Tale Of The Tape
Nick Cutter bags the first James Herbert Award
In The Troop, Nick Cutter’s memorably messy 2014 novel, a group of scouts has an encounter with what can only be described as a mega- tapeworm. It’s a disgusting, gripping slice of modern horror, and we can’t help but think that legendary Brit horror author James Herbert would have approved – which is fitting, as The Troop has been named the winner of the first James Herbert Award for horror.
“Apparently it’s a big glass rat, which I’m really excited to have,” says Craig Davidson, the Canadian author behind the Nick Cutter pseudonym. “I feel incredibly grateful and fortunate. It’s an award started by James Herbert and his family, and I’ve always felt like I have an affinity with James’s writing. We share an aesthetic in some ways. We’re like attack dogs, trying to swarm over people and scare them in a really intense way.”
Davidson’s career to date has been a predominantly literary affair, although genre was never far from the life- long horror aficionado’s mind. “I did my master’s degree in creative writing, and for my thesis they were not going to allow me, sadly, to write a vampire book,” says Davidson. “Then I had this idea to write a genre horror novel, something that would fit in with the books I’d grown up reading.”
The change in direction paid off, with The Troop beating out an impressive list of nominees to bag the prize. Now Davidson looks set to take full advantage of his new status as James Herbert Award winner…
“The new book, The Deep, is now out in the UK,” he says. “It’s not a linear follow up to The Troop, it’s a totally different thing but also clearly horror. Then I’ve got a book called The Acolyte coming out, and then one called Little Heaven, which hasn’t been picked up in the UK yet, but I’m hopeful.”
The Troop and The Deep are available now.
And he looks like such a nice boy.