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1987: The year of Horror

1987 was a great year for horror novels. At that time I was heavily into metal, reading Fangoria and of course reading horror novel after horror novel. It was safe to say that I was a voracious reader at the time and since we are in the midst of a week-long salute to Halloween at HMS.

So let’s get into it. I have picked out 5 horror novels that I remember reading in 1987 that impacted my imagination greatly – so let’s dig into it!

Swan Song – Robert R. McCammon

A lot has been said about Stephen King’s The Stand for apocalyptic horror, but there was another novel that came in 87’ by author Robert R. McCammon. The book details the quest of an ancient evil that comes in the form of a man with a scarlet eye. He’s a powerful entity gathering the forces of human greed and madness, in order to find the child called Swan. This was clearly a stunning piece of work of sheer fright and chilling vision of mankind’s ultimate struggle.

Slob – Rex Miller

Here is a book that I loved, adored and devoured over and over. Rex Miller’s debut and one that introduced us to Daniel Edward Flowers Bunkowski; otherwise known as Chaingang. He’s a 500 plus lbs maniac dispatching victims with ease in the mean streets of Chicago. Can anyone stop this brutal monster? It’s up to Chicago homicide detective, Jack Eichord to hunt down this behemoth and put a stop to his bloody carnage. This is a great read and one that I highly recommend.

Live Girls – Ray Garton

This was a book by Ray Garton that truly digs deep for nightmarish depravitvy. In fact this might be one of the most dirty and disgusting vampire novels of all-time. The story chronicles down and out Davey Owen who spends a great amount of time in the seedy streets of NY. He frequents a strip club in Time’s Square where “Live Girls” beacons Davey through the doors. What results next is a journey of deprived sexuality and a ravishing woman, so insatiable and offering the kiss of demons; purely a gut wrencher and not for the faint of heart.

Ghoul – Michael Slade

Canadian horror author Michael Slade gave us a book that brought the worlds of heavy metal and horror together. This is the type of book which bears a cover of a melted vinyl album with a ghoulish face seeping through and it features a rock star that goes insane. This book is fiendishly wicked all the way through and Michael Slade doesn’t hold back from the graphically disgusting violence. Slade got the idea after going to an Alice Cooper concert, so this is a must read for heavy metal fans.

Demogorgon – Brian Lumley

British horror author Brian Lumley took some time away from chronicling the adventures of Harry Keogh in the Necrscope series to turn his imagination on a straight up horror novel called Demogorgon. This one involves a thief named Charlie Trace who must match wits against Satan taking the form of a man in London’s underworld. This book is quite similar to Clive Barker’s Damnation game, but Demogorgon is every much as frightening and horrific as Barker’s book. I highly recommend this to anyone who is familiar with the Keogh books to give this one a try.

Kenneth Gallant, Editor HMS

Read the previous installment.