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Beer, Wine and Spirits Sale

While many of our readers, authors and staff have an appreciation for the drinking of beer, practically as many also have a fondness for the culture of beer.  Drink and culture converge at McFarland, where we have a small but growing line of books that look at the social and historical impact of beer, wine and spirits.  Now through January 15, get 30% off of these books with coupon code BEER30.  Grab a book, grab your beverage of choice, and kick back and enjoy two of life’s great pastimes!  Furthermore, if you’re an author with an idea for a book about beer culture, tell us what you’ve got on tap at [email protected].

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American Philosophical Association 2020 Eastern Division

McFarland is exhibiting at the 2020 Eastern Division conference of the American Philosophical Association January 8-11 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  You are invited to meet with assistant editor Dré Person.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Dré.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at APA or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.

 


The Apocalypse, Ethics and Philosophy

 


Sustainability, Ethics and Philosophy

 


Pop Culture and Philosophy

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Newly Published: Reading the Short Story

New on our bookshelf:

Reading the Short Story: A Student’s Guide to Selected British, Irish and American Works
Anna Wing-bo Tso and Scarlett Lee

Beginning with a brief history and evolution of the short story genre, alongside an overview of the key short story writers, and an explanatory chapter of literary criticism, this book aims to give readers insight into the works by canonical British, Irish, and American authors, including Edgar Allan Poe, James Joyce, Flannery O’Connor, and more. Applying close reading skills and critical literary approaches to twelve selected short stories in English, this work conducts comparative analyses to reveal the interrelationships between the texts, the authors, the readers, and the sociocultural contexts. Developed and tested in literature classes at university over several semesters, this book addresses key issues, topics and trends in the short story genre.

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Newly Published: Narrative Design and Authorship in Bloodborne

New on our bookshelf:

Narrative Design and Authorship in Bloodborne: An Analysis of the Horror Videogame
Madelon Hoedt

In the vein of their cult-classic dark fantasy titles Demon’s Souls (2009) and the Dark Souls franchise (2011, 2014, 2016), game developers FromSoftware released the bleak Gothic horror Bloodborne in 2015. Players are cast in the role of hunters in a hostile land, probing the shadowy city of Yharnam in search of “paleblood.” The game achieved iconic status as both a horror and an action title for its rich lore and for the continuity of story elements through all aspects of game design.

This first full-length study examines Bloodborne’s themes of dangerous knowledge and fatal pride and its aesthetics in the context of other works on game studies, horror and the Gothic. The book’s three parts focus on lore and narrative, the game’s nightmarish world, and its mechanics.

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Newly Published: The Poetry Gymnasium

New on our bookshelf:

The Poetry Gymnasium: 110 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse, 2d ed
Tom C. Hunley

This expanded edition adds sixteen new exercises designed to inspire creativity and help poets hone their skills. Each exercise includes a clearly-stated learning objective, historical background matter on the particular subgenre being explored, and an example written by undergraduates at Western Kentucky University. The text also analyzes work by leading American poets including Billy Collins, Denise Duhamel and Dean Young. The book’s five chapters correspond with the five canons of classical rhetoric: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.

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National Women’s Studies Association 2019

McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the National Women’s Studies Association November 14-16 in San Francisco.  You are invited to meet with editor Layla Milholen.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Layla.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at NWSA or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.


Literature & Pop Culture


Comics & Heroism

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Newly Published: The Rise and Fall of American Science Fiction, from the 1920s to the 1960s

New on our bookshelf:

The Rise and Fall of American Science Fiction, from the 1920s to the 1960s
Gary Westfahl

By examining important aspects of science fiction in the twentieth century, this book explains how the genre evolved to its current state. Close critical attention is given to topics including the art that has accompanied science fiction, the subgenres of space opera and hard science fiction, the rise of SF anthologies, and the burgeoning impact of the marketplace on authors.

Included are in-depth studies of key texts that contributed to science fiction’s growth, including Philip Francis Nowlan’s first Buck Rogers story, the first published stories of A. E. van Vogt, and the early juveniles of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein.

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Newly Published: Mark Twain at the Gallows

New on our bookshelf:

Mark Twain at the Gallows: Crime and Justice in His Western Writing, 1861–1873
Jarrod D. Roark

This book is a literary exploration of Mark Twain’s writings on crime in the American West and its intersection with morality, gender and justice. Writing from his office at the Enterprise newspaper in the Nevada Territory, Twain employed a distinct style of crime writing—one that sensationalized facts and included Twain’s personal philosophies and observations. Covering Twain’s journalism, fictional works and his own personal letters, this book contextualizes the writer’s coverage of crime through his anxieties about westward expansion and the promise of a utopian West. Twain’s observations on the West often reflected common perceptions of the day, positioning him as a “voice of the people” on issues like crime, punishment and gender.

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American Folklore Society 2019

McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the American Folklore Society October 16-19 in Baltimore, Maryland.  You are invited to meet with senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Gary.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at AFS or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.

 


Folklore

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Newly Published: American Gadfly

New on our bookshelf:

American Gadfly: The Intellectual Odyssey of Paul Fussell
Ronald R. Gray

The American cultural historian, literary and social critic and college professor Paul Fussell (1924–2012) is primarily noted for his famous work The Great War and Modern Memory, but he also wrote and edited 21 books on a wide variety of topics, ranging from 18th century British literature to works on World War II and sardonic critiques of American society and culture. This book offers a thorough introduction to his writings and thought, and argues for Fussell’s importance and relevancy. Covering Fussell’s traumatic experience in World War II and the important influence it had on his life and outlook, this intellectual biography puts in context Fussell’s perspectives on ethics, the human experience, war, and literature as an evaluative and critical endeavor.

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Newly Published: Furry Tales

New on our bookshelf:

Furry Tales: A Review of Essential Anthropomorphic Fiction
Fred Patten

Tales featuring anthropomorphic animals have been around as long as there have been storytellers to spin them, from Aesop’s Fables to Reynard the Fox to Alice in Wonderland. The genre really took off following the explosion of furry fandom in the 21st century, with talking animals featuring in everything from science fiction to fantasy to LGBTQ coming-out stories.

In his lifetime, Fred Patten (1940–2018)—one of the founders of furry fandom and a scholar of anthropomorphic animal literature—authored hundreds of book reviews that comprise a comprehensive critical survey of the genre. This selected compilation provides an overview from 1784 through the 2010s, covering such popular novels as Watership Down and Redwall, along with forgotten gems like The Stray Lamb and Where the Blue Begins, and science fiction works like Sundiver and Decision at Doona.

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Newly Published: Queen of the Pulps

New on our bookshelf:

Queen of the Pulps: The Reign of Daisy Bacon and Love Story Magazine
Laurie Powers

Daisy Bacon, the opinionated, autocratic and complex editor of Love Story Magazine from 1928 to 1947, chose the stories that would be read by hundreds of thousands of readers each week. The first weekly periodical devoted to romance fiction and the biggest-selling pulp fiction magazine in the early days of the Great Depression, Love Story sparked a wave of imitators that dominated newsstands for more than twenty years.

Disparaged as a “love pulp,” the magazine actually championed the “modern girl,” bringing its heroines out of the shadows of Victorian poverty and into the 20th century. With Love Story’s success, Bacon became a national spokesperson, declaring that the modern woman could have it all—in love, in marriage and in the business world.

