Goth Chick News: Here Comes Your 2023 Reading List…

Goth Chick News: Here Comes Your 2023 Reading List…

Gather round friends – it’s once again time to don the footie pajamas, pour a steaming hot-toddy and hunker down until spring with the most awesome reading list of the year: namely the annual nominees for the coolest award ever.

The Bram Stoker Awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot from the active members of the Horror Writers Association (HWA).

Several members of the HWA including Dean Koontz, were originally reluctant to endorse such writing awards, fearing it would incite competitiveness rather than friendly admiration. The HWA therefore went to great lengths to avoid mean-spirited competition by specifically seeking out new or overlooked writers and works, and officially issuing awards not based on “best of the year” criteria but for “superior achievement,” which allows for ties.

Which is lovely and all, but I believe I would not be above doing something mean-spirited if not downright evil to get my hands on the award itself, a haunted house whose front door opens to reveal the category and winner.

This week the HWA announced the preliminary ballot for the 2023 Bram Stoker Awards.

And the nominees are…

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Aquilone, James – Shakespeare Unleashed (Crystal Lake Publishing, Monstrous Books)
Bailey, Michael – Qualia Nous, Vol. 2 (Written Backwards)
Carl, Annie– Soul Jar: 31 Fantastical Tales by Disabled Authors (Forest Avenue Press)
Datlow, Ellen – Christmas and Other Horrors (Titan)
Future Dead Collective – Collage Macabre: An Exhibition of Art Horror (Future Dead Collective)
Golden, Christopher, and Keene, Brian – The Drive-In: Multiplex (Pandi Press)
Hawk, Shane and Van Alst, Jr., Theodore C. – Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology (Vintage)
Peele, Jordan, and Adams, John Joseph – Out There Screaming (Random House)
Rowland, Rebecca – American Cannibal (Maenad Press)
Walker, Alin, and Louzon, Monica – Darkness Blooms (The Dread Machine)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Cade, Octavia – You are My Sunshine and Other Tales (Stelliform Press)
Chapman, Greg – Midnight Masquerade (IFWG Publishing International)
Duckworth, Jonathan Louis – Have You Seen the Moon Tonight? & Other Rumors (JournalStone Publishing)
Files, Gemma – Blood from the Air (Grimscribe Press)
Keisling, Todd – Cold, Black, & Infinite (Cemetery Dance)
Malerman, Josh – Spin A Black Yarn (Del Rey)
Nogle, Christi – The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future (Flame Tree Press)
Read, Sarah – Root Rot & Other Grim Tales (Bad Hand Books)
Wehunt, Michael – The Inconsolables (Bad Hand Books)
White, Gordon B. – Gordon B. White Is Creating Haunting Weird Horror(s) (Trepidatio Publishing)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Carmen, Christa – The Daughters of Block Island (Thomas & Mercer)
Compton, Johnny – The Spite House (Tor Nightfire/Macmillan)
Córdova, Gerardo Sámano – Monstrilio (Zando)
LaRocca, Eric – Everything the Darkness Eats (CLASH Books)
Leede, CJ – Maeve Fly (Tor Nightfire/Macmillan)
Najberg, Andrew – The Mobius Door (Wicked House Publishing)
Rebelein, Sam – Edenville (William Morrow)
Rumfitt, Alison – Tell Me I’m Worthless (Tor Nightfire/Macmillan)
Song, Jade – Chlorine (William Morrow)
Stephens, Caleb – The Girls in the Cabin (Joffe Books)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Bunn, Cullen (author) and Leomacs (artist) – Ghostlore, Vol. 1 (BOOM! Studios)
Cesare, Adam (author) and Stoll, David (artist) – Dead Mall (Dark Horse Comics)
Chu, Amy (author) and Lee, Soo (artist) – Carmilla: The First Vampire (Dark Horse)
Manzetti, Alessandro and Fantelli, Stefano (authors) & Cardoselli, Stefano (artist) – The Sixth Sentinel: Graphic Novel (Independent Legions Publishing)
McNamara, Jason (author) and Massaggia, Alberto (artist)– Past Tense (Dark Horse Comics)
Ito, Junji (author and artist) – Tombs (Viz Media)
Scott, Cavan (author) and Ponce, Andres (artist) – The Ward: Welcome to the Madhouse (Dark Horse Books)
Stark, Kyle (author) and Kowalski, Piotr (artist) – Where Monsters Lie (Dark Horse Comics)
Stuck, Kyle (author) and Orlandi, Enrico (artist) – Evil Cast (Ominious Media)
Tanabe, Gou (author and artist) – H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth (Dark Horse Comics)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Cade, Octavia – “You Are My Sunshine” (You Are My Sunshine and Other Stories, Stelliform Press)
Due, Tananarive – “Rumpus Room” (The Wishing Pool and Other Stories, Akashic Books)
Jiang, Ai – Linghun (Dark Matter INK)
Khaw, Cassandra – The Salt Grows Heavy (Tor Nightfire/Macmillan)
McCarthy, J.A.W. – Sleep Alone (Off Limits Press LLC)
Murray, Lee – Despatches (PS Publishing)
Schattel, Polly – 8:59:29 (Trepidatio Publishing)
Sylvia, Morgan – “The Art of Devastation” (In the Cold, Cold Ground: An Anthology of New England Horror, Cemetery Dance Publications)
Warren, Kaaron – Bitters (Cemetery Dance Publications)
Wood, L. Marie – The Open Book (Falstaff Books)

