Archives for SFF: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

The Triumph of the Thriller…and other Scary Lit

A decade ago, The New York Times published the first chapter of Patrick Anderson’s book, The Triumph of the Thriller, which charted the change in American reading habits (as judged by bestseller lists) over the previous forty years.  Wrote Anderson: “The more I read, the more I was struck by the transformation in America’s reading habits. I grew up with the blockbuster novels of the 1950s and 1960s, written by people like James Michener, Harold Robbins, John O’Hara, Jacqueline Susann, Herman Wouk, and Irving Stone. They explored sex, money, movie stars, war, religion, and exotic foreign lands but rarely concerned themselves
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Walking on Water with Madeleine L’Engle

it’s been many years since I first came across the work of the late great Madeleine L’Engle, author of the beloved A Wrinkle in Time. Back when I was a member of a much-missed Mythopoeic reading group, we read L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.  The intersection of faith, spirituality, and literature is one of the subjects closest to my heart—how to incorporate spirituality in your writing, and how not to at any cost. With that in view, I’d like to share a couple of quotes from the early portion of this wonderful book, with the recommendation
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Stephen King and George R.R. Martin discuss writing (and Tolkien, and poker, and family, and kazoos)

—Very fun chat, filmed in New Mexico. The two share, among other things, their childhood “Aha!” moments with books, sci-fi, and horror, and when they knew they wanted to become writers. King, for instance, started submitting stories when he was 12 and sold his first one at 19. “I think creativity is a mystery,” says King. Yes, and perhaps even more mysterious, at least to some of us, is the seemingly innate self-confidence that enables a kid to withstand years and years of rejections without (apparently) suffering crippling self doubt. In the end, I’m with Martin: “How in the bleep do
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