Thomas Tessier

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Thomas Tessier
Born (1947-05-10) May 10, 1947 (age 76)
Waterbury, Connecticut, United States
Genre Horror, Science fiction

Thomas Tessier (born May 10, 1947) is an American writer of horror novels and short stories. He has also written poetry and drama.



Tessier was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, attended University College Dublin and lived in London in the United Kingdom for several years (where he was the managing director of Millington Books) before returning to the United States, where he lives still. His three published books of poetry are How We Died (New Writers Press, Dublin 1970), In Sight of Chaos (Turret Books, London 1971) and Abandoned Homes (Gallery Press, Dublin 1971). His plays have been produced, but not published.

His first book, The Fates (1978), is an episodic hybrid of horror and science fiction, about a mysterious force which causes death and destruction in an American town. One of the characters speculates that the Earth is revenging itself on humanity, but at the end of the book the mystery has not been solved and the destruction has not stopped.

Tessier's next book was The Nightwalker (1979), the brief, terse story of a young American Vietnam veteran adrift in London who seems possessed by an uncontrollable urge to inflict mutilation and death and may, in fact, be a werewolf. In Shockwaves (1982), a young woman achieves an ambition out of romantic fiction when an up-and-coming lawyer asks her to marry him; but her life is overshadowed by the presence of an apparently supernatural murderer known only as The Blade. Phantom (1982) deals with a young boy's confrontations with death, starting with his mother's dangerous asthma attack and ending with a disturbing vision of the afterlife.

Besides works of supernatural horror, Tessier has also written non-supernatural stories such as Rapture (1987), about a psychopathic stalker, and Secret Strangers (1990), about a teenage girl whose father's sudden disappearance prompts her to an amoral rebellion which leads to the discovery of a suburban child abuse ring.

Tessier's other novels include Finishing Touches (1986), about a young doctor (again, an American alone in London) drawn into the sadistic world of a megalomaniac plastic surgeon; Fog Heart (1997), about the involvement of two married couples with a suicidal young medium; and Father Panic's Opera Macabre (2001), in which a writer of bland historical fiction is suddenly confronted with the atrocities which occurred in Croatia during the Second World War.

A short novel, Wicked Things, was published in 2007, accompanied by a novella, "Scramburg, USA".

Tessier's short fiction has been collected in Ghost Music and Other Tales (2000) and Remorseless: Tales of Cruelty (2013), World of Hurt (2019), and featured in Night Visions. [1]

Tessier is married to the former Alice Audietis. They have one son and one daughter.

Critical Reception

In a review of Tessier's novel Phantom, Karl Edward Wagner stated "What does make Phantom an effective chiller is its terrifying portrayal of the isolation of childhood fears." [2] In the same article, Wagner also praised Tessier's novel Nightwalker as "the best werewolf novel of the last fifty years." [2]


Bram Stoker Award

International Horror Guild Award

World Fantasy Award


Poetry collections


Short story collections

Ghost Music and Other Tales (2000)

Includes the following stories:

Remorseless: Tales of Cruelty (2013)

Remorseless: Tales of Cruelty (2013)

Includes the following stories:

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  1. Neil Barron Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide to Literature 1999 "Night Visions is an important series if only for the notoriety of its 27 contributors. Insofar as many of the stories it published represented some of the best short fiction produced by those writers, it is a cornerstone of any modern horror library." and featuring 14 stories by Thomas Tessier (his novella "The Dreams of Dr. Ladybank"), James Kisner, and Rick Hautala.
  2. 1 2 Wagner, Karl Edward (December 1983). "Books". Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine. New York: Montcalm Publishing.
  3. "1998 Bram Stoker Award Winners & Nominees – The Bram Stoker Awards" . Retrieved December 1, 2023.
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  5. ":: ihg :: International Horror Guild :: ihg ::". Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  6. ":: ihg :: International Horror Guild :: ihg ::". Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  7. ":: ihg :: International Horror Guild :: ihg ::". Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  8. "Nominees | World Fantasy Convention" . Retrieved December 1, 2023.