The 2011 Stoker Nominations for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Horror Awards

This entry is part 2 in the series The 2011 Bram Stoker Awards

Before we take a look at the nominations for Superior Achievement in a First Novel category, let me reprint what is meant by “superior achievement in”.

The awards are not for “the best of” but for “superior achievement in”. This means two things:

  1. There can be and occasionally are ties in a category.
  2. There can be times when there are no winners in a particular category.

Last year there was one tie.

What will happen this year?

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

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Allyson Bird's horror novel Isis Unbound was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Isis Unbound

Author: Bird, Allyson
Cover Art: Daniele Serra
Format: Signed Limited Slipcase Hardcover
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 400pp.
Pub. Date: December 2011
Publisher: Dark Regions Press

Nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Inspired in part by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s, Prometheus Unbound, and the works of Rider Haggard and R. E. Howard, Isis Unbound is set in an alternate history, steampunk version of 1890′s Manceastre, Britanniae, ruled by a new governor-general related to a descendant of Anthony and Cleopatra, who won the battle of Actium two thousand years ago, and where the ancient Egyptian gods are real.

. . . Only a god can kill a god. Nepythys has killed her sister, Isis, and therefore the dead cannot pass over to the underworld — their ranks are rapidly swelling and they now roam the streets as zombies. Chief Embalmer Ptolemy Child’s two daughters, Ella and Loli, aged eighteen and ten respectively, are being instructed in the secrets of the mummification process, when the dead begin to wake and walk.

And eventually lead the sisters to the greatest mystery of all: Isis, herself . . .

Dark Regions Press' online bookstore December 2011 (Limited Hardcover — Dark Regions Press)
Bad Moon Books's online bookstore December 2011 (Slipcase Hardcover — Dark Regions Press)
Bad Moon Books's online bookstore December 2011 (Limited Hardcover — Dark Regions Press)
John Hornor Jacobs' horror novel Southern Gods was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Southern Gods

Author: Jacobs, John Horner
Cover Art: Rodrigo Luff
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 300pp.
Pub. Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Night Shade Books

Nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin’ John Hastur. The mysterious blues man’s dark, driving music — broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station — is said to make living men insane and dead men rise.

Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur’s trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil. But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he’ll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell . . .

In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.

Amazon.com online bookstore July 2011 (Trade Paperback — Night Shade Books)
Amazon.com online bookstore August 2011 (Kindle — Night Shade Books)
Amazon.com online bookstore August 2011 (Unabridged Audio Book on MP3-CD — Brilliance Audio)
Amazon.com online bookstore August 2011 (Unabridged Audio Book on MP3 — Brilliance Audio)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore July 2011 (Trade Paperback — Night Shade Books)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore August 2011 (NOOK Book — Night Shade Books)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore August 2011 (Unabridged Audio Book on MP3-CD — Brilliance Audio)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore August 2011 (Unabridged Audio Book on CD — Brilliance Audio)
Frazer Lee's horror novel The Lamplighters was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

The Lamplighters

Author: Lee, Frazer
Cover Art: Scott Carpenter
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 272pp.
Pub. Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Original Pub: November 1, 2011 (eBook — Samhain Publishing)

Nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Life on Meditrine Island is luxurious . . . but brief.

Marla Neuborn has found the best post-grad job in the world — as a “Lamplighter” working on Meditrine Island, an exclusive idyllic paradise owned and operated by a consortium of billionaires. All the Lamplighters have to do is tend to the mansions, cook and clean, and turn on lights to make it appear the owners are home.

But the job comes with conditions. Marla will not know the exact location of the island, and she will have no contact with the outside world for the duration of her stay.

Once on the island, Marla quickly learns the billionaire lifestyle is not all it is made out to be.

The chief of security rules Meditrine with an iron fist. His private police force patrols the shores night and day, and CCTV cameras watch the Lamplighters relentlessly.

Soon Marla will also discover first-hand that the island hides a terrible secret. She’ll meet the resident known as the Skin Mechanic. And she’ll find out why so few Lamplighters ever leave the island alive.

Amazon.com online bookstore November 2011 (Kindle — Samhain Publishing)
Amazon.com online bookstore February 2012 (Trade Paperback — Samhain Publishing)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore November 2011 (NOOK Book — Samhain Publishing)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore February 2012 (Trade Paperback — Samhain Publishing)
Samhain Publishing's online bookstore November 2011 (Kindle — Samhain Publishing)
Thomas S. Roche's horror novel The Panama Laugh was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

The Panama Laugh

Author: Roche, Thomas S.
Cover Art: Lucas Graciano
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 300pp.
Pub. Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Night Shade Books

Nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Ex-mercenary, pirate, and gun-runner Dante Bogart knows he’s screwed the pooch after he hands one of his shady employers a biological weapon that made the dead rise from their graves, laugh like hyenas, and feast upon the living.

Dante tried to blow the whistle via a tell-all video that went viral — but that was before the black ops boys deep-sixed him at a secret interrogation site on the Panama-Colombia border.

When Dante wakes up in the jungle with the five intervening years missing from his memory, he knows he’s got to do something about the laughing sickness that has caused a world-wide slaughter.

The resulting journey leads him across the nightmare that was the Panama Canal, around Cape Horn in a hijacked nuclear warship, to San Francisco’s mission district, where a crew of survivalist hackers have holed up in the pseudo-Moorish-castle turned porn-studio known as The Armory. This mixed band of anti-social rejects has taken Dante’s whistle blowing video as an underground gospel, leading the fight against the laughing corpses and the corporate stooges who’ve tried to profit from the slaughter. Can Dante find redemption and save civilization?

Amazon.com online bookstore August 2011 (Trade Paperback — Night Shade Books)
Amazon.com online bookstore August 2011 (Kindle — Night Shade Books)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore August 2011 (Trade Paperback — Night Shade Books)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore August 2011 (Kindle — Night Shade Books)
Brett J. Talley's horror novel That Which Should Not Be was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

That Which Should Not Be

Author: Talley, Brett J.
Cover Art: Philip Renne
Format: Hardcover
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 260pp.
Pub. Date: October 7, 2011
Publisher: JournalStone

Nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural.

From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston’s professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn’t hesitate to begin the quest.

Weston’s journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when he ventures into a tavern in the small town of Anchorhead. Rather than passing the evening as a solitary patron, Weston joins four men who regale him with stories of their personal experiences with forces both preternatural and damned. Two stories hit close to home as they tie the tellers directly to Weston’s current mission.

His unanticipated role as passive listener proves fortuitous, and Weston fulfills his goal. Bringing the book back to Miskatonic, though, proves to be a grave mistake.

Quickly, Weston realizes he has played a role in potentially opening the gate between the netherworld and the world of Man. Reversing the course of events means forgetting all he thought he knew about Miskatonic and his professor and embracing an unknown beyond his wildest imagination.

Amazon.com online bookstore October 2011 (Hardcover — JournalStone)
Amazon.com online bookstore October 2011 (Trade Paperback — JournalStone)
Amazon.com online bookstore October 2011 (Kindle — JournalStone)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore October 2011 (Hardcover — JournalStone)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore October 2011 (Trade Paperback — JournalStone)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore October 2011 (NOOK Book — JournalStone)

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