Wanderers On The Final Stoker Ballot, Holy Shit

So, when I was a kid, I read a lot of horror. I mean, I read across all the genres, really, as I became a rather hungry reader — very early on I had a pretty weird slate of books I was digesting, everything from Stephen King to Douglas Westlake to Douglas Adams, and then that became McCammon, Robin Hobb, Poppy Brite, Christopher Moore, Joe Lansdale, and so on and so forth. I found even when I wasn’t reading things explicitly labeled horror, I found that horror was everywhere, in everything. It escaped its genre labels, and arguably is not, itself, a whole genre — it’s a feeling, a mood, a vibe, and even when it does not suffuse and define a book, you still find it in the books of, say, Christopher Moore or Robin Hobb or, even now, NK Jemisin, Kameron Hurley, and so on. Films, too. Jaws and Alien are not pure “horror” films, but… nyeeaaaaah they’re also horror films. You find horror everywhere, in a lot of stories.

And, certainly, in my own books, too. Not a single one of my books is properly identified as a horror novel, but nearly all of them are horror novels in spirit and soul — horror in the marrow and bone if not the faces they wear. You tell me that Blackbirds or Invasive aren’t horror novels at their nougaty core, and I’ll… well, I dunno, politely disagree. I might also kick you into a pit, also politely.

So, horror means a lot to me as both a genre and in what it can give to nearly any story. And as a kid, I was acutely aware of the awards in 1987 when the novel prize was split between two of my favoritest books, Swan Song by Robert McCammon and King’s Misery.

This is a long walk to a short announcement, then:

Wanderers is now a Stoker nominee for Superior Achievement in a Novel category.

I KNOW.

It made the final ballot with Owl Goingback, Lee Murray, S.P. Miskowski, and Josh Malerman. And in other categories you have friends and awesome folk like Paul Tremblay, Ted Chiang, Sarah Read, Caitlin Starling, Gemma Amor, Marjorie Liu, Neil Gaiman, Colleen Doran, Cullen Bunn, Tim Waggoner, Victor LaValle, Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, Jennifer Brozek… and on and on. It’s an impressive slate (and I’ll note, one that contains a lot of women, because Women in Horror are not contained merely to the month of February). Full list here.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s an honor, and I wish I could go back in time and tell my childhood self, HEY SELF, YOU’RE GONNA BE NOMINATED FOR ONE OF THESE SOMEDAY, my childhood self would probably be like, AHHH, CREEPY OLD BEARD MAN, GET AWAY FROM ME, and then my childhood self would probably stab my adult self with a penknife and bolt for the woods. But then finally, finally when I got the wound to stop bleeding and I was able to hunt my younger self down and tie him to a tree, I’m sure he would very much appreciate the news.

I’m very pleased that this genre-straddling big-ass accidentally-prophetic-oops-sorry book has resonated with people, and honestly, continues to resonate. (Sales on the book have been seriously steady since end of summer, it’s wild, I think word-of-mouth works?! Also publishers who support you and spend money on your book?!)

ANYWAY, thanks, all.

And more Wanderers news soon…

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WANDERERS: A Novel, out now.

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. An astonishing tapestry of humanity that Harlan Coben calls “a suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic.”

A sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America. The real danger may not be the epidemic, but the fear of it. With society collapsing—and an ultraviolent militia threatening to exterminate them—the fate of the sleepwalkers and the shepherds who guide them depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart—or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

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