I remember reading Christine for the first time by Stephen King, it showed he was a different breed of horror writer and one that was going to inspire a shitload of horror writers across the board from straight writers to the LGBT counterparts. With Richard Matheson gone, Stephen King is the writer who carries Matheson’s legacy along with his son R.C. Matheson. I read both writers in the same anthology. Richard Jr. is a talented writer in his own right who needs an anthology to edit to break out writers influenced by his father. Matheson taught me how to do realistic characters and use real places for settings. He set his work in the suburbs and on the west coast. He was West Coast Gothic.
Stephen King painted some scary pictures in small town America — creating the town of Castle Rock. I sincerly hope Stephen King does a horror anthology of various authors because he has a good eye for horror fiction and is a student of the genre. I am doing Stephen King style body horror with Gruesome Cargo II — it would be if Stephen King wrote bizarro horror, because the setting is real and has a few characters I introduce. King is the master of horror, and when I first read Carrie I got to see where he got his start as a horror author, but I also read short stories from Nightshift. The inspiration for Tabloid Purposes II was Nightshift. Stephen King created some really scary and fun to read yarns in there like Trucks. I don’t see where King inspired Clive Barker though, I see where Oscar Wilde inspired Clive but I don’t see where King did.
Here is the book that started it all. Carrie will always have a place in the history of the horror genre as a turning point akin to Stoker, Poe, and Lovecraft. The debate will go on, I’m sure of if it was a good thing or a bad thing. But that is more about taste, no matter how academic the reasoning. The fact is, with Carrie, King starts to add ideas not only into the horror genre, but about how to write it.
Carrie is one of the first horror novels that doesn’t rely as heavily on the traditions of Gothic literature. Yes, there are elements, but many stories up to this point use them to the point where they seem otherworldly because of the settings, themes, and characters. Carrie really brings everything into modern setting and re-imagining or re-inventing what the Gothic would be today. Carrie White’s telekinetic…
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