Category Archives: Books

Owl Goingback

Owl Goingback is an American author of supernatural horror and suspense. He spent his early days in the U.S. Air Force working as a jet engine mechanic, then owned a restaurant and lounge for a while before committing to writing full time in 1987. His American Indian Choctaw-Cherokee heritage informs much of his fiction. His first novel Crota features a creature lifted from Native American mythology, an Indian curse as a lynch pin for the plot, and a sheriff and shaman working together to overcome ancient evil. Crota sold to Signet and won the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel in 1996.

Goingback’s short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. His short story “Grass Dancer” appeared in Warner Books’ Excalibur anthology in 1996 and was nominated for a Nebula Award the same year. In addition to a number of children’s books, Goingback was the author of four more horror novels: Shaman Moon, which appeared in The Essential World of Darkness, an omnibus with four other novels published by White Wolf in 1997, followed by Darker Than Night (1999), Evil Whispers (2001), and Breed (2002), all published by Signet.

Goingback currently lives in Florida with his wife and two sons. To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

Robert R. McCammon

Robert R. McCammon is an American author of horror and historical suspense. He was, of course, one of the giants of the genre during the horror boom, legitimately placed on par with usual suspects from the horror pantheon including King, Koontz, Straub, et al. He is a New York Times bestseller and multiple award-winning author.

McCammon was born and raised by his grandparents in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Journalism in 1974. He was eager to become a reporter in the wake of the 1972 Washington Post exposé by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that blew the lid off Watergate, leading to the bestselling novel and subsequent movie All the President’s Men.  He was not the only one inspired by the work of Woodward and Bernstein; their investigation had romanticized the profession and intrigued many, so there was a lot of competition for jobs at the time. McCammon was hard-pressed to find a position as a reporter. He eventually landed a position as copyeditor and headline writer for the Birmingham Post-Herald, but this left him frustrated and unhappy. During this time he turned his eye toward writing a novel, channeling his inner turmoil into Baal.

Baal was accepted and published in paperback by Avon books in 1978. He admits in retrospect that he was surprised by this — not expecting his first novel to sell so readily — but he quickly forged ahead and wrote The Night Boat. About this time the horror movie Shock Waves was released, which contained elements similar to his novel, so Avon was reluctant to publish it, opting instead to release his third novel Bethany’s Sin in 1980 as his follow-up to Baal. Avon published The Night Boat later that same year.  They Thirst was published in 1981, followed by Mystery Walk and Usher’s Passing in 1983 and 1984. Mystery Walk was McCammon’s first hardcover release, published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, who also published Usher’s Passing in hardcover. At this time he switched paperback publishers to Ballantine Books, who did interesting things with cover art — Mystery Walk had three variations, and Usher’s Passing featured striking, embossed art.

On a personal note, my fondness for Usher’s Passing is the primary reason I am writing this article two days before Halloween. It is a fantastic novel that should be appreciated by anyone who likes a good occult horror tale, but especially those like me who grew up with Edgar Allan Poe at their bedsides. Usher’s Passing is one of the penultimate autumn horror novels, and I highly recommend it.

By 1986, McCammon had met with praise and accolades for his work, but admitted to feeling isolated from fellow writers in the genre. With the idea of fostering a horror community and organization to help writers of like-mind, he reached out to his friends Joe and Karen Lansdale to help organize H.O.W.L — the Horror and Occult Writers League. This later became the Horror Writers of America, with Dean Koontz serving as the first official president. Later still, the organization expanded to include members world-wide and became the Horror Writers Association, which continues to this day.

The year 1987 marked the publication of what some feel is McCammon’s masterpiece Swan Song, an epic that drew inevitable comparisons to The Stand, if only because it was a long novel about the apocalypse by a horror novelist. This also marked McCammon’s return to the paperback format exclusively for a while, with the exception of Stinger, which was released in a Book Club hardcover format the following year. In 1987, McCammon also contributed three stories to Night Visions IV, appearing alongside Dean R. Koontz and Edward Bryant, and an introduction by Clive Barker. One of my favorite McCammon short stories, “The Deep End,” appears in this anthology and remains uncollected elsewhere, as far as I know. It won the 1987 Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Story.

