How to Write Dark Fiction: Interview with Horror Author A.R. Braun

It’s not every day that we get to sit with a Dark Fiction Author with over 14 publications in the Hard Core Horror Genre. A.R. Braun methodically wears an impressive rack of ribbons on his chest with as an indie horror author, with publication credits in the following: “NREM Sleep” in the D.O.A. anthology; “Freaks” in Downstate Story magazine; “The Unwanted Visitors” in the Vermin anthology; “Coven” in the Heavy Metal Horror anthology; “Remember Me?” in Horror Bound magazine; and “Shades of Gray (the Symbiosis of Light and Dark)” in Micro Horror magazine; “Little Ghoul,” in the Mad Men Anthology.

The terms splatter punk and heavy metal horror only begin to describe A.R. Braun’s collection of creative phantasmic, demonic, terrorizing tales! With the upcoming releases scheduled for this Fall, we wanted to sit with A.R. Braun prior to his releases of Phantom World and The Oncoming Evil.

I try to write 2,100 words a day, that’s about a chapter for me. Then I have time allotted for editing. I try to invest in my whole day into writing.

A.R. Braun, Dark Fiction Author

Q: Let’s jump into this. Can you tell us a little about yourself, and how or why you came about writing?

A: I grew up in small towns in Illinois. In my early 20’s I moved to the city. In high school I had nothing to do but get into trouble. I ended up taking a class in which we had to read The Tell-Tale Heart. When I read The Tell-Tale Heart, it just blew me away, I got an adrenaline rush from it.

I fell in love with horror and soon purchased the Stephen King collection which was only about ten books at a time. I also used to read ‘Chillers magazines,’ with articles on horror movies and short stories by up-and-coming authors.

Q: Tell us about how you began writing, or how you knew you wanted to become a writer.

I started seriously writing at 2006. I would go to the library in the mornings before work. What got me started was Stephen King’s, On Writing; it really motivated me.

HorrorBook was first published at the age of 50, and it is a short story collection. This is most people’s favorite. But my favorite to write has been the novel, Only Women in Hell, because of the isolation that happens to the main character. She gets locked into a basement, serving as a dungeon, and nobody knew she was even there. It’s just scary to think about, that this this kind of stuff really goes on. It’s based on a real life story about a girl that was abducted by her father in Austria.

My first novel that I published, Only Women in Hell, was actually my 5th that I had written. I say that because I wrote some really evil stuff prior to that when I was heavy into Satanism. I was then getting into trouble online and took a break from the internet. After regaining my faith, I was soon published 10 times by 2009.

Q: Everyone wants to know, what are your writing habits and how have you written so many publications?

To begin with, I have my own writer rules. I usually have them written on the inside of whatever notebook I’m using. My Writer Rules would be to first, use the five senses, (2) show don’t tell, (3) draw a picture before you start to utilize both sides of the brain. (4) The biggest tip is to read; I like to read at night.

I try to write 2,100 words a day, that’s about a chapter for me. Then I have time allotted for editing. I try to invest in my whole day. And I do consider myself to be a pantser. Once I sit down to write, I get in the zone. I’m just kind of an overachiever, I get inspired.

Don’t believe the hype. I used to know this one writer that bragged about keeping dead people in his closet.

A.R. Braun, Dark Fiction Author

Q: How do you prepare for writing?

A: Well, I gotta be well rested. Coffee is another big one. But mostly if I am well rested, I can bang it out. I like to outline too. You know, I heard that Stephen King and Joe Hill don’t like to use outlines, even in their novels. I like to outline everything, even short stories.

Q: We know it’s hard to choose, but who are your favorite 5 favorite authors?

A: Ira Levin, Shirley Jackson, the 73′ to 83′ Stephen King, Early Dean Koontz, and Adam Nevill.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for characters? Are they based on real people or mostly made up?

A: A lot of times, I do base my characters on real people. I’m a firm believer that truth is stranger than fiction. I mean, Ted Bundy escaped from prison twice. He admitted to 200 murders… to the fact that he jumped off of a two-story courthouse without breaking a leg. You can’t make this stuff up!

The little girl in Little Ghoul; I was friends with this guy and he had this little daughter. We use the truth as much as possible. (Little Ghoul is included in the Mad Men anthology.)

The Oncoming Evil, is actually based on me. The only difference is that he’s a best seller (he says jokingly about himself.) The guy has a crisis of conscience, and as he is trying to get right, he runs into the evil has to fight; somebody else’s evil – its paranormal. That’s my favorite kind of fiction, the paranormal with witches, demons, and wolves. (The Oncoming Evil is a full length novel, scheduled to release on Halloween. Currently in review.)

And in 66SICK, in the plot, I was killing my ex wife in the story. Boy, she really didn’t like that (he replies chuckling).

It’s wishful thinking to be able to write something that will traumatize someone. You know, like the effect that The Exorcist had on people when it first came out, and in fact, still does today.

Q: From H.G. Wells – If you could travel to any point in time, where would you go?

A: I would probably go back to the 70’s and 80’s and live my life over so that I could be into better bands. I used to listen to some really junkie stuff.

Q: What are the worst and best parts of being an author?

