Annal: 2012 Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction

Results of the Bram Stoker Award in the year 2012.

Book:Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

Lisa Morton

Trick or Treat provides a thorough history of this most misunderstood phenomenon. Offering a fascinating overview of how Halloween has spread around the globe, it asks how festivals as diverse as the Celtic Samhain, the British Guy Fawkes Day and the Catholic Holy Days of All Saints and All Souls could have blended to produce the modern Halloween. The holiday was reborn in the United States—where costuming and ‘trick or treat’ rituals became new customs—with parallels in the related, yet independent holidays of Central America, in particular Mexico’s Day of the Dead. The recent explosion in popularity of haunted attractions is discussed and we see also how Halloween’s popularity is rising in non-Western countries like Russia, Japan and China. Finally, Morton considers the impact of such events as 9/11 and the economic recession on the celebration as urban legends and costuming wax and wane. …[more]

Book:The Annotated Sandman: Volume 1

The Annotated Sandman: Volume 1

Leslie S. Klinger, Neil Gaiman

Meet the Endless, a family of immortals that govern all aspects of life and death throughout the universe. However, one of their own lays captured—Dream, the Lord of Sleep. As Dream makes his escape and returns to his duties after 70 years of imprisonment, he encounters countless characters from myth, legend and comics, from Lucifer himself to the tragic Greek hero Orpheus to the Hellblazer John Constantine.

New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series Sandman is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.

Book:Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film

Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film

Kendall R. Phillips

A Nightmare on Elm Street. Halloween. Night of the Living Dead. These films have been indelibly stamped on moviegoers’ psyches and are now considered seminal works of horror. Guiding readers along the twisted paths between audience, auteur, and cultural history, author Kendall R. Phillips reveals the macabre visions of these films’ directors in Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film.

Phillips begins by analyzing the works of George Romero, focusing on how the body is used cinematically to reflect the duality between society and chaos, concluding that the unconstrained bodies of the Living Dead films act as a critical intervention into social norms. Phillips then explores the shadowy worlds of director Wes Craven. In his study of the films The Serpent and the Rainbow, Deadly Friend, Swamp Thing, Red Eye, and Shocker, Phillips reveals Craven’s…[more]

Book:The Undead and Theology

The Undead and Theology

Kim Paffenroth, John W. Morehead

The academy and pop culture alike recognize the great symbolic and teaching value of the undead, whether vampires, zombies, or other undead or living-dead creatures. This has been explored variously from critiques of consumerism and racism, through explorations of gender and sexuality, to consideration of the breakdown of the nuclear family. Most academic examinations of the undead have been undertaken from the perspectives of philosophy and political theory, but another important avenue of exploration comes through theology. Through the vampire, the zombie, the Golem, and Cenobites, contributors address a variety of theological issues by way of critical reflection on the divine and the sacred in popular culture through film, television, graphic novels, and literature.

Book:Writing Darkness

Writing Darkness

Michael R. Collings

Writing Darkness, by Michael R. Collings, approaches the question of writing from multiple directions. The essays in this volume range from the abstract and philosophical to the concrete and specific; from reminiscences as they relate to the art of writing to near-scholarly studies of the nature of Genre, in particular Horror; and from general discussions of literary forms and what they can achieve to practical advice on where to place commas, exclamation marks, and quotation marks.

Dr. Collings’ expertise emerges from nearly thirty years teaching writing and composition at the university level, gaining acclaim as an astute voice in Science-fiction, Fantasy, and Horror studies, as well as from the more than one hundred books— ovels, scholarship, collections of poetry and short fiction, criticism, bibliographies—he has published over the past forty years.

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