The best horror writers who aren’t Stephen King

Who am I?

As a writer who grew up on a steady diet of horror—from Dean Koontz to Peter Straub to Stephen King—I never knew what amazing diversity there actually was in the genre, until I became a horror writer myself! In the last few years, I’ve met an incredible range of talented writers whose books are sometimes overshadowed on the horror shelves by a certain King, and I think it’s high time we all knew more about these hardworking, creative, and gifted authors. So if you read horror and are hungry for new books by writers whose work you may not know, here are five incredible voices to whisper tales of terror in your ear.


I wrote...

The Hollow Kind

By Andy Davidson,

Book cover of The Hollow Kind

What is my book about?

Nellie Gardner is looking for a way out of an abusive marriage when she learns that her long-lost grandfather, August Redfern, has willed her his turpentine estate. It turns out that the "estate" is a decrepit farmhouse on a thousand acres of old pine forest, but Nellie is so thrilled about the chance for a fresh start for her and her son, that she doesn't notice that there's something wrong with Redfern Hill. Something lurks beneath the soil, ancient and hungry, with the power to corrupt hearts and destroy souls.

The Hollow Kind is a jaw-dropping novel about legacy and the horrors that hide in the dark corners of family history. This gorgeous, Gothic fable tracing the spectacular fall of the Redfern family will haunt you long after the final page.

The books I picked & why

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The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Book cover of The Only Good Indians

Why this book?

These days, horror is all about diverse voices, and The Only Good Indians is top of the list. Stephen Graham Jones is my favorite living author. He writes scary stories like a man on fire, and they’re always stories you’ve never heard. Shapeshifting monsters, final girls, nature’s vengeance, and basketball. You can’t go wrong with this book!

The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Only Good Indians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Thrilling, literate, scary, immersive."
-Stephen King

The Stoker, Mark Twain American Voice in Literature, Bradbury, Locus and Alex Award-winning, NYT-bestselling gothic horror about cultural identity, the price of tradition and revenge for fans of Adam Nevill's The Ritual.

Ricky, Gabe, Lewis and Cassidy are men bound to their heritage, bound by society, and trapped in the endless expanses of the landscape. Now, ten years after a fateful elk hunt, which remains a closely guarded secret between them, these men - and their children - must face a ferocious spirit that is coming for them, one at a time. A spirit…

Ghost Eaters

By Clay McLeod Chapman,

Book cover of Ghost Eaters

Why this book?

Clay McLeod Chapman is a writer whose name horror readers will soon know far and wide! In this book about grief and haunting, he does for mushrooms what Psycho did for the shower, what Jaws did for the beach! It’s a fast, terrifying read you won’t regret picking up, and you won’t be able to put it down.

Ghost Eaters

By Clay McLeod Chapman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ghost Eaters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Gothic-punk graveyard tale about what haunts history and what haunts the human soul. An addicting read that draws you into its descent from the first page. Chuck Wendig, New York Times best-selling author of The Book of Accidents. From the acclaimed author of The Remaking and Whisper Down the Lane, this terrifying supernatural page-turner will make you think twice about opening doors to the unknown. Erin hasn t been able to set a single boundary with her charismatic but reckless college ex-boyfriend, Silas. When he asks her to bail him out of rehab again she knows she needs to…

She Said Destroy

By Nadia Bulkin,

Book cover of She Said Destroy

Why this book?

She Said Destroy is a mind-bending, award-nominated collection of short stories that speak to the horrors of home, childhood, and family. It’s the kind of stuff I wish I could write! They’re fantastical, haunting, unabashedly political, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Bulkin’s among the vanguard of new and emerging voices in horror. In my favorite story from the bunch, a final girl tames a dragon!

She Said Destroy

By Nadia Bulkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked She Said Destroy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dictator craves love--and horrifying sacrifice--from his subjects; a mother raised in a decaying warren fights to reclaim her stolen daughter; a ghost haunts a luxury hotel in a bloodstained land; a new babysitter uncovers a family curse; a final girl confronts a broken-winged monster...

Word Horde presents the debut collection from critically-acclaimed Weird Fiction author Nadia Bulkin. Dreamlike, poignant, and unabashedly socio-political, She Said Destroy includes three stories nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, four included in Year's Best anthologies, and one original tale.

The Hunger

By Alma Katsu,

Book cover of The Hunger

Why this book?

I love the work of Alma Katsu, in part because I love historical horror, but also because nobody does it better than Alma when it comes to crafting atmospheric stories set in a very real and distant past. I loved this one so much my wife and I took a trip to visit Donner Pass, just to get a feel for where The Hunger is set. It’s a cold, terrifying journey into the heart of one of America’s greatest—and most terrible—mysteries.

The Hunger

By Alma Katsu,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hunger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Deeply, deeply disturbing, hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark." - Stephen King

After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads. It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice. They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination. One is well-documented - the other untested, but rumoured to be shorter.

Donner's decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him. The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the…


This Thing Between Us

By Gus Moreno,

Book cover of This Thing Between Us

Why this book?

This Thing Between Us is a strange, mesmerizing, and oddly funny story about one man’s grief and how it leads to an invasive, evil force penetrating our world from the beyond. In part, it’s a haunted house story, but the ghost is in the machine—specifically a smart speaker named “Itza,” which is Moreno’s version of Alexa. I had the idea to a write a haunted house novel in which the house is haunted by a computer, but Gus beat me to it, and did it ten times better than I could have. You won’t read anything like this one, I promise. 

This Thing Between Us

By Gus Moreno,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Thing Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"As original as it is affecting . . . left me genuinely creeped out, unsettled, and shaken. An existentially frightening book."
-Paul Tremblay, author of Survivor Song

"Hold on, this isn't a ride, it's a slide, and it doesn't care whether you're ready or not."
-Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

A widower battles his grief, rage, and the mysterious evil inhabiting his home smart speaker, in this mesmerizing horror thriller from Gus Moreno.

It was Vera's idea to buy the Itza. The "world's most advanced smart speaker!" didn't interest Thiago, but Vera thought it would be…

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