Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 20/07/2002

The secrets of Horror High

Several years ago, Gusworld (with much assistance from perennial collaborator Spanky The Naughty Little Monkey) produced what is still the only definitive Web guide to Horror High, a trashy series of teen horror books by Nicholas Adams. At the time the guide was created, virtually no information on the series could be found online. This may not have been a bad thing; it certainly suggested that the series had not been a massive success, although Gusworld had already formed that impression after picking up the entire series new for $15.60.

Having not given a thought to Nicholas Adams in some considerable time, Gusworld was mildly surprised to find his name popping up in quite another context. On Target, a truly excellent guide to the Target novelisations of eternal Gusworld favourite Doctor Who, remarked in passing that John Peel, author of many a Dalek story, also wrote under the name Nicholas Adams.

This was news to us, and sent us off on a hunt for extra information to confirm this theory. This revealed that references to Horror High online have increased somewhat in the past few years, even though most of them lack depth. Anyway, this is what we discovered:

  • As you would expect, Nicholas Adams is not a single author, but a brand name used for books commissioned from a wide range of writers. We've managed to find the names of a handful of the authors, but many remain elusive.
  • While John Peel has written as Nicholas Adams, he didn't write any of the Horror High books. Instead, he wrote the other titles Santa Claws, Horrorscope & IOU (check the source here).
  • Pep Rally was written by Deborah Doyle & James McDonald (check the source here). Some other sites have claimed that this pair wrote all the books, but the evidence would seem to go against this.
  • Final Curtain was written by Sherwood Smith (check the source here).
  • The entire series was republished at least once, in the UK in 1995. Several of the books got fetching new covers, which you can admire in the collage we've assembled right here.
  • Some of the books have been published with more than one title (though it doesn't seem that there are more than eight actual books). Alternate titles include Blood Game, Deadly Secret, Voice Of Evil, You're Dead and School Play. These most likely equate to Sudden Death, New Kid On The Block, Mr Popularity, Resolved: You're Dead, and Final Curtain.
Should any Gusworld reader happen to know the true authors behind the other titles, we'd love to know. But we still don't recommend reading the books, except for a laugh.

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