Yet Bacon herself struggled to achieve that ideal, especially in her own romantic life, built around a long-term affair with a married man. Drawing on exclusive access to her personal papers, this first-ever biography tells the story behind the woman who influenced millions of others to pursue independence in their careers and in their relationships.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Weird Detectives

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Weird Detectives: Supernatural and Paranormal Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Film, Television, Games and Other Media
Paul Green

The detective genre has explored supernatural and paranormal themes throughout its colorful history. Stories of detectives investigating spiritualists, ghostly apparitions, the occult and psychics have spanned pulp fiction magazines, comic books, novels, film, television, animation and video games.
This encyclopedia covers the history of the genre in its multiple forms and informs and adds to the knowledge of either the new or informed reader. Its A-Z format provides ready reference by title. Detective fans browsing for new discoveries will enjoy the entertaining style.

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Newly Published: Buffy to Batgirl

New on our bookshelf:

Buffy to Batgirl: Essays on Female Power, Evolving Femininity and Gender Roles in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edited by Julie M. Still and Zara T. Wilkinson

Science fiction and fantasy are often thought of as stereotypically male genres, yet both have a long and celebrated history of female creators, characters, and fans. In particular, the science fiction and fantasy heroine is a recognized figure made popular in media such as Alien, The Terminator, and Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Though imperfect, she is strong and definitely does not need to be saved by a man. This figure has had an undeniable influence on The Hunger Games, Divergent, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and many other, more recent female-led book and movie franchises.

Despite their popularity, these fictional women have received inconsistent scholarly interest. This collection of new essays is intended to help fill a gap in the serious discussion of women and gender in science fiction and fantasy. The contributors are scholars, teachers, practicing writers, and other professionals in fields related to the genre. Critically examining the depiction of women and gender in science fiction and fantasy on both page and screen, they focus on characters who are as varied as they are interesting, and who range from vampire slayers to time travelers, witches, and spacefarers.

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CONFERENCES: Upcoming MLA and PCA events

McFarland is exhibiting at a number of regional and national conferences in the coming months, and conferees are encouraged to take the opportunity to peruse our books and meet an editor.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance (Layla Milholen, Gary Mitchem, or Dré Person), or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with an editor.

Popular Culture Association in the South Sept 26-28, Wilmington, NC, Layla Milholen
Association for the Study of African American Life and History Oct 3-5, Charleston, SC, Dré Person
Midwest Popular Culture Association Oct 10-13 Cincinnati, OH, Layla Milholen
American Folklore Society Oct 16-19, Baltimore, MD, Gary Mitchem
South Central Modern Language Association Oct 24-26, Little Rock, AR, Gary Mitchem
Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Nov 7-9, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, Gary Mitchem
Film and History Nov 13-17, Madison, WI, Dré Person
National Women’s Studies Association Nov 14-17, San Francisco, CA, Layla Milholen
South Atlantic Modern Language Association Nov 15–17, Atlanta, GA, Gary Mitchem
American Philosophical Association Jan 8-11, Philadelphia, PA, Dré Person
Modern Language Association Jan 9-12, Seattle, WA, Gary Mitchem


Cinema & Media Studies


Comics & Graphic Narratives


Literature

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Association for the Study of African American Life and History 2019

McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History October 3-5 in Charleston, South Carolina.  You are invited to meet with editor Dré Person.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Dré.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at ASALH or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.

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September Journalism Books Sale

These books discuss a wide range of topics about journalism, the only profession protected by the Constitution. Investigative reporting, social media, the First Amendment, ethical conundrums, history of the media, advertising, news entertainment, civics, writing, reporting and pop culture, among other topics, are covered here. Through September 30, get 20% off journalism books with coupon code JOURN19.

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Newly Published: Transmedia Harry Potter

New on our bookshelf:

Transmedia Harry Potter: Essays on Storytelling Across Platforms
Edited by Christopher E. Bell

Transmediation—the telling of a single story across multiple media—is a relatively new phenomenon. While there have been adaptations (books to films, for example) for more than a century, modern technology and media consumption have expanded the scope of trans-mediating practices.
Nowhere are these more evident than within the Harry Potter universe, where a coherent world and narrative are iterated across books, films, video games, fan fiction, art, music and more. Curated by a leading Harry Potter scholar, this collection of new essays explores the range of Potter texts across a variety of media.

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Newly Published: Writing Queer Women of Color

New on our bookshelf:

Writing Queer Women of Color: Representation and Misdirection in Contemporary Fiction and Graphic Narratives
Monalesia Earle

Queer women of color have historically been underrepresented or excluded completely in fiction and comics. When present, they are depicted as “less than” the white, Eurocentric norm. Drawing on semiotics, queer theory, and gender studies, this book addresses the imbalanced representation of queer women of color in graphic narratives and fiction and explores ways of rewriting queer women of color back into the frame. The author interrogates what it means to be “Other” and how “Othering” can be more creatively resisted.

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Newly Published: Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television

New on our bookshelf:

Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television
Heather Duerre Humann

In recent decades, science fiction in both print and visual media has produced an outpouring of story lines that feature forms of simulated reality. These depictions appear with such frequency that fictional portrayals of simulated worlds have become a popular sci-fi trope—one that prompts timeless questions about the nature of reality while also tapping into contemporary debates about emerging technologies. In combination with tech-driven tensions, this study shows that our collective sense of living in politically uncertain times also propels the popularity of these story lines. Because of the kinds of questions they raise and the cultural anxieties they provoke, these fictional representations provide a window into contemporary culture and demonstrate how we are reassessing our own reality.

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Newly Published: Weird Tales of Modernity

New on our bookshelf:

Weird Tales of Modernity: The Ephemerality of the Ordinary in the Stories of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft
Jason Ray Carney

Serious literary artists such as T.S. Eliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf loom large in most accounts of the literary art of the first half of the 20th century. And yet, working in the shadows cast by these modernists were science fiction, horror and fantasy writers like the “Weird Tales Three”: H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard.

They did not publish in artistically ambitious magazines like Dial, The Smart Set and The Little Reviewbut instead in commercial pulp magazines like Weird Tales. Contrary to the stereotypes about pulp fiction and those who wrote it, these three were serious literary artists who used their fiction to speculate about such philosophical questions as the function of art and the brevity of life.

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Newly Published: Women’s Space

New on our bookshelf:

Women’s Space: Essays on Female Characters in the 21st Century Science Fiction Western
Edited by Melanie A. Marotta

From the Star Wars expanded universe to Westworld, the science fiction western has captivated audiences for more than fifty years. These twelve new essays concentrate on the female characters in the contemporary science fiction western, addressing themes of power, agency, intersectionality and the body. Discussing popular works such as FringeGuardians of the Galaxy and Mass Effect, the essayists shed new light on the gender dynamics of these beloved franchises, emphasizing inclusion and diversity with their critical perspectives.

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Newly Published: Shakespeare Scholars in Conversation

New on our bookshelf:

Shakespeare Scholars in Conversation: Interviews with 24 Leading Experts
Michael P. Jensen

Twenty-four of today’s most prominent Shakespeare scholars discuss the best-known works in Shakespeare studies, along with some nearly forgotten classics that deserve fresh appraisal.
An extensive bibliography provides a reading list of the most important works in the field. A filmography then lists the most important Shakespeare films, along with the films that influenced Shakespeare filmmakers.

Interviewees include Sir Stanley Wells, Sir Jonathan Bate, Sir Brian Vickers, Ann Thompson, Virginia Mason Vaughan, George T. Wright, Lukas Erne, MacDonald P. Jackson, Peter Holland, James Shapiro, Katherine Duncan-Jones and Barbara Hodgdon.