A: The best parts would be working on that first draft. The worst part would be the trolls and constant editing. I just had a troll recently. It was a post about Edgar A. Poe… I said something about how he would of been 212 if he was still alive. And some troll jumped on the thread to say that he wouldn’t be 212, that he would be dead. So, I let that troll have it. I told him that he is a POS and that he still lives with his parents, which is why he likes to start trouble on the internet, he obviously has nothing better to do.

Q: We would like to know what are your thoughts on editing? Are you big on editing?

A: You can’t get enough eyes on it. I usually go through twelve times in the edits. Another important thing is the critique. It’s better to have close friends to do them that you can trust. I have had someone steal my idea before. I had submitted a copy for review/edit and it ended up being stolen.

Braun’s word of advice

Dark Fiction author, A.R. Braun
Dark Fiction author, A.R. Braun

Don’t believe the hype. I used to know this one writer that bragged about keeping dead people in his closet. Don’t keep dead people in your closet just to have something to write about. I have met writers that really kill people and I was like, why? “Research,” they would say.

Also, I would like to thank you, Willy and The Ritual Blog for taking the time to interview me. I really appreciate it and am always open to more interviews should any other publisher be interested.

“I’m just kind of an overachiever, I get inspired.”

A.R. Braun, Dark Fiction Author

A.R. Braun is a featured writer in our dark fiction anthology, “Mad Men” – a collection of three disturbing tales exploring what lies within man. Available now at Google BooksBarnes and NobleKoboApple iBooksSmashwords, and Amazon.

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Michael Jackson: Reading Made Him Famous

Hearing the recent news that the family of Michael Jackson has recently released a new track and is planning to release more unheard music this year, we thought it would be fitting to accompany this news with a conversation about what the great 34X platinum singer liked to read.

Michael Jackson

Though many people don’t automatically associate the King of Pop with being an “intellectual” man so much as a soulful one, he actually had quite an extensive collection of books. A frequenter of L.A. favorites like Book Soup and Skylight Books, Jackson reportedly cultivated a library of over 10,000 works.

In his home Neverland, he had a library full of 10,000 books on various subjects which he read constantly. This habit contributed to his great wealth of knowledge on various subjects. It is this vast knowledge that must have consciously or subconsciously contributed to and was manifested in his great musical work.

Part of his training that allowed him to gain knowledge, power, influence and wealth, and to rise above everyone else in his life, involved reading.

He would visit book stores and leave with hundreds of books at a go. Jackson would also constantly read books to his children.

“I love to read. I wish I could advise more people to read. There’s a whole new world in books. If you can’t afford to travel, you travel mentally through reading. You can see anything and go any place you want to in reading.” Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

The list below encompasses some of the Books Michael Jackson would call his favorites.

Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Jackson was said to have read this book several times. He also gave copies of it as presents to friends and associates to mentor and to encourage them in their lives and endeavours. Kobe Bryant shared that Jackson gave him a copy of the book.

The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Green

This bestseller has sold 1.2 million copies worldwide and is popular among prominent personalities such as Hollywood stars and global world leaders.

A Michael Jackson annotated copy of the book was sold in auction for $15000. (A normal copy of the book is $10)

If you are enjoying this pop culture article, check out some of our other pop literature at The Ritual blog thread here.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

A simple and straightforward book. Michael Jackson would often read this book when things in his life seemed to be chaotic or when he needed to remember to slow the pace of his life down. A classic book for all lovers of literature, indeed.

Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

A fan of the classics, he was an avid reader of Washington Irving and his mystical and fantastic tales.

The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Jackson who was a huge believer in the power of the mind read and recommended this book to associates. Particularly to Frank Cascio who had disclosed that he was dyslexic and did not like to read. He shares that after Jackson recommended this book, he read it and changed his mind about the subject of reading.

The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

Michael Jackson

This book was written after the author had interviewed the great revolutionaries of the time that included Henry Ford, J. P. Morgan, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller and Thomas Edison.

“We can fly, you know. We just don’t know how to think the right thoughts and levitate ourselves off the ground” – Michael Jackson

The Bible

Bodyguard Bill Whitfield has shared on numerous occasions in interviews that during the final years of Jackson’s life in which he was at his service, Jackson could constantly be seen reading the Bible.

If you are enjoying this pop culture article, check out some of our other pop literature at The Ritual blog thread here.

The Autobiography of P. T Barnum

According to biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, in the early ’80s, Jackson gave copies of this book to both his lawyer and manager and told them, “Make this your Bible. I want my life to be the greatest show on earth.”

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

One of his childhood favorites, Michael Jackson was known to reference this book often.

Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Michael Jackson

Doug’s brother, Dave, remembers getting a call in the late ’80s – early ’90s from an MJ minion, who requested that the shop be closed early so Jackson could privately shop. “We did close early,” Dave said. Then, “about a quarter to nine he showed up in a big van. Once you got over the initial caution because of those burly guys with him, he was very nice. He loved the poetry section,” Dave’s son Dirk asserts that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite author.

This explains why we can find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.

It turns out that Michael Jackson was a sort of Johnny Appleseed of reading, spreading books to all children. Former Los Angeles resident Cynde Moya remembers that “back when I worked at the Bookstar in Culver City, his people would have us keep the store open after hours, and he’d come in with a van load of kids, who could buy whatever books they wanted.”

