(1943- ) US writer born and resident in Southern California; his fiction transcends the Horror genre to explore the dark underside of the West Coast lifestyle. His first professional sale was an sf story, "Odd Boy Out" (1961), in Escapade. Since then he has been a multiple winner of both the World Fantasy Award and the British Fantasy Award for writing and editing, and his short fiction has been widely published. Many of his finest stories – such as "The Dead Line" (1979), "Deathtracks" (1981), "The Dark Country" (1981), "The Woman in Black" (1984) and "The Olympic Runner" (1986) – are collected in The Dark Country (coll 1982), Red Dreams (coll 1984) and The Blood Kiss (coll 1988). He novelized The Fog (1979) as The Fog * (1979) and, as Jack Martin (the name of a recurring character in his fiction), he wrote Halloween II * (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch * (1982) – based on Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983) – and Videodrome * (1983). His own novels, such as Darkside (1986), Shadowman (1993), California Gothic (1995) and «Double Edge» (1996), are notable for their sharp, sparse prose but have never quite captured the power of his short fiction. He has contributed (uncredited) to several movie scripts and was a staff writer for the tv series The Hitch Hiker (1985). His Zombie story "The Late Shift" (1980) was adapted by Damian Harris for the short movie Killing Time (1984). [SJ]
as editor: Cutting Edge (anth 1986); Masters of Darkness (anth 1986); Masters of Darkness II (anth 1988); Lord John Ten (anth 1988); The Complete Masters of Darkness (anth 1991); Masters of Darkness III (anth 1991); MetaHorror (anth 1992).