And while awards can be problematic at the best of times...
Two Quartets: Best of the Year Horror Annuals and four novels I recommend to those looking for an introduction to horror and suspenseA quick take on some of the best of the year annuals in short horror fiction (two, at least, continue, Ellen Datlow's and Stephen Jones's, and they both feature excellent reportage in each volume on the past year in literary and other narrative horror) and the quartet of novels I recommend to those wanting to get a sense of the range of horror and suspense fiction. (The comments on the post are useful, as well.)
THE YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES annual, edited by Richard Davis, Gerald W. Page and Karl Edward Wagner, from DAW Books, Sphere Books and Orbit Books, 1971-1994A complete index of the first best of the year annual devoted to short horror fiction, which had a good long run in the US edition, and several volumes in the UK.
My Hallowe'en and beyond: Early Key Horror Anthologies (for me)How I came to love horror fiction and the adjoining fields...good to brilliant anthologies, among other work!
Supernatural Fiction Writers: Contemporary Fantasy and Horror (Scribner's/Gale) is a useful 2-volume survey, published as the 2nd Edition in 2002, and featuring essentially all new content distinct from the first edition; the second is edited by Richard Bleiler, the first (1985) by his father Everett Bleiler, both librarians and otherwise deeply engaged in the fields of supernatural literature. (I wrote the survey essay on Joyce Carol Oates and, peripherally and too briefly, Kate Wilhelm, in the newer edition; I believe E. Bleiler wrote the Oates essay in the first.) Used copies online are going for reasonable prices, if your library doesn't have one. New copies still a bit dear. And a number of the folks below have written little horror so much as other kinds of fantasy, but most have done notable work in horror among other forms (essay subjects first, essay authors follow):
Volume 1 Introduction p. xi List of Contributors p. xvii Peter Ackroyd Paul Kincaid p. 1 Robert Aickman John Clute p. 9 Joan Aiken John Clute p. 21 Poul Anderson Ed McKnight p. 33 Piers Anthony Solomon Davidoff p. 45 Paul Auster Paul Kincaid p. 53 Clive Barker K. A. Laity p. 61 Peter Beagle Darrell Schweitzer p. 71 Michael Bishop Paul Di Filippo p. 79 James P. Blaylock Mark Wingenfeld p. 89 Robert Bloch Stefan Dziemianowicz p. 99 Ray Bradbury Willis McNelly p. 115 Scott Bradfield Claude Lalumiere p. 123 Marion Zimmer Bradley Paula Johanson p. 129 Poppy Z. Brite Brian Stableford p. 147 Terry Brooks Nick Andreychuk p. 153 Steven Brust Patricia Brogan p. 161 Pat Cadigan Don Riggs p. 169 Ramsey Campbell K. A. Laity p. 177 Orson Scott Card Gary Westfahl p. 189 Jonathan Carroll Brian Stableford p. 201 Angela Carter Gina Wisker p. 209 Nancy Collins Monica J. O'Rourke p. 221 Storm Constantine Christopher Treagus p. 227 Glen Cook Gary Westfahl p. 233 Susan Cooper Elizabeth Hand p. 239 John Crowley Elizabeth Hand p. 245 Avram Davidson Henry Wessells p. 253 Charles de Lint Christine Mains p. 267 Samuel R. Delany Brian Stableford p. 277 Paul di Filippo Claude Lalumiere p. 285 Thomas M. Disch Darrell Schweitzer p. 293 Stephen R. Donaldson Walter E. Meyers p. 299 Tananarive Due Mary Anne Mohanraj p. 309 Dave Duncan Martin Morse Wooster