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Drink Craft Beer with Hammer Horror Films

“I vant to drink your Craft Beer in your library.” Today’s pairing couples classic Hammer horror film history with Polish lager beer. A heavy beer for a heavy murder rate. I cant think of a film company that has killed as many victims on camera as Hammer films. This beer also kills it. Picked up a couple bottles when visiting chicago.

What’s your favorite classic monster horror film or craft beer?

“The Stand In” Book Review

I just listened to “The Stand In” audio book and I cannot say enough good things about this book!

I for one, am not usually into what some would call, “chick-lit,” but this book transcends all gender labels. It had me hooked from the first chapter with the protagonist, “Gracie,” feeling so real. Reading between the lines, I could feel the agony and despair that this character feels at first, simply going through the motions in life; entering work ever day, only to feel underappreciated, even harassed at times.

And sometimes life hits us as life hits Gracie in this book by having to deal with a mother whom needs constant care in a nursing home due to her Alzheimer’s. Anybody that works a day job can relate to this protagonist, and even come to root for her from the onset of her struggles presented in The Stand In.

The Stand In scores a 5 out of 5 Coffees

The pacing of The Stand In was prefect, ebbing and flowing up and down with the normal vicissitudes of life – the ups and downs we all experience. Gracie, the protagonist faces an ethical dilemma that torments her very being as certain scenarios get tougher. The only thing keeping her focused on her new job offer, is her mother’s health and well being. Perhaps that’s another reason why I relate to this book, because I too, believe that family is everything, and that making sacrifices for them is just what we do.

What we don’t usually do, though, is get presented with an opportunity to climb up the social ladder based on a fluke, or random chance in life. At least it hasn’t yet happened to me. And here is where we are asked as readers to stretch the fabric of reality just a tad bit. The American Hollywood pipedream where one wakes up in the morning as a famous movie star is what we are being sold. Yet, I bought it, and enjoyed the ride.

Not to mention, the plot twist at the end really wraps up the ending and character’s fates in a healthy culmination of different factors. I’ll admit, it does have a happy Hollywood type ending, but after all, two of the main characters in this fiction are indeed, famous movie stars, so I guess it’s only fitting.

As an audible original, the production quality was very impressive. The performance by Phillipa Soo was excellent, the plot twists were well paced, and the story idea itself was unique to me. Audible does a great job with this production. (No, I am not being paid for this spot, it’s my honest opinion.)

Synopsis of “The Stand In” by Lily Chu

Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly “friendly” boss, and, yes, she still hasn’t gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she’s healthy, she’s (somewhat) happy, and she’s (mostly) holding it all together.

But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema’s golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie’s world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive—and infuriating—man Gracie’s ever met. If you are enjoying this review on The Stand In by Lily Chu, check out some of our other Horror and Supernatural content on our blog thread here.

If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie’s in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined—especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end, all the lists in the world won’t be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself…and her heart.

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More Hot Summer Reads!

More Hot Summer Reads on audible, as we have ramped up our audio listenting this Summer while we do yard work, jog, and lay poolside!

Last month we shared our recommendations on Audio book for Audio book month and we received some pretty positive feedback. That being said, this month we decided to share a few more of our reads/listens from Audible. The books below were all good and recommended by us. From dark fiction, to young adult fiction, and also some non-fiction made the list this month. Our two top picks would have to be “Remote Control,” and “City of Death.” Which will you listen to first?

Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

Summer Reads include Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
Summer Reads include Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

The year is A.D. 922. A refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors who are journeying to the barbaric North. He is appalled by their Viking customs – the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness…their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But it is not until they reach the depths of the Northland that the courtier learns the horrifying and inescapable truth: he has been enlisted by these savage, inscrutable warriors to help combat a terror that plagues them – a monstrosity that emerges under cover of night to slaughter the Vikings and devour their flesh….

Eaters of the Dead was adapted to the screen as The 13th Warrior, starring Antonio Banderas.

If you are enjoying this article on Hot Summer Reads, we have bookstacks worth of Literature related content at the Ritual Blog.

City of Death by Ephraim Mattos: Hot Summer Reads

Summer Reads include City of Death by Ephraim Mattos
Summer Reads include City of Death by Ephraim Mattos

After leaving the US Navy SEAL teams in spring of 2017, Ephraim Mattos, age 24, flew to Iraq to join a small group of volunteer humanitarians known as the Free Burma Rangers, who were working on the front lines of the war on ISIS. Until being shot by ISIS on a suicidal rescue mission, Mattos witnessed unexplainable acts of courage and sacrifice by the Free Burma Rangers, who, while under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, assaulted across ISIS minefields, used themselves as human shields, and sprinted down ISIS-infested streets – all to retrieve wounded civilians.

In City of Death: Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul, Mattos recounts in vivid detail what he saw and felt while he and the other Free Burma Rangers evacuated the wounded, conducted rescue missions, and at times fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iraqi Army against ISIS. Filled with raw and emotional descriptions of what it’s like to come face-to-face with death, this is the harrowing and uplifting true story of a small group of men who risked everything to save the lives of the Iraqi people and who followed the credence, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. 

The Conception of Terror: Tales Inspired by M. R. James – Volume 1

An award-winning collection of four ghostly tales inspired by M. R. James.

