"If the workers took a notion they could stop all speeding trains; every ship upon the ocean they can tie with mighty chains." -- Joe Hill
Joseph Hillstrom King (born June 4, 1972, Hermon, Maine), better known by the pen name Joe Hill, is an American author and comic book writer. He has published two novels Heart Shaped Box and Horns, and a collection of short stories entitled 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the author of the comic book series Locke & Key. Hill's parents are authors Stephen and Tabitha King.
Hill is the second child of authors Stephen and Tabitha King. He grew up in Bangor, Maine. His younger brother Owen is also a writer. Hill has three sons.
Hill chose to use an abbreviated form of his given name (a reference to executed labor leader Joe Hill, for whom he was named) in 1997, out of a desire to succeed based solely on his own merits rather than as the son of Stephen King. After achieving a degree of independent success, Hill publicly confirmed his identity in 2007 after an article the previous year in Variety broke his cover (although online speculation about Hill's family background had been appearing since 2005).
Joe Hill is a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. He has also received the William L. Crawford award for best new fantasy writer in 2006, the A. E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize in 1999 for "Better Than Home" joe hill fiction :: fiction and the 2006 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella for "Voluntary Committal". His stories have appeared in a variety of magazines, such as Subterranean Magazine, Postscripts and The High Plains Literary Review, and in many anthologies, including The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (ed. Stephen Jones) and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (ed. Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant).
Hill's first book, the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts (published in 2005 by PS Publishing), showcases fourteen of his short stories and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, together with the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection and Best Short Story for "Best New Horror". In October 2007, Hill's mainstream US and UK publishers reprinted 20th Century Ghosts, without the extras published in the 2005 slipcased versions, but including one new story.
Hill's first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins on February 13, 2007 and by Victor Gollancz Ltd in UK in March 2007. The novel reached number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list on April 1, 2007.
On September 23, 2007, at the thirty-first Fantasycon, the British Fantasy Society awarded Hill the first ever Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award. Hill's first professional sale was in 1997.
Among unpublished works is one partly completed with his father, "But Only Darkness Loves Me", which is held with the Stephen King papers at the Special Collections Unit of the Raymond H Fogler Library at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine.
Hill is also the author of Locke & Key, a new comic book series published by IDW Publishing. The first issue, released on February 20, 2008, sold out of its initial publication run in one day. A forthcoming collection of the series in limited form from Subterranean Press sold out within 24 hours of being announced.
At age 10, he appeared in the film Creepshow, directed by George Romero, which co-starred and was written by his father.
"Throttle" (2009) written in collaboration with Stephen King, He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson (also included in the audiobook Road Rage)
"Twittering from the Circus of the Dead" (2010), The New Dead edited by Christopher Golden
"The Devil on the Staircase" (2010) Stories: All-New Tales edited by Al Sarrantonio and Neil Gaiman
Below is a list of Hill's short fiction which has been reprinted.
"20th Century Ghost": The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume Fourteen (2003), ed. Stephen Jones
"My Father's Mask": The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 19th Annual Collection (2006), ed. Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant
"Best New Horror": The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume Seventeen (2006), ed. Stephen Jones
"The Cape": Horror: The Best of the Year, 2006 Edition (2006), ed. John Gregory Betancourt and Sean Wallace
"Thumbprint": The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume Nineteen (2008), ed. Stephen Jones
"Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead": The Living Dead (2008), ed. John Joseph Adams
"20th Century Ghost": Poe's Children: The New Horror (2008), ed. Peter Straub
"Throttle" (with Stephen King): The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume Twenty-One (2010), ed. Stephen Jones
"Pop Art" was reprinted in 2007 by Subterranean Press as a chapbook featuring illustrations by Gahan Wilson. As well, 52 lettered (A-ZZ) hard covers and 150 numbered soft covered chapbooks were signed by Hill. Hill, Pop Art (preorder): Subterranean Press
"Fanboyz", a comic script, was written for Spider-Man Unlimited 8 (2005). The story was illustrated by Seth Fisher.
"The Saved", first published in The Clackamas Literary Review in 2001 and also as part of the bonus material included in the 2005 deluxe slipcased edition of 20th Century Ghosts, was reprinted in December 2007 as part of PS Publishing's annual Holiday Chapbook series, available, free of charge, to subcribers of the quarterly magazine Postscripts.
"Thumbprint", first published in Postscripts #10 in 2007, was reprinted as a chapbook in summer 2008 to accompany the anthology Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy published by Subterranean Press.