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The Top 10 Authors of 2015 – Who Are YOUR Picks?

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!

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

21 Comments on The Top 10 Authors of 2015 – Who Are YOUR Picks?

  1. Matt Barbour // June 24, 2015 at 7:39 pm // Reply

    This year so far I would have also put Matt Shaw and Zane Sachs… maybe Brian Keene this year too… but perhaps he is too big a name as the list is mostly focused on undiscovered talent. I also have still not read Slowly We Rot which came out by Bryan Smith this year but plan to soon.

    Speaking of Joe Lansdale.. I just started rereading On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks again. It is one of my favorite short stories/novelettes by the guy.


  2. Keene would definitely qualify my friend, as everyone on the list outside of Godfrey is a huge, established genre name!


  3. Nice choices! There are so many great authors out there right now, that it would be hard for me to pick only 10. But, there is for me one author that has always remained a favorite. It’s Mark West! That man can write. He could blog about a roll of toilet paper and have you enthralled. Do check out a few of his stories, read his blog page, I think you’ll see what I mean!


  4. Hunter Shea at #1? How many beers did he give you to say that? 🙂

    I’m plowing through his oeuvre right now and loving his stuff. He’s a monster (man).


  5. I would definitely have Kealan Patrick Burke for this year or any other.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I offered celebratory beer after the list in celebration of Shea and Malfi!! 🙂 that counts right, don’t be sad! I love so many on this list. Yes, definitely don’t think these are undiscovered!

    I’ll add another client who I do think has great writing. Russell James. he has enough books under him now and he just received a starred review from publisher’s weekly.

    A huge one I think is Frazer Lee. Also Jonathan Moore, who has his third book coming out in January from Harcourt and has a blurb by Stephen King!!

    Others are Jonathan Janz, Cat Cavendish, Ania Alborn, Blake Crouch, Josh Malerman (bird box!!!!!), David Bernstein. Best launch out of the gate for 2015, and picking up speed, is Glenn Rolfe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i’m a fan of Russell James, Frazer Lee, Jonathan Janz, Cat Cavendish, Glenn Rolfe (Samhain has REALLY been killing it – Eric Red is another great one for me) and Blake Crouch. Those guys are absolutely awesome, no doubt about it! Some awesome suggestions. BTW, I don’t think I’ve read any of Ania Alborn or Jonathan Moore. Definitely a few I’m going to look into!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ania is a must. She is traditionally published by Simon and Schuster, with the newest one being Within these Walls. Very absorbing.

        Jonathan Moore published Redheads with Samhain with a nod from Jack Ketchum. He is a Bram Stoker finalist for best first novel for it, from a few years back. This third book is to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is called The Poison Artist. That’s the one King just blurbed. There will be a couple more books after. Comes out January. If you’d like to review or want an interview just let me know and I can hook you up!

        Also consider trying out Brian Kirk’s newest We are Monsters.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh! And I concur on Kealan!!

    Erin Al-Mehairi
    Hook of a Book Media and Publicity
    Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay, my top 10 list for this year would have to be:

    Clive Barker – did a lot of reading in prep for Scarlet Gospels
    Tim Curran – always fun
    Graham Masterton – how the hell did I not discover him sooner?
    Brian Keene – always a great read, looking forward to his horror/epic fantasy crossover
    Terry M. West – he’s quickly won me over
    Nick Cutter – top notch stuff
    Mercedes M. Yardley – an indie fave
    Donald Allen Kirch – another indie fave with a taste for old-school horror
    Carlton Mellick III – can’t go wrong with the master of Bizarro
    M.P. Johnson – a Bizarro newbie, but quickly becoming a favorite


  9. MATTHEW GILLIES. He is my only pick for this year. His novels are amazing. They are all different and its hard to have an author that can write in so many different themes and have every novel still hold and grip you. The Electric Coma Dream is so amazing i couldn’t put the book down. best debut novel i have ever read. Oblivious Paradise is an amazing ride into the post apocalyptic cyber punk world, the detail and ideas in the novel grip you. The Master and The Servant…all im going to say is WOW AND SO AWESOME, i love dark magic and this has a whole lot of it and way more. I cant wait to read his other novels he has coming out.


  10. m0uthskateer // June 25, 2015 at 7:25 pm // Reply

    A great list with some authors I really need to experience.


  11. Great list with some fantastic authors! Have to agree on the choice with Shea. I haven’t read anyone in a while that can tell a tale as well as he does!


  12. Frederic Smith // June 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm // Reply

    Hello. I discovered this fantastic website a couple weeks ago and been combing it to discover new talents.

    So far I read and enjoyed John Everson’s The Family Tree. I have a copy of Tim Lebbon’s The Silence waiting on my Kindle. Now this article convinces me to give a try to R. Malfi. I am already a fan of J. Maberry, so I guess I am not too much out of the loop after a 20 years reading hiatus in the genre.

    I am currently half-way through Hunter Shea’s The Montauk Monster. And honestly, I do not share the same level of enthousiasm for his writing for one specific reason : his handling of time in relation with the environment. I find myself constantly wondering what time it is in the story, until the character-looking-at-his-watch device is (over)used. At one point the story goes from 4 or 5AM (not clear) to 7 AM, and there is never any mention of the sun rising or changes in the environment. For me, it makes it more difficult to dive in a story.

    Does it mean M. Shea is just not my type, or is it that The Montauk Monster is not one of his best efforts? If so, which one would you recommend if I opt to give him another go?

    Thanks, and congrats for your fantastic job. As a French-Canadian who enjoys reading in English, there is not much people around me to discuss the contemporary and sometimes “underground” and “untranslated” horror genre. I hope you won’t mind me contributing a comment from time to time.


    • Frederic, you’re ALWAYS welcome here. I love to hear thoughts – supportive or opposing. It’s what keeps the community thriving. No two minds think exactly alike. Stick around!


    • Frederic, Montauk Monster was quite a different effort from Hunter Shea. If you like ghosts or haunts, I would try out his other series from Samhain. It starts with Forest of Shadows, then Sinister Entity (which is wonderful) and then Island of the Forbidden. Though use same characters they could also read stand alone.

      Hook of a Book Media and Publicity

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Erin for the suggestion (and thanks Matt for the warm welcome!).

        I’ll put Forest of Shadows on my list. I try to keep an open mind. After all, I wouldn’t be a huge Stephen King fan if I had started with The Tommyknockers (and Shea’s Montauk is still way better)…


        Liked by 2 people

      • Your welcome, Frederic! If you like more high octane than his ghost stories though, he has one other called Evil Eternal which is very action and horror oriented as it was supposed to be a graphic novel. Many people also like his Swamp Monster Massacre, if you like Bigfoot. Tortures of the Damned his is second from Kensington and will release July 28! I love Stephen King, too, but as I do also say as well, sometimes he misses and rambles. But other books, those are what make him so great. It’s wonderful you keep an open mind!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Adrian Shotbolt // July 1, 2015 at 10:48 am // Reply

    A few cats I’m digging are Wrath James White, Jonathan Janz, William Meikle, Adam Cesare, Kristopher Rufty, Kevin Lucia, David Bernstein, Tim Curran, Carlton Mellick 3, Shane McKenzie.

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Review - Linda Godfrey's American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends and Sightings - Monstrum Athenaeum

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