Pocket Books handled the publication of McCammon’s remaining titles through 1993, by which time his books were being released in hardcover once again. These include what I feel is a timeless classic Boy’s Life (see my review here), Mine, and Gone South.

By this time McCammon had published 12 well-received novels and the collection Blue World. He took some time to focus on family and spend more time with his wife and daughter. He took two years to complete his next novel, Speaks the Nightbird, which was a significant departure from the work he had done up to that point. Since it was not a “McCammon novel” — at least as far as the publishers were concerned — they recommended changes to the book that would have transformed it into a historical romance.  Editorial commentary on the book led McCammon to pull it from consideration and start work on another novel, The Village, which took three years to finish. Again a significant departure from his previous work, publishers were cool on the book overall. Finally, McCammon announced his retirement from writing fiction in 1999.

Of course, we all know that was by no means the end of the story — Speaks the Nightbird was published in hardcover by a small Alabama press, River City, in 2002.  This opened the door for McCammon to return to the world of fiction. In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, Pocket Books ultimately published the book in mass market and trade paperback editions. He has written several new works since then, including new horror and historical novels released by Subterranean Press, Pocket Books, and TOR. As of this writing, his latest novel The Listener, is scheduled to be released in Feburary 2018 from Cemetery Dance Publications. Perhaps this goes without saying, but anyone looking for information on Robert McCammon needs to visit his official website, which is maintained and curated by Hunter Goatley.  It contains staggering amounts of information on McCammon and is frankly one of the best author websites I’ve visited. For fellow paperback collectors, it includes complete cover galleries for every edition published to-date.

To browse the list of Robert McCammon’s titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright. Please note that Realms of Night has an eBay page with monthly horror auctions. Follow our page and save us as a favorite seller for updates.

Leslie H. Whitten

Leslie H. Whitten is an American author and journalist. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Whitten spent most of his life in the northeastern United States, where he attended Lehigh University for a while before taking off to Paris and then Mexico, and then back to Paris. He met his lifelong wife, Phyllis in Paris where they were married in 1951. They spent most of the 1950s in Europe, where Whitten got his start in journalism. The couple eventually moved back to Maryland, and Whitten worked as an investigative reporter for the Washington Post.

Whitten is the author of eleven novels and a few non-fiction titles. He started his fiction career as an author of Gothic horror with his 1965 novel Progeny of the Adder. He followed up two years later with Moon of the Wolf.  These books were originally published by Doubleday and later released in paperback editions by Ace. Moon of the Wolf was adapted into a made-for-TV movie of the same name; it aired in 1972 as an ABC Movie of the Week. Whitten’s fourth novel was an occult thriller, The Alchemist, which sold to Charterhouse in 1973 and was subsequently released in paperback by Avon. They followed up with paperback reprints of his first two novels. His only other horror novel, The Fangs of Morning, was published by Leisure Books in 1994 in a 2-for-1 omnibus edition with a reprint of The Alchemist (which was also reprinted by Zebra Books in 1986).

Whitten currently resides in an assisted living center in Adelphi, Maryland. I’m sorry to report that Phyllis, his wife of 65 years, passed away earlier this year. They had three sons and five grandchildren. Mr. Whitten is 89 years old.

To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

 

F. Paul Wilson

F. Paul Wilson is an American author of fiction working in a variety of genres, including horror, science fiction, medical thrillers, mainstream, young adult, and some stuff that’s hard to categorize. Wilson is, or at least was, a physician with a family practice although I have no idea if he still practices today.

Wilson sold some of his earliest fiction to Analog in 1970 while he was still in medical school. His first novel Healer was published in 1986 – a science fiction story that went on to be included in a series of books he wrote about his fictional creation, the LaNague Federation. His writing grew out of an early appreciation for the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Heinlein.

