Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Congratulations, Grady Hendrix, on winning a Bram Stoker Superior Achievement Award for the brilliant "Paperbacks from Hell"

Grady Hendrix enjoying his Stoker award haunted house trophy
The horror writer Grady Hendrix emailed me last summer to check some details for the book he was writing - Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction. I responded, and (because I thought a historian of the genre might be interested) included a few anecdotes about my time working for New English Library, which lit the fuse on the great '70s horror boom in Britain by publishing James Herbert's first novel, The Rats, and which later added Stephen King to its roster (as well as lesser purveyors of pure pulp, such as Guy N. Smith and yours truly). That led to more emails, and an interview which eventually appeared in The Paperback Fanatic magazine. Before that was published, Paperbacks from Hell came out. I ordered a copy...

...from Amazon, and was delighted to discover that it was a truly terrific book - packed with information, scholarship, opinions and anecdotes, it was wittily written, and stuffed with high quality illustrations of paperback covers from that era (including six from my own books).

Three days ago,  the Horror Writers Association presented Grady with a prestigious Bram Stoker award for Paperbacks from Hell at a gala dinner in Providence, Rhode Island (not coincidentally, H.P. Lovecraft's hometown). Will Errickson, who runs the excellent Too Much Horror Fiction blog, and who did a lot of the research for Grady's book, was also on hand to receive the award, and to co-sign copies:
The HWA was formed in 1987, and now has over 1,250 members from around the world (if I was still an active writer, I'd join like a shot). Every year there are five nominations for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in each of 11 categories, including novel, first novel, poetry, screenplay, anthology, and non-fiction (the category Grady won).

Well done that man - or, indeed,  those men! I've spend many a happy hour poring over Paperbacks from Hell, which is available from Amazon for a mere £14.99 (worth every penny). The announcement of Grady's award gives me an excuse to post even more horror covers from the '70s and '80s. Grab some garlic, a crucifix, a gun loaded with silver bullets, draw a pentagram on the floor and - not forgetting the Holy Water and the anti-nausea pills - step inside. Now that you're protected, let us begin:
And if those haven't cheered you up - I don't know what would!


  1. Darrin Venticinque8 March 2018 at 18:55

    The hell with The Oscars, where most awards are given to non-deserving winners in recent years (for the most part). The Bram Stoker award going to Grady, Will & Paperbacks From Hell is the big winner of the past weekend & THE one to celebrate for all of us fans, readers, collectors of horror fiction. Thanks for blogging this, Scott! Nick Sharman is proud!

    1. Nick Sharman's just amazed and delighted to be mentioned in such a great book. Back when I was writing, there were organisations for crime and SF writers to join - but horror??? I had to make do with the Society of Authors, where the writers I met started started looking for somebody else to talk to as soon as they found out what sort of books I wrote. So the HWA sounds like Heaven to me - and it's great that the awards are evidently prestigious, as they damn well should be!

      What was particularly welcome about Grady's book is the recognition it accorded the cover artists of that era - because the quality of their work was often far superior to the books their illustrations adorned (which is why I'm not in the least surprised you collect it).

      Sorry for the delay in publishing your comment, Darrin - it went AWOL in the digisphere (i.e. some old fool hit the wrong button and failed to notice their error).