80’s horror paperbacks

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #31


#31 – Halloween 2 – novelization by Jack Martin (Dennis Etchison) – (1981, Zebra)


31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #30


#30 – After Midnight – edited by Charles L. Grant (Tor, 1986)

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #29


#29 – The Best of H.P. Lovecraft (Del Rey, 1987 – art by Michael Whelan)

Back when editions of Lovecraft’s work were limited (and you couldn’t afford the Arkham House hardbacks), this Del-Rey trade paperback was the game-changer. A fine widescreen cover.


31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #27


#27: Weaveworld – Clive Barker (Pocket Books, 1988)

Not sure if this dude on the cover just won the lottery, or got kicked in the nuts…? Despite the questionable cover art, I dig the gold texturing. The novel itself is an epic of horror and fantasy.

Here’s the artwork under the front cover:

ma_Warren_Weaveworld_1050_591_81_s_c1Yeah, it does look like he just got kicked in the nuts.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #25


#25: Life Keeper – Mike McQuay (Bantam, 1984 – cover art by Alan Hashimoto)

In the 1980s Horror Boom, computers went mad and thought they were Gods.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #24


#24: The Nebulon Horror – Hugh B. Cave (Dell, 1980)

Back in the 1980s Horror Boom, every child was possessed, pissed, or eating the souls of their elders.


Soul Eater – K.W. Jeter (Tor, 1983)

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #23


#23: The Color Out of Time – Michael Shea (DAW, 1984)

I couldn’t think of a better cover to celebrate Friday. Electrified hobo with six-pack abs? Ridiculous and wonderful at the same time.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #20


#20: Killer Crabs – Guy N. Smith (Signet, 1979)

Look out, Maryland.

Guy N. Smith was known for his no-nonsense books. Hence this title, and others such as The Sucking Pit and Slime Beast.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #19


#19: Floating Dragon – Peter Straub (Berkley, 1982)

I remember reading passages of this novel back in 1982. I remember the metallic blue cover, the tight font on a crowded page, and the complicated prose that went beyond my 10-year-old level of reading comprehension. Diving into this years later, I can say that Floating Dragon is one of my favorite horror novels. It’s a door-stopper, a New England epic of the supernatural, and while not perfect, contains so many wonderful tropes of the genre and re-imaginings of suburban dread and nuclear panic that marked the late 1970s, early 1980s. It’s truly a marvel in its scope, and doesn’t shy away from the gruesome. Classic Straub worthy of reading again and again.

Let the terror begin again.