The First Annual Occult Detective Awards Start NOW

Welcome weary web travelers to the First Annual Occult Detective Awards. I am your host, Bob Freeman. For the next three days I’ll be announcing my selections for the best of the best. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at what caught my interest on the big and small screen, while Thursday our attention will be focused on the true tales of the paranormal and occult… Today we shine the Occult Detective Spotlight on that which is nearest and dearest to me — Occult Detective Fiction.

The Occult Detective Genre has been my first love since childhood, when I was reading books like Dennis Wheatley’s The Devil Rides Out  or Robert E. Howard’s Graveyard Rats with a flashlight under the blankets in our trailer nestled along Turkey Creek in rural Indiana. Everyone loves a good mystery, but for me, when it’s coupled with a supernatural menace I become entranced by the implications and the ominous foreboding that lingers long after I’ve set the book aside.

When I decided to put these awards together, five primary categories came to mind. Best Occult Detective Novel, of course, as well as selections for Best Short Story, Best Author, Best Audio Drama, and, most importantly, Best Occult Detective of 2010. Little did I realize that one writer would threaten to make a clean sweep of the awards.

Without further ado, I present to you the winners of the First Annual Occult Detective Awards Fiction Category.

Best Occult Detective Novel

A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene

With a mass market paperback release from Leisure, a SciFi Book Club hardcover release, and a stunning limited edition hardcover from Thunderstorm Books’ Maelstrom Imprint, Keene’s A Gathering of Crows took the world by storm and established Occult Detective Levi Stoltzfus as one of the preeminent characters in the genre. Read my review HERE

Best Occult Detective Short Story

Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter — Ghosts Templar by Guido Henkel

In a story filled with ruined castles, the echos of spectral hoof beats, and a series of ghastly murders, Henkel invokes plenty of atmosphere in this thrilling Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter tale.

Best Occult Detective Audio Drama

Edict Zero-FIS by Slipgate Nine Entertainment

Five chapters into this crossgenre audio serial and I haven’t the foggiest notion where it’s headed. And I don’t care. Jack Kincaid and Slipgate Nine have produced one of the most mindblowing and creative audio dramas I’ve ever listened to. With brilliant voice acting, a thrilling soundtrack, and spectacular special effects, Edict Zero-FIS is like nothing else out there.

Best Occult Detective Author

Brian Keene

Brian will be the first one to tell you that 2010 has not been the best of years for him, but Brian being Brian, all he did to get through it was what he does best — write. As noted in the Best Novel category, Brian released an awesome book starring a character who is arguably his finest creation in the ex-Amish Magus, Levi Stoltzfus. When Leisure Books all but imploded, just as A Gathering of Crows was hitting the streets, things looked grim, but if nothing else Brian Keene is a survivor and he has risen from these dark days,as we who know him knew he would, with fire and fury at his fingertips.

Keene has been a fantastic supporter of up and coming authors, a superb craftsman, a voice of reason, and a great friend. But cross him at your own risk. Brian Keene is much loved because he pulls no punches and he delivers on his promises.

Best Occult Detective Character

Levi Stoltzfus

Introduced in Ghost Walk, Brian Keene’s 2008 sequel to the brilliant Dark Hollow (The Rutting Season), Levi Stoltzfus took center stage in 2010’s A Gathering of Crows (and a bonus story included in the limited edition from Maelstrom). Levi is a Magus, utilizing powwow  and ceremonial magic to combat the forces of darkness. He was raised in the Amish community, though he was cast out for reasons that have thus far only been hinted at. With his trusty steed Dee and canine companion Crowley, Levi struggles to maintain his Faith and his sanity as he defends against the rising dark and the threats that emanate from the Labyrinth.

And there you have it, Ladies and Gentleman, your winners of the First Annual Occult Detective Awards Fiction category. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as the Occult Detective Spotlight shines on Movies and Television, and again on Thursday as we step away from make-believe and take a look at the cold, hard reality of the occult and paranormal.

11 Responses to “The First Annual Occult Detective Awards Start NOW”

  1. No Sandman Slim? Bad call.

  2. Bob,

    Regardless of whether it would have qualified for this year’s award, you simply MUST pick up Sandman Slim. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite reads EVER! Trust me on this, you’ll dig it.

    While I won’t argue your award recipients, and BTW this is an awesome idea and one I hope continues for many years to come, I’d be curious to hear about the other nominees.


    • Well, that’s all I needed to hear, Jim. I trust your judgment. Consider Sandman Slim on my “to be purchased” list.

  3. Daniel Severn Says:

    I’m glad to see Brian get his due credit, Levi is one of my favorite characters of his. I haven’t yet read “Gathering”, (The only one of the Leisure books I haven’t read yet) but I loved him in “Ghost Walk”, and I hope to see him again in later novels. Keep up the great work Brian. Hey cairnwood Says, I hope that you will give Mr. Keene a chance, I believe you will be missing out otherwise.

  4. Daniel Severn Says:

    Nevermind cairnwood, I missunderstood what the conversation was about.

  5. And who/what were the nominees? Or at least, what were the releases this year that could have been under consideration? It’s pretty hard to put this in context without some discussion around that.

    • I can only consider that which I’ve actually read, so those eligible were any book published in 2010 that I either reviewed or read for enjoyment.

  6. Reading this makes me think there should be a such thing as “occult detective poetry.” Let me get on that….

  7. […] While you’re mulling it over, have a look at last year’s winners. […]

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