Casting the Runes, adapted by Stephen Gallagher
—2019 New York Festivals Radio Award winner (Silver)

Summer Read include The Conception of Terror by M.R. James
Summer Read include The Conception of Terror by M.R. James

When academic Jo Harrington (Anna Maxwell Martin) is sent a paper—The Truth of Alchemy, by Anton Karswell—for peer review, she pulls no punches. Jo writes that the paper has no place in a serious academic publication and that Karswell is a half-bright fool. When the editor writes a rejection note to Karswell, he inadvertently includes Jo’s entire email. Occultist Karswell (Reece Shearsmith) doesn’t take kindly to criticism.

On the tube home with her partner Edward Dunning (Tom Burke), Jo spots a poster with her name on it. It reads: “In memory of Joanne Harrington, MLitt, PhD, died September eighteenth, three days were allowed.” Is there anything that Edward can do to save Jo from this curse?

Lost Hearts, adapted by A. K. Benedict

Teenager Stephanie Elliot (Rosa Coduri) is taken to Aswarby House to be fostered by Mrs. Bunch (Susan Jameson). Stephanie strikes up a friendship with Ben (Bill Milner), the adopted son of charismatic community leader Mr. Abney (Jeff Rawle). He tells her that Mr. Abney is a good man—he even took in a child refugee last year, but she stole from him and ran away. Stephanie is troubled by voices and visions of a dead girl clutching at her chest, and when Ben disappears she begins to suspect that all is not right in Aswarby House.

The Treasure of Abbot-Thomas, adapted by Jonathan Barnes

When former Somerton school pupil Greg Parsbury (Robert Bathurst) meets history teacher Mika Chantry (Pearl Mackie) at a memorial service for schoolmaster Sam Abbot-Thomas, he begs for her help. Greg has been sent a postcard by the estate of the mysterious and charismatic Abbot-Thomas. On it is a strange inscription in Latin, which he believes to be an inaugural clue in a treasure hunt much like the elaborate treasure hunts Abbot-Thomas used to set back in the 1970s. There were rumors that Abbot-Thomas possessed a hidden fortune, and Parsbury and Chantry set out to find it.

A View from a Hill, adapted by Mark Morris
—2019 New York Festivals Radio Award winner (Gold)

Comedian and podcaster Paul Fanshawe (Andy Nyman) and his wife, Sarah (Alice Lowe), visit the Cotswolds on holiday, trying to rebuild their lives after the death of their young son, Archie. While out walking, they spot a beautiful abbey across the valley on Gallows Hill, but when they reach it, they find the building is little more than rubble. While Sarah explores, Paul records commentary for his podcast. Sarah thinks she hears children’s laughter, but there’s no one there. Later that night, she listens to the recording and hears a child’s voice whisper, “Mummy.” Sarah is convinced that Archie is trying to reach them and wants to return to the ruins. But something far worse is waiting for them on Gallows Hill.

If you are enjoying this article on Hot Summer Reads, we have bookstacks worth of Literature related content at the Ritual Blog.

What The Hex by Alexis Daria

Summer Reads include What the Hex by Alexis Daria
Summer Reads include What the Hex by Alexis Daria

When Catalina Cartagena returns home for her older sister’s wedding, she’s shocked to discover that her soon-to-be brother-in-law is possessed by a demon. To make matters worse, everyone else seems to be under the demon’s spell—except for Diego Paz, younger brother of the groom and Cat’s childhood rival.

With only three days until the wedding, Cat must join forces with her sexy nemesis to break the spell and defeat the demon. If they fail, demonic forces will control two of the most powerful witch families on Isla Bruja.

There’s only one bed at the magical B&B, and it’s time for these witches to get wicked…in more ways than one.

The Republic of Pirates by Collin Woodard:Hot Summer Reads

Summer Reads include The Republic of Pirates by Collin Woodard
Summer Reads include The Republic of Pirates by Collin Woodard

In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this “Flying Gang” established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires, and for a brief, glorious period the Republic was a success.


If you enjoyed this article, we have bookstacks worth of Literature related content at the Ritual Blog.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

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The 10 Greek Orators From Athens

The 10 Greek orators from Athens were said to have been the most influential orators of ancient Greece during the 5th and 4th century BCE by Aristophanes of Byzantium.  These writers of judicial history are what follow after the great literature of legends such as the Iliad or Homer.  They are labeled as the Attic orators because of their regional locale and births; the state of Attica in Greece, in which Athens is located.  Many of these orators worked as logographers (speech writers), teachers and some were said to have written their own treatise on rhetoric.  The ten orators are: Antiphon; Andocides; Lysias; Isocrates; Isaeus; Demosthenes; Aeschines; Lycurgus; Hyperides and Dinarchus (Edwards). 

The 10 Greek Orators From Athens
On Orators: Photo from the Iliad

Understanding that Aristophanes wrote the histories about these  “Alexandrian Ten”, is what leads modern historians to call it that because the group came about during the reign of Alexander.  The work of the Attic orators inspired the later rhetorical movement of Atticism, an approach to speech composition emphasizing a simple rather than ornate style because they were against the “excess of Hellenestic Prose style” (Kennedy 330). 

