horror-fantasy-fiction-writers

5 Essential Classic Horror Fantasy Fiction Writers

The genres of fantasy, horror and science fiction are relatively new and still exciting areas of literary exploration. The following horror, fantasy fiction writers changed the way we perceive stories today:

1. H.P. Lovecraft

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H.P. Lovecraft was an author of horror fantasy fiction who inspired legions of artists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers alike. Born August 20, 1890, he never ventured far from his birthplace of Providence, Rhode Island, where he wrote his distinctive tales until his death on March 15, 1937 from intestinal cancer at the age of 46. His most popular stories, often exploring grotesque personal mythologies with painstaking attention to detail, are contained within the collected works The Call of Cthulhu. Unfortunately Lovecraft never saw his works popularly published and lived in absolute poverty, eating expired canned food in his final years. He wrote to a friend, “I have no illusions concerning the precarious status of my tales, and do not expect to become a serious competitor of my favorite weird authors.” Yet, his tales are revered to this day. Stephen King calls him “the 20th century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”

2. George MacDonald

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George MacDonald was one of the pioneers of fantasy fiction. He was a Scottish writer born December 10, 1824 and died September 18, 1905 after writing books that inspired many in his wake including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Walter de la Mare, E. Nesbit, Madeleine L’Engle, and many more. “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him,” says Lewis. MacDonald was a Christian minister and his work was filled with allegoric tales of morality, juxtaposing fairy tale elements with colorful imagery, religious references, and nightmarish creatures. His most well-known novels are The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, Lilith and Phantastes. He also wrote fairy tales and said of them “I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five.”

3. William Hope Hodgson

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William Hope Hodgson was an English author of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Born November 15, 1877, he died in April 1918 during World War I at the age of 40. He spent many of his early years at sea and the theme of the ocean runs through many of his works, including Sargasso Sea Stories, The House on the Borderland, and The Night Land. He created contemplative, cosmic horror stories that were as psychedelic as they were terrifying.

4. Arthur Machen

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Arthur Machen was a Welsh author of supernatural fantasy horror. He was also a mystic, born March 3, 1863 and died December 15, 1947. His book, The Great God Pan is considered among many, including Stephen King to be one of the best horror stories ever written. Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, William Butler Yeats, Arthur Conan Doyle, and many more legendary writers were greatly inspired by his work.

5. Lord Dunsany

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Lord Dunsany was an Irish fantasy writer who published 80 books as well as hundreds of short stories, plays, and essays. Born July 24, 1878, he died in Dublin after an appendicitis attack October 25, 1957. He worked with W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, Percy French, Padraic Colum, and many others. He was an eclectic eccentric as exemplified by earning champion status in Ireland for both chess and pistol shooting.

With the immense popularity of book series like A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter, it’s clear that this genre still inspires the imagination of the world and allows us to experience storytelling and hero’s journeys through the fantasy.

 

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5 Weird Types of Genres for the Oddball Reader

There are so many types of genres in the literary world that it’s virtually impossible to know them all. With new ones coming into popularity so regularly, it’s admittedly hard to keep up. But every now and then a genre emerges that we can’t ignore; one so baffling as to disorient us from our regular way of seeing things. Here are a few of the weirdest rising new genres that have made their way into current popular culture:

1. Centaurs and Satyrs (Romance)

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Since Ancient Greek and Roman times, hybrid creatures that are half man and half animal have been featured in tales of sexual conquest. The satyrs in particular are often found romping with the nymphs. Today, an entire genre of romance fiction has grown out of the forbidden relationships with the wild inhuman creatures of the forest. The interspecies erotic fiction takes center stage in books like Rescued and Ravaged by the Centaur, Unbridled and The Lords of Satyr. These types of genres, both centaur and satyr, are mostly written by women and are a type of erotic fantasy fiction.

2. Calligram (Poetry)

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The idea behind this kind of poetry is to structure the letters of the poem so that they make a picture. The image they create should display the core central meaning of the poem. This type of structure was created by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had his work published after his death in the book Calligrammes. Many artists and poets have continues his work, creating beautiful and complex imagery. Most elementary schools teach children how to create Calligrams from very early on and they have become a modern part of both literature and art.