Superior Achievement in Long Nonfiction

Anderson-Lopez, Jonina – All Kinds of Scary: Diversity in Contemporary Horror (McFarland)
Coleman, Robin R. Means and Harris, Mark H. – The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar (Gallery/Saga Press)
Fitzpatrick, Claire (ed.) – A Vindication of Monsters: Essays on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley (IFWG Publishing International)
Hamori, Esther J. –  God’s Monsters: Vengeful Spirits, Deadly Angels, Hybrid Creatures, and Divine Hitmen of the Bible (Broadleaf Books)
Hartmann, Sadie – 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered (Page Street Publishing)
Morton, Lisa – The Art of the Zombie Movie (Applause Books)
Murray, Lee and Smith, Angelo Yuriko (eds.) – Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror (Black Spot Books)
Petrocelli, Heather O. – Queer for Fear: Horror Film and the Queer Spectator  (University of Wales Press)
Stred, Steve – The Color of Melancholy: An Examination of Andrew Pyper’s Novels as Intersected through My Life (Black Void Publishing)
Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew – Gothic Things: Dark Enchantment and Anthropocene Anxiety (Fordham University Press)

Superior Achievement in a Middle Grade Novel

Atwood, Jude – Maybe There Are Witches (Fitzroy Books)
Bennett, Jenn – Grumbones (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Fournet, M. R. – Brick Dust and Bones (Feiwel & Friends)
Henning, Sarah – Monster Camp (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
López, Diana – Los Monstruos: Felice and the Wailing Woman (Kokila)
Marshall, Kate Alice – Extra Normal (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Moulton, Deke – Don’t Want to Be Your Monster (Tundra Books)
Senf, Lora – The Nighthouse Keeper (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Tuma, Refe – Frances and the Werewolves of the Black Forest (HarperCollins)
Young, Suzanne – What Stays Buried (HarperCollins)

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Due, Tananarive – The Reformatory (Gallery/Saga Press)
Hendrix, Grady – How to Sell a Haunted House (Berkley)
Jones, Stephen Graham – Don’t Fear the Reaper (Gallery/Saga Press)
Kingfisher, T. – A House with Good Bones (Tor Nightfire/Macmillan)
LaValle, Victor – Lone Women (One World)
Monroe, Katrina – Graveyard of Lost Children (Poisoned Pen Press)
Ottone, Robert P. –  The Vile Thing We Created (Hydra Publications)
Sullivan, Andrew F. – The Marigold (ECW Press)
Wendig, Chuck – Black River Orchard (Del Rey/Penguin Random House)
Winning, Josh – Burn the Negative (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Superior Achievement in Poetry

