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Joe Hill

Joe Hill(1972- )
Joe Hill is the son of authors Stephen and Tabitha King. He is a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, and a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. His stories have appeared in a variety of journals and Year’s Best collections. Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez write the Locke & Key graphic novels. Here’s Joe Hill’s website.
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Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

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Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill (author) & Gabriel Rodriguez (artist)

Psst. Hey, you. Yeah, you. You wanna see something really scary? Here. It’s the first volume of Joe Hill’s horror comic Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, the trade collection of the first six chapters in this story. The art is done by Gabriel Rodriguez. The volume is beautifully drawn, emotionally authentic and downright scary.

In the opening pages, a deranged student, Sam Lesser, savagely murders high school guidance counselor Rendell Locke. Only the quick thinking of Rendell’s children, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, and... Read More

Locke and Key (Vol. 2): Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

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Locke and Key (Vol. 2): Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

A solid and scary second section to this first-class horror story.

Warning; may contain spoilers of Volume One; Welcome to Lovecraft

After everything the Locke family went through in Volume One, Welcome to Lovecraft, they need a break. Unfortunately, in Volume Two of this powerful graphic horror novel, they aren’t going to get one.

Head Games st... Read More

Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

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Locke and Key (Vol 3): Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill (writer) and Gabriel Rodriguez (artist)

Toil and trouble; the cauldron begins to bubble.

(May contain spoilers of earlier volumes.)

In Crown of Shadows, the third volume in Locke and Key, written by Joe Hill and drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez, the simmering sense of doom we encountered in Volume Two comes to a boil. More keys are found. More truths are revealed to the reader, and where truths are not uncovered, clues are dropped. Choices the characters made earlier in the narrative begin to have consequences.

Because he has the Anywhere K... Read More

Heart-Shaped Box: The best kind of scary pleasure

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Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Joe Hill is the most promising new horror writer on the horizon. His first book, a collection of short stories called 20th Century Ghosts (2007). It was a revelation: quirky, brilliant and scary. I gave it a rave review when I first read it, and I still return to those stories every now and then just to take pleasure in seeing how Hill pulls it off.

Joe Hill’s first novel, Heart-Shaped Box (2007), fulfills the promise of those short stories. It contains enough change-ups, chases, oddities and horrific images to keep any seasoned horror reader in goosebumps. Far more accomplished than most first novels, Heart-Shaped Box is the best kind of scary pleasure.

Hi... Read More

20th Century Ghosts: A prime collection of short fiction

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20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Good, now that’s out of the way. 20th Century Ghosts (2007) is a prime collection of short fiction. Some stories are horror, some are literary horror and some aren’t horror at all. Hill has a strong style, a distinctive voice, and a willingness to indulge in post-modernism. This means that the conclusions of some stories are left up to the reader. This is not the undisciplined writing of someone who can’t commit to a resolution, but a literary choice executed with intent and skill.  In “Best New Horror” and “In the Rundown,” readers must decide for themselves what comes after the final paragraph.

“Best New Horror” is a familiar tale, and a tasty mélange of tropes; bits of Read More

Horns: Frightening, sad and ultimately hopeful

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Horns by Joe Hill

CLASSIFICATION: Horns is a murder mystery/love story/revenge thriller with a dark supernatural twist in the vein of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Peter Straub.

FORMAT/INFO: Horns is 384 pages long divided over 4 titled Parts and 50 numbered chapters. Narration is in the third-person, mainly via the protagonist Ignatius “Ig” Perrish, but also includes narratives by the villain and Ig’s older brother Terry. Horns is self-contained.

February 16, 2010 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Horns via William Morrow. The UK edition will be p... Read More

NOS4A2: A deeply satisfying and literate novel

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NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Everyone on the same page? Okay… Hill has delivered a deeply satisfying and literate novel in NOS4A2. He is absolutely his own man, and he’s very good. But he’s also picked up some tricks from his father. He writes children well, especially those that have some unique ability. In this case, Victoria McQueen has a special gift: she can find lost things. And this skill tends to transport her to wherever those lost things happen to be.

The book is most successful in its character development. Many a page is dedicated to the growth and transformation of Vic McQueen’s personality, as we see her grow from a young girl overwhelmed by her unique capabilities, to a mother equally as overwhelmed by her life, by those she ... Read More

The Wraith by Joe Hill

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The Wraith by Joe Hill (writer) and Charles Paul Wilson III (artist)

The Wraith is a horror comic book based on Joe Hill's novel NOS4A2, and I can't tell you how much I dislike horror as a general rule. However, this book is absolutely brilliant, and I loved it. I have not read the novel, and probably won't, so you don't need to have read it to appreciate this comic book. I went in as a resistant reader, but since I've learned over the past few years that I do like some horror comics such as Read More

The Fireman: Baby King delivers his own incendiary apocalypse

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The Fireman by Joe Hill

First of all, Joe Hill‘s The Fireman is no horror story. It's apocalypse-lit through and through but without the hackneyed zombies and vampires. Second of all, The Fireman is thoroughly infected with the 'King' family genetics. If there were any doubt about a connection between Joe and his old man, Stephen King, put those doubts aside. Actually, put them in the way-back storage room in the furthest, darkest corner of your basement.

