Articles

Gross-Outs, Horror, and Terror

George Billions George Billions Horror

I’ve always been a fan of horror stories. My childhood copies of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series were very well-worn. The grim charcoal illustrations no doubt played a roll in traumatizing a generation of young readers, so much that the books have since been tamed with less terrifying imagery. The stories, though, remain the same. These books are aimed at young readers, but contain the same elements you’ll find in scary stories to tell grownups: gross-outs, horror, and terror. The Master’s Definition I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what defines horror. I had a sort...

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Fun Reads to Cure the Winter Blues

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Late February, early March…it always seems like this is the time of year that the monotony of winter really starts to get to me. All the fun holidays are over for a while, and the short, overcast days and long cold nights have me dreaming of spring – or tropical destinations. It’s the perfect time of year to indulge in some escapist literature. Why not ignore the frost outside and let your mind take a journey to some fantastic place instead?  Get inspired by our list of fun fantasy reads below that are organized based on other works you may...

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Stephen King’s Lamest Hits

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My buddy Sam was ahead of the curve. In middle school, most of the kids who wanted something creepy to read were into R.L. Stine. I was partial to John Bellairs. Not Sam, though. He wasn’t into those baby books. By sixth grade, he’d graduated to the real stuff. He always had a massive Stephen King tome tucked under his arm with his notepads and textbooks. The movie version of The Lawnmower Man came out when I was eleven. It was heavily marketed as Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man, so naturally I had to ask Sam about it. “I don’t...

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Rooting for the Rule-Breakers

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Frank Abagnale is a man who stole millions of dollars by cashing fake checks. Not content to forge checks, he also produced a counterfeit doctor’s license and passport. He used these phony documents for further cons. As it often goes, Frank was eventually caught, tried, and convicted. He managed to escape prison twice. He’s also a genuinely likable, charismatic, and unexpected hero. If you read his autobiography, Catch Me If You Can, you’ll probably end up rooting for this con man for most of the book, even while imagining ways he could effortlessly rob you blind. There’s something exciting about...

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Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin, a Science-Fiction and Fantasy Pioneer

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Science-fiction and fantasy fans are sad to note the recent passing of celebrated author Ursula K. Le Guin at the age of 88. Le Guin, a popular author known for her thought-provoking novels, added literary depth and intellectualism to a field that does not always receive the recognition it deserves. Le Guin is also honored as an early feminist pioneer who often used the flexible medium of science fiction to examine difficult issues our society is grappling with today including gender, sexuality, and equal rights.   Le Guin’s books became widely read worldwide and have been translated into more than...

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