My personal introduction to Wilson’s works was his 1981 horror novel The Keep, which kicked off The Adversary Cycle. The second book of the Adversary Cycle crossed over to kick off yet another series of his which was quite successful – The Tomb, book two in the Adversary Cycle, is also book one in the Repairman Jack series, which follows Jack, anti-hero extraordinaire, through a series of adventures that eventually circle back to end where they began. The final book in the Adversary Cycle, Night World, is also the final book in the Repairman Jack series.

I really enjoyed The Keep after I read it and kept my eye out for more of his horror works. Wilson was definitely an author of the higher order in the 1980s. I think comparisons to genre-giants of the era were justified. He became very successful with his fiction, authoring over fifty books, several of which were New York Times Bestsellers. One of my personal favorites by him, in addition to The Keep, was his short story collection, Soft and Others, which collected tales originally published in Analog, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Masques, Night Cry, Weird Tales, Whispers, and others.

His work has been adapted to the screen a few times. The Keep was made into a film in 1983; I personally liked it but others’ mileage may vary. He wrote a teleplay for Richard P. Rubenstein’s Monsters series, “Glim-Glim,” which was produced in 1989, and Dario Argento adapted Wilson’s short story “Pelts” for Mick Garris’s Masters of Horror series in 2006. Wilson lives in New Jersey.

To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis is the pseudonym of British author Alan Radnor, who wrote fiction, television tie-ins, and non-fiction. As Richard Lewis, he wrote several horror novels in the late-1970s and 1980s, including what seems to have been his best known title, Spiders. His pulp horror novels, which stayed mostly in the nature-gone-amok vein, were released by Hamlyn in the UK and Signet in the US.  His other novels include The Web, Devil’s Coach Horse (published as The Black Horde in the US), Parasite, Night Killers, and a novelization of David Cronenberg’s film Rabid.

Horrorpedia (which has a nice article with other book covers posted here) reports that Radnor also served in 1986 as producer on Worlds Beyond, a British television anthology series based on real-life reports of psychic phenomena, although IMDb only gives him credit as a writer on one episode, so I wasn’t able to confirm the report.

To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

Bentley Little

Bentley Little is an American author of horror fiction and, in my opinion, the last great horror author to emerge from the 1980’s horror boom. Indeed, while the careers of the many perfectly good horror scribes ended up in a ditch by the mid-1990s, Little’s popularity carried him through. Up until 2012, Signet published a new horror novel by Bentley Little in mass market paperback every year. For the past decade or more, his novels were the only straight horror titles you could find on a paperback rack in the grocery store.

The first Bentley Little story I read was “Skin” in the Winter 1988 issue of The Horror Show. I became an immediate fan. I was a teenage author myself at the time, trying to break into the more prestigious small press magazines. That entailed ordering sample copies from any magazine that looked promising and had an address listed in the Writer’s Market. Back then, it was hard to find a small press horror magazine that didn’t contain a Bentley Little story. His tales appeared The Horror Show, Eldritch Tales, Cavalier, Space & Time, Grue, Thin Ice, Cemetery Dance, After Hours and more. He was prolific and, for my mileage, consistently good; I looked forward to every story. When his first novel, The Revelation, came out in 1990 from St. Martin’s press, I felt giddy for some reason. Maybe because I felt the New York publishing establishment had validated what I had been thinking all along — this guy is good and deserves a bigger audience. That book won the Bram Stoker award for first novel. He was off and running.

I loved his second novel The Mailman even more than The Revelation. Although it’s a book I expect the millennial generation would find ludicrous simply because the Internet makes the concept hard to swallow, as a product of its time, I think it’s a masterpiece. I am the proud owner of several editions of this book, including the fine slipcased 20th anniversary edition published by Cemetery Dance in 2012. I read the first mass market paperback edition right after it came out. It’s in the gallery below. The first paperback edition of this book, with the post office cancellation title, is scarce. I have not seen another copy of that edition anywhere except on eBay, and even there I’ve only seen it twice.