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Newly Published: Dracula as Absolute Other

New on our bookshelf:

Dracula as Absolute Other: The Troubling and Distracting Specter of Stoker’s Vampire on Screen
Simon Bacon

Dark, dangerous and transgressive, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is often read as Victorian society’s absolute Other—an outsider who troubles and distracts those around him, one who represents the fears and anxieties of the age. This book is a study of Dracula’s role of absolute Other as it appears on screen, and an investigation of popular culture’s continued fascination with vampires. Drawing on vampire films spanning from the early 20th century to 2017, the author examines how different generations construct Otherness and how this is reflected in vampire media.

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Newly Published: Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics

New on our bookshelf:

Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics
Thierry Dubost

The plays of Eugene O’Neill testify to his continued search for new dramatic strategies. The author explores the Nobel Prize winner’s attempts at creating a new Modern play. He shows how, moving away from melodrama or “the problem play,” O’Neill revisited the classical frames of drama and reinvented theater aesthetics by resorting to masks, the chorus, acoustics, silence or immobility for the creation of his dramatic works.

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Newly Published: Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in African American Literature

New on our bookshelf:

Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in African American Literature: Critical Essays
Edited by James S. Mellis

From the earliest slave narratives to modern fiction by the likes of Colson Whitehead and Jesmyn Ward, African American authors have drawn on African spiritual practices as literary inspiration, and as a way to maintain a connection to Africa.

This volume has collected new essays about the multiple ways African American authors have incorporated Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in their work. Among the authors covered are Frederick Douglass, Shirley Graham, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ntozake Shange, Rudolph Fisher, Jean Toomer, and Ishmael Reed.

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Newly Published: Girl Warriors

New on our bookshelf:

Girl Warriors: Feminist Revisions of the Hero’s Quest in Contemporary Popular Culture
Svenja Hohenstein

Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The OdysseyThe Lord of the RingsStar Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as active and women as passive. Focusing on stories in which popular teenage heroines—Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen and Disney’s Princess Merida—embark on daring journeys, this book explores what happens when traditional gender roles and narrative patterns are subverted. The author examines representations of these characters across various media—film, television, novels, posters, merchandise, fan fiction and fan art, and online memes—that model concepts of heroism and girlhood inspired by feminist ideas.

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McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

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McFarland Turns 40

On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s.  What to do?  Back to the land!  They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel).  Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op.  I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited.  Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.”  I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto).  They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County.  We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.

I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s.  He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee.  (I was born in Memphis.)

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name.  Founded in April 1979 right here.  I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!).  The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one.  Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times.  We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment.  Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting.  Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).

After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person.  Whew!  So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.

A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and  began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.

My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight.  Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on.  We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).

The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently.  Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel).  We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.

In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors.  Already!  And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard).  The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means.  (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.”  They stayed stacked for years…)  The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons.  (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s.  Lemme be him!)

McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years.  The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets.  He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc.  McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there.  In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters.  High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment.  Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).

Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection.  Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar.  We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.

By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road.  We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits.  We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.

We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher.  (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.)  Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes.  Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D.  We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide.  One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982).  This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print.  We were famous!  (Well, the author was…)

McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene.  (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.)  Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful.  Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).

I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed.  Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna.  When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.

McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size.  Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady:  director of finance and administration.  In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings.  We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…).  We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989.  Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism.  Authors from all over the world.  That part’s fun!  As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.

We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s!  Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves.  On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over):  “Ashe County through the Ages.”  Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990.  Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).

Cheryl and I love Ashe County.  We love the people.  We love the trees, the river.  (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!)  I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods).  The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges.  Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth.  McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented.  When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere.  Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!

The local merchants have become business partners.  Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices.  The restaurants are great for business lunches.  The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter!  Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job.  Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home.  I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning!  Ashe County, we’re for you!

McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th.  We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years.  Come one, come all!

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Three New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
“This reviewer coached college baseball, and before reading this small treasure wrote down every conceivable argument for and against IFR. All of them and more are addressed here precisely, with wit, style, and evidence. One can ask for no more than that…highly recommended.”—Choice

The League That Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946–1949
“Thoroughly indexed…recommended.”—Choice

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
“Insightful analysis…this is a very readable and interesting book…recommended.”—Choice

 

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Newly Published: Literary Journalism in British and American Prose

New on our bookshelf:

Literary Journalism in British and American Prose: An Historical Overview
Doug Underwood

The debate surrounding “fake news” versus “real” news is nothing new. From Jonathan Swift’s work as an acerbic, anonymous journal editor-turned-novelist to reporter Mark Twain’s hoax stories to Mary Ann Evans’ literary reviews written under her pseudonym, George Eliot, famous journalists and literary figures have always mixed fact, imagination and critical commentary to produce memorable works.

Contrasting the rival yet complementary traditions of “literary” or “new” journalism in Britain and the U.S., this study explores the credibility of some of the “great” works of English literature.

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Two New Titles Reviewed in Booklist

Too Funny for Words: A Contrarian History of American Screen Comedy from Silent Slapstick to Screwball
“Spirited discussion… Kalat’s knowledgeable and conversational style makes the work accessible to all readers not just the cineastes among us. Film fans, students, and researchers will applaud  this lively and impassioned look at a turning point in American film history.”—Booklist

Robots That Kill: Deadly Machines and Their Precursors in Myth, Folklore, Literature, Popular Culture and Reality
“With a broad range of examples, this examination of humanity’s artificial counterparts offers plenty to delve into for sf fans and everyone interested in a rich context for AI.”—Booklist

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Newly Published: Seeing the Beat Generation

New on our bookshelf:

Seeing the Beat Generation: Entering the Literature through Film
Raj Chandarlapaty

Beat generation writers dismantled mainstream America. They wrote under the influence of psychedelic drugs; they crossed and navigated multicultural boundaries and questioned the American dream; and they explored homosexuality, feminism and hyper-masculinity, redefining America’s marital and familial codes. Teaching such a history can be daunting, but film adaptations of Beat literature have proven to engage students. This book looks closely at the film adaptations of works by such authors as Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Carolyn Cassady, Amiri Baraka and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as they relate to American history and literary studies.

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Newly Published: The Ages of The Flash

New on our bookshelf:

The Ages of The Flash: Essays on the Fastest Man Alive
Edited by Joseph J. Darowski

While many American superheroes have multiple powers and complex gadgets, the Flash is simply fast. This simplicity makes his character easily comprehendible for all audiences, whether they are avid comic fans or newcomers to the genre, and in turn he has become one of the most iconic figures in the comic-book industry. This collection of new essays serves as a stepping-stone to an even greater understanding of the Flash, examining various iterations of his character—including those of Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Bart Allen—and what they reveal about the era in which they were written.

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Newly Published: Peanuts and American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Peanuts and American Culture: Essays on Charles M. Schulz’s Iconic Comic Strip
Peter W.Y. Lee

Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz insisted good ol’ Charlie Brown and his friends were neither “great art” nor “significant.” Yet Schulz’s acclaimed daily comic strip—syndicated in thousands of newspapers over five decades—brilliantly mirrored tensions in American society during the second half of the 20th century.

Focusing on the strip’s Cold War roots, this collection of new essays explores existentialism, the reshaping of the nuclear family, the Civil Rights Movement, 1960s counterculture, feminism, psychiatry and fear of the bomb. Chapters focus on the development of Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Franklin, Shermy, Snoopy and the other characters that became American icons.

