In the second installment of our Question of Genres series was pose the question: What is the attraction of horror fiction for you?
Horror has existed in literature for ages. Heck, some folks cite the Bible as having stellar horror imagery spread throughout the book, but especially Revelations.
Of course we have vampires, ghosts, zombies, demons and lycanthropes running about the horrific worlds conjured by classic writers like Robert Louis Stevenson, Machen, Shelley and Stoker. Transition to the modern era, when the age of pulp rose and made horror a broader genre. We have Lovecraft, King, Barker and Mattheson setting the modern standard for things horrific.
What drew you to horror? At what age did you take the plunge? Did it scare you straight only to return out of curiosity? Or was it an automatic fit? What’s the best book or series in the genre and who is your favorite horror scribe?
Let’s hear it.
We have a love/hate relationship with books turned movies. Yeah there have been good ones. Lots of bad ones too.
But beyond movies, have you read a book that you wanted to be a television show? A weekly embrace of the characters and universe that you love. Now that could open up a world of possibilities to explore the narrative of a book or series, couldn’t it? Today you got Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead (comic book) or M*A*S*H back in the day.
Non-fiction or genre fiction, matters not. What book or series have you read and wanted more of?
Today we start a new series focusing on genre fiction. Each installment we’ll ask you, dear reader, about a specific genre that you love, hate, or just feel ‘meh’ about. We want to know what your favorite book in the genre is. Favorite author? And why the genre appeals to you? Is it the escapism, the hope, the mystery, the thrill? We’ll also wind our way through the subgenres that inhabit the wide creative plains.
So let’s hear your thoughts on genre fiction.
We’ll kick it off with: Fantasy.
We know the masters of the genre here, Howard, Lewis, Tolkien, Moorcock and Le Guin. We run the gamut from sword and sorcery to gritty urban magic living alongside us every day.
What is it about the flash of sword, the clank of armor, the breathless love of paupers and princes or the sizzle of a dragon’s breath that enthralls you so? What is it about the flash of a wand and dark secrets buried in an ancient land that keeps you coming back for more?
And is there a subgenre that bubbled to the reading surface for you? Are you into faerie tales? Or romantic fantasy?
What is it about fantasy that you love so much?
Buenos Aires has been taken over by a lone man and his tank.
But it’s not what you think. Behold, the Book Tank
The Elephant Keeper’s Children is a nearly 500 page book about a 14 year-old boy’s adventures while in pursuit of his absent parents. If this sound a little like Harry Potter, the similarities end there. Martin Aitken translates Heog’s book to English for the first time, sharing an existentialist journey through Denmark.
Petrus and sister Tilte, precocious beyond their teenage years, are detained by the authorities because their parents have gone missing. It doesn’t take long to figure out that their parents are being pursued by the police and a ragtag team of Danish authorities and it becomes a race against time to find out what their parents are up to before the authorities.
This may sound like a young adult novel but it’s themes and characters are decidedly more adult, than young. Petrus and Tilte are on a spiritual journey that includes befriending a Buddhist sex therapist, a heroin-addicted Count and a prostitute with anger issues.
A 14 year old, obsessed with football and finding enlightenment, is a humorous hero of a winding, entertaining tale. Hoeg is most notable as the author of Simila’s Sense of Sense. You’ll find The Elephant Keeper’s Children a less violent, equally mystical novel.
Let’s face it, pretty much every avid reader at one point has thought…I am going to write a book! Or, when reading a particularly bad book, mull over the notion…I could totally write better than this hack!
Well, have you been inspired to put pen to paper by good or bad writing? Have you found a flurry of ideas cascading in your head as your read something inspiring and jotted down an outline? Did it go further and become a NaNoWriMo project? Or did you bang something out and actually finish it?
If you aren’t a writer, but find books inspire you to at least attempt a short story, novella or full-blown novel, let’s hear about it.
What was the book/author that kicked you in the creative pants and did you/did you not finish the writing project?
Sexy enough title? Well, maybe not tawdry, but certainly an eye catcher. Graphic designer Chip Kidd, cover designer at Alfred Knopf, gives a TED Talk on the process of putting a face to the words hidden beneath.