Fires run rampant across the world. It started in the far north of the Arctic Circle, but only hit the public American radar when Seattle’s Space Needle toppled over in flames, bodies falling in a replay of ... Read More

Magazine Monday: Nightmare Magazine, August 2013

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Matthew Cheney’s “How Far to Englishman’s Bay” leads off the eleventh issue of Nightmare Magazine. Max, the protagonist, impulsively decides to close up his bookshop and permanently leave his home on the day he turns 50. Max drives miles away from his home, finally deciding he’s lost and stopping to ask directions. It’s here that his story has its denouement in an odd bit of horror that seems unrelated to what went before, all the detail about his leaving, its effect on a friend, giving away his cat, gathering snacks — a full half of the tale. Is there a moral to this story? Perhaps: that we should not be so concerned with the years that have gone before that we forget to plan for those that still lie ahead. Or maybe that being self-centered is bad. Or maybe that obesity can have unexpected consequences. It’s a strange story that doesn’t coalesce into a focused tale.

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SFM: Dickinson, Sanderson, Hill, Kelly, Valentine, Simak

Short Fiction Monday: There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we've recently read. 



“Please Undo this Hurt” by Seth Dickinson (2015, free at Tor.com, Kindle version)

This is a really beautiful story about compassion, pain, and what it means to burn out. “Please Undo This Hurt” seems very realistic and not so much fantasy for a little while. I spent some time at the beginning waiting for the other shoe to drop. This “waiting” feeling didn’t last long, though, as the story... Read More

SFM: Sanford, Palwick, Walton, Hill, Sullivan, Kemp

Short Fiction Monday: Here are a few shorter SFF works that we read this week that we wanted you to know about. Some great finds this week!



Blood Grains Speak Through Memories by Jason Sanford (March 2016, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, free ebook available on the author’s website)

Frere-Jones Roeder is the anchor of her land, charged with its protection and maintenance. The blood grains flow through her body, sharing memories of past anchors and giving her senses knowledge of all of the life and activity on her two-league plot of land, whether plant, animal or human. The blood grains are also part of all life on her land, and even fly through t... Read More

The Living Dead: Zombies aren’t the point

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The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

I never knew there were so many ways to tell a zombie story. I pretty much thought that the George Romero version was it — dead people wandering around holding their arms out in front of them and calling out “braaaaaaains,” looking to munch on the living. I never did know why they had to hold their arms that way, but they all did — I thought.

John Joseph Adams has chosen his material wisely in The Living Dead, a collection of short stories about zombies by some of the biggest and best names in the horror business, as well as the newest and hottest. I resisted this book for a long time because I’ve never been fond of zombies, but upon diving in, I discovered that the zombies aren’t really the point; the point is to tell a good story. And these authors do that, with a vengeance.

... Read More

The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology

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The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Christopher Golden (ed.)

FORMAT/INFO: The New Dead is 400 pages long divided over nineteen short stories. Also includes a Foreword by the editor Christopher Golden, and biographies on all of the anthology’s contributors. February 16, 2010 marks the North American Trade Paperback publication of The New Dead via St. Martin’s Griffin. Cover art provided by Per Haagensen. The UK version will be published on February 18, 2010 via Piatkus Books under the altered title: Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead. Subterranean Press is also producing ... Read More

Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2

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Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 edited by William Schafer

EDITOR INFORMATION: William K. Schafer is the head editor at Subterranean Press, which was founded in 1995. Schafer’s bibliography includes Embrace the Mutation: Fiction Inspired by the Art of J.K. Potter and the first Tales of Dark Fantasy anthology.

ABOUT SUBTERRANEAN: TALES OF DARK FANTASY 2: Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy — published in 2008 to widespread critical and popular acclaim — provided a unique showcase for some of our finest practitioners of dark, disturbing fiction. This much anticipated second volume more than meets the standards set by its predecessor, offering a diverse assortment of stories guaranteed to delight, unsettle, and enthrall. Volume two proper i... Read More

Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury: Four great stories make it easy to recommend

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Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller & Mort Castle

Thanks to our recent book chats here, I’ve reread a bit of Ray Bradbury lately, so I was well primed to pick up the 2012 tribute anthology edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, entitled Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, which collects 26 contemporary authors who were asked to write a story inspired or informed by Bradbury. The task was sufficiently non-restrictive that the stories run a gamut of style and type: horror, fantasy, dystopia, science fiction, as well as several with no fantastical element whatsoever, which may surprise those who know Bradbury only through classic novels like Fahrenheit 451 or Something Wicked T... Read More