Annal: 2002 International Horror Guild Award for Nonfiction

Results of the International Horror Guild Award in the year 2002.

Book:Ramsey Campbell, Probably

Ramsey Campbell, Probably: On Horror and Sundry Fantasies

Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell, Probably collects 140,000 words of Campbell’s non-fiction from the last three decades.

The subjects range from the perils of authorship to the delights of amateur fiction and film, from drugs to nightmares, from the Highgate Vampire to the Dracula Society’s marching song. Friends are remembered, and so is Mary Whitehouse. A seminal study of English schoolgirl spanking on video is brought up to date. Many thoughts on the history of horror fiction are included. At last it is revealed why Harlan Ellison is responsible.

May the reader variously laugh, weep, ponder, disagree and turn uneasily in bed.

Book:Algernon Blackwood

Algernon Blackwood: An Extraordinary Life

Mike Ashley

Not only one of the twentieth century’s most inventive writers of supernatural fiction and author of such masterpieces as The Willows and The Wendigo, Algernon Blackwood was also an indefatigable traveler, an extremely popular storyteller on radio and television (he appeared on the first British television program ever), and a secret agent during the First World War. Added to that, it was Algernon Blackwood, not Andrew Lloyd Webber, who originated the Starlight Express. A Buddhist and theosophist as well as a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn, Blackwood consorted with mystics and magicians, who knew him as Pan, while those who delighted in his rich storyteller’s voice and lively humor affectionately called him Uncle Paul. Some saw him as an ancient child, others as an accomplished athlete. He found time meanwhile to hobnob with the literary establishment—with the likes of Hilaire Belloc, P. G. Wodehouse, Compton Mackenzie, and H. G. Wells—and his work inspired writers as diverse as Henry Miller and Carlos…[more]

Book:The Biology of Horror

The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film

Jack Morgan

Unearthing the fearful flesh and sinful skins at the heart of gothic horror, Jack Morgan rends the genre’s biological core from its oft-discussed psychological elements and argues for a more transhistorical conception of the gothic, one negatively related to comedy. The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film dissects popular examples from the gothic literary and cinematic canon, exposing the inverted comic paradigm within each text.

Morgan’s study begins with an extensive treatment of comedy as theoretically conceived by Suzanne Langer, C. L. Barber, and Mikhail Bakhtin. Then, Morgan analyzes the physical and mythological nature of horror in inverted comic terms, identifying a biologically grounded mythos of horror. Motifs such as sinister loci, languishment, masquerade, and subversion of sensual perception are contextualized here as embedded in an organic reality, resonating with biological motives and consequences. Morgan also…[more]

Book:Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic

Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic

Douglas E. Winter

Clive Barker: a modern myth-maker, explorer of our darkest instincts and ultimate fears, the writer who—more than any other contemporary figure—has shaped our nightmares through diverse media. Novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, artist and director, he is a master at twisting the mundane to make it fantastic, frightening and ultimately meaningful.

Douglas E. Winter’s detailed and highly literate biography, made possible by unprecedented access to Barker and his closest friends and family, offers readers a privileged insight into Barker’s own story: his Liverpool childhood and adolescence; his forays into the world of theatre, mime and direction; his meteoric rise to fame as the author of the Books of Blood and Weaveworld, and the director of Hellraiser; his move to Hollywood to pursue a film career and his growth as an artist in many different media, which has taken him from theatre—the first form of human expression—into the digital age. …[more]

Book:Supernatural Fiction Writers

Supernatural Fiction Writers: Contemporary Fantasy and Horror

Richard Bleiler

This two-volume set for high school students, college undergraduates, and teachers and other nonspecialists contains essays on 116 contemporary supernatural fiction writers whose prose the editor considers equal to, if not superior to, that of writers who have been granted mainstream acceptance. Entries are approximately seven to 12 pages in length and cover all aspects of each writer’s career. They also address questions such as the literary value of these genres of fiction, and whether the science fiction or horror label discourages taking such work seriously. Each essay is followed by a bibliography of primary works, a critical and biographical bibliography citing books and articles, and lists of interviews and book reviews.

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