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Newly Published: Medieval Crime Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview
Anne McKendry

Combining elements of medievalism, the historical novel and the detective narrative, medieval crime fiction capitalizes upon the appeal of all three—the most famous examples being Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (one of the best-selling books ever published) and Ellis Peters’ endearing Brother Cadfael series.

Hundreds of other novels and series fill out the genre, in settings ranging from the so-called Celtic Enlightenment in seventh-century Ireland to the ruthless Inquisition in fourteenth-century France to the mean streets of medieval London. The detectives are an eclectic group, including weary ex-crusaders, former Knights Templar, enterprising monks and nuns, and historical poets such as Geoffrey Chaucer.

This book investigates the enduring popularity of the largely unexamined genre and explores its social, cultural and political contexts.

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Newly Published: The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom

New on our bookshelf:

The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom: Essays on the Intersection of Religion and Pop Culture
Edited by Carole M. Cusack, John W. Morehead and Venetia Laura Delano Robertson

To the casual observer, similarities between fan communities and religious believers are difficult to find. Religion is traditional, institutional, and serious; whereas fandom is contemporary, individualistic, and fun. Can the robes of nuns and priests be compared to cosplay outfits of Jedi Knights and anime characters? Can travelling to fan conventions be understood as pilgrimages to the shrines of saints?

These new essays investigate fan activities connected to books, film, and online games, such as Harry Potter-themed weddings, using The Hobbit as a sacred text, and taking on heroic roles in World of Warcraft. Young Muslim women cosplayers are brought into conversation with Chaos magicians who use pop culture tropes and characters. A range of canonical texts, such as Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sherlock—are examined in terms of the pleasure and enchantment of repeated viewing. Popular culture is revealed to be a fertile source of religious and spiritual creativity in the contemporary world.

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Newly Published: Robots That Kill

New on our bookshelf:

Robots That Kill: Deadly Machines and Their Precursors in Myth, Folklore, Literature, Popular Culture and Reality
Judith A. Markowitz

This book describes real-world killer robots using a blend of perspectives. Overviews of technologies, such as autonomy and artificial intelligence, demonstrate how science enables these robots to be effective killers. Incisive analyses of social controversies swirling around the design and use of killer robots reveal that science, alone, will not govern their future. Among those disputes is whether fully-autonomous, robotic weapons should be banned. Examinations of killers from the golem to Frankenstein’s monster reveal that artificially-created beings like them are precursors of real 21st century killer robots. This book laces the death and destruction caused by all these killers with science and humor. The seamless combination of these elements produces a deeper and richer understanding of the robots around us.

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Newly Published: Author in Chief

New on our bookshelf:

Author in Chief: The Presidents as Writers from Washington to Trump
Michael B. Costanzo

With the publication of his Personal Memoirs in 1885, Ulysses S. Grant established what is today known as the presidential memoir. Every U.S. president since Benjamin Harrison has written one and many have turned to other forms of writing, as well.

This book covers the history of works—including autobiographies, diaries, political manifestos, speeches, fiction and poetry—authored by U.S. presidents and published prior to, during or after their terms. The writing was easy for some, harder for others, with varying success, from literary comebacks and bestsellers to false starts and failures.

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Newly Published: Decoding Dylan

New on our bookshelf:

Decoding Dylan: Making Sense of the Songs That Changed Modern Culture
Jim Curtis

Taking readers behind Bob Dylan’s familiar image as the enigmatic rebel of the 1960s, this book reveals a different view—that of a careful craftsman and student of the art of songwriting. Drawing on revelations from Dylan’s memoir Chronicles and a variety of other sources, the author arrives at a radically new interpretation of his body of work, which revolutionized American music and won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. Dylan’s songs are viewed as collages, ingeniously combining themes and images from American popular culture and European high culture.

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New in Softcover: Homophones and Homographs

Now available in softcover:

Homophones and Homographs: An American Dictionary, 4th ed.
Compiled by James B. Hobbs

This expanded fourth edition defines and cross-references 9,040 homophones and 2,133 homographs (up from 7,870 and 1,554 in the 3rd ed.).

As the most comprehensive compilation of American homophones (words that sound alike) and homographs (look-alikes), this latest edition serves well where even the most modern spell-checkers and word processors fail—although rain, reign, and rein may be spelled correctly, the context in which these words may appropriately be used is not obvious to a computer.

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New in Softcover: The Great Monster Magazines

Now available in softcover:

The Great Monster Magazines: A Critical Study of the Black and White Publications of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s
Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter

This is a critical overview of monster magazines from the 1950s through the 1970s. “Monster magazine” is a blanket term to describe both magazines that focus primarily on popular horror movies and magazines that contain stories featuring monsters, both of which are illustrated in comic book style and printed in black and white.

The book describes the rise and fall of these magazines, examining the contributions of Marvel Comics and several other well-known companies, as well as evaluating the effect of the Comics Code Authority on both present and future efforts in the field. It identifies several sub-genres, including monster movies, zombies, vampires, sword-and-sorcery, and pulp-style fiction. The work includes several indexes and technical credits.

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Newly Published: The Harry Potter Generation

New on our bookshelf:

The Harry Potter Generation: Essays on Growing Up with the Series
Emily Lauer and Balaka Basu

The generation of readers most heavily impacted by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—those who grew up alongside “the boy who lived”—have come of age. They are poised to become teachers, parents, critics and writers, and many of their views and choices will be influenced by the literary revolution in which they were immersed. This collection of new essays explores the many different ways in which Harry Potter has shaped this generation’s views on everything from politics to identity to pedagogical spaces online. It seeks to determine how the books have affected fans’ understanding of their place in the world and their capacity to create it anew.

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Text & Presentation, 2018
Edited by Jay Malarcher

The 15th in a series drawn from scholarship presented at the annual Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection provides insights into texts and practices currently at the forefront of theatrical discussion. The volume includes various essays on the intersections of script and performance, and features an exclusive interview with keynote speaker, playwright Simon Stephens.

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Newly Published: Nuts About Squirrels

New on our bookshelf:

Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Conquered Popular Culture
Don H. Corrigan

Squirrels have made numerous appearances in mass media over the years, from Beatrix Potter’s Nutkin and Timmy Tiptoes, to Rocky the flying squirrel of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and to Conker and Squirrel Girl of video game fame. This book examines how squirrel legends from centuries ago have found new life through contemporary popular culture, with a focus on the various portrayals of these wily creatures in books, newspapers, television, movies, public relations, advertising and video games.

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors

New on our bookshelf:

Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors: Inside the Precedent-Setting Defeat of an Arkansas Book Ban
Brian Meadors

In 2002, the Cedarville School Board in Crawford County, Arkansas, ordered the removal of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books from library shelves, holding that “witchcraft or sorcery [should not] be available for study.” The Board picked some formidable adversaries. School librarian Estella Roberts, standing on policy, had the books reviewed—and unanimously approved—by a committee of teachers and administrators that included a child and a parent. Not satisfied with the Board’s half-measure permitting access to the books with parental approval, 4th-grader Dakota Counts and her father Bill Counts sued the school district in Federal court, drawing on the precedent Pico v. Island Trees to reaffirm that Constitutional rights apply to school libraries. Written by the lawyer who prosecuted the case, this book details the origins of the book ban and the civil procedures and legal arguments that restored the First Amendment in Cedarville.