Amanda Crum – The Taste of Butter (Self-published)’
Gold, Maxwell Ian – Bleeding Rainbows and Other Broken Spectrums (Hex Publishers)
Hall, Luna Rey – The Patient Routine (Brigids Gate Press)
Irish, Jenny – Lupine (Black Lawrence Press)
McCabe, V.C. – Ophelia (Femme Salvé Books)
McHugh, Jessica – The Quiet Ways I Destroy You (Apokrupha Press)
Perret, Michael – The Chimera (Curious Corvid Publishing)
Pichette, Marisca – Rivers in Your Skin, Sirens in Your Hair (Android Press)
Walrath, Holly Lyn – Numinous Stones (Aqueduct Press)
Wytovich, Stephanie M. – On the Subject of Blackberries (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Brooker, Charlie – Black Mirror: Beyond the Sea (Episode 03:06) (Zeppotron, Babieka, Banijay Entertainment, Broke and Bones, House of Tomorrow)
Cervera, Michelle Garza and Castillo, Abia – Huesera: The Bone Woman (Disruptiva Films, Machete Producciones, Maligno Gorehouse)
Cognetti, Stephen – Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor (Cognetti Films, Marylou’s Boys)
Duffield, Brian – No One Will Save You (20th Century Studios, Star Thrower Entertainment)
Moss, Laura and O’Brien, Brendan J. – Birth/Rebirth (Retrospecter Films, Shudder)
Poser, Toby; Adams, Zelda; and Adams, John – Where the Devil Roams (Wonder Wheel Productions)
Rugna, Demián – When Evil Lurks (Machaco Films, Aramos Cine, Shudder)
Sattler, Peter and Green, David Gordon – Exorcist: Believer (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Pictures, Morgan Creek Entertainment)
Willinger, Byron and De Blasi, Philip – Creepshow (S4.E2 The Hat) (Shudder, The Cartel, AMC Studios, Cartel Pictures, Striker Entertainment, Talent One)
Yamazaki, Takashi – Godzilla Minus One (Robot Communications, Toho Studios)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Anaxagoras, David – “Your Dasher Has Accidentally Awakened the Crawling Chaos by Gazing into the Loathsome Geometry of the Taco Pup Mega-muncher Meal Box” (The Dread Machine)
Daniels, L.E. – “Silk” (Hush, Don’t Wake the Monster: Stories Inspired by Stephen King, Twisted Wing Productions)
Jones, Rachael K. – “Sound of Children Screaming” (Nightmare Magazine)
King-Cargile, Gillian – “Chainsaw: As Is” (PseudoPod)
Kirby, Kristin – “Meat” (Negative Space 2: A Return to Survival Horror, Dark Peninsula Press)
Levy, Robert – “Giallo” (No One Dies from Love: Dark Tales of Loss & Longing, Word Horde)
Miller, Sam J. – “If Someone You Love Has Become a Vurdalak” (The Dark)
O’Quinn, Cindy – “Quondam” (The Nightmare Never Ends, Exploding Head Fiction)
O’Quinn, Cindy and McCullough, Nathan – “I’ll See You in Forever” (Sudden Fictions Podcast, Episode 6)
Tabing, Nadine Aurora – “An Inherited Taste” (No Trouble at All, Cursed Morsels Press)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction

Bissett, Carina – “Words Wielded by Women” (Apex Magazine)
Bulkin, Nadia – “Becoming Ungovernable: Latah, Amok, and Disorder in Indonesia,” (Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror, Black Spot Books)
Cade, Octavia – “Entering the Ecosystem: Human Identity, Biology, and Horror” (Horror and Philosophy: Essays on Their Intersection in Film, Television and Literature, McFarland)
Došen, Ana – “Heterotopic Hell Ride on The Midnight Meat Train” (Journeys into Terror: Essays from the Cinematic Intersection of Travel and Horror, McFarland)
Kachuba, John – “The Gothic Shapeshifter: Man, Monster, Myth” (The Gothique: Myriad Manifestations, Partridge India)
Kerestman, Katherine – “Cats and the Occult: A Canthropology” (The Weird Cat, WordCrafts Press)
Kulski, K.P. – “100 Livers” (Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror, Black Spot Books)
Murray, Lee – “Displaced Spirits” (Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror, Black Spot Books)
Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew – “Miasma Theory, Particulate Matter and Modern Horror” (Female Identity in Contemporary Purgatorial Worlds, Bloomsbury Academic)
Wetmore Jr, Kevin – “A Theatre of Ghosts, A Haunted Cinema: The Japanese Gothic as Theatrical Tradition in Gurozuka” (The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture: Special Issue on Asian Gothic)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Allen, Charlene – Play the Game (Katherine Tegen Books)
Bayron, Kalynn – You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight (Bloomsbury YA)
Dimaline, Cherie – Funeral Songs for Dying Girls (Tundra Book Group)
Hollowell, Sarah – What Stalks Among Us (Clarion Books)
Lyle, Jennifer D. – Swarm (Sourcebooks Fire)
Sass, Adam – Your Lonely Nights Are Over (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Simmons, Kristen – Find Him Where You Left Him Dead (Tor Teen)
Smith, Cynthia Leitich – Harvest House (Candlewick Press)
Tingle, Chuck – Camp Damascus (Tor Nightfire/MacMillan)
Tran, Trang Thanh – She Is a Haunting (Bloomsbury YA)

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve A Oerkfitz

I would have had to include The Dead Man and Other Horror Stories by Gene Wolfe. Screenplay for The Exorcist Believer ? Probably the worst movie I saw all year.

William H. Stoddard

What’s the difference between “long fiction” and “the novel”? It seems to me that either they’re the same or the former includes the latter. Several of the titles under “long fiction” are styled as book titles, which makes me think “novel”—but then I’d think they’d go into the “novel” category.

William H. Stoddard

Oh, okay. So “short fiction” is roughly like what the Hugo Awards call a short story or novelette (up to 7500 words and 7500-17,500 words), “long fiction” is roughly like a novella (17,500-40,000 words), and “novel” is just a bit longer than the minimum for a novel in the Hugo Awards (more than 40,000 words). The names are a little puzzling but the categories make sense. Thanks!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x