Each year around this time I experience a fit of jealousy for those lucky few individuals who receive a Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Not only are there far fewer of them than Oscars or Emmys, but let’s be honest, they are far cooler to look at. Interestingly enough, you will never find one for sale or auction, as clearly horror writers at this level are never hard up enough for money to sell their trophies (believe me, I’ve looked). When you Google “replica Oscar statues for sale” you find nearly 2 million hits… but can you guess how many hits you get when you Google “replica Stoker awards for sale”?
That’s right – no cheesy dollar-store models of this little gem. No inflatable, larger-than-life Stokers, no Stoker costumes, no Stoker greeting cards. And why is that? Because it’s rare and amazing and too incredible for words, in spite of the fact I’d pay big bucks, even one made by those ceramic Christmas house people (if any of those are listening).
Nope. Only the best of the best, of the best, get to take home a Stoker. Back in January I gave you the list of lucky nominees. Little did I know we’d all end up with plenty of time to read each and every one. This week the HWA dashed the hopes of most writers on that list to arrive at 12 winners and the subsequent “finalist nominees” who do not get to go home with the coolest award ever created. In fact, this year they are at least spared the agony of having their pictures taken next to the winner, standing near to, but not being allowed to touch the coveted Stoker award.
So, without further pontificating, here are the talented winners, and the finalists…