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Newly Published: Lee Smith

New on our bookshelf:

Lee Smith: A Literary Companion
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

This literary companion surveys the works of Lee Smith, a Southern author lauded for her autobiographical familiarity with Appalachian settings and characters. Her dialogue captures the distinct voices of mountain people and their perceptions of local and world events, ranging from the Civil War to ecology and modernization. Mental and physical disability and the Southern cultural norm of including the disabled as both family and community members are recurring themes in Smith’s writing. An A to Z arrangement of entries incorporates specific titles, and themes such as belonging, healing and death, humor, parenting and religion.

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Newly Published: Frederic Dannay, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the Art of the Detective Short Story

New on our bookshelf:

Frederic Dannay, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the Art of the Detective Short Story
Laird R. Blackwell

Frederic Dannay (1905–1982) was—with his partner Manfred Lee—the creator of the Ellery Queen detective novels and short stories. Dannay was also a literary historian and critic, and the editor of the renowned Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Queen—both a pen name and the fictional protagonist of the stories—was also a vital force behind the continuing popularity of crime fiction in the early to mid–20th century, after the deaths of Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Melville Davisson Post, and other Old Masters of the genre.

This book presents the first critical study of Ellery Queen’s role in the preservation of the detective short story. Many of the writers, characters and stories EQMM championed are covered, including such celebrated authors as Allingham, Ambler, Ellin, Innes, Vickers, and even William Butler Yeats.

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Newly Published: The Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing

New on our bookshelf:

The Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing: Essential Tips for Online and Print Publication
Naveed Saleh

Over the years, technological advances have given publishers the ability to produce more books and online publications with greater speed. This new efficiency, however, has increased editors’ workloads, limiting the amount of detailed editorial feedback that they can provide authors. In turn, writers must become self-editors, ensuring that their text is nearly perfect on submission.

This book serves as a guide to self-editing nonfiction print and online publications, including articles for general and academic audiences. It is both prescriptive and descriptive, drawing from stylebooks, dictionaries, research, and more to provide a full picture of both style and grammar. Also provided are techniques that boost search-engine optimization and engagement of Internet audiences.

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Newly Published: Perspectives on Digital Comics

New on our bookshelf:

Perspectives on Digital Comics: Theoretical, Critical and Pedagogical Essays
Edited by Jeffrey SJ Kirchoff and Mike P. Cook

This collection of new essays explores various ways of reading, interpreting and using digital comics. Contributors discuss comics made specifically for web consumption, and also digital reproductions of print-comics. Written for those who may not be familiar with digital comics or digital comic scholarship, the essays cover perspectives on reading, criticism and analysis of specific titles, the global reach of digital comics, and how they can be used in educational settings.

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Newly Published: “I’m Just a Comic Book Boy”

New on our bookshelf:

“I’m Just a Comic Book Boy”: Essays on the Intersection of Comics and Punk
Edited by Christopher B. Field, Keegan Lannon, Michael David MacBride and Christopher C. Douglas

Comics and the punk movement are inextricably linked—each has a foundational do-it-yourself ethos and a nonconformist spirit defiant of authority. This collection of new essays provides for the first time a thorough analysis of the intersections between comics and punk. The contributors expand the discussion beyond the familiar U.S. and UK scenes to include the influence punk has had on comics produced in other countries, such as Spain and Turkey.

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Newly Published: Superman and the Bible

New on our bookshelf:

Superman and the Bible: How the Idea of Superheroes Affects the Reading of Scripture
Nicholaus Pumphrey

In 1938, Superman debuted, jumping off the pages of Action Comics #1. In the cultural context of the Great Depression and World War II, the U.S. would see the rise of the superhero not only in comic books but in radio programs, animated cartoons and television shows. Superman forever changed one’s concept of the hero and became permanently engrained in both American and worldwide culture.

This study explores the Man of Steel’s narrative as a fresh perspective on readings of the Bible—his character is reflected in such figures as Moses, Samson and Jesus. The author argues that if we read the Bible it can be said we are reading about Superman.

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Newly Published: The Horror Comic Never Dies

New on our bookshelf:

The Horror Comic Never Dies: A Grisly History
Michael Walton

Horror comics were among the first comic books published—ghastly tales that soon developed an avid young readership, along with a bad reputation. Parent groups, psychologists, even the United States government joined in a crusade to wipe out the horror comics industry—and they almost succeeded. Yet the genre survived and flourished, from the 1950s to today.

This history covers the tribulations endured by horror comics creators and the broader impact on the comics industry. The genre’s ultimate success helped launch the careers of many of the biggest names in comics. Their stories and the stories of other key players are included, along with a few surprises.

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Newly Published: Snakes in American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Snakes in American Culture: A Hisstory
Jesse C. Donahue and Conor Shaw-Draves

The literature on snakes is manifold but overwhelmingly centered on the natural sciences. Little has been published about them in the fields of popular culture or the history of medicine.

Focusing primarily on American culture and history from the 1800s, this study draws on a wide range of sources—including newspaper archives, medical journals, and archives from the Smithsonian Institute—to examine the complex relationship between snakes and humans.

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Newly Published: The Detective and the Artist

New on our bookshelf:

The Detective and the Artist: Painters, Poets and Writers in Crime Fiction, 1840s–1970s
J.K. Van Dover

This book focuses on the distinctive role that artists have played in detective fiction—as detectives, as villains and victims, and as bystanders. With a few significant exceptions, literary detectives have always identified themselves as essentially the deconstructors of the artful crimes of others. They may use various methods—ratiocinative, scientific, or hard-boiled—but they always unravel the threads that the villains have woven into deceptive covers for their crimes.

The detective does, in the end, produce a work of art: a narrative that explains everything that needs explanation. But the detective’s moral work is often juxtaposed to the aesthetic work of the painters, poets, and writers that the detective encounters during an investigation. The author surveys this juxtaposition in works by important authors from the early development of the genre (Poe, Conan Doyle), the golden age (Bentley, Christie, Sayers, James, et al.), and the hard-boiled era (Hammett, Chandler, Macdonald, Spicer et al.).

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Newly Published: The Body, the Dance and the Text

New on our bookshelf:

The Body, the Dance and the Text: Essays on Performance and the Margins of History
Edited by Brynn Wein Shiovitz

This collection of new essays explores the many ways in which writing relates to corporeality and how the two work together to create, resist or mark the body of the “Other.” Contributors draw on varied backgrounds to examine different movement practices. They focus on movement as a meaning-making process, including the choreographic act of writing. The challenges faced by marginalized bodies are discussed, along with the ability of a body to question, contest and re-write historical narratives.

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Biographies and Memoirs Catalog and Sale

McFarland’s biographies and memoirs cover the fascinating life stories of both iconic personalities and quiet heroes.  On sale now, browse hundreds of titles from history, sports, movies, music, science & technology, literature, military history, transportation and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BIOGRAPHY, print editions of all biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are 20% off now through February 15.

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Newly Published: American Small-Town Fiction, 1940–1960

Newly Published:

American Small-Town Fiction, 1940–1960: A Critical Study
Nathanael T. Booth

In literature and popular culture, small town America is often idealized as distilling the national spirit. Does the myth of the small town conceal deep-seated reactionary tendencies or does it contain the basis of a national re-imagining?

During the period between 1940 and 1960, America underwent a great shift in self-mythologizing that can be charted through representations of small towns. Authors like Henry Bellamann and Grace Metalious continued the tradition of Sherwood Anderson in showing the small town—by extension, America itself—profoundly warping the souls of its citizens. Meanwhile, Ray Bradbury, Toshio Mori and Ross Lockridge, Jr., sought to identify the small town’s potential for growth, away from the shadows cast by World War II toward a more inclusive, democratic future. Examined together, these works are key to understanding how mid–20th century America refashioned itself in light of a new postwar order, and how the literary small town both obscures and reveals contradictions at the heart of the American experience.