When Dionysius of Halicarnissus introduces his work On the Ancient Orators, he mentions six out of the ten “Alexandrian” orators, three of which will be studied specifically here: Lysias, Demosthenes and Aeschines.  Although Dionysius does not agree with the grouping, Quintilian and Plutarch follow in the tradition of the Ten.

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The Greek Era of the Attic Orators

The 10 Greek Orators From Athens
Orators: Demosthenes Practicing his Craft with pebble in his mouth

During the Greek era where the “canon of ten” was dubbed, there were no differences between political and judicial oratory in the courts. The ecclesia was the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens during its Golden Age (480–404 BCE. The assembly was responsible for declaring war, military strategy and electing magistrates.  Classical Athenian courts are said to have numbered up to 500 members for the average jury, and there was no specialized training required to be a juror.  This being said, the jury was thus more easily persuaded by emotional appeals (Edwards 4). 

Every citizen had the right to bring a wrongdoer to justice publicly by means of a public suit.  These different cases were assigned to the magistrate which acted similar to the way a judge would act today; they set abide by city laws to suggest fines and punishments.  The “idealist claim” that a decision of major importance -such as going to war, or choosing magistrate – would have to meet a quorum of 6,000 men for issues dealing with the “political core”.  But the everyday criminal case was much smaller, reflecting the average of 500 noted above in the work of Edwards.  

Greek Women in Ancient Greece

The 10 Greek Orators From Athens
Homer wrote about the Greek Orators

The living Greek women during the fifth and fourth centuries were not always respected and honored as they once were during the era of the Iliad, we learn that “during the age of Pericles and later, [women] were regarded and treated as altogether inferior beings, incapable of asserting themselves or of exerting any influence for good in the home” states Charles Savage in his Dissertation “The Athenian Family: A Sociological and Legal Study” (22).  It is unfortunate to report this backwards trend in knowledge, but it is necessary to understand who was accepted and not accepted at court and who rhetoric was taught to. 

Savage notes that nowhere in the works of Greek authors are there references to educational facilities for women.  Women were thus only allowed to attend court if they were needed as a witness or in support of the litigant’s weakness.  As far as living situations go, we also know that the men and women slept in different quarters.  A testament to this occurs in Lysias first speech (On Killing Eratosthenes) in which the litigants claimed to be oblivious to his cheating wife because she slept in the downstairs quarter with their child (Savage 30).  Women at this time were not even considered full citizens. 

If you are enjoying this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here.
The 10 Greek Orators From Athens
The Orators were famous for their philosophal and legal debates.

Only adult males were “empowered to make decisions in the assembly”  after having served at least 2 years in the military, and therefore the orations would be aimed at addressing “ideas about manhood”, contributes author, Joseph Roisman in The Rhetoric of Manhood (1).  And this ideology of manhood was built from their moral ideologies and opposing contexts for the differences between a good and a bad man.  The good Athenian is a positive leader, courageous in war, competitive, as well as helpful to friends.  The bad Athenian is of course the opposites of these. 

The Greek word for instilling discipline and self-control is “Sophrosyne” (7,8).  Self-control and moderation was a virtue that all Athenian praised and strived for.  A Greek remained a boy until about the age of fourteen.  He would be considered a youngster until he was twenty-one.  As a young man, he was expected to join the military until he reached adulthood around thirty (11).  After his service to the country, he was allowed to attend courts and argue for positions within the Senate. 

If you liked this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here.

The probable process for hiring a logographer would of course begin with a consultation.  The speech would then be written by the speech writer.  The writer would create an argument dressed in appeals and rhetorical devices.  The client would then attempt to learn the speech if possible.  Memory was a prized art during this era so it was not uncommon.  The litigant would also “be supplied by his speechwriter with various commonplace please, contrasting his own inexperience, and retiring character with perverted cleverness” to win over the jury (Usher 32). 

During Athenian court, there were two presentations, one for each side.  No litigant or plaintiff was allowed to speak during the other’s speech and as a “way of monitoring the time, a water-clock would drip until it ran out” (Wolff 98).  Any evidence was interjected into the performance as well as the questioning of witnesses.  Immediately after the case, the jury voted (Wolff 98).  The typical speech arrangement was said to follow the following four part division:

  1. introduction/proem
  2. narrative/diegesis
  3. proof/pisits
  4. conclusion/epilogos

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Afghanistan Literature: Memoirs, Poetry, Non-Fiction and Fiction

With the media attention being on Afghanistan’s situation, we can’t help but feel worried for the future of the people of Afghanistan. Literature helps us learn empathy; empathy for other human beings living in remote areas of the world under strict, horrifying conditions that we as readers, only dare read about in books. We know that books can only do so much, but as bibliophiles, trying to understand the struggles that these Afghanistan people go through, is the least we can do.

While many are familiar with “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” and “The Kite Runner,” there are many other books worth mentioning that share the culture via Afghanistan’s Literature. Below, we have listed some books, from poetry, to fiction to non-fiction, to memoirs. We hope to shed some light and empathy during their struggles.

Fiction – Afghanistan Literature

Born Under a Million Shadows by Andrea Busfield

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

Andrea Busfield is a British journalist who traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 to report on the decline of the Taliban. During her many trips there, she met children who earned for their families by catering to tourists in profusely creative ways. One of these children, Fawad, was the mischievous but charming devil after whom she named the protagonist of Born Under A Million Shadows.