As Bentley Little was, and has once again become, one of my favorite authors, I have fond memories of moments in time when I was reading his books. The Association reminds me of early mornings in the quiet hours before the kids awoke, sitting on the back porch with the cats, drinking coffee with the crowing of roosters in the distance. The Resort reminds me of my first trip to Las Vegas. The Summoning reminds me of one sunny summer staying with my father, where I read it poolside in Colorado Springs. This was his only novel published by Zebra Books. The first paperback edition of University, also posted in the gallery below, marked his long-standing return to the Signet roster.

I admit there was a time, a little over ten years ago, when I thought I might be done reading Bentley Little’s books. Looking back, I can only ascribe this to a particular phase of my life. My tastes in fiction at the time had taken a hard turn toward mystery and crime. I was burned out on reading horror. I made it halfway through The Resort and gave up. I remember talking on message boards with other horror readers, and they were baffled at my reaction to the book. I shrugged it off — art is open to interpretation after all — but there’s a feeling you get if you feel like you might have to part ways with your favorite author. It’s like a great relationship gone wrong. Those early novels of his were among the many that carried me through some rough times. And now … well, allow me to fast forward to 2011. My wife and I were living in a community with a homeowners association. The creeps in that HOA displayed increasing levels of invasiveness and general dumbfuckery. About that time, I came across Little’s novel The Association and knew I had to read it. To this day, The Association is one of my favorite horror novels. It rekindled my love for his work, and I have been catching up the past several years on everything I missed.

It’s worth noting that I eventually came back to The Resort. I took it with me on that trip to Las Vegas I mentioned and read it cover to cover, utterly dumbfounded that I could have disliked the novel in the first place. Strangely, the things I remembered distinctly disliking about the book were not even present in the story when I re-read it. Wouldn’t it be just like a Bentley Little novel to re-write itself for a second reading? I have to add that it never sat well with me that I had abandoned reading his stories, since I’d really enjoyed so much of his early work. Coming back to the Little camp was a bit like coming home. The older I get, the more I enjoy his special brand of horror.

I’ve gone on quite long enough about my personal experiences with Little’s work, so I’ll share just a few things I know about his career. Little earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Master’s degree in English and Comparative Literature from California State University, where he met Dean Koontz at a book signing when he was still a student at the school. He’d had stories published in The Horror Show by then. When Little introduced himself, Koontz recognized his name and offered to help him get an agent for his first novel, The Revelation, which he’d written as his master’s thesis. It sold to St. Martin’s Press, which published it in hardcover and mass market paperback. His second novel, The Mailman, was published by Onyx, an imprint of New American Library. I recall reading somewhere along the line (if anyone remembers the source of this information, please jog my memory), that an editor at NAL rejected his third novel The Summoning. When that book was published by Zebra, someone higher up at NAL called down to the editorial staff to find out why they hadn’t published the book and essentially “corrected the oversight,” which resulted in Little’s long standing relationship with Signet, also an imprint of NAL.

Along the way, Little’s work was championed by Stephen King. King had read and enjoyed The Mailman, providing a blurb for the book. He named Little’s books in his summer reading lists in Entertainment Weekly.  Years later, he happened to be carrying Little’s novel The House when King was struck by the van that almost killed him in 1999. When this came out in the press, sales of the book soared.

Little is a self-professed Luddite and not a fan of the Internet. In an interview with an Orange County paper on the publication of The Academy, he admitted that his publisher was pushing him to do more promotions or book signings, but these things appealed to him not at all, as he prefers to keep to himself.  He is the author of 25 novels and three short story collections to-date. His last book published by Signet was The Haunted, released in 2012. Since then, his novels have been released in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook formats by Cemetery Dance. The Handyman is due to be released this October.

To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.

J. N. Williamson

Jerry Neal Williamson (April 17, 1932 – December 8, 2005) was an American author of horror fiction. His first novel The Ritual was published in 1979. Serving under Dean Koontz as president, Williamson became the first secretary of the newly formed Horror Writers of America in 1987.