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Newly Published: The Paranormal Surrounds Us

New on our bookshelf:

The Paranormal Surrounds Us: Psychic Phenomena in Literature, Culture and Psychoanalysis
Richard Reichbart

Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Joyce, E.M. Forster and Ingmar Bergman all made the paranormal essential to their depiction of humanity. Freud recognized telepathy as an everyday phenomenon. Observations on parapsychological aspects of psychoanalysis also include the findings of the Mesmerists, Jung, Ferenczi and Eisenbud.

Many academicians attribute such psychic discoveries to “poetic license” rather than to accurate understanding of our parapsychological capacities. The author—a practicing psychoanalyst and parapsychologist, and a lawyer familiar with Navajo culture—argues for a fresh appraisal of psi phenomena and their integration into psychoanalytic theory and clinical work, literary studies and anthropology.

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Three Books Named Choice Outstanding Academic Titles

Congratulations to these Choice Outstanding Academic Titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
Janaka Bowman Lewis

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
René Reinhold Schallegger

 

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Newly Published: The Language of Popular Science

New on our bookshelf:

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
Olga A. Pilkington

If you read (or write) popular science, you might sometimes wonder: how do the authors manage to make subjects that once put you to sleep in science class both so entertaining and approachable? The use of language is key.

Based on analyses of popular science bestsellers, this linguistic study shows how expert popularizers use the voices and narratives of scientists to engage readers, demonstrating the power of science and portraying researchers as champions of knowledge. By doing so they often blur the lines between nonfiction and fiction, inviting readers to take part in thought experiments and turn ordinary scientists into omnipotent heroes.

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Newly Published: Swedish Marxist Noir

New on our bookshelf:

Swedish Marxist Noir: The Dark Wave of Crime Writers and the Influence of Raymond Chandler
Per Hellgren

Marxist theories have had a profound influence on crime fiction, beginning with the works of the American writers of the 1930s. This study explores the development of a Swedish Marxist noir subgenre after the 1990s through a Marxist reading of central works, from the Marlowe novels of Raymond Chandler to the 1960s social crime fiction of Sjöwall-Wahlöö to modern bestselling authors such as Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Roslund & Hellström, Jens Lapidus, Arne Dahl and others. The works of these writers show a common thread of Marxist worldview in their portrayal of a modern world gone wrong.

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Newly Published: The British Comic Book Invasion

New on our bookshelf:

The British Comic Book Invasion: Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and the Evolution of the American Style
Jochen Ecke

What makes a successful comics creator? How can storytelling stay exciting and innovative? How can genres be kept vital?

Writers and artists in the highly competitive U.S. comics mainstream have always had to explore these questions but they were especially pressing in the 1980s. As comics readers grew older they started calling for more sophisticated stories. They were also no longer just following the adventures of popular characters—writers and artists with distinctive styles were in demand. DC Comics and Marvel went looking for such mavericks and found them in the United Kingdom. Creators like Alan Moore (WatchmenSaga of the Swamp Thing), Grant Morrison (The InvisiblesFlex Mentallo) and Garth Ennis (Preacher) migrated from the anarchical British comics industry to the U.S. mainstream and shook up the status quo yet came to rely on the genius of the American system.

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Newly Published: American Gothic Literature

New on our bookshelf:

American Gothic Literature: A Thematic Study from Mary Rowlandson to Colson Whitehead
Ruth Bienstock Anolik

American Gothic literature inherited many time-worn tropes from its English Gothic precursor, along with a core preoccupation: anxiety about power and property. Yet the transatlantic journey left its mark on the genre—the English ghostly setting becomes the wilderness haunted by spectral Indians. The aristocratic villain is replaced by the striving, independent young man. The dispossession of Native Americans and African Americans add urgency to traditional Gothic anxieties about possession.

The unchanging role of woman in early Gothic narratives parallels the status of American women, even after the Revolution. Twentieth century Gothic works offer inclusion to previously silent voices, including immigrant writers with their own cultural traditions. The 21st century unleashes the zombie horde—the latest incarnation of the voracious American.

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Newly Published: Immersive Theater and Activism

New on our bookshelf:

Immersive Theater and Activism: Scripts and Strategies for Directors and Playwrights
Nandita Dinesh

Immersive theater calls upon audience members to become participants, actors and “others.” It traditionally offers binary roles—that of oppressor or that of victim—and thereby stands the risk of simplifying complex social situations.

Challenging such binaries, this book articulates theatrical “grey zones” when addressing juvenile detention, wartime interventions and immigration processes. It presents scripts and strategies for directors and playwrights who want to create theatrical environments that are immersive and pedagogical; aesthetically evocative and politically provocative; simple and complex.

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: Carl Hiaasen

New on our bookshelf:

Carl Hiaasen: Sunshine State Satirist
David Geherin

Carl Hiaasen has been described as “one of the funniest crime writers in decades,” “America’s finest satirical novelist,” and a “great American writer about the great American subjects of ambition, greed, vanity, and disappointment.”

A columnist for thirty years, Hiaasen also wrote several award-winning young adult books but is best known for his 14 crime novels. His distinctive blend of outrageous humor and biting satire appeals to mystery fans, as well as readers of comic fiction and those interested in social and environmental issues.

The author examines Hiaasen’s entire body of work, from his earliest writing as a reporter and then columnist for the Miami Herald to his bestselling novels for both adult and young readers. While much of his writing focuses on his beloved Florida, his work has a universal appeal that has earned him global fame.

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Newly Published: I Wanna Wrock!

New on our bookshelf:

I Wanna Wrock! The World of Harry Potter–Inspired “Wizard Rock” and Its Fandom
Paul A. Thomas

“Wizard rock”—music based on the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling—is an idiosyncratic subgenre, with band names like Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys and The Whomping Willows. Drawing on input from insiders and fans, and interviews with more than a dozen wizard rockers, this book explores the history and aesthetics of the movement. An appendix lists dozens of popular bands, members and discographies: a must-have for fandom scholars and wizard rock devotees alike.

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Newly Published: A Life Both Public and Private

New on our bookshelf today:

A Life Both Public and Private: Expressions of Individuality in Old English Poetry
Brent R. LaPadula

The concept of the individual or the self, central in so many modern-day contexts, has not been investigated in depth in the Anglo-Saxon period. Focusing on Old English poetry, the author argues that a singular, Anglo-Saxon sense of self may be found by analyzing their surviving verse. The concept of the individual, with an identity outside of her community, is clearly evident during this period, and the widely accepted view that the individual as we understand it did not really exist until the Renaissance does not stand up to scrutiny.

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Newly Published: George Orwell

New on our bookshelf today:

George Orwell: A Literary Companion
Mark Connelly

George Orwell (1903–1950) is one of the most influential authors in the English language. His landmark novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) have been translated into many foreign languages and inspired numerous stage and film adaptations. His well-known essays “A Hanging” and “Shooting an Elephant” are widely anthologized and often taught in college composition classes. The writer is credited with inventing the terms “Big Brother,” “thought crime,” “unperson” and “double think.” His name itself has become an adjective—“Orwellian.”