Through Fawad’s vibrant vision, Busfield transports us to a country that lives in perpetual fear of an apparently dismantled organization, and yet rises above the gloom to somehow keep its humanity thriving.

A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan byNelofer Pazila

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

As a young girl growing up in 1970s Afghanistan, Nelofer Pazira seems destined for a bright future. The daughter of liberal-minded professionals, she enjoys a safe, loving and privileged life. Some of her early memories include convivial family picnics and New Years’ celebrations overlooking the thousands of red flowers that carpet the hills of Mazar. But Nelofer’s world is shattered when she is just five and her father is imprisoned for refusing to support the communist party. This episode plants a “seed of anger” in her, which is given plenty of opportunity to grow as the years unfold.

A Bed of Red Flowersis a gripping, heart-rending story about a country caught in a struggle of the superpowers – and of the real people behind the politics. Universally acclaimed for its astute insights and extraordinary humanity, Pazira’s memoir won the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize for 2005.The Winnipeg Free Press writes: “Powerfully written, A Bed of Red Flowers is a rare account of a misunderstood country and its intrepid people, trying to live ordinary lives under extraordinary circumstances.” The Gazette (Montreal) describes the book as “an outpouring of passionate non-fiction that captivates like the tales of Sheherazade.… It’s a remarkable journey. An inspiring read.”

Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

At fewer than 70 pages, Atiq Rahimi’s book charts a story of great magnitude on a small canvas. The author is an Afghan exile living in Paris, and this intricate first fable of his was thunderously received in France. It tells the story of Dastaguir and his grandson, the only survivors of a vicious Soviet attack on their village, and their subsequent journey in search of the boy’s father.

If you are enjoying this list on Afghanistan Literature, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.

Although the book was criticized for being unidiomatic and too detached, its film adaptation, directed by the author himself, was the recipient of numerous accolades, including an award at Cannes.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled.

One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

Above Us the Milky Way by Fowzia Karimi

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

Above Us the Milky Way is a story about war, immigration, and the remarkable human capacity to create beauty out of horror. As a young family attempts to reconstruct their lives in a new and peaceful country, they are daily drawn back to the first land through remembrance and longing, by news of the continued suffering and loss of loved ones, and by the war dead, who have immigrated and reside with them, haunting their days and illuminating the small joys and wonders offered them by the new land.

The novel’s structure is built around the alphabet, twenty-six pieces written in the first person that sketch a through-line of memory for the lives of the five daughters, mother, and father. Ghost stories and fairytales are woven with old family photographs and medieval-style watercolor illuminations to create an origin story of loss and remembrance.

Non-Fiction – Afghanistan Literature

Dancing in the Mosque by Homeira Qaderi 

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son, Siawash, the road to the hospital in Kabul would often be barricaded because of the frequent suicide explosions. With the city and the military on edge, it was not uncommon for an armed soldier to point his gun at the pregnant woman’s bulging stomach, terrified that she was hiding a bomb. Frightened and in pain, she was once forced to make her way on foot. Propelled by the love she held for her soon-to-be-born child, Homeira walked through blood and wreckage to reach the hospital doors. But the joy of her beautiful son’s birth was soon overshadowed by other dangers that would threaten her life.

No ordinary Afghan woman, Homeira refused to cower under the strictures of a misogynistic social order. Defying the law, she risked her freedom to teach children reading and writing and fought for women’s rights in her theocratic and patriarchal society.

Devastating in its power, Dancing in the Mosque is a mother’s searing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. In telling her story–and that of Afghan women–Homeira challenges you to reconsider the meaning of motherhood, sacrifice, and survival. Her story asks you to consider the lengths you would go to protect yourself, your family, and your dignity.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl.

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.

If you are enjoying this list on Afghanistan Literature, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.

At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.

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Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse: The True Story of a Woman Who Risked Everything to Bring Hope to Afghanistan by Suraya SadeedDamien Lewis

From her first humanitarian visit to Afghanistan in 1994, Suraya Sadeed has been personally delivering relief and hope to Afghan orphans and refugees, to women and girls in inhuman situations deemed too dangerous for other aid workers or for journalists. Her memoir of these missions, “Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse,” is as unconventional as the woman who has lived it. This is no humanitarian missive; it is an adventure story with heart.

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

To help the Afghan people, Suraya has flown in a helicopter piloted by a man who was stoned beyond reason. She has traveled through mountain passes on horseback alongside mules, teenage militiamen, and Afghan leaders. She has stared defiantly into the eyes of members of the Taliban and of the Mujahideen who were determined to slow or stop her. She has hidden and carried $100,000 in aid, strapped to her stomach, into ruined villages. She has built clinics. She has created secret schools for Afghan girls. She has dedicated the second half of her life to the education and welfare of Afghan women and children, founding the organization Help the Afghan Children (HTAC) to fund her efforts.

Suraya was born the daughter of the governor of Kabul amid grand walls, beautiful gardens, and peace. In the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, she fled to the United States with her husband, their young daughter, their I-94 papers, and little else. In America, she became the workaholic owner of a prosperous real estate company, enjoying all the worldly comforts anyone could want, but when a personal tragedy struck in the early 1990s, Suraya seriously questioned how she was living and soon sharply changed the direction of her life.

