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)
Charles L. Grant
Joe Hill (King’s son)
Dean R. Koontz
Fritz Leiber (also writes fantasy and science fiction)
Robert R. McCammon
Edgar Allan Poe
Douglas Preston (often co-writes with Lincoln Child)
Hank Searls (also writes staight thrillers)
Bram Stoker (more “gothic” than King, but still may appeal)
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!