Seventy years after its publication, Nineteen Eighty-Four remains very popular, its sales surging in an era of enhanced surveillance and media manipulation. This literary companion provides an extensive chronology and more than 175 entries about both his literary works and personal life. Also included are discussion questions and research topics, notable quotations by Orwell and an extensive bibliography of related sources.

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Newly Published: Stopping by Woods

New on our bookshelf today:

Stopping by Woods: Robert Frost as New England Naturalist
Owen D.V. Sholes

Robert Frost was a practicing farmer, a skilled naturalist and one of America’s best-loved poets. His body of work provides a vivid and compelling narrative of New England’s changing environment—though it can be hard to discern when its parts are scattered through hundreds of different poems, voices and moods.

This book pieces together Frost’s environmental commentary, examining his poems thematically and in a logical order. In them, homesteads are carved out of the forest, families make their living from an obdurate land, property is abandoned when it fails to sell, and plants and animals reclaim deserted farms. Frost bemoaned the loss of people from the land but also celebrated the flora and fauna that thrived in fallow fields and empty barns.

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Newly Published: Vying for the Iron Throne

New on our bookshelf today:

Vying for the Iron Throne: Essays on Power, Gender, Death and Performance in HBO’s Game of Thrones
Edited by Lindsey Mantoan and Sara Brady

Game of Thrones has changed the landscape of television during an era hailed as the Golden Age of TV. An adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the HBO series has taken on a life of its own with original plotlines that advance past those of Martin’s books.

The death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One launched a killing spree in television—major characters now die on popular shows weekly. While many shows kill off characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics—and resurrected bodies that continue to fight. This collection of new essays explores how power, death, gender, and performance intertwine in the series.

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Newly Published: Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews

New on our bookshelf today:

Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews: Antisemitism in German and Austrian Crime Writing Before the World Wars
T.S. Kord

In the years leading up to the World Wars, Germany and Austria saw an unprecedented increase in the study and depiction of the criminal. Science, journalism and crime fiction were obsessed with delinquents while ignoring the social causes of crime. As criminologists measured criminals’ heads and debated biological predestination, court reporters and crime writers wrote side-splitting or heart-rending stories featuring one of the most popular characters ever created—the hilarious or piteous crook. The author examines the figure of the crook and notions of “Jewish” criminality in a range of antisemitic writing, from Nazi propaganda to court reporting to forgotten classics of crime fiction.

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Halloween Sale: Horror Books

We realize that the stores have had their trees and Christmas decorations out for sale for weeks now.  At McFarland though, no one wants to leapfrog past our favorite holiday, Halloween!  McFarland has scheduled a sale for our books about horror – whether on film, television, literature, games, comics, culture or anything else.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code HORROR25, print editions of all horror books are 25% off Friday, October 26 through Halloween, October 31.  Be prepared to be up late with the lights on…

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Newly Published: The Archive Incarnate

New on our bookshelf today:

The Archive Incarnate: The Embodiment and Transmission of Knowledge in Science Fiction
Joseph Hurtgen

We live in an information economy, a vast archive of data ever at our fingertips. In the pages of science fiction, powerful entities—governments and corporations—attempt to use this archive to control society, enforce conformity or turn citizens into passive consumers. Opposing them are protagonists fighting to liberate the collective mind from those who would enforce top-down control.

Archival technology and its depictions in science fiction have developed dramatically since the 1950s. Ray Bradbury discusses archives in terms of books and television media, and Margaret Atwood in terms of magazines and journaling. William Gibson focused on technofuturistic cyberspace and brain-to-computer prosthetics, Bruce Sterling on genetics and society as an archive of social practices. Neal Stephenson has imagined post-cyberpunk matrix space and interactive primers. As the archive is altered, so are the humans that interact with ever-advancing technology.

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Newly Published: Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction
Edited by Kevin A. Morrison

This companion to Victorian popular fiction includes more than 300 cross-referenced entries on works written for the British mass market. Biographical sketches cover the writers and their publishers, the topics that concerned them and the genres they helped to establish or refine. Entries introduce readers to long-overlooked authors who were widely read in their time, with suggestions for further reading and emerging resources for the study of popular fiction.

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Newly Published: Fantasy Literature and Christianity

New on our bookshelf today:

Fantasy Literature and Christianity: A Study of the Mistborn, Coldfire, Fionavar Tapestry and Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series
Weronika Łaszkiewicz

The debate surrounding the Christian aspects of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has revealed not only the prominence of religious themes in fantasy fiction, but also readers’ concerns over portrayals of religion in fantasy. Yet while analyses of these works fill many volumes, other fantasy series have received much less attention. This critical study explores the fantastic religions and religious themes in the works of American and Canadian writers Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant), Guy Gavriel Kay (Fionavar Tapestry), Celia S. Friedman (Coldfire Trilogy), and Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) series. References to biblical tradition and Christian teachings reveal these writers’ overall approach to Christianity and the relationship between Christianity and the fantasy genre.

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Newly Published: The Bite, the Breast and the Blood

New on our bookshelf today:

The Bite, the Breast and the Blood: Why Modern Vampire Stories Suck Us In
Amy Williams Wilson

Central to every vampire story is the undead’s need for human blood, but equally compelling is the human ingestion of vampire blood, which often creates a bond. This blood connection suggests two primal, natural desires: breastfeeding and communion with God through a blood covenant.

This analysis of vampire stories explores the benefits of the bonding experiences of breastfeeding and Christian and vampire narratives, arguing that modern readers and viewers are drawn to this genre because of our innate fascination with the relationship between human and maker.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in October Issue of Choice

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
“Compelling…crucially contributing to feminist recovery work and scholarship in African American studies, Freedom Narratives of African American Women is required reading for those interested in 19th-century America…essential.”

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
“Groundbreaking study…this volume is required reading for RPG and gaming scholars…essential.”

The American Soldier, 1866–1916: The Enlisted Man and the Transformation of the United States Army
“This is a rewarding study of enlisted men in the post–Civil War era…recommended.”

Organized Crime in the United States, 1865–1941
“Challenges widely accepted views…an interesting historical analysis…recommended.”

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Newly Published: The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio

New on our bookshelf today:

The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio: Exploring Their Parallel Worlds
Laura Tosi with Peter Hunt

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871) and Carlo Collodi’s Le Avventure di Pinocchio (1883) are among the most influential classics of children’s literature. Firmly rooted in their respective British and Italian national cultures, the Alice and Pinocchio stories connected to a worldwide audience almost like folktales and fairy tales and have become fixtures of postmodernism.

Although they come from radically different political and social backgrounds, the texts share surprising similarities. This comparative reading explores their imagery and history, and discusses them in the broader context of British and Italian children’s stories.

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Newly Published: Writing for College

New on our bookshelf today:

Writing for College: A No-B.S. Guide
Robert Alden Rubin

This book guides first-year students through the dos and don’ts of composition, from such basic questions as “Can I use ‘I’ in a college essay?” to more advanced points about structure and style. Emphasizing the importance of writing in all majors, the author encourages students to find their own voice and to express themselves without jargon or “academese.” Tips are provided on concision, use of supporting claims, marshaling arguments, researching topics, documenting sources, and revision.

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Newly Published: The Echo of Odin

New on our bookshelf today:

The Echo of Odin: Norse Mythology and Human Consciousness
Edward W.L. Smith

The pagan mythology of the Vikings offers a rich metaphor for consciousness. This book presents the cosmography of Norse mythology as a landscape of human inner life. Each of the nine worlds of this cosmography is viewed as a symbol of a distinct type of consciousness that is emblematic of a particular perspective or way of relating to others.

