Josh Hancock – The Girls of October: The most creative read on this entire list, without a hint of a doubt, The Girls of October is going to please those who look for the atypical structure and unique prose, those who love horror film (especially John Carpenter’s Halloween) and those who take a certain liking to seasonal themed reads. This is an amazing, amazing piece of work that ranks toward the very top of my list of favorites this year. In fact, I dare say this is one of my favorite novels (it’s written in such unorthodox fashion I almost feel as though labeling it a “novel” isn’t entirely accurate) of all time.
Stephen King – The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: You’re going to find a few familiar shorts included in King’s new collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, but there are a number of new pieces you haven’t come across just yet, and the bulk of them are absolutely awesome. While a few of King’s recent novels have struggled to captivate readers, he’s still got the magic of the short story all balled up inside of him, and it comes out once more for long time fans to admire. If you’re going to buy any of King’s recent works, either make it Joyland or this year’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.
Robert McCammon – The Border: I broke this piece down for BHM a few months back, and taking a glance at that assessment, I think I pretty much nailed it on the money: McCammon’s return to outright horror is moving. Unlike most of the man’s work, this one is an apocalyptic chiller that places feuding aliens at the forefront of things. Like most of McCammon’s work, the character development and examination is brilliant; the man brings embraceable individuals into the fold and their plight soon feels genuinely epic. That captures the vibe of The Border quite well, and I certainly recommend you take a gander at this one. Robert R. McCammon is still a wizard with words!
Paul Tremblay – A Head Full of Ghosts: Paul Tremblay takes a little time to toy with the human mind here, as A Head Full of Ghosts will catch you off-guard on far more than a single occasion. A fantastic writing style compliments quite the surprising tale, and has me quite excited to see what the future holds in store for this already seasoned stud. Another excellent discovery for me this year, Paul Tremblay is firmly positioned on the radar thanks to an excellent, excellent piece of fiction that left me feeling a little shaky.
David Mitchell – Slade House: To be honest with you, I’m not insanely familiar with David Mitchell’s work… but I can tell you this: Slade House is awfully eerie, very entertaining and damn refreshing. It’s essentially a haunted house/ghost tale, but it’s creative enough to hold your attention, firmly, and it calls to mind Stephen King’s The Shining, although these two stories really share very, very few similarities. Mitchell is clearly a natural talent, and I’ll have my eyes on the man’s work from this point forward. That’s a guarantee.