Horror encyclopedia: My work is (almost) done

Horror_Literature_through_History_edited_by_Matt_Cardin

This week I finished the primary body of editorial work on Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears. It has been my all-consuming focus on this vast project that has kept The Teeming Brain mostly dormant for most of 2016. I just now counted and saw that I have published a mere twenty-five previous posts this year. Quite honestly, in the past twelve months I have become something of an editor monk, devoting myself single-mindedly to this project during every “extra” (ha ha) hour, and working the equivalent of two (or more) full-time jobs.

This week, I sent the book’s edited contents to the publisher, after having already engaged in much editorial collaborative back-and-forth with my project editor there in recent months. There’s still a lot of work left for me to do, of course, when the galleys are ready, but the bigger part of it — which at several points got so big and complex that I wondered how I would ever complete the danged thing — is now done.

That means I’m now able to share the rundown of the total two-volume behemoth (something I’ll doubtless do again when the book’s publication date grows near in 2017). Here are the basic specs:

The encyclopedia contains more than 400 entries written by seventy contributors (or seventy-one, if you count my direct hand in a couple of them) from seven different countries. It is organized as follows:

PART ONE: Horror Literature through History consists of eight essays presenting a comprehensive chronological overview of horror literature during different historical periods. These essays take the form of narrative and critical surveys that situate literary works within the social, cultural, historical, and intellectual currents of their respective eras, creating a seamless narrative of the genre’s evolution from ancient times to the present.

PART TWO: Themes, Genres, and Topics contains twenty-three essays that show how otherwise unrelated works of horror have influenced each other, how horror subgenres have evolved, and how a broad range of topics within horror—such as ghosts, vampires, religion, and gender roles—have been handled across time.

PART THREE: Reference Entries presents nearly 400 alphabetically arranged reference entries on authors, works, and specialized topics. It serves as both a source of stand-alone reference reading in its own right and, importantly, a supplement to the encyclopedia’s preceding sections. Most of the reference entries serve as, in effect, “close-ups” on information and concepts presented in the preceding two sections, allowing readers to understand specific authors, works, and topics within the wider context of horror literature’s evolutionary history and thematic universe. These reference entries are divided into three types:

  • Author entries focus on the authors’ influence upon, achievements within, and significance to the field of horror literature.
  • Works entries discuss the background, themes, and issues relevant to significant works of horror; analyze and evaluate their literary qualities; and indicate their place, significance, and influence in the field.
  • Topics entries focus on literary themes and motifs, technical terms, professional organizations and awards, specialized publications, and other items and issues relevant to the field of horror literature.

There are also 150 sidebars that offers additional illumination, including mini-discussions and mini-analyses of literary works, timelines, trivia, excerpts from primary texts (horror stories and essays), excerpts from reviews, and more.

There are also seven original interviews, conducted by me during the past two months, with the following contemporary authors (plus one editor):

  • Laird Barron
  • Ramsey Campbell
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Caitlín Kiernan
  • Joe Lansdale
  • Thomas Ligotti
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

The encyclopedia also features a master timeline of horror literature, a general bibliography of critical texts about the field, and a preface and introduction by me.

Here is the contributor list:

  • Abbott, Stacey
  • Ahmad, Aalya
  • Aldana Reyes, Xavier
  • Anderson, Melanie R.
  • Beal, Eleanor
  • Behrends, Steve
  • Bleiler, Richard
  • Bloom, Clive
  • Borwein, Naomi Simone
  • Brock, Jason V
  • Brown, Simon
  • Browning, John Edgar
  • Buckley, Chloé Germaine
  • Charléty, Elsa
  • Cisco, Michael
  • Crossen, Carys Elizabeth
  • Curtis, Stephen
  • Downey, Dara
  • Dziemianowicz, Stefan R.
  • Fisher, Benjamin
  • Foley, Matthew
  • Franck, Kaja
  • Gardner, Kelly
  • Gavin, Richard
  • Greenaway, Jon
  • Hodges, Bob
  • Hogle, Jerrold E.
  • Holte, James C.
  • Hoppenstand, Gary
  • Hughes, William
  • Jarvis, Timothy J.
  • Johnson, Brian
  • Joshi, S. T.
  • Kinane, Ian
  • Kremmel, Laura R.
  • Kröger, Lisa
  • Latham, Rob
  • Lee, Chun
  • Link, Miles
  • Luckhurst, Roger
  • Machin, James
  • Mariconda, Steven J.
  • Marshall, Helen
  • Martinez, Javier A.
  • Matharoo, Sean
  • McRobert, Neil
  • Moreland, Sean
  • Murray, William P.
  • Ní Fhlainn, Sorcha
  • O’Sullivan, Keith M C
  • Parker, Elizabeth
  • Perron, Bernard
  • Priest, Hannah
  • Punter, David
  • Ray, Jean-Charles
  • Roberts, Brittany
  • Rockhill, Jim
  • Rozier, Travis
  • Schweitzer, Darrell
  • Showers, Brian J.
  • Siefener, Michael
  • Stableford, Brian
  • Stewart, E. Kate
  • Terranova, Joel T.
  • Vincent, Bev
  • Wagner, Hank
  • Wegley, Mark
  • Weinstein, Lee
  • Wingfield, Jillian
  • Wisker, Gina

That’s all for now. Maybe I’ll get back to posting here more regularly. Maybe I’ll get back to editorial work on the first issue of Vastarien (something that’s really pressing right now). Maybe I’ll catch up on grading papers. Undoubtedly, I’ll breathe more easily.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD, GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES, and HORROR LITERATURE THROUGH HISTORY.

Posted on November 4, 2016, in Arts & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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