David B. Silva (1950-2013)

Horror author and editor David B. Silva, 62, died of unknown causes on March 13; he had been in declining health for some time.

He had almost 60 published short stories — “The Calling” won a HWA Bram Stoker Award (1991), and some were selected for The Year’s Best Horror, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, and The Best American Mystery Stories. There were four collections of Silva’s stories, These Dreams That Sleep Disturbs (1992), Through Shattered Glass (2000) an International Horror Guild award winner, A Little White Book of Lies (2006) and The Shadows of Kingston Mills (2009).

His novels include All the Lonely People, Child of Darkness, Come Thirteen, The Disappeared, The Presence, and The Many.

Silva’s small-press magazine The Horror Show received four World Fantasy Award “special award, nonprofessional” nominations, winning once in 1988. It became the primary magazine for new writers Poppy Z. Brite, Nancy A. Collins and Bentley Little. And his Hellnotes (edited with Paul Olson) was a frequent Bram Stoker nominee.

Robert Smartwood posted a lengthy tribute to his friend Silva, part of which gives his background and importance to the horror fiction field.

From February 1997 until September 2002, and from late 2004 until the present, Silva has served as editor of Hellnotes. Originally a weekly subscription newsletter dedicated to the horror professional and horror fan alike, Hellnotes was recently purchased by JournalStone Publishing and is currently a free blog, updated several times a day by Silva with latest news in the horror genre.

Anybody familiar with this blog knows just how much I loved Dave’s work. I must admit, The Horror Show was before my time, but in high school I read several issues of Cemetery Dance, which I later learned had been inspired by The Horror Show. In fact, when Jesus Gonzalez showed me some past issues of The Horror Show, it was clear that CD had used it as a model — the layout, formatting, everything.

The Horror Show was groundbreaking and seminal and it launched the careers of so many writers. Talk to any horror writer over forty years old and they’re apt to tell you just how much The Horror Show influenced them. In many ways, it helped shape and nurture the horror genre as it is today.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

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