John Gaines

A History of Classic Science Fiction: A.E. Van Vogt and E.E. "Doc" Smith

The period of time from the late 1930s to the end of the 1950s is commonly known as the "Golden Age" of science fiction.  The Golden Age was noted for the volume of science fiction produced due to the large number of science fiction-oriented pulp magazines and the depth of the creative talent involved.  Many of the writers working in this period established concepts that would have a tremendous cultural impact on their readers.

A History of Science Fiction: Ray Bradbury & Arthur C. Clarke

Over the course of the twentieth century, many authors have emerged to define the popular perception of science fiction. These authors have created some of the most-read science fiction works and continue to have an enormous influence on the science fiction world to this day. It is the work of these authors that has made the genre into a more diverse and critically respected field.

A History of Classic Science Fiction: John Carter’s Mars and Flash Gordon’s Universe

The most famed and prolific area of science fiction is the planetary adventure, featuring strange environments, exotic alien races, and massive battle scenes. Many of the most popular science fiction universes, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar, take place in these environments. Most of these universes owe their existence to the adventure fiction of one author.

A History of Detective Stories: Current Trends

Detective fiction remains a major field in popular literature both for authors and readers.Many new trends and subgenres have emerged in literary detective fiction during the last twenty years, both redefining and broadening the genre.Some of the currently popular subgenres are historical fiction, fiction featuring minority characters, and detective fiction set outside of traditional locations.In fact, detective fiction has become such a diverse genre of literature that it appears to be splitting into several distinct genres, each with its own style and method of gripping readers’ attention.

A History of Detective Stories: Film Noir

One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself.

A History of Detective Stories: Film Noir

One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself. 

A History of Detective Stories: Asian Detectives

In the many literary magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, detective fiction was extremely popular, and numerous subgenres emerged. One of the most prolific was the Asian detective story, which was first popularized by Earl Derr Biggers through the Charlie Chan character. The portrayals of Asian characters in the various Asian detective stories have become a major source of controversy today, preventing the works from enduring the decades as readily as the earlier Holmes and Dupin stories.

A History of Detective Fiction: Literary Origins

Detective and crime-related stories are one of the most popular genres of fiction. In literary form, detective novels are so numerous that publishing companies devote entire labels to the genre and release hundreds of entries per year. Detective/crime-related narratives have become a major part of television programming, with networks basing their entire primetime schedule around crime-related series.

A History of Classic Monsters: The Zombies

Many theories have been proposed to explain the current, wide-reaching popularity of zombies. Do zombies represent our post 9/11 fear of a lack of a security? Are they a projection of an archaic survivalist instinct? Are they the embodiment of the individual’s alienation from family and society in an increasingly technological world?
Whatever the reason, popular interest in zombie plagues on the screen and in the pages of books is on the rise. Read on for a history of this classic monster.