The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2012 (Paperback)
|Author: Paula (EDT) Guran|
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Born in 1947, Stephen King has become a household name all over the world. His mother raised him and his brother after their father deserted the family in 1950. In high school, King began to write short stories, his first published work appearing in 1968. He attended the University of Maine, graduating with a B.S. in 1970. Up until his first novel appeared, King had worked in an industrial laundry, as a janitor, as well as an English teacher. CARRIE, his debut, was met by a largely indifferent public in 1974. It wasn't until two years later, after King's second novel 'SALEM'S LOT and the filmed version of CARRIE, that King became a major player in the horror field. THE SHINING, his 1977 haunted hotel novel, began a litany of bestsellers, including THE STAND, THE DEAD ZONE, PET SEMETARY, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, and many others. King's work is regarded as instrumental in bringing about a resurgence of interest in horror fiction in the 1970s and '80s. An extremely high percentage of King's voluminous literary output has been filmed, with varying degrees of success, but all serving to carry the name of Stephen King far and wide. He has written nonfiction, given lectures, acted in films, and continues to produce huge novels nearly every year, all of which become instant bestsellers. As an bizarre sidenote, during the summer of 1999 while walking along a back road in Maine, King was struck and seriously injured by a minivan whose driver apparently lost control of the vehicle while being distracted by his dog--thus creating exactly the kind of news item that might have inspired several of King's own novels.Dividing his fictional output between westerns, mysteries, and exceptionally graphic horror (and often a combination of some or all of them), Joe R. Lansdale is devotee of what he calls Mojo storytelling--which seems to mean the ability to translate the subversion of expectations and being born in Texas into a fictional format. His first novel, ACT OF LOVE (1981), was a thriller, but its graphic intensity immediately set it apart from conventional thrillers. His next novels--THE NIGHTRUNNERS (1983), another thriller, TEXAS NIGHT RIDERS (1983), a western, and DEAD IN THE WEST (1986), a horror/western hybrid--were interspersed with numerous short stories. THE DRIVE-IN (1988) was a gruesome homage to horror, science fiction, and the bygone American pastime of the drive-in theater. In 1990, Lansdale wrote a mystery, SAVAGE SEASON, which was the first of a series. He has written a Tarzan tale "with" the late Edgar Rice Burroughs, novels in the Batman series, and even helped develop a graphic novel character, Jonah Hex. Lansdale's work has won numerous awards and he has been twice inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame (so don't mess with him!).
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