The Favored Daughter by Fawzia Koofi

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father and brother, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker.

Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip-letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and for all the women of Afghanistan. Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.

A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice by Malalai Joya

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

Malalai Joya was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010. An extraordinary young woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan, Joya became a teacher in secret girls’ schools, hiding her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn’t find them; she helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah; and at a constitutional assembly in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003, she stood up and denounced her country’s powerful NATO-backed warlords. She was twenty-five years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan’s new Parliament.

If you are enjoying this list on Afghanistan Literature, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.

Joya takes us inside this massively important and insufficiently understood country, shows us the desperate day-to-day situations its remarkable people face at every turn, and recounts some of the many acts of rebellion that are helping to change it. A controversial political figure in one of the most dangerous places on earth, Malalai Joya is a hero for our times.

Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan by Tamim Ansary

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

Today, most Westerners still see the war in Afghanistan as a contest between democracy and Islamist fanaticism. That war is real; but it sits atop an older struggle, between Kabul and the countryside, between order and chaos, between a modernist impulse to join the world and the pull of an older Afghanistan: a tribal universe of village republics permeated by Islam.


Now, Tamim Ansary draws on his Afghan background, Muslim roots, and Western and Afghan sources to explain history from the inside out, and to illuminate the long, internal struggle that the outside world has never fully understood. It is the story of a nation struggling to take form, a nation undermined by its own demons while, every 40 to 60 years, a great power crashes in and disrupts whatever progress has been made.

Poetry – Afghanistan Literature

Load Poems Like Guns translated by Farzana Marie

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

Load Poems Like Guns is an important book. It gives an eloquent and wrenching witness to voices from another place and another poetry: voices with a unique mix of formal power and personal pain. Eight Afghan women poets are eloquently translated here by Farzana Marie, including the tragic and luminously gifted Nadia Anjuman.

This is a bilingual edition; the English and Dari are side by side, allowing us a glimpse of the mysterious and profound Persian poetic tradition. This is a book every poet and every reader of poetry should seek out. It amplifies our understanding. It broadens our sense of the identity of the poet. Above all, it makes available a rich and troubling narrative we need to hear.

A groundbreaking collection of poetry by eight contemporary Afghan women poets in English translation en face with the original Persian Dari text. These poets live in Herat, the ancient epicenter of literature and the arts.

Frazana Marie is a Ph.D. candidate in Middle Eastern literature at the University of Arizona. She served as an active duty officer for over six years including two years of deployed service in Afghanistan. She is president of Civil Vision International, a nonprofit focusing on influencing international relationships.

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Memoir – Afghanistan Literature

Opium Nation by Fariba Nawa

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

Afghan-American journalist Fariba Nawa delivers a revealing and deeply personal explorationof Afghanistan and the drug trade which rules the country, from corruptofficials to warlords and child brides and beyond. KhaledHosseini, author of The Kite Runner and AThousand Splendid Suns calls Opium Nation “an insightful andinformative look at the global challenge of Afghan drug trade.

Fariba Nawa weaves her personalstory of reconnecting with her homeland after 9/11 with a very engagingnarrative that chronicles Afghanistan’s dangerous descent into opiumtrafficking…and most revealingly, how the drug trade has damaged the lives ofordinary Afghan people.” Readers of Gayle Lemmon Tzemach’sThe Dressmaker of Khair Khanaand Rory Stewart’s The Places Between will find Nawa’spersonal, piercing, journalistic tale to be an indispensable addition to thecultural criticism covering this dire global crisis.

Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

The moving, inspiring memoir of one of the great women of our times, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for the oppressed, whose spirit has remained strong in the face of political persecution and despite the challenges she has faced raising a family while pursuing her work.


Best known in this country as the lawyer working tirelessly on behalf of Canadian photojournalist, Zara Kazemi – raped, tortured and murdered in Iran – Dr. Ebadi offers us a vivid picture of the struggles of one woman against the system.

The book movingly chronicles her childhood in a loving, untraditional family, her upbringing before the Revolution in 1979 that toppled the Shah, her marriage and her religious faith, as well as her life as a mother and lawyer battling an oppressive regime in the courts while bringing up her girls at home.

She has been arrested and been the target of assassination, but through it all has spoken out with quiet bravery on behalf of the victims of injustice and discrimination and become a powerful voice for change, almost universally embraced as a hero. If you are enjoying this list on Afghanistan Literature, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.


Her memoir is a gripping story – a must-read for anyone interested in Zara Kazemi’s case, in the life of a remarkable woman, or in understandingthe political and religious upheaval in our world.

My Life With the Taliban by Abdul Salam Zaeef

Afghanistan Literature
Afghanistan Literature

This book, authored by a founder of the Taliban, is a vividly informative work that offers a first-hand analysis of the ideological underpinnings of the sinister organization and a fascinating account of the author’s remarkable life. The Afghan ambassador to Pakistan in 2000, Zaeef was detained by American forces in 2001 and held at Guantanamo Bay for four years. He was a life-long moderate and was very active even after his release from the detainment camp, playing a significant role in secret peace talks between the Zardari government and the Taliban leaders.

