Friday, October 21, 2016

Morbid Fantasies

Morbid Fantasies, a book I wrote about Gothic literature, is now available to purchase directly from Heretical Sexts.

Here's the ad copy for the book: Morbid Fantasies is a richly illustrated reader's guide to Gothic literature, guiding fans both old and new over the ever-changing face of this most ghoulish of genres. In its pages, scholar Jack Shear covers the history, key themes, and major books in the Gothic movement from its inception through the current day. It's a love letter to this often misunderstood and under-appreciated form of entertainment, hand-bound and designed by Tenebrous Kate with featured illustrations by Dana Glover, Becky Munich, and Carisa Swenson.

This is what I want you to know about the book: I can honestly say that this is the publication that means the most to me. The ideas in Morbid Fantasies came directly from me researching and teaching Gothic literature for over ten years. And yet, this isn't an academic book; Morbid Fantasies is a book for anyone with an interest in Gothic fiction. My aim was to give the casual reader a primer on the Gothic's history, an idea of what to look for as you read, and a road map to what to read as you venture into the literature. Gothic novels were written to be enjoyed by people who read for pleasure, who want to experience wonderment and fright, and I want to help you find the enjoyment, wonderment, and fright I've experienced while reading these books.

This is what I want you to know about the artists who illustrated the book: the women who lent their talents to this project have taken my words and elevated them into something resplendent and fine. I was a fan of each artist who contributed to the book long before they were approached about working on Morbid Fantasies; each of them is ridiculously talented, and I am humbled that they deigned to gild my book with their art. Becky, Carisa, Dana, Kate--thank you.

This is what I want you to know about the publisher: Kate is a stalwart friend, and the best collaborator I could ever hope for. Not only do we have a reciprocal appreciation for the other's talents, we like to inspire each other to run with our ideas to see where they lead. Morbid Fantasies wouldn't exist if Kate didn't say "I want to publish that" when I mentioned the notion of writing a reader's guide to the Gothic. More than anyone else involved in the book, Kate kept the fires burning and the target in sight. And since Kate hand-assembled each book, the accolades for the book's aesthetic value are hers to collect. Kate--well, you already know how dear you are to me.

The hardcover version of Morbid Fantasies has already sold out. The softcover remains available, but only in strictly limited quantities. It's only available here, at the Heretical Sexts shop. And if you want to add any of the other 'zines for sale from Heretical Sexts, you won't be sorry.