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Naked redemption: the plug and play life

I'm a pop-culture junkie. So much so that I not only comment upon it (continually, at length, whether anyone's listening or not), but also try my best to contribute to it. Maybe that's pure self indulgence? Dunno. If so then so be it.
Relevant to current surroundings, I'm a horror fan. BIG horror fan. Movies and books in particular, with a particular focus (as glossed over in my profile) on the supernatural. Monsters and mythology fascinate me, as does the mechanics of unreasonable fear.
I've written two novels. The first, called Mind.Net, might best be described as a paranormal thriller. My second book, published earlier this year, is pure blood-sucking horror. Man, it was fun to write.
Writing in that genre is probably more self indulgence. Fan-boy wallowing. It's me inserting myself into horror (figuratively, because eww), trying to help steer the course of modern horror, and trying to honor the genre's long and rich past.
So much of what we understand as modern horror seems to spring from the Victorian era. We can point to those unforgettable horror-gothic novels--Dracula, Frankenstein, Carmilla--and say "this is where it all started."
But is it? Is horror-as-entertainment, horror-as-cultural-communication really only a century and a half old?
I doubt it. I think that horror as a profit center dates back to our Victorian predecessors. I think that Stoker and Shelley and Le Fanu were among the first to make some coin off scaring people.
But scaring people just for the hell of it? That's got to be as old as storytelling. The adrenalin rush of a frightful story appeals to our most primitive neurons. There's no reason to think that people haven't been exploiting that since the very dawn of our species.
And there's something satisfying, something undeniably right, to imagine some shaggy troglodytes sitting around a campfire and grunting out their version of "...and there, hanging from the door handle, was a BLOODY HOOK!"

Tags: horror fiction,

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