However, in compiling My Life with the Taliban and detailing life at Guantanamo Bay, Zaeef leaves out crucial aspects – like a record of the organization’s own atrocities or the solution to the ‘Taliban problem’. As Nick Meo writes in The Telegraph, ‘This is a book that should be read by anybody with an interest in why Afghanistan has gone so badly wrong, even if it doesn’t say how to put it right.’

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The Fantastic Genre: The Best Fiction

It’s the uncertainty of the fantastic genre that draws me in. It’s the journey rather than the result itself; take me beyond the threshold.

Fantastic Genre
Fantastic Genre – (ART) THE HYPERSPACE COLORS OF PAUL LEHR

Borrowing from the European Gothic tradition, the American Renaissance morphs the gothic into a uniquely American form. In this blog, I will shine a light on the ‘fantastic’ genre, in hopes of uncovering the feelings or misperceptions we may have about the ‘dark side,’ or the obscure. 

As I sat there thinking about what genre of fiction most intrigues me, I noticed the pending cloud storm heading my way, looming over the close horizon.  I honestly don’t recall when I first began to succumb to the doom and gloom prescribed to horror.  In Highschool I was a fan of science fiction and nonfiction.  I would read Kurt Vonnegut, Hawthorne, books about relativity or about scientific theories about neutrinos in solar dispersion or other quirky components of our solar system.  Horror wasn’t a thing for me. Even when I began college I was engrossed by the literate and the science fiction.  Yeah, I studied English and writing, but horror wasn’t a dark spot yet. 

The thunderous calamity continued to engross on my area, yet no storm. 

I was uncertain about what it was that drew me to horror or dark fiction.  And then it hit me; it’s that very uncertainty that draws me in.  It’s the journey rather than the result itself, the anticipation or feeling I get when uncovering something.

Were you aware that the birth of the US nation incidentally coincided with the rise of fantastic fiction on the literary scene?  Some main stream examples of this type of literature begin in the 1800’s.  Authors such as Washington Irving, Edgar Allan poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Sarah Orne Jewett, Ambrose Bierce, Jenry James, and even H.P. Lovecraft in the 1900’s.

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So what is the fantastic?

Fantastic Genre
The Fantastic Genre was outlined by Bulgarin Linguistic, Tzvetan Todorov.

First, the text must oblige the reader to consider the world of the characters as a world of living persons and to hesitate between a natural and supernatural explanation of the events described.  Second, this hesitation may also be experienced by a character; thus the reader’s role is tso to speak entrusted to a character, and at the same time the hesitation is represented, it becomes one of the themes of the work.  Third, the reader must adopt a certain attitude with regard to the text: he will reject allegorical as well as “poertic” interpretations.  The first and the third actually constitute the genre; the second may not be fulfilled. (Todorov

Ultimately, what we are looking for is not the supernatural or only the instances in which the traditional gothic tropes are challenged.  As Todorov writes, “we might indeed characterize such events as supernatural, but the supernatural, though a literary category, is not relevant here. We want to find the crux – not between real and the supernatural, but in which ‘the hesitation occurs between the real and the imaginary” (Todorov).

The Magic of the Fantastic Genre is the uncertainty. 

It isn’t the uncovering of the mystery, the end of the long hallway, leading you to the obscure figure which turns out to be the deranged ex wife of a wealthy man (Jane Eyre).  The marvel is in the journey.  It’s the constant feeling of existing between this world and another, not being able to stay afoot in either one.  The second you set both feet in one world you have reached a mainstream genre; thriller, mystery, horror, humorous.  There is no punchline but to feel that thought unravelling in your head, only to be turned over to repeat itself.

The Fantastic Genre

“The fantastic, we see, lasts only as long as a certain hesitation: a hesitation common to reader and character, who must decide whether or not what they perceive derives from ‘reality’ as it exists in the common opinion. […] If he decides that the laws of reality remain intact and permit an explanation of the phenomena described, we say that the work belongs to another genre: the uncanny. If, on the contrary, he decides that new laws of nature must be entertained to account for the phenomena, we enter the genre of the marvelous.” — Tzvetan Todorov

The storm never came, the clouds continue to engross my position -leaving me with that ambivalent feeling.  Yet, I find solace in this uncertainty, and I hope you too, will enjoy being on edge.  

How Reading more Fantastic Genre Will Make You a Better Reader

Fantastic Genre
The Fantastic Genre
  • It will improve your imagination
  • It will make you more American
  • You can be original
  • It blends between two worlds – It’s not quite terror and it’s not quite fantasy
  • It’s almost like being supernatural but not quite there so you can still say it’s realism
  • The feeling will linger even after you finish the story since it doesn’t conclude or uncover any mysteries, monsters or close chapter like other genres do

Modern Writers in the sub genre of the fantastic Genre Would Be:

Fantastic Genre
The Fantastic Genre
  • Neil Gaiman
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Ralph Adams
  • Jonathan Carroll
  • Peter Straub’s “Little Red”
  • Stephen king’s “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet
  • Melanie and Steve Rasnis Tem’s “The Man on the Ceiling”
  • Dan Chaon’s “The Bees”
  • Brian Evensons’ “Body”

You can download many fantastic genre stories printed prior to 1923 on Gutenberg.

If you like this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

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