Individual gods and goddesses are considered nuanced personifications of their worlds. The philosophy of pagan mythology is explored by comparing and contrasting the Sayings of Odin from the Norse Edda with the Christian Ten Commandments.

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Newly Published: Video Gaming in Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Video Gaming in Science Fiction: A Critical Study
Jason Barr

As video gaming and gaming culture became more mainstream in the 1970s, science fiction authors began to incorporate aspects of each into their work. This study examines how media-fueled paranoia about video gaming—first emerging almost fifty years ago—still resonates in modern science fiction. The author reveals how negative stereotypes of gamers and gaming have endured in depictions of modern gamers in the media and how honest portrayals are still wanting, even in the “forward thinking” world of science fiction.

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Newly Published: Pirates in History and Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Pirates in History and Popular Culture
Edited by Antonio Sanna

This collection of new essays covers the myriad portrayals of the figure of the pirate in historical records, literary narratives, films, television series, opera, anime and games. Contributors explore the nuances of both real and fictional pirates, giving attention to renowned works such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, and the anime One Piece, as well as less well known works such as pirate romances, William Clarke Russell’s The Frozen Pirate, Lionel Lindsay’s artworks, Steven Speilberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, and Pastafarian texts.

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Newly Published: Memory and Identity in Canadian Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Memory and Identity in Canadian Fiction: Self-Inventive Storytelling in the Works of Five Authors
Sharon Selby

Covering the works of Canadian authors Alistair Macleod, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquhart, Margaret Atwood and Drew Hayden Taylor, the author explores how the themes of memory, storytelling and identity develop in their fiction. For the narrative voices in these works, the past is embedded in the present and a wider cultural history is written over with personal significance. The act of storytelling shapes the characters’ lives, letting them rewrite the past and be haunted by it. Storytelling becomes an existential act of everyday connection among ordinary people and daily (often unrecognized) acts of heroism.

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Newly Published: George Orwell on Screen

New on our bookshelf today:

George Orwell on Screen: Adaptations, Documentaries and Docudramas on Film and Television
David Ryan

British author and essayist George Orwell shot to fame with two iconic novels: the anti–Stalinist satire Animal Farm and the dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four.

A few years after his death in 1950, the CIA bankrolled screen adaptations of both novels as Cold War propaganda. Orwell’s depiction of a totalitarian police state captivated the media in the 1980s. Today, mounting anxieties about digital surveillance and globalization have made him a hot property in Hollywood.

Drawing on interviews with actors, writers, directors and producers, this book presents the first comprehensive study of Orwell on film and television. Beginning with CBS’s 1953 live production of Nineteen Eighty-Four that mirrored the McCarthy witch hunts, the author covers 20 wide-ranging adaptations, documentaries and biopics, including two lost BBC dramatizations from 1965.

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Newly Published: Shakespeare’s Apprenticeship

New on our bookshelf today:

Shakespeare’s Apprenticeship: Identifying the Real Playwright’s Earliest Works
Ramon Jiménez

The contents of the Shakespeare canon have come into question in recent years as scholars add plays or declare others only partially his work. Now, new literary and historical evidence demonstrates that five heretofore anonymous plays published or performed during his lifetime are actually his first versions of later canonical works.

Three histories, The Famous Victories of Henry the FifthThe True Tragedy of Richard the Third, and The Troublesome Reign of John; a comedy, The Taming of a Shrew; and a romance, King Leir, are products of Shakespeare’s juvenile years. Later in his career, he transformed them into the plays that bear nearly identical titles. Each is strikingly similar to its canonical counterpart in terms of structure, plot and cast, though the texts were entirely rewritten.

Virtually all scholars, critics and editors of Shakespeare have overlooked or disputed the idea that he had anything to do with them. This addition of five plays to the Shakespeare canon introduces a new facet to the authorship debate, and supplies further evidence that the real Shakespeare was Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford.

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King Arthur Sales Starts Now

What is known of the legendary King Arthur is mostly derived from folklore and literature.  Though today, one is just as likely to have been introduced to King Arthur by a cartoon boy pulling a sword from a stone.  You’ll find books covering all disciplines in our new King Arthur catalog
For film studies, McFarland’s latest catalog includes such titles as Kevin J. Harty’s groundbreaking Cinema Arthuriana and The Reel Middle Ages.  For students (and professors) of Arthurian literature, William W. Kibler and R. Barton Palmer have brought us a very useful book for the classroom, Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance.   It offers new translations from Latin, Middle English and Old French of texts that exemplify the most important traditions of Arthurian literature in the Middle Ages.  In addition to Arthuriana in folklore, literature and film, this new catalog also includes our line of popular works debating the evidence about historic sites and figures, including Hengest, Gwrtheyrn and the Chronology of Post-Roman BritainWhen you order direct from our website using the coupon code Arthur25, print editions of all Arthuriana books are 25% off September 15 through September 30.
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Newly Published: Adapted from the Original

New on our bookshelf today:

Adapted from the Original: Essays on the Value and Values of Works Remade for a New Medium
Edited by Laurence Raw

Critics and audiences often judge films, books and other media as “great” —but what does that really mean? This collection of new essays examines the various criteria by which degrees of greatness (or not-so) are constructed—whether by personal, political or social standards—through topics in cinema, literature and adaptation. The contributors recognize how issues of value vary across different cultures, and explore what those differences say about attitudes and beliefs.

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Newly Published: Terrifying Texts

New on our bookshelf today:

Terrifying Texts: Essays on Books of Good and Evil in Horror Cinema
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

From Faust (1926) to The Babadook (2014), books have been featured in horror films as warnings, gateways, prisons and manifestations of the monstrous. Ancient grimoires such as the Necronomicon serve as timeless vessels of knowledge beyond human comprehension, while runes, summoning diaries, and spell books offer their readers access to the powers of the supernatural—but at what cost?
 This collection of new essays examines nearly a century of genre horror in which on-screen texts drive and shape their narratives, sometimes unnoticed. The contributors explore American films like The Evil Dead (1981), The Prophecy (1995) and It Follows (2014), as well as such international films as Eric Valette’s Malefique (2002), Paco Cabeza’s The Appeared (2007) and Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (1981).

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Newly Published: Storytelling in the Modern Board Game

New on our bookshelf today:

Storytelling in the Modern Board Game: Narrative Trends from the Late 1960s to Today
Marco Arnaudo

Over the years, board games have evolved to include relatable characters, vivid settings and compelling, intricate plotlines. In turn, players have become more emotionally involved—taking on, in essence, the role of coauthors in an interactive narrative.

Through the lens of game studies and narratology—traditional storytelling concepts applied to the gaming world—this book explores the synergy of board games, designers and players in story-oriented designs. The author provides development guidance for game designers and recommends games to explore for hobby players.

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Newly Published: Teens and the New Religious Landscape

New on our bookshelf today:

Teens and the New Religious Landscape: Essays on Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
Edited by Jacob Stratman

How are teenagers’ religious experiences shown in today’s young adult literature? How do authors use religious texts and beliefs to add depth to characters, settings and plots? How does YA fiction place itself in the larger conversation regarding religion?

Modern YA fiction does not shy away from the dilemmas and anxieties teenagers face today. While many stories end with the protagonist in a state of flux if not despair, some authors choose redemption or reconciliation.

This collection of new essays explores these issues and more, with a focus on stories in which characters respond to a new (often shifting) religious landscape, in both realistic and fantastic worlds.