My exploration into supernatural fiction will be a long and tedious endeavor. I hope to validate this genre, and hopefully have it taken more seriously than it has been treated in the past. I think it has more literary merit than people are willing to suggest. I will begin with my list of novels that I intend to read and research. This is a long list and reading them alone will take a couple years at least. Unless someone will pay me to do nothing but read novels. That would be fun, but I also have films and television to research.
As I have not read many of these novels, I’m not sure how supernatural the stories are. I am confident I have compiled a brilliant list, but I will know more after I have read them all. I am only listing the novels to save time. If you would like a synopsis, you can look them up yourself or wait until I finish reading them and post a review. My reviews will focus on my argument and will not be a general review of the work. You probably think me strange for actively reading and researching things for fun.
Here is my list of novels to read. The first on my list I have started reading and will acquire the others as I go.
- Beloved (1984) Toni Morrison
- IT (1989) Stephen King
- Ring (1991) Koji Suzuki, Glynn Walley
- Good Omens (1990) Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
- The Damnation Game (1985) Clive Barker
- Carrion Comfort (1989) Dan Simmons
- Heart-Shaped Box (2007) Joe Hill
- Hammers on Bone (2016) Cassandra Khaw
- Head Full of Ghosts (2015) Paul Tremblay
- Affinity (2002) Sarah Waters
- Crota (1998) Owl Goingback
- The Devil in Silver (2013) Victor LaValle
- The Fifth Child (1989) Doris Lessing
- Fledgling (2005) Octavia Butler
- Grotesque (2003) Natsuo Kirino
- Beautiful Creatures (2009) Kami Garcia
- Goosebumps (1992) R.L. Stine – Case Study
- The Strain (2009) Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan – Case Study
- Twilight (2005) Stephanie Meyer – Case Study
- Harry Potter (1997) J.K. Rowling – Case Study
This list is subject to change as I read through the novels. The last four on the list will be case studies in which I measure the impact these works have made on other media, such as; films, comics, and television. That’s a lot of reading and I’m nerdy enough to enjoy it. I researched the best supernatural novels within the last 30 to 35 years and this is my list. I think it’s a great list.
While I will not turn away suggestions, I will likely not change this list based on other’s suggestions. Any changes will be made after reading a novel and feeling it does not work well with my argument or if I think it’s terrible, but this list is supposed to be the best of the best and I can’t wait to read them all. Some I have already read. One exception to this list is the “Twilight” series. I’m only including it because of its popularity and, to be honest, I want to find out if the writing is as bad as people say. Regardless, this will be a fun adventure for me and I hope some of you join me.
I have realized I can handle many of life’s challenges when I have something to occupy my mind; a project on which to work. Often, I feel the need to work on multiple projects simultaneously as one does not keep my attention for long or I don’t believe I have the time to give something the attention it needs. Mostly, I get bored and start a new project that interests me. I have gotten better at returning to unfinished projects and completing them. If I had enough money to survive and could still work on my projects full-time, I believe I would be better at finishing things before they lose my interest.
But I digress. I have started a new project. At least I have started researching it. I feel the horror genre in general is not taken seriously by society’s majority. Both horror and science fiction are coming of age and it’s time for them to be taken more seriously by both creators and consumers of those creations. These genres often hold creations that are popular with the masses but are rarely considered by the scholars or academics as noteworthy of analysis. My argument is subjective, but I think it is time we saw more horror at the Academy Awards or Pulitzer Prize winners.
I want to offer some insight into the horror genre, specifically supernatural fiction. The horror genre is too large for analysis and even the sub-genre of supernatural fiction would take years to analyze. To help me narrow down some of my research I will only look at works created in the last 30 to 35 years with a couple of exceptions. I will look at television programs, films, novels, graphic novels (comics), music, and video games. Within each of these sections I will offer case studies of works that have transcended their original media and have expanded into various other media such as comics becoming films and television programs and vice versa.
Even with narrowing down my search parameters, this project will require a couple years of work before completion. My main argument is why this kind of fiction is important and should be taken seriously and what this kind of fiction actually does for those who consume it. I believe there is just as much value in supernatural fiction within psychology as well as entertainment. In the way comedy can help achieve catharsis so to can horror. This perhaps is why the two work so well together. Entertainment exists to help people find and achieve catharsis with life’s struggles.
I already have a list of works I will research so please don’t send suggestions. I like the list I have compiled, and I will make small changes as I go. I may even change my overall argument. For now, any support you can offer is greatly appreciated. You can offer financial support by wither purchasing one of my books on Amazon or donating to my Patreon page. You can also support by sharing my work with friends and liking and following on all the social medias. I appreciate any help anyone can offer.
You sit there, reading, minding your own business. To everyone else you look normal. They all think you’re a normal person having a coffee reading a book. Most of them don’t notice you. You blend into the crowd. You hide in plain sight. None of them could know what you think and feel, and you dare not tell anyone. You’re afraid it will scare them because it does scare you.
You sit, invisible to everyone; with your chest pounding, your thoughts racing, your hands shaking. You’re reacting to something. Something triggered you. Sometimes you know exactly why you were triggered. This is not one of those times. You don’t understand. You can’t explain it. You pick at your fingernails and cuticles. You twirl a pen or pencil in your fingers. You refill your coffee. Was it the coffee? Should you stop drinking coffee? The coffee didn’t bother you yesterday.
You survey the coffee shop. No one knows what’s happening to you. Even if they knew, they wouldn’t understand or care. Why should they care about you? They have their own problems. They’d think you were just some jackass craving attention. You know that’s what they’d think because that’s what you would think. But no one cares what you think just like no one cares what you’re feeling or what you’re doing. You’re the most insignificant person in existence.
You’ve pulled one of your cuticles too much and now you bleed. This distraction only works for a minute. Your thoughts stop racing, but your chest never stops pounding. You want to runaway but don’t know where. What you run from will follow you. How do you get away? Your thoughts are racing back, and your bloody finger doesn’t hurt anymore. You can’t even hurt yourself properly. There are never enough distractions.
You leave. You walk. You burn energy. It distracts you some and makes you tired. You need to feel tired. Keep running away until you’re tired; until your thoughts are tired.