3. Slipstream (Science Fiction/Fantasy)

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In this style, the story slips in and out of reality so that it can become hard to understand what is real and what isn’t. It’s been described as “cognitive dissonance” meaning that a reader is forced into holding two contradictory beliefs at the same time. Some films that make good examples of this literary style are The Matrix, Memento, and The Tree of Life. It’s often described as “the fiction of strangeness” and popular authors of the genre include James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel.

4. New Weird or “Noird” (Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction)

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This style is a kind of genre bending speculative fiction that is ultimately based in horror. Noted for combining fantasy and/or science fiction in an ultra-realistic way, this genre stems from one commonly known as Weird Fiction, whose writers include Edgar Allen Poe, H.P Lovecraft, and William Hope Hodgson. Weird Fiction was a style of strange horror wring that included ghost stories, the macabre, fantasy, and science fiction. Writers of New Weird include China Mieville, Jeff VanderMeer, K.J. Bishop, and Steph Swainston.

5. Bizarro (Absurdism)

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This style of fiction was started in 2005 by various independent publishing companies including Eraserhead Press, Raw Dog Screaming Press, and Afterbirth Books. Often featuring absurdist, satirical, and grotesque elements, the genre focuses on the weird and has been referred to as “new absurdism” and “irreal”. It tends to be closer to speculative fiction, including horror, fantasy, and science fiction as opposed to the avant-garde movements. Popular authors in this genre include Violet LeVoit, D. Harlan Wilson and Bradley Sands, Carlton Mellick III, and Jeremy C. Shipp.

As you can see, the human imagination is constantly expanding as the types of genres available for our exploration continue to grow. Each new genre offers an unexpected and fresh perspective with a chance to shake up the stagnant and stale old ways, breathing new life into our literary world.

 

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Erotic Writing Classics That Continue to Shock and Inspire

Recent history has gifted us some fairly incredible erotic literature, much of it very shocking as it touches on the taboo aspects of sexuality and the realms of human fantasy. The erotic writing of these classics is elegantly written while exploring taboo themes that at times are both repulsive and enticing as they take the reader through a beautiful and dangerous sexual realm.

The Story of O – Pauline Réage

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Published in 1954, this book was written by Anne Desclos under the pen name Pauline Réage, as a type of ongoing love letter to her lover Jean Paulhan, who was a fan of the Marquis de Sade. The book explores the themes of dominance and female submission in an Eyes Wide Shut-type of chateau where elite members enjoy sexual slaves.

Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin

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Artwork courtesy of Deadbunnyblues

Anaïs Nin wrote these 15 erotic stories during the 1940s though the collection wasn’t published until 1977. Her erotic writing explores a variety of sexual encounters and situations, described with a poetic sensuality that is unique to her style. The stories were commissioned by a client known only as “The Collector” who also commissioned other writers such as Henry Miller and George Barker to write erotic fiction for him.

The Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille

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Published in 1928 by French author Georges Bataille, this story is about a young couple who explore their sexuality in a variety of ways, including exhibitionism, orgies, and an infamous scenario involving hard boiled eggs inserted into sexual orifices. The couple develop a fascination with a mentally ill 16-year-old girl that ends tragically before they journey to Spain where they continue their debaucheries after meeting English aristocrat Lord Edmund.

Justine or The Misfortunes of Virtue – Marquis de Sade

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Published in 1791 and written by the infamous Marquis De Sade (Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade), this book is set during the French Revolution. A 26-year-old woman named Justine, also known as Therese, tells her story to Madame de Lorsagne on the way to receiving punishment and death for her crimes. She explains, in her own defense, the series of misfortunes that led to her current predicament. Her misfortunes include being made a sexual slave to monks and being used and tortured sexually by literally everyone she came across in her quest for virtue, from the age of 12 when she was orphaned.

Venus in Furs – Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

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Published in 1870, this is a novella by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The novel was inspired by Sacher-Masoch’s own life and the main character, Wanda von Dunajew, was based on the writer Fanny Pistor. This book explores male submission, female dominance, and sadomasochism as the story focuses on a man who is so infatuated with this woman that he asks to be her slave, begging her to treat him in degrading ways.

These classic novels explore eroticism in a dangerous and boundary breaking way that is as edgy now as it was on each of their release dates. This erotic writing style is the definition of timeless, influencing many modern writers while promising to continue its influence in the years to come.