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BOOK NEWS FOR OCT 28TH: VAMPS, HITCHHIKERS, AND SCARY STORIES

by Dawn, October 28, 2009

By Susan Larson at  The Times-Picayune: Writer Charlaine Harris is a lady with a vamp
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Charlaine Harris once referred to herself as the “anti-Anne Rice, ” and she meant that in a good way, in the most complimentary sense.

“A Touch of Dead: Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories” by Charlaine Harris. “Since Anne has so ably done the dramatic and picturesque, ” Harris said, “I chose the mall and the shallowness. I went for horror and humor. She picked the southern, really dramatic part of the state, and I settled for the northern part”

Sookie is an appealing Southern woman, sassy and smart, a woman who works hard and doesn’t settle, loves her family and her small town of Bon Temps, and tries to put up with the flow of too much information that comes as a drawback to being able to read people’s minds. In her world, vampires have come out of the coffins, at least in public relations terms, to attempt a peaceful co-existence with humans. It’s a collision of universes.

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From the Washington Post: What story scares the hell out of you?
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Writers with experience in the dark art of terror pick their favorite frightening tales.

Anne Rice: I would say M.R. James’s story “Count Magnus.” That evil could be so easily roused and so relentless in its pursuit of the innocent who stumbled on to it, that terrifies me. But then many of James’s stories are terrifying.

Charlaine Harris: This is an easy one for me: “The Haunting of Hill House,” by Shirley Jackson. No matter how many times I read it, I get goose bumps. Do not read this book if you’re alone in the house.

R.L. Stine: There’s a story by Ray Bradbury that I always tell kids is the scariest thing I ever read: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is about boys in the Midwest who sneak out of their houses late at night and go to this really creepy carnival. It gets horrifying. . . .

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By Ben Fulton at The Salt Lake Tribune: Colfer hitches a ride to sci-fi legacy
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Along with J.K. Rowling and Phillip Pullman, author Eoin Colfer is one of the undisputed heavyweights of young-adult fantasy and sci-fi novels. His Artemis Fowl series of books named after a precocious 12-year-old burst upon the book world in 2001. Mixing imaginary beings with high-stakes derring-do and high-tech gadgetry, it has kept young readers turning pages ever since.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is of course better known to older generations, while your Artemis Fowl series is a literary fixation with tweens. How does it feel to cross and combine generations with And Another Thing … ?

“I didn’t feel I was combining the two. They were pretty close to begin with. To me, it felt very natural because I’m at home in that world. Hitchhiker inspired my writing; I first read it when I was 15, 16. My first writing attempts were very serious, even pretentious. Douglas came along and showed that humor can be a very effective way to bring a point across.”

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Ok, I avoid scary stories because I scare really easily. But I had to read Beloved by Toni Morrison for a class, and it creeped me out. I was jumpy for hours after I’d read it. And I am very torn about reading Colfer’s book because I love the Hitchhhiker’s series so much.

What book scares you? What do you think of authors continuing another author’s series?

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