Illuminating Supernatural Fiction, Horror, and the Gothic

from Mary Shelley to H. P. Lovecraft

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When H. G. Wells first published “The Invisible Man” in 1897, the title alone ensured its success. Invisibility fascinates, attracts, and terrifies. It’s allure rests in the ability to escape notice (and with it criticism, self-consciousness, and the power of the other...

The canon of science fiction follows a very direct descent. From Thomas More to Johannes Kepler, Francis Godwin, and Cyrano de Bergerac, thence to Swift, off to Mary Shelley, handed to Hoffmann, then on to Poe, who is followed by the first absolute master, Jules Verne....

H. G. Wells’ last truly great piece of short speculative fiction is probably the following tale. After World War One his writing became increasingly didactic, political, and preachy. Following his Darwinist instincts, he began advocating that mankind band together unde...

As with “The Stolen Body,” “The Inexperienced Ghost” (perhaps Wells’ most anthologized ghost story after “The Red Room” – with good reason, for it is a masterpiece of speculative fiction) is designed to caution anthropocentric hubris. Men plumb the seas, reach into the...

The Victorian Era was ostensibly one of confidence: confidence in queen and country, in God and duty, in science and virtue. But beneath the solid wainscoting crawled many rats. Wells, whose speculative fiction almost always had a social conscience hammering industriou...

H. G. Wells continues to be exulted as the grandsire of modern science fiction. Alongside Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe, he enjoys a very keen degree of respect in that genre. The pity is that he has not been nearly as well received by horror aficionados. Perhaps the...

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The Phantom of the Opera: Inspirations, Interpretations, and a Deep Analysis -- a Spooky Spotlight on Gaston Leroux's Gothic Novel

9 Jun 2019

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