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Foundations of Fear:  An Exploration of Horror

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Foundations of Fear: An Exploration of Horror

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Author: David G. Hartwell
Publisher: Tor, 1992

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Book Type: Anthology
Genre: Horror
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Horror fiction is a special and enduring pleasure, invoking fear and wonder. For centuries, writers have struggled to achieve the sublime through these tales, at times creating works of enduring interest. Horror novels have become one of the major bestselling forms of fiction in recent years, and Hollywood has given us a huge and varied supply of popular films, which has created an audience in the millions for horror. But throughout history, many of the finest achievements in horror have been in short fiction. From these masterpieces have been selected the contents of Foundations of Fear.

This anthology presents an international selection of the strongest work by writers such as Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Arthur Machen, who have been identified as category horror writers, and by writers such as Carlos Fuentes, Gerald Durrell, and Daphne Du Maurier, whose literary reputations transcend category. For horror in literature cuts across all category boundaries. Thus the reader will find in this volume domestic horror stories by Thomas Hardy, Violet Hunt and Mary Wilkins Freeman; and stories by Robert A. Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, masters of science fiction.

The Introduction to Foundations of Fear takes particular note of women writers, who have made important contributions to the development of the horrific in literature; in addition to those already mentioned the collection includes works by Madeline Yale Wynne, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Gertrude Atherton, and others. Foundations of Fear challenges the notion that the supernatural in fiction has in modern times been supplanted by the psychological, the idea that horror is dead. Horror is one of the dominant literary modes of our time, a vigorous and living body of literature that continues to thrill us with the mystery and wonder of the unknown.

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