p. 315 David Eddings John D. Teehan p. 323 Harlan Ellison Gary K. Wolfe p. 331 Steve Erickson Paul Kincaid p. 341 Dennis Etchison Fiona Kelleghan p. 347 Raymond Elias Feist Scott D. Vander Ploeg p. 355 Esther M. Friesner Gary Westfahl p. 361 Neil Gaiman Gary K. Wolfe p. 369 Alan Garner Brian Attebery p. 377 Ray Garton Michael T. Huyck, Jr. p. 385 Charles L. Grant T. Liam McDonald p. 391 Alasdair Gray Jeff VanderMeer p. 403 Elizabeth Hand Cherie Wein p. 413 M. John Harrison Elizabeth Hand p. 419 Mark Helprin Maureen Speller p. 427 Russell Hoban Brian Stableford p. 435 Robert Holdstock David Langford p. 445 Tom Holt Ian Nichols p. 455 Barry Hughart Jeff VanderMeer p. 461 Rhys Henry Hughes E. F. Bleiler p. 467 Robert Irwin Brian Stableford p. 473 Shirley Jackson Jack Sullivan p. 479 Diana Wynne Jones Helen H. Thompson p. 485 Robert Jordan Neal Baker p. 493 Graham Joyce Brian Stableford p. 503 Volume 2
Guy Gavriel Kay Christine Mains
p. 509 Jack Ketchum Fiona Kelleghan p. 517 Stephen King Richard Bleiler p. 525 Kathe Koja Steffen Hantke p. 541 Dean Koontz Greg Beatty p. 551 William Kotzwinkle Bud Webster p. 561 Nancy Kress Maureen Speller p. 569 Katherine Kurtz Kelly A. O'Connor-Salomon p. 575 Mercedes Lackey Justin Gustainis p. 585 R. A. Lafferty Chris Morgan p. 593 Joe R. Lansdale Stefan Dziemianowicz p. 603 Ursula K. Le Guin Elizabeth Cummins p. 613 Tanith Lee Jessica Reisman p. 633 Fritz Leiber Brian Stableford p. 643 Thomas Ligotti Darrell Schweitzer p. 653 Bentley Little Keith Neilson p. 659 George R. R. Martin E. C. McMullen Jr. p. 667 Richard Matheson Keith Neilson p. 673 William Mayne John Clute p. 685 Anne McCaffrey David Langford p. 693 Robert McCammon Richard Bleiler and Hunter Goatley p. 705 Ian McEwan Jack Slay, Jr. p. 715 Patrick McGrath Jay McRoy p. 723 Patricia A. McKillip Jessica Reisman p. 729 Michael Moorcock Rhys Hughes p. 737 James Morrow Brian Stableford p. 749 Kim Newman Claude Lalumiere p. 757 Andre Norton Charlene Brusso p. 767 Joyce Carol Oates (and, briefly, Kate Wilhelm) Todd Mason p. 775 Tim Powers Ian Nichols p. 785 Terry Pratchett David Langford p. 791 Katherine Ptacek Richard Bleiler p. 803 Philip Pullman Andrew Butler p. 809 Anne Rice Christopher Treagus p. 817 J. K. Rowling Brian Stableford p. 825 David J. Schow Darrell Schweitzer p. 833 Michael Shea Brian Stableford p. 839 Lucius Shepard Graham Sleight p. 845 John Shirley Jeff Prickman p. 855 Robert Silverberg Arthur Hlavaty p. 863 Dan Simmons Greg Beatty p. 875 S. P. Somtow Gary Westfahl p. 883 Brian Stableford David Langford p. 891 Peter Straub John Clute p. 903 Thomas Burnett Swann John Clute p. 915 Lisa Tuttle Janice M. Bogstad p. 923 Sydney J. Van Scyoc Janice M. Bogstad p. 929 Jack Vance Thomas Marcinko p. 935 Jeff VanderMeer Ian Nichols p. 945 Howard Waldrop John Clute p. 951 Nancy Willard Brian Stableford p. 959 Chet Williamson T. Liam McDonald p. 967 F. Paul Wilson Justin Gustainis p. 973 Gene Wolfe Robert Borski p. 981 Chelsea Quinn Yarbro Janice M. Bogstad p. 993 Jane Yolen Gary K. Wolfe p. 1003 Roger Zelazny Jane Lindskold p. 1011 Index p. 1025
Further suggestions to follow! Reading LOCUS, MYSTERY SCENE, such online magazines as NIGHTMARE and SUBTERRANEAN, and other news sources/surveys of the field will also help...my weekly roundup of reviews and other texts always has some strong horror-related content.