This book comprises a collection of articles devoted to the academic study of popular texts in English. Authors analyse genres which had been habitually looked down on by canonical approaches to literature and art. They take into serious consideration forms like horror literature, the gothic, fantasy, de-tective fiction, science fiction, best-sellers, films and television series of different kinds… among some other representations of what conservative scholars had been considering as marginal. The referential richness of the perspectives reflected here demonstrates that popular texts can be enjoyable for readers and audiences, at the same time that they can be significant in order to reach a better understanding of our culture and ourselves at the beginning of a new millennium.
No ordinary critic, Norman Spinrad explicates, celebrates, and sometimes excoriates science fiction from the privileged perspective of an artist armed with intimate knowledge of the craft of fiction and even of the writers themselves.
In these 13 essays, Spinrad urges science fiction as a genre to reach its potential. He divides the essays—new works written specifically for this book combined with those that appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine—into five sections: “Literature and Genre: A Critical Overview,” in which Spinrad establishes his critical standards; “Alternate Media: Visual Translations,” a discussion of comic books and books made into movies; “Modes of Content: Hard SF, Cyberpunk, and the Space Visionaries”; “Psychopolitics and Science Fiction: Heroes—True and Otherwise”; and “Masters of the Form: Careers in Profile,” discussions of Sturgeon, Vonnegut, Ballard, and Dick.
Although C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) achieved a level of popularity as a fiction writer, literary scholars have tended to view him as a minor figure working in an insignificant genre – science fiction – or have pigeon-holed him as a Christian apologist and moralist. In C. S. Lewis in Context, Doris T. Myers places his work in the literary milieu of his times and the public context of language rather than in the private realm of personal habits or relationships. A central debate early in the twentieth century concerned the nature of language: was it primarily objective and empirical, as Charles K. Ogden and Ivor A. Richards argued in The Meaning of Meaning, or essentially metaphorical and impressionistic, the approach of Owen Barfield in Poetic Diction? Lewis espoused the latter theory and integrated it into the purpose and style of his fiction. Myers therefore argues that he was not “out of touch with his time,” as some critics claim, but a twentieth-century literary figure engaged in the issues of his day. By approaching Lewis’s fiction through the linguistic controversies of his day, Myers not only develops a new framework within which to evaluate his works, but also clarifies his literary contributions. This valuable study will appeal to literary and linguistic scholars as well as to general enthusiasts of Lewis’s fiction
What accounts for the massive global popularity of action films and adventure literature? How do men and women respond to iconic screen stars such as Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve McQueen, and Charlton Heston? Action genres have been Hollywood’s most profitable global exports for most of its history, their male heroes the subject of much fascination and derision. Bestselling literary thrillers, from The Hunt for Red October to Into Thin Air , have also contributed markedly to popular understandings of male activity. Action Figures takes stock of action narratives’ many appeals and recognizes how contemporary crises of gender identity manifest themselves in popular commercial texts.
Cooney’s large body of work for adolescents defies easy classification. She has written award-winning adventure, suspense, romance, family, mystery, and historical fiction, as well as action-driven horror stories and a time-travel trilogy. Her purpose in some books, most notably horror like The Perfume, is just to encourage reluctant readers to enjoy literature. However, in her most serious and artistic books, Cooney relies on a source that is likely to surprise her readers: biblical stories and parables. For example, readers can find the seed of the idea that eventually became Whatever Happened to Janie in the story of King Solomon’s wisdom when he was asked to decide which of two women, both of whom claimed to be mother of an infant, should be recognized as the true mother. The parable of the Good Samaritan provides a backdrop in several of Cooney’s most successful novels. Cooney’s understated use of biblical stories, and the way her Christian faith subtly informs her fiction, are explored in the book. The organization of the text reflects Cooney’s major fiction categories: the “Janie” mysteries, romances, catastrophe novels, horror and suspense novels, the time travel trilogy, and her historical fiction. Representative books are discussed in detail within each chapter. Although most of the text is devoted to critical analysis of her literary work, and of the intersection of fiction and faith in her novels, Cooney’s biography is also presented within the frame of her life as a single mother of grown children. The influences of her talents as an organist who played regularly for her church, the lessons she has learned from her children when they were teenagers, and life experiences that have led her to consider issues of race and gender, are examples of issues that are discussed. For children’s and YA libraries and students of children’s literature.
A MAJOR SEVEN-PART BBC TV SERIES. OVER 1 MILLION COPIES SOLD
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me …
The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
Born in 1894, Facey lived the rough frontier life of a sheep farmer, survived the gore of Gallipoli, raised a family through the Depression and spent sixty years with his beloved wife, Evelyn. Despite enduring hardships we can barely imagine today, Facey always saw his life as a ‘fortunate’ one.
A true classic of Australian literature, his simply written autobiography is an inspiration. It is the story of a life lived to the full – the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man.
Over 800,000 copies sold
Now in it’s 97th reprint
In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub-Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.
Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.
Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights – or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.