The paperback horror novelization and movie tie-in market has been strong for a while. I regret I didn’t realize this sooner. I’m still haunted by the day I left behind paperback copies of Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween III, and Halloween IV all sitting nicely on the shelf together for half-off the cover price. Ah, the haunted nightmares of a paperback collector. Why didn’t I buy those Black Flame Friday the 13th books back when they were coming out? Why did I sell that trade paperback copy of Dawn of the Dead? Why did Ray Garton write a movie novelization for Good Burger? These are questions I can’t answer.
What I can do is share a collection of scanned horror movie novelizations and tie-ins that I’ve collected since I started scanning books for Realms of Night. A small selection of these are pretty rare as far as I can tell — Fright Night, April Fools Day and Final Exam, for example — but don’t fetch anywhere near the prices of bigger franchise tie-ins on the secondary market. One of my favorite novelizations is The Fog by Dennis Etchison, who also wrote Videodrome and two Halloween novels (parts II and III) as Jack Martin. He wasn’t the only one to use a pen name for this kind of work — Ray Garton wrote the Nightmares on Elm Street 4 and 5 novelizations as Joseph Locke, a name he also used for his YA horror work back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. All of the Universal Horror novels were written under a Berkley house name Carl Dreadstone; there were six of these books in all, three of them written by Ramsey Campbell in the 1970s — Dracula’s Daughter, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wolfman. Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Werewolf of London were written by Walter Harris. The author of The Mummy appears to be unknown.
While I have never been focused much on novelizations or tie-ins, I recognize there are some gems here and there, and many people actively seek these out to complete their collections. Some very good writers have contributed to this kind of horror literature, so I find it’s worth collecting and sharing as many as I find in my journeys.
I admit this gallery is a little loose in its boundaries, but I’ve included some stuff I hope horror movies fans will enjoy, including Beyond the Gates: A Tribute to the Maestro, a rare chapbook biography of Lucio Fulci by Chas Balun, and a collection of David Cronenberg screenplays — neither of which I’ve seen more than once. The Wicker Man is an original novel, but is not as common as others, so I figured I would include it here. I do not yet have a post for William Peter Blatty on Realms of Night, but I have a copy of the first edition hardcover of The Exorcist that I thought was worth sharing given the importance of its film adaptation. Silver Bullet is of course an adaptation of Cycle of the Werewolf, but again, I felt this edition was uncommon enough to make it an interesting inclusion. Ditto the ‘Salem’s Lot TV mini-series tie-in edition with the silver cover, which has fond associations for me; I begged my mother to let me stay up late to watch it when I was but a wee lad of eight back in 1979. There are some other exceptions along these lines.
All of the scans are from my personal collection past and present. Some have been sold, some are for sale, and some will likely go up for sale at some point in the future. Please keep an eye on the Shop page for books available for purchase.
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