This is a critical study of many of the leading writers of horror and supernatural fiction since World War II. The primary purpose is to establish a canon of weird literature, and to distinguish the genuinely meritorious writers of the past fifty years from those who have obtained merely transient popular renown. Accordingly, the author regards the complex, subtle work of Shirley Jackson, Ramsey Campbell, Robert Aickman, T.E.D. Klein, and Thomas Ligotti as considerably superior to the best-sellers of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Anne Rice. Other writers such as William Peter Blatty, Thomas Tryon, Robert Bloch, and Thomas Harris are also discussed. Taken as a whole, the volume represents a pioneering attempt to chart the development of weird fiction over the past half-century.