Joe Hill is a relatively new writer of horror novels and a weirdness-filled comic book series. There's one thing many people like to point out about Joe Hill, that his full name is Joseph Hillstrom King. Horror novelist called King? Well, yes - Stephen King is his dad. Fully knowing that comparisons to his father's works would be inevitable and fearing that he would be judged on the name alone, rather than the quality of his writingnote , Hill decided to keep his full name secret for his first publications, to the point of never meeting his agent or publisher in person.After winning several awards for for his short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, and receiving critical acclaim for his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, the secret about his full name slowly started to creep out, but Hill felt that he had already created enough of a name for himself, and allowed it to happen. He has since embraced his connection to his father; the two have collaborated on a few short stories and Hill's latest novel NOS4A2 includes several references to his father's work.He should not be confused with the early twentieth century labour union activist Joe Hill, after whom he is named. His main works are:
- 20th Century Ghosts: A collection of 14 short stories.
- Heart-Shaped Box: A novel, in which an aging rock star buys a ghost on eBay.
- Horns: A novel, in which a man wakes up to find he has horns on his head.
- NOS4A2: A novel about a woman who must rescue her son from a "very bad man" who takes children to Christmasland. Followed by a comicbook companion series Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland.
- Locke & Key: A graphic novel series.
- The Fireman: A post-apocalyptic novel about a deadly spore that infects most of the world's population.
Tropes used in his works:
- Creepy Child: Several examples
- Darker and Edgier: NOS4A2 is notably bleaker than most of Hill's other works, as are the short stories written around the same period.
- Evil Phone: Subverted in the short story "The Black Phone". The circumstances and nature of the phone are fairly dark, but the phone's actually not so evil at all.
- Genre Savvy: One benefit to Eddie Carroll, the jaded horror anthology editor in "Best New Horror."
- Kitsch Collection: The short story "The Last Breath" features a collection of people's last breaths.
- Magic Realism: "Pop Art" features the titular character Art who is a biologically-born inflatable person in a world where it's a rare but occurring genetic disorder.