Forgotten Novels of the 1980s Horror Boom

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: #26


#26 – Dead White – Alan Ryan (Tor, 1983)

An underrated novel that seeps under the skin with its deceptively simple prose. Evil, floating clowns arrive in a ghost caravan to get revenge on a small upstate town.

Check review here.

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: #17


#17: Rockabye Baby – Stephen Gresham (Zebra, 1984)

Not only do you have a creepy doll on the cover, but you have a creepy dude wearing surgical gloves and his mother’s wig. Jesus H. As glorious and shiteous as a 1980s horror book cover can get. I’d love to see somebody reading this on the subway. I’d go over and give them a hug.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #16


#16: The Cipher – Kathe Koja (Dell Abyss, 1991)

At the tail end of the Horror Boom, the Dell Abyss line went against the grain from the typical horror paperbacks crowding the shelves, and put out books that broke free from convention. This was also true of their book covers. Both grotesque and surreal, The Cipher is one of the better titles to emerge from this short-lived imprint.