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Flame Tree Fiction

Origins of Gothic Fantasy: Science Fiction

Posted by Matt Knight

Rounding off our mini-series on Gothic Fantasy Origins, today we take a closer look at Science Fiction.

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Topics: frankenstein, Gothic Fantasy, sf and fantasy, H.G. Wells

Origins of Gothic Fantasy: Gothic Horror Stories

Posted by Matt Knight

In our first blog of a new mini series, we take a look at the first gothic horror stories. We'll cover the origins, influences, and most significant figures in the genre, casting light into one of the darkest fiction genres out there.

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Topics: frankenstein, Gothic Fantasy, gothic horror, Bram Stoker, Matthew Lewis

Horror Classic: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Posted by Laura Bulbeck
Mary Shelley’s (1787–1851) Frankenstein is an interesting work of horror fiction to consider. It independently stands as a classic of Gothic horror fiction with its roots deeply within the Romantic movement, which has for the last two hundr ed y ears captured the minds of many. At the same time, the popular culture perception of Frankenstein is as a large, lumbering monster which, while not terrorizing the countryside, has zany adventures with Dracula, Wolf-Man and Abbot and Costello. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that was probably not what Mary Shelley had in mind when she questioned what it exactly means to be human in her original work.

Mary Shelley’s Creature

The original Creature is never described in great detail in the novel. The most we are told is that he is large and, in some way, hideous. Horror is at its best when the threat, when the feared thing, is enigmatic. What exists in our minds will always be something more than could ever be clearly described on the page. This is also true because the creature transforms throughout the book. Not physically, of course, but in how we view him. Perhaps we see him first as a sympathetic creature, shunned from society due to his ugliness. We might even sympathize further, as we see a character whose inner value is hidden under a rough exterior. As the creature turns towards evil, towards murdering those who Victor Frankenstein loves, our view of him turns to a dark avenger. Whether a terrifying figure who haunts, or a disgusting creature whose face is darkened by flashes of lightning, what it actually might look like is informed by how we view and comprehend it.

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Topics: frankenstein, Zombies, sf fiction

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