42 Great Horror Books (That Aren’t King or Koontz)

A few days back, Bloodshoot Books‘ publisher Pete Kahle wrote a post on Facebook where he challenged himself to list his favorite horror books that aren’t by Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

King and Koontz get so much attention (and money) and there are a lot of great, under appreciated books out there.

Pete’s list is below. I haven’t read even close to half of the books on his list but when I have and there’s a book by an author I like more than Pete’s suggestion I add it in parentheses.

Also, because this is such a male-dominated industry, I’ve made the female authors bold and I challenge you to buy a book by a woman from this list.

Pete himself says in a comment under the list:

I wish I had more female horror authors listed, but as I went through the list I realized that I had only read one or two novels by each one.

Something to remedy in 2018

The first 33 are Pete’s original list, my extras are below. Please add your suggestions in the comments and I’ll update the list.

  1. Dan Simmons – Carrion Comfort (Drood, Summer of Night or The Terror)
  2. Richard Laymon – Savage
  3. Ramsey Campbell – The Doll Who Ate His Mother
  4. Graham Masterton – Night Warriors
  5. Sarah Pinborough – The Death House
  6. Edward Lee – The Bighead
  7. Lauren Beukes – Broken Monsters (The Shining Girls)
  8. Tananarive Due – The Living Blood
  9. Rick Hautala – Little Brothers
  10. Bentley Little – The Ignored
  11. Kathe Koja – The Cipher
  12. Douglas Clegg – The Children’s Hour
  13. Ray Garton – Lot Lizards
  14. Jeff Strand – Pressure
  15. Simon Clark – King Blood
  16. Stephen Laws – Chasm
  17. James Newman – Midnight Rain
  18. Jonathan Maberry – Ghost Road Blues
  19. Jack Ketchum – Off Season
  20. Clive Barker – Weaveworld
  21. Tom Piccirilli – Shadow Season
  22. F. Paul Wilson – The Tomb
  23. Charlee Jacob – Dread in the Beast
  24. Peter Straub – Floating Dragon
  25. Robert McCammon – Boy’s Life
  26. Joe R. Lansdale – The Bottoms
  27. Shaun Hutson – Spawn
  28. Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire – Parasite
  29. Brian Keene – The Conqueror Worms
  30. Brian Hodge – Nightlife
  31. Bryan Smith – Depraved
  32. Mark Morris – Toady
  33. Christopher Golden – Of Saints and Shadows

Books I’d add:

34. Michael McDowell – The Elementals
35. John Langan – The Fisherman (one of my all-time favorite horror books)
36. Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House
37. Richard Matheson – I am Legend
38. Kristi DeMeester – Beneath
39. Justin Cronin – The Passage
40. Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves (Will not work as a Kindle book, trust me)
41. Jeff VanderMeer – Finch
42. Josh Malerman – Bird Box

Now it’s your turn; what have your read and what’s missing from the list?




4 thoughts on “42 Great Horror Books (That Aren’t King or Koontz)”

  1. I’ll add a few titles:

    – Horror Show by Greg Kihn
    – Blood Runs Cold by Robert Bloch
    – Sepulchre by James Herbert
    – Prodigal by Melanie Tem
    – The Night Class by Tom Piccirilli
    – Wild Blood by Nancy A. Collins

    Liked by 1 person

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