Stephen King is the master of the contemporary horror story. His novels bring a horrific sense of “otherliness” to everyday, ordinary situations and things. His descriptive prose is simple, often entering his characters’ trains of thought. King’s popularity over the past 30 years has opened the door to greater success for numerous other horror writers.
This list below includes many of King’s stylistic contemporaries, as well as a few classic horror writers who may have provided the inspiration for King’s own career.
William Peter Blatty
Poppy Z. Brite
Mary Higgins Clark [psychological suspense, not supernatural] John Coyne
Charles L. Grant
Joe Hill [King’s son] Andrew Klavan
Dean R. Koontz
Fritz Leiber [also writes fantasy and science fiction] Ira Levin
Robert R. McCammon
Edgar Allan Poe
Douglas Preston [often co-writes with Lincoln Child] Anne Rice
Hank Searls [also writes staight thrillers] Steve Shagan
Bram Stoker [more “gothic” than King, but still may appeal] Peter Straub
F. Paul Wilson
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
If you’re a fan of King, you may also appreciate the authors on our Essentials of Horror booklist!