Via Paste Magazine, here is an excellent list for your horror collection development and RA Service.
Also, the list is alphabetical by title, NOT a ranked list, which is way more helpful to us, the library workers. I don't need to be a part of the argument about which horror comics are better than others. I have my favorites [psst....Locke and Key], but I also know there is just as wide a range of options in horror comics as there is in horror novels. Opinions about all of these will vary based on the particular reader's appeal factor preferences.
A ranked list does not help you pick the "best" title for the patrons in front of you, but a list of 100 titles that are all among the best, that is helpful.
I will never know all of the best, but I know where to find the list of the best! [Shout out to Steve Thomas of Circulating Ideas from who I adapted this last sentence.]
Thanks Paste for this useful resource.
Check out Paste Magazine's full horror coverage here. They do a very good job with the genre considering they are a general interest publication. In fact. it is precisely because they are general interest that their coverage works well for our public library audience.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Monday, January 20, 2020
Today I am proud to present the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot. This is the long list from which the active members of the Horror Writers Association will choose a final ballot. And I am excited to be one of those members with a vote.
Look at this list. We have diversity, lots of women, and big and small presses. We have horror that is "in your face" and quiet horror. We have voices new and old. You can serve a wide readership of speculative fiction fans with this preliminary ballot. And in a genre with very few library based resources at our disposal, giving you a longer list of options is imperative.
I tout the work of The Seers' Table everywhere I go. But it is an initiative of the HWA where diverse and own voices authors are given a spotlight every single month. When Linda Addison [incidentally on the ballot below in poetry] helped to start the Diverse Works Committee, she hoped that it would translate into more inclusive ballots over time, and as we see now, it is. EDI values need to be at the forefront of everything we do. We need to give diverse authors a chance in the spotlight so people know about them, seek out their work, and give it a try. People will not even know they exist without this spotlight. Without the Seers' Table and it's years of work, wonderful works of horror would go unread because no one knew they were eve out there. Even myself, I work hard to identify diverse authors, but without the Seers' Table, there is at least one author on my jury's ballot that I would not have known about and sought out a copy from the publisher for us to consider without this resource.
Look at the publishers represented here. These are the publishers you need to be considering when ordering horror, especially those smaller presses. Use this list as a resource to give you okay you may need to add these titles to your collection. Many libraries have told me that my blog counts as resource in their collection development policies, so by placing the titles here, some of you now have what you need to go out and order them.
I present this preliminary ballot here on the blog for a few reasons. I realize for other awards I don't do this, only presenting the final ballot for collection development and RA reason, but in this case I am intimately involved so I thought it would be a good chance to share some of the behind the scenes information and a few extra tips:
- I made a New Year's Resolution to stop apologizing for promoting horror on the main blog. Getting this diverse and inclusive list of excellent horror across a variety of formats and publishers on this blog in a manner where these titles can be found though a simple text search is important to me. You need to be able to find these authors and titles to help patrons.
- There are quite a few books and authors which I have reviewed and/or written about on the horror blog that are appearing here. These are names you need to pay attention to, and they don't include a man named "King" anywhere on the list.
- I was the chair of one of these juries. I understand how the entire process works. In light of all of the RWA problems and issues, I am proud of the work all of the Stoker Award juries did here and I wanted to give you insight into the process.
- We work independently throughout the year obtaining works and reading them. As the chair, I did work to solicit titles to add to our private digital reading area but my jury also sent me titles there were interested in seeing. In the case of my jury, one title I did not know about but another jury member did, made this preliminary list. This especially makes me proud of the system we, as an organization, put in place.
- Every member of each jury has an equal say in the titles that are pooled together to make the preliminary ballot. A group of at least 5 vote independently. Those votes are tallied and then the entire jury's list is presented in vote order to the overall Stoker Chairs. In the case of my jury I was pleased to see that every single individual member's top choice made the Prelimary Ballot and all, within our top 5 overall.
- However, the HWA does not stop with allowing each jury having the only say here. The membership of the HWA, at every level, has a chance to recommend works. The preliminary list that a jury sends in is then cross referenced with the member recommendations. If a title received a significant number of recommendations but is NOT on the jury's prelimary ballot, that title can still be added to the ballot. This is why each jury submits their titles in order of the "points" they received to the Stoker Chairs. This process allows for members to have a say. And I believe it works. It is also key to this process that the HWA has removed how many "recs" a title has received. No one except the Stoker Jury Chairs knows that number. Again, in my jury, our lowest vote getting title was dropped from our list and replaced by another title from the rec list. I am also happy to report, this replaced title did also receive votes from our jury.
And now on to the list: