top 10, Joe Lansdale just continues to pump out riveting fiction. He’s been doing it for years (earlier works Cold in July and Dead in the West are superb) and it doesn’t seem he has any design on slowing down (more recent pieces Prisoner 489 – read one of our many reviews right here, Hot in December – read our review here – and The Thicket – again, our review can be found right here – are stunning). And, anyone who can put together a story like Bubba Ho-Tep should, in my humble opinion, be recognized as a bona fide bad ass.
06 Jonathan Maberry: Like Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry is a beast who never really falls from the upper echelon of this business. The Pine Deep books are stellar, the Joe Ledger series is awesome and his movie novelization of The Wolfman rocked. About as prolific as they come, Maberry is still releasing captivating work. The time he invests in his fiction is more than worth the time you’re going to invest in reading it.
05 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has breathed life in Archie Comics like never before, and there’s a sense of irony in that statement as some of his finest work can be found in Afterlife with Archie (read our review of Escape from Riverdale right here), a story that pits the lovable Archie against hordes of the undead. It’s a stunning tale that’s caught on like wildfire and left Aguirre-Sacasa a heavily sought after talent (his work on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – here’s our review – has also turned some heads). This man is amazing.
04 Ronald Malfi: Ronald Malfi is the kind of guy that is going to carry the torch when mega-studs like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Clive Barker have stepped away from the keyboard. His style is absolutely beautiful and with success stories like Cradle Lake (read our review), Floating Staircase (read our review here), December Park (read our review) and the soon-to-be-released Little Girls (an excellent novel, which will soon see coverage here on HNR) it’s extremely evident that Malfi isn’t going anywhere but up.
03 Alan Moore: I grew up adoring the work of Alan Moore. His Swamp Thing run is hands down one of the greatest comic book stretches in history. Watchmen is a display of utter supremecy. V for Vendetta is as captivating as it gets. And then you’ve got From Hell, which is arguably one of the finest spins on the good old Jack the Ripper tale ever written. This man is a living legend and it’s been nothing short of a blast jumping back into his mind blowing material. Alan Moore is, in short, the king of comic book fiction.
02 Tim Lebbon: I’ve been a fan of Tim Lebbon’s work since reading Dusk a number of years ago. There’s no doubt that he’s one of the strongest genre contibutors alive today, and the recently released apocalyptic piece The Silence (this too will be covered here soon, likely inside the next seven days) is an excellent reminder that very few have the talent to rival a born storyteller like Lebbon. The Silence is amazing, as are Echo City, Fallen and the wildly emotional The Thief of Broken Toys (read our review here). And those are just a few high points of Lebbon’s professional career. If you’re not reading Lebbon’s work, you’re missing a special talent.
01 Hunter Shea: Hunter Shea and Tim Lebbon could easily alternate between my current list of top 10 horror authors. Today it just so happens to be Shea who gets the ultimate nod. I’m completely mystified by his ability to turn outlandish concepts into engaging, embracable reads. His knack for monster mayhem also holds a special place in my heart. Island of the Forbidden is Shea’s latest to hit the market and while I haven’t gotten around to reading it, it’s extremely high in the queue, and I can’t wait to jump into a new nightmare. There’s nothing this man can’t do, and that helps in the decision to rank Shea at the very front of the pack.
So, we here at HNR are always on the hunt for undiscovered talent, or established authors that some may not necessarily be familiar with. That’s where you come in. We want to see your top 10 lists! We want recommendations. We want to unearth treasures we may not know exist. So drop a response and gift us with your personal picks for the 10 best authors still entertaining readers in 2015!