The Bram Stoker Award is used by the Horror Writers Association to recognize “superior achievement” in dark fantasy and horror writing. These awards have been presented annually since 1987 which was immediately after the Horror Writers Association was established. The winners of these awards are selected by balloting the Active members (Active members are professional writers) of the Horror Writers Association. The awards are named for the influential Irish horror writer Bram Stoker (author of the novel Dracula).
The awards were originally presented in six categories: Novel, First Novel, Long Fiction, Short Fiction, Fiction Collection, and Nonfiction. Over the years, Horror Writers Association members have voted in additional categories, and in 2012 the Bram Stoker Awards also recognized Young Adult Novel, Graphic Novel, Anthology, Screenplay, and Poetry Collection.
On the 2nd Weds of each month, March through May, Fort Bragg Library is presenting the Bram Stoker Award Horror Fest. Hosting the event is our very own Fort Bragg Library intern/volunteer, Lesley Reid. The first part of each month’s event will be a discussion of an award winner’s book followed by a screening of an award winning film from the Best Screenplay category.
First up in March (3/12), is Stephen King’s The Green Mile. Originally published in 1996, King released The Green Mile in 6 installments, one month at a time, as an experiment similar to the times when writers like Charles Dickens would publish novels serially in magazines. After the experiment proved a success, the installments were put together in novel form.
Next is the feature film, Shaun of the Dead (2004) written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film is notable for Wright’s kinetic directing style with multiple references to other movies, television series and video games and similar to Pegg and Wright’s work with the British sitcom, Spaced. The unique premise of Shaun of the Dead is that it isn’t about the zombies but, rather, about the clueless heroes fighting to save their pub who end up saving humanity in the end.
In April (4/9), the Fest will be reviewing the 2012 Young Adult Novel nominee, I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I Hunt Killers is more than a simple slasher or mystery novel. Similar to Dexter in premise, it’s a riveting thriller about a teenager trying to control his own destiny in the face of overwhelming odds.
Following the book discussion in April, we’ll be showing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind co-written by director Michel Condry and Producer Charlie Kaufman. Eternal Sunshine is a surreal expression of what it’s like to be brokenhearted and trapped in one’s own mind.
Finally, our wrap up of the Fest in May (5/14) begins with the 1999 anthology, 999: Twenty-Nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense, edited by Al Sarrantonio (the title is a contraction of the year as well as 666 upside-down). With authors such as Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, et al, is it any wonder it won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology? The book is a collection of short stories and novellas that, prior to 1999, had never been published before.
Ending the Fest is a screening of 1999’s The Sixth Sense written and directed by acclaimed movie maker, M. Night Shyamalan. The film is the tale of a child psychologist who finds himself drawn into helping a young boy who “sees dead people”.
Books can be checked out at the library, just ask at the desk and then join us for the fun! Book discussions are @ 4 pm and movie screenings are @ 6 pm. See you there!