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Disorders of Magnitude

A Survey of Dark Fantasy

Jason V Brock

Over the past century or more, the genres of fantasy, horror, and supernatural fiction have increasingly expanded beyond literature and into an array of media—film, television, comic books, and art. Many of the leading figures in the field engage in multimedia enterprises that allow their work to reach a much wider public than the mere readers of books.

In Disorders of Magnitude: A Survey of Dark Fantasy, Jason V Brock analyzes the intersection of literature, media, and genre fiction in essays, reviews, and pioneering interviews. Beginning with the pulp magazines of the 1920s, Brock studies such dynamic figures as H. P. Lovecraft, Forrest J Ackerman, Harlan Ellison, and the Southern California writers known collectively as “The Group”—Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, Rod Serling, and William F. Nolan. This collection also includes filmmakers Roger Corman, George Romero, and Dan O’Bannon, and such fantasy artists as H. R. Giger.

Graced with dozens of photographs from the author’s personal collection, this wide-ranging study offers a kaleidoscopic look at the multifarious ways in which fantasy, horror, and the supernatural have permeated our culture. Brock—himself a fiction writer, critic, and filmmaker—concludes the book with touching eulogies to the recently deceased Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen. Highlighting so many figures essential to the understanding of fantasy and horror, Disorders of Magnitude will appeal to fans of these fiction genres around the world.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 336Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-3524-3 • Hardback • July 2014 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-3525-0 • eBook • July 2014 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
Jason V Brock is an award-winning writer, editor, filmmaker, composer, and artist. He has been widely-published online, in comic books, magazines, and anthologies, such as Butcher Knives & Body Counts, Simulacrum and Other Possible Realities,Fungi, Weird Fiction Review, Fangoria, and many others.
Section One: The Darkest Age
The Smoldering Past: The Creation of the Modern from Frankenstein and Dracula to the Great War and Beyond
“Cosmic Introspection”: Lovecraft’s Attainment of Personal Value by Way of Infinite Insignificance
Forrest J Ackerman: Fan Zero
Gathering Darkness: In Appreciation of the Artists of Weird Tales
Frank M. Robinson: First Fandom and Beyond

Section Two: Things Become
The Burden of Now: Welles’s “Panic Broadcast,” World War II, and Creeping Anomie
Ray Bradbury: The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Cinematic Dream Logic: How Movies Permanently Altered the Fabric of Reality
Individual Sexual Liberation Becomes Social Emancipation: Playboy Changes the World
Harlan Ellison®: L’Enfant Terrible (Sort Of)

Section Three: The Rise of the Speculative Mind
Rod Serling: Articulating the American Nightmare
A Howling at Owl Creek Bridge: Observations on Two Important Twilight Zone Episodes
George Clayton Johnson: A Touch of Strange
L’Âge d’Or to Götterdämmerung: How Bradbury, Serling, Beaumont, and “The Group” Shaped a Pop Future
Roger Corman: Socially Conscious Auteur
Finding Sanctuary: Running from the Zone to Logan
The Long Nuclear Shadow: Atomic Horror, Godzilla, and the Cold War
The Horror of It All! EC and the Beginnings of Modern Media HOOHAH!
Madly Yours, Al Feldstein
An End, a Middle, a Beginning: Richard Matheson and His Impact

Section Four: Slashers, Blockbusters, and Bestsellers
Riding the Dark Wave: The Role of Dystopian Science Fiction in Popular Culture
Celluloid Asylum: O’Bannon, Romero, Carpenter, and the Liberals Lose (and Find) Their Collective Minds
Terrible Beauty: Slasher Film Connections to Conservatism, Pornography, and Misogyny
King of the Dead: Filmmaker George A. Romero on Politics, Film, and the Future
Dan O’Bannon: Not Gone, Not Forgotten
H. R. Giger: A Darkness Faster Than Light
The Emperor’s New Book: How Stephen King Saved Horror, Created Clive Barker (and Sam Raimi) . . . and Killed Publishing
The Doctor Is In: F. Paul Wilson
Sounds Horrific: Art Rock, Soundtracks, and the Zeitgeist

Section Five: A Century of Speculation
Carnivora: The Dark Art of Automobiles
David J. Skal: Monster Kid Ambassador of Horror
Seasons in Hell
Kris Kuksi: Dark Horizons in the Realm of the Senses
Bluewater Comics’s Darren G. Davis: On the Run in the Digital Age of Comics
The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival: Cosmic Chaos on the Silver Screen
S. T. Joshi: Champion of the Weird Tale
Marc Scott Zicree: As Timeless as Infinity

Section Six: From (and Into) the Beyond
Fangoria’s Chris Alexander: Cinephilia, Music, and All the Rest of It
Bruce Campbell: From The Evil Dead to Burn Notice and Beyond
The Inner World of William F. Nolan
The Mammoth Book of Body Horror
Two of a Kind: Lee-Anne Raymond and Demetrios Vakras
“Cthulhu, a Vampire, and a Zombie Walk into a Bar . . .”: Why These Themes, Why Now, and What’s the Matter with Hollyweird?
John Shirley: The Tao of Identity
Ray Harryhausen: A Note on the Passage of Giants
Kneeling at the Dandelion Shrine: An Appreciation
William F. Nolan and Ray Bradbury: Reflections
Introduction: The Pope of Speculative Fiction
Future Shock? (De)Parting Thoughts

About the Author
Imagine your favorite late night college radio show. And the deejay is Jason V Brock, the author of this book, Disorders of Magnitude. You rely upon Jason to provide insights and intriguing facts as he connects the dots. Good, so far? Well, it gets even better. We’re talking about a multitude of connections, some from on high and some from on low. It’s not easy to categorize it all but Brock manages to collect a lot of essential wisdom and in a very accessible presentation. The college radio analogy is fitting since Disorders of Magnitude falls under an academic book category. It is right at home as part of a college course. But it is also the perfect companion for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of where we are today in terms of the entertainment we consume, particularly dark fantasy.
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