Williamson was a prolific writer, particularly during the horror boom of the 1980s. In an interview with Steve Gerlach, Williamson said he was publishing a novel a month in 1981 and part of 1982. Although I can’t say for sure, every bibliography I have seen of Williamson’s work seems to be missing some titles. It’s safe to say that Williamson published about 50 horror novels in his lifetime, over 100 short stories, and edited several anthologies, including the acclaimed Masques series. His novella The Night Seasons was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 1987. He later expanded the story into a novel published by Zebra in 1991. The Horror Writers Association gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.  He died in 2005 in Noblesville, Indiana.

To view a list of titles currently available, click here.

Please note that Realms of Night has an eBay page with occasional horror auctions. Follow our page and save us as a favorite seller for updates.

These scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright.

Scans

Spotted in the Wild

Gallery Updates

It’s been seven or eight months since I have updated any galleries, so I figured I should go ahead and get these scanned before I fall farther behind.  New covers have been added to the following galleries:

The new images are collected below.

Harry Adam Knight

Harry Adam Knight is one of several pseudonyms used by Australian-born writer John Brosnan (7 October 1947 – 11 April 2005).  Brosnan wrote four novels between 1983 and 1992 as Knight: Slimer, Carnosaur, The Fungus, and Bedlam. Some of them were co-written by British author Leroy Kettle. Brosnan’s 1988 novel Worm was originally published under the pseudonym Simon Ian Childer, but was later reissued under the Knight name. His novel The Fungus was re-released in the U.S. as Death Spore by Pinnacle.

Brosnan was a fairly prolific author, well-liked by his peers. He wrote more than 30 books, ranging from science fiction and horror to humor, including novelizations, and non-fiction books on cinema. He also wrote the SF/pulp/noir comic strip Night Zero for the British magazine 2000 AD from the late 1980s through the early 1990s. He covered TV and film for the UK magazine Starburst for many years. A fanzine piece written on the occasion of his funeral years ago makes interesting reading for his fans and can be found here.

Despite Brosnan’s inside joke that Harry Adam Knight was a HAK (ahem), the books met with success relatively few writers see — his novel Carnosaur was made into a 1993 horror film by executive producer Roger Corman and spawned a couple of sequels. Brosnan adapted Slimer for the 1996 horror film Proteus.

The Harry Adam Knight novels have become collectibles in recent years. To see a list of what’s available second-hand, click here.

These cover scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright. Please note that Realms of Night has an eBay page with monthly horror auctions. Follow our page and save us as a favorite seller for updates.

Jack Cady

Jack Cady (March 20, 1932 – January 14, 2004) was an American author of short stories and novels. Cady’s writing career began in 1965, when his short story “The Burning” won the Atlantic Monthly First Award and went on to appear in Best American Short Stories 1966.  Cady had a lot of success early in his career with literary fiction. He won the American Literary Anthology Award for 1970 and his 14-story collection The Burning won the 1972 Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction, judged that year by Joyce Carol Oates. The collection was published in hardcover by the University of Iowa Press.

Fortunately for everyone who is a fan of genre fiction, he did not limit himself to the anti-genre confines of the literary world. His first novel, The Well, was unabashed horror fiction, published in 1981, and one of my favorite novels in the genre.  I wrote a brief review of The Well on my blog back in 2012 when I discovered Cady’s work, which was akin to finding a new room full of amazing stuff in a place you’ve lived for 30 years.

Cady’s range is wide, his style deep and fearless. He had a great deal of life experience before his first published work — he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, worked as a warehouseman, high tree climber, auctioneer, truck driver — and that shows in his work. Cady eventually settled in Port Townsend, Washington and taught writing at the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University.

He wrote 12 novels in all — two under the pseudonym Pat Franklin for Diamond (Berkley) in the early 1990s. His 1992 collection The Sons of Noah won the World Fantasy Award. His short story “The Night We Buried Road Dog” was published in the January 1993 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and went on to win the Nebula Award. In addition to The Burning, he had five more collections published during his lifetime. He also wrote a non-fiction treatise called The American Writer: Shaping a Nation’s Mind. He died of bladder cancer at the age of 71.

Many of his books have been re-released in recent years. To see everything currently available, click here.

These scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright.