Browse our new superheroes catalog and, through the end of September, get 20% off with code SUPER20!
Caitlín R. Kiernan is at the forefront of contemporary gothic, weird and science fiction literature. She has written more than a dozen novels, over 250 short stories, many chapbooks, along with a large number of graphic works. For these Kiernan has won numerous awards. This first full-length look at Kiernan’s body of work explores her fictional universe through critical literary lenses to show the depth of her contributions to modern genre literature.
A prolific and creative writer, Kiernan’s fictions bring to life our fears about the other, the unknown, and the future through stories that range widely across time and space. A sense of dark terror pervades her novels and stories. Yet Kiernan’s fictional universe is not disengaged from reality. That is because she works within the long tradition of gothic fiction speaking to the gravest ethical, social and cultural issues. In her dark fiction, Kiernan illustrates the terror of the tyranny of the normal, the oppression of marginalized people, and the pervasive violence of our time. Her dystopian sf propels today’s dangerous economic, social, political and environmental tendencies into the future. Kiernan’s fiction portrays troubling truths about the current human condition.
Chinese Women Writers on the Environment: A Multi-Ethnic Anthology of Fiction and Nonfiction
Edited by Dong Isbister, Xiumei Pu and Stephen D. Rachman
The stories, prose and poems in this anthology offer readers a unique and generous array of women’s experiences in China. In a world that is rapidly modernizing, these writings attempt to reconcile with the ever-changing people, plants, beasts and environment. After five years of painstaking collection and translation, the authors present these stories of strength and sadness, defiance and resilience, urban and village life, from the days of the cultural revolution to the present. Whether a house full of hawks and eagles, a stubborn cow, or a defiant elderly couple sabotaging a lumber operation, these stories express powerful visions of the earth interwoven with human memory.
Marion Zimmer Bradley: A Companion to the Young Adult Literature
Mary Ellen Snodgrass
This literary companion surveys the young adult works of American author Marion Zimmer Bradley, primarily known for her work in the fantasy genre. An A to Z arrangement includes coverage of novels (The Catch Trap, Survey Ship, The Fall of Atlantis, The Firebrand, The Forest House and The Mists of Avalon), the graphic narrative Warrior Woman, the Lythande novella The Gratitude of Kings, and, from the Darkover series, The Shattered Chain, The Sword of Aldones and Traitor’s Sun. Separate entries on dominant themes—rape, divination, religion, violence, womanhood, adaptation and dreams—comb stories and longer works for the author’s insights about the motivation of institutions that oppress marginalized groups, especially women.
Terry Pratchett’s Ethical Worlds: Essays on Identity and Narrative in Discworld and Beyond
Edited by Kristin Noone and Emily Lavin Leverett
Terry Pratchett’s writing celebrates the possibilities opened up by inventiveness and imagination. It constructs an ethical stance that values informed and self-aware choices, knowledge of the world in which one makes those choices, the importance of play and humor in crafting a compassionate worldview, and acts of continuous self-examination and creation. This collection of essays uses inventiveness and creation as a thematic core to combine normally disparate themes, such as science fiction studies, the effect of collaborative writing and shared authorship, steampunk aesthetics, productive modes of “ownership,” intertextuality, neomedievalism and colonialism, adaptations into other media, linguistics and rhetorics, and coming of age as an act of free will.
In all Pratchett’s constructed worlds and narratives—from Discworld, to the science-fictional flat planet of Strata, from a parody of Conan the Barbarian’s Cimmeria to the comedically apocalyptic Good Omens—questions of identity, community, and the relations between self and other are constantly examined, debated, and reshaped. Pratchett’s worlds thus become ethical worlds: fantasies in which language always matters, stories resonate with the past and the future, and choices emphasize the importance of compassion and creation.
Mid–20th century America envisioned a wondrous future of comfort, convenience and technological advancement. Popular culture—including World’s Fairs, science fiction and advertising—fed high hopes even when war and hardship threatened. American ingenuity and consumer culture promised to deliver flying cars, undersea cities, household robots and space travel. By the 1960s political assassinations, the civil rights and women’s movements, the Vietnam War and the “generation gap” eroded that optimism, refocusing attention on the issues of the present. The nation’s utopian dream was brief but revealing. Based on a wide range of sources, this book takes a fresh look at America’s precipitous fall from futurism to disillusionment.
This first-ever volume focusing on sports pulp fiction devoted to America’s two most popular pastimes of the 1935–1957 era—baseball and football—provides extensive detail on authors, along with examination of key plots, themes, trends and categories. Commentary relates the works to real-life baseball and football of the period.
The history of the genre is traced, beginning with the debut of Dime Sport (later renamed Dime Sports), the first magazine from a major publisher to provide competition for Street & Smith’s long-established Sport Story Magazine. Complementing the text is a complete catalog of fiction from the six major publishers who competed with S&S, also noting the cover themes for 1,054 issues.
Our fall New Titles catalog is now available, featuring 184 forthcoming books from our authors. Browse now!
Lessons from Hogwarts: Essays on the Pedagogy of Harry Potter
Edited by Marcie Panutsos Rovan and Melissa Wehler
Before she was a renowned children’s author, J.K. Rowling was an educator. Her bestselling series, Harry Potter, places education at the forefront, focusing not only on Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s adventures but also on their magical education.
This multi-author collection shines a light on the central role of education within the Harry Potter series, exploring the pedagogical possibilities of using Harry Potter to enhance teaching effectiveness. Authors examine topics related to environments for learning, approaches to teaching and learning, and the role of mentorship. Created for scholars, teachers, and fans alike, this collection provides an entry into pedagogical theories and offers critical perspectives on the quality of Hogwarts education—from exemplary to abusive and every approach in between. Hogwarts provides many lessons for educators, both magical and muggle alike.
Despite its cozy image, the bungalow in literature and film is haunted by violence even while fostering possibilities for personal transformation, utopian social vision and even comedy. Originating in Bengal and adapted as housing for colonialist ventures worldwide, the homes were sold in mail-order kits during the “bungalow mania” of the early 20th century and enjoyed a revival at century’s end. The bungalow as fictional setting stages ongoing contradictions of modernity—home and homelessness, property and dispossession, self and other—prompting a rethinking of our images of house and home. Drawing on the work of writers, architects and film directors, including Katherine Mansfield, E. M. Forster, Amitav Ghosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Willa Cather, Buster Keaton and Walter Mosley, this study offers new readings of the transcultural bungalow.
Science fiction boasts a deceptively long history, extending as far back as the 19th century. This anthology pairs original essays that introduce short stories of vintage science fiction. Critical introductions written by international experts contextualize these stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Inclusions range from legendary authors like Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe to lesser-known figures like E.P Mitchell, George Parsons Lathrop, and Franklin Ruth.
A common definition of ekphrasis is descriptive writing influenced by the visual arts. Beyond the written word, however, responding to art can engender self-reflection, creativity, and help writers to build characters, plot, and setting. This book unites the history and tradition of ekphrasis, its conventions, the writing process, and multi-genre writing prompts. In addition to subjects such as early art engagement, psychology, and the eye-brain-perception relationship, this book discusses artists’ creative processes, tools, and techniques, and offers instruction on how to read art by way of deep-looking.
New on our bookshelf:
Mythology for centuries has served as humanity’s window into understanding its distant past. In our modern world, storytelling creates its own myths and legends, in media ranging from the world of television and cinema to literature and comic books, that help us make sense of the world we live in today.
What is the “Mytharc”? How did it arise? How does it inform modern long-form storytelling? How does the classical hero’s journey intersect with modern myths and narratives? And where might the storytelling of tomorrow take readers and viewers as we imagine our future? From The X-Files to H.P. Lovecraft, from Lost to the Marvel cinematic universe and many worlds beyond, this study explores our modern storytelling mythology and where it may lead us.
New on our bookshelf:
Curious about the chains that bound Fenriswulf in Norse mythology? Or the hut of Baba Yaga, the infamous witch of Russian folklore? Containing more than one thousand detailed entries on the magical and mythical items from the different folklore, legends, and religions the world over, this encyclopedia is the first of its kind. From Abadi, the named stone in Roman mythology to Zul-Hajam, one of the four swords said to belong to the prophet Mohammed, each item is described in as much detail as the original source material provided, including information on its origin, who was its wielder, and the extent of its magical abilities. The text also includes a comprehensive cross-reference system and an extensive bibliography to aid researchers.
It’s June, gas prices are cheap, the highways are free of traffic, and holiday destinations are uncrowded. Let’s hit the road (in spirit, if not in deed)! Our automotive history line, including histories of marques famous and obscure, auto racing, biographies, reference works like J. Kelly Flory’s massive American Cars volumes, and much more, is complimented by many excellent works on locomotive, aviation, and maritime history; bicycles; and military transportation. This month, we’re offering ALL transportation titles at 40% off the list price with coupon code TRANSPORTATION40! Use this coupon code on our website through Sunday, June 28. Safe travels from your friends at McFarland!
Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Erin E. MacDonald
Ian Rankin is considered by many to be Scotland’s greatest living crime fiction author. Most well known for his Inspector Rebus series—which has earned critical acclaim as well as scores of fans worldwide—Rankin is a prolific author whose other works include spy thrillers, nonfiction books and articles, short stories, novels, graphic novels, audio recordings, television/film, and plays.
This companion—the first to provide a complete look at all of his writings—includes alphabetized entries on Rankin’s works, characters, and themes; a biography; a chronology; maps of Rebus’ Edinburgh; and an annotated bibliography. A champion of both Edinburgh and Scotland, Rankin continues to combine engaging entertainment with socio-political commentary showing Edinburgh as a microcosm of Scotland, and Scotland as a microcosm of the world. His writing investigates questions of Scottish identity, British history, masculinity, and contemporary culture while providing mystery readers with complex, suspenseful plots, realistic character development, and a unique mix of American hard-boiled and procedural styles with Scottish dialects and sensibilities.
This is the first book to comprehensively examine the multitude of non-Archie teen humor comic books, including girls and boys such as Patsy Walker, Hedy Wolfe, Buzz Baxter and Wendy Parker from Marvel; Judy Foster, Buzzy, Binky and Scribbly from DC; Candy from Quality Comics; and Hap Hazard from Ace Comics. It covers, often for the first time, the history of the characters, who drew them, why (or why not) they succeeded as rivals for the Archie Series, highlights of both unusual and typical stories and much more. The author provides major plotlines and a history of the development of each series. Much has been written about the Archie characters, but until now very little has been told about most of their many comic book competitors.
We’re pleased to announce that Caroline Reitz will be the next executive editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection. Reitz is an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY and a faculty member of the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also co-editor of the Dickens Studies Annual and brings rich personal publishing experience.
Reitz will succeed Janice Allan, who assumed executive editorship in 2012. Allan’s high standards and commitment to diverse voices led to publication of high-quality articles from authors from all over the world, demonstrating that mystery/detective/crime fiction study truly is an international enterprise that offers much to the field of literary criticism. We deeply appreciate her contributions and excellent leadership over the past eight years.
Teaching Girls on Fire: Essays on Dystopian Young Adult Literature in the Classroom
Edited by Sarah Hentges and Sean P. Connors
The rise of YA dystopian literature has seen an explosion of female protagonists who are stirring young people’s interest in social and political topics, awakening their civic imagination, and inspiring them to work for change. These “Girls on Fire” are intersectional and multidimensional characters. They are leaders in their communities and they challenge injustice and limited representations. The Girl on Fire fights for herself and for those who are oppressed, voiceless, or powerless. She is the hope for our shared future.
This collection of new essays brings together teachers and students from a variety of educational contexts to explore how to harness the cultural power of the Girl on Fire as we educate real-world students. Each essay provides both theoretical foundations as well as practical, hands-on teaching tools that can be used with diverse groups of students, in formal as well as informal educational settings. This volume challenges readers to realize the symbolic power the Girl on Fire has to raise consciousness and inform action and to keep that fire burning.
Who decides what is right or wrong, ethical or immoral, just or unjust? In the world of crime and spy fiction between 1880 and 1920, the boundaries of the law were blurred and justice called into question humanity’s moral code. As fictional detectives mutated into spies near the turn of the century, the waning influence of morality on decision-making signaled a shift in behavior from idealistic principles towards a pragmatic outlook taken in the national interest.
Taking a fresh approach to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, this book examines how Holmes and his rival maverick literary detectives and spies manipulated the law to deliver a fairer form of justice than that ordained by parliament. Multidisciplinary, this work views detective fiction through the lenses of law, moral philosophy, and history, and incorporates issues of gender, equality, and race. By studying popular publications of the time, it provides a glimpse into public attitudes towards crime and morality and how those shifting opinions helped reconstruct the hero in a new image.
Resist and Persist: Essays on Social Revolution in 21st Century Narratives
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark
To many, the world appears to be in a state of dangerous change. News and fictional media alike report that these are dark times, and narratives of social resistance imbue many facets of Western culture. The new essays making up this collection examine different events and themes of the 2010s that readily acknowledge the struggling state of things. Crucially, these essays look to the resistance and political activism of communities that seek to make long-reaching and institutional changes in the world through a diverse group of media texts. They scrutinize how a society relates to injustices and how individuals enact a desire for change. The authors analyze a broad range of works such as texts as Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock, Black Panther, The Death of Stalin, Get Out, Jessica Jones, Hamilton, The Shape of Water, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. By digging into these and other works, as well as historic events, the contributors explicate the soul-deep necessity of pushing back against injustice, whether personal or cultural.
Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age: Critical Essays
Edited by Julie H. Kim
To read a crime novel today largely simulates the exercise of reading newspapers or watching the news. The speed and frequency with which today’s bestselling works of crime fiction are produced allow them to mirror and dissect nearly contemporaneous socio-political events and conflicts. This collection examines this phenomenon and offers original, critical, essays on how national identity appears in international crime fiction in the age of populism and globalization. These essays address topics such as the array of competing nationalisms in Europe; Indian secularism versus Hindu communalism; the populist rhetoric tinged with misogyny or homophobia in the United States; racial, religious or ethnic others who are sidelined in political appeals to dominant native voices; and the increasing economic chasm between a rich and poor.
More broadly, these essays inquire into themes such as how national identity and various conceptions of masculinity are woven together, how dominant native cultures interact with migrant and colonized cultures to explore insider/outsider paradigms and identity politics, and how generic and cultural boundaries are repeatedly crossed in postcolonial detective fiction.
This is a comprehensive history of the world’s midwinter gift-givers, showcasing the extreme diversity in their depictions as well as the many traits and functions these characters share. It tracks the evolution of these figures from the tribal priests who presided over winter solstice celebrations thousands of years before the birth of Christ, to Christian notables like St. Martin and St. Nicholas, to a variety of secular figures who emerged throughout Europe following the Protestant Reformation. Finally, it explains how the popularity of a poem about a “miniature sleigh” and “eight tiny reindeer” helped consolidate the diverse European gift-givers into an enduring tradition in which American children awake early on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought.
Although the names, appearance, attire and gift-giving practices of the world’s winter solstice gift-givers differ greatly, they are all recognizable as Santa, the personification of the Christmas and Midwinter festivals. Despite efforts to eliminate him by groups as diverse as the Puritans of seventeenth century New England, the Communist Party of the twentieth century Soviet Union and the government of Nazi Germany, Santa has survived and prospered, becoming one of the best known and most beloved figures in the world.
Girls to the Rescue: Young Heroines in American Series Fiction of World War I
Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis
During World War I, as young men journeyed overseas to battle, American women maintained the home front by knitting, fundraising, and conserving supplies. These became daily chores for young girls, but many longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort—and some were. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Through fiction, girls could catch spies, cross battlefields, man machine guns, and blow up bridges. These adventurous heroines were contemporary feminist role models, creating avenues of leadership for women and inspiring individualism and self-discovery. The work presented here analyzes the powerful messages in such literature, how it created awareness and grappled with the engagement of real girls in the United States and Allied war effort, and how it reflects their contemporaries’ awareness of girls’ importance.
The Ages of the Black Panther: Essays on the King of Wakanda in Comic Books
Edited by Joseph J. Darowski
Black Panther was the first black superhero in mainstream comic books, and his most iconic adventures are analyzed here. This collection of new essays explores Black Panther’s place in the Marvel universe, focusing on the comic books. With topics ranging from the impact apartheid and the Black Panther Party had on the comic to theories of gender and animist imagery, these essays analyze individual storylines and situate them within the socio-cultural framework of the time periods in which they were created, drawing connections that deepen understanding of both popular culture and the movements of society. Supporting characters such as Everett K. Ross and T’Challa’s sister Shuri are also considered. From his creation in 1966 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee up through the character’s recent adventures by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze, more than fifty years of the Black Panther’s history are addressed.
The Many Lives of It: Essays on the Stephen King Horror Franchise
Edited by Ron Riekki
After its publication in 1986, Stephen King’s novel It sparked sequels, remakes, parodies and solidified an entire genre: clown horror. Decades later, director Andy Muschietti revitalized King’s popular novel, smashing all box office expectations with the release of his 2017 film It. At the time of its release, the movie set the record for the world’s highest-grossing horror film. Examining the legacy of the controversial cult novel, the 2017 box office sensation and other incarnations of the demonic clown Pennywise, this collection of never-before-published essays covers the franchise from a variety of perspectives. Topics include examinations of the carnivalesque in both the novel and films, depictions of sexuality and theology in the book, and manifestations of patriarchy and the franchise, among other diverse subjects.After its publication in 1986, Stephen King’s novel It sparked sequels, remakes, parodies and solidified an entire genre: clown horror. Decades later, director Andy Muschietti revitalized King’s popular novel, smashing all box office expectations with the release of his 2017 film It. At the time of its release, the movie set the record for the world’s highest-grossing horror film. Examining the legacy of the controversial cult novel, the 2017 box office sensation and other incarnations of the demonic clown Pennywise, this collection of never-before-published essays covers the franchise from a variety of perspectives. Topics include examinations of the carnivalesque in both the novel and films, depictions of sexuality and theology in the book, and manifestations of patriarchy and the franchise, among other diverse subjects.
We’re missing the annual Popular Culture Association conference and all of our authors, customers and friends there. As a conference substitute, we’re offering 20% off all popular culture books through this Sunday, April 19, with coupon code PCA20!
April means we’re halfway to our next Halloween, and we think it’s a great time to celebrate all things macabre. This month, we’re offering readers 40% off our most riveting—and often downright frightening—books on real-life monsters and mayhem with our true crime sale. Through April 19th, use coupon code TRUECRIME40 on all of our reads about serial killers, unsolved crimes, famous robberies and more. Browse our true crime catalog here!
As awareness of climate change grows, so do the number of cultural depictions of environmental disaster. Graphic novels have reliably produced dramatizations of such disasters. Many use themes of dystopian hopefulness, or the enjoyment readers experience from seeing society prevail in times of apocalypse.
This book argues that these generally inspirational narratives contribute to a societal apathy for real-life environmental degradation. By examining the narratives and art of the environmental apocalypse in contemporary graphic novels, the author stands against dystopian hope, arguing that the ways in which we experience depictions of apocalypse shape how we respond to real crises.
The following titles are now available on Kindle:
A Century in Uniform: Military Women in American Films
African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788–1941
Apocalypse TV: Essays on Society and Self at the End of the World
Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel: Life and the Environment After Societal Collapse
Autogenic Training: A Mind-Body Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Pain Syndrome and Stress-Related Disorders, 3d ed.
Baseball in Europe: A Country by Country History, 2d ed.
Chasing the Bounty: The Voyages of the Pandora and Matavy
Colonels in Blue—Missouri and the Western States and Territories: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary
Electric Trucks: A History of Delivery Vehicles, Semis, Forklifts and Others
Ethics After Poststructuralism: A Critical Reader
Film History Through Trade Journal Art, 1916–1920
Final Battles of Patton’s Vanguard: The United States Army Fourth Armored Division, 1945–1946
George “Mooney” Gibson: Canadian Catcher for the Deadball Era Pirates
Girl of Steel: Essays on Television’s Supergirl and Fourth-Wave Feminism
Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies: 23 Actresses Who Suffered Early Deaths, Accidents, Missteps, Illnesses and Tragedies
Italian Crime Fiction in the Era of the Anti-Mafia Movement
Japan’s Spy at Pearl Harbor: Memoir of an Imperial Navy Secret Agent
Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer: Beyond the Gold Rush
John Derek: Actor, Director, Photographer
Kenny Riley and Black Union Labor Power in the Port of Charleston
Managing Organizational Conflict
Nick McLean Behind the Camera: The Life and Works of a Hollywood Cinematographer
Parenting Through Pop Culture: Essays on Navigating Media with Children
Philip K. Dick: Essays of the Here and Now
Quaker Carpetbagger: J. Williams Thorne, Underground Railroad Host Turned North Carolina Politician
Rhode Island’s Civil War Dead: A Complete Roster
Rosalie Gardiner Jones and the Long March for Women’s Rights
Rosenblatt Stadium: Essays and Memories of Omaha’s Historic Ballpark, 1948–2012
Sacred and Mythological Animals: A Worldwide Taxonomy
Sailing Under John Paul Jones: The Memoir of Continental Navy Midshipman Nathaniel Fanning, 1778–1783
Section 27 and Freedman’s Village in Arlington National Cemetery: The African American History of America’s Most Hallowed Ground
Sicily on Screen: Essays on the Representation of the Island and Its Culture
Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television
Taking Fire!: Memoir of an Aerial Scout in Vietnam
The 6th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster
The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry: How a Confederate Artillery Battery and a Black Union Regiment Defined the War
The General Aviation Industry in America: A History, 2d ed.
The Man Who Made Babe Ruth: Brother Matthias of St. Mary’s School
The Showgirl Costume: An Illustrated History
The USS Swordfish: The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship
The Women of City Point, Virginia, 1864–1865: Stories of Life and Work in the Union Occupation Headquarters
Themes in Latin American Cinema: A Critical Survey, 2d ed.
Understanding Nazi Ideology: The Genesis and Impact of a Political Faith
Virtual Tribe: Indigenous Identity in Social Media
Why the Axis Lost: An Analysis of Strategic Errors
Sacred and Mythological Animals: A Worldwide Taxonomy
From the household cat to horses that can fly, a surprisingly wide range of animals feature in religions and mythologies all across the world. The same animal can take on different roles: the raven can be a symbol of evil, a harbinger of death, a wise messenger or a shape-changing trickster. In Norse mythology, Odin’s magical ravens perch on his shoulders and bring him news.
This compendium draws upon religious texts and myths to explore the ways sacred traditions use animal images, themes and associations in rituals, ceremonies, texts, myths, literature and folklore across the world. Sections are organized by the main animal classifications such as mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects. Each chapter covers one significant grouping (such as dogs, cats or horses), first describing an animal scientifically and then detailing the mythological attributes. Numerous examples cite texts or myths. A final section covers animal hybrids, animal monsters and mythical animals as well as stars, constellations and Zodiac symbols. An appendix describes basic details of the religions and mythologies covered. A glossary defines uncommon religious terms and explains scientific animal names.
Philip K. Dick: Essays of the Here and Now
Edited by David Sandner
Philip K. Dick was a visionary writer of science fiction. His works speak to contemporary fears of being continually watched by technology, and the paranoia of modern life in which we watch ourselves and lose our sense of identity. Since his death in 1982, Dick’s writing remain frighteningly relevant to 21st century audiences. Dick spent his life in near poverty and it was only after his death that he gained popular and critical recognition.
In this new collection of essays, interviews, and talks, Philip K Dick is rediscovered. Concentrating both on recent critical studies and on reassessing his legacy in light of his new status as a “major American author,” these essays explore, just what happened culturally and critically to precipitate his extraordinary rise in reputation. The essays look for his traces in the places he lived, in the SF community he came from, and in his influence on contemporary American literature and culture, and beyond.
Ethics After Poststructuralism: A Critical Reader
Edited by Lee Olsen, Brendan Johnston and Ann Keniston
The present era of economic devastation, legacies of colonization and imperialism, climate change and habitat loss, calls for a new understanding of ethics. These essays on otherness, responsibility and hospitality raise urgent questions. Contributors range from the prominent—including Levinas, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben—to recent theorists such as Judith Butler, Enrique Dussell and Rosi Braidotti. The essays emphasize the always vulnerable status of a radically different Other, even as they question what responsibility to that Other might mean.
Text & Presentation, 2019
Edited by Amy Muse
This volume is the sixteenth in a series dedicated to presenting the latest findings in the fields of comparative drama, performance, and dramatic textual analysis. Featuring some of the best work from the 2019 Comparative Drama Conference in Orlando, this book engages audiences with new research on contemporary and classic drama, performance studies, scenic design and adaptation theory in nine scholarly essays, two event transcripts and six book reviews. This year’s highlights include an interview with playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and a roundtable discussion on the sixtieth anniversary of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.
Italian Crime Fiction in the Era of the Anti-Mafia Movement
Over the last three decades, Italian crime fiction has demonstrated a trend toward a much higher level of realism and complexity. The origins of the New Italian Epic, as it has been coined by some of its proponents, can be found in the widespread backlash against the Mafia–sponsored murders of Sicilian magistrates which culminated with the assassinations of Judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992. Though beginning in the Italian language, this prolific, popular movement has more recently found its way into the English language and hence it has found a much wider international audience.
Following a brief, yet detailed, history of the cultural and economic development of Sicily, this book provides a multilayered look into the evolution of the New Italian Epic genre. The works of ten prominent contemporary writers, including Andrea Camilleri, Michael Dibdin, Elena Ferrante, and Massimo Carlotto, are examined against the backdrop of various historical periods. This “past is prologue” approach to contemporary crime fiction provides context for the creation of these recent novels and enhances understanding of the complex moral ambiguity that is characteristic of anti-mafia Italian crime fiction.
Celebrate Women’s History Month with our new women’s studies catalog!
Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern: Critical Essays
Edited by Michele Brittany and Nicholas Diak
From shambling zombies to Gothic ghosts, horror has entertained thrill-seeking readers for centuries. A versatile literary genre, it offers commentary on societal issues, fresh insight into the everyday and moral tales disguised in haunting tropes and grotesque acts, with many stories worthy of critical appraisal. This collection of new essays takes in a range of topics, focusing on historic works such as Ann Radcliffe’s Gaston de Blondeville (1826) and modern novels including Max Brooks’ World War Z. Other contributions examine weird fiction, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Indigenous Australian monster mythology and horror in picture books for young children.
Rebirth in the Life and Works of Beatrix Potter
This work traces the concepts of initiation, transformation and rebirth though Beatrix Potter’s personal writings and her children’s fiction. Her letters and journals reveal attempts to escape from what she called her “unloved birthplace” and her overbearing parents. Potter felt that her life culminated in her forties, when she was, in effect, reborn through marriage as Mrs. William Heelis, a farmer raising Herdwick sheep and buying land for the National Trust.
From her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, through some of the last, such as The Fairy Caravan and The Tale of Little Pig Robinson, central characters undergo processes of initiation during which they mature toward adulthood. The most successful ones move from being helpless children to more mature creatures on their way to independence, while others experience no change or even regression.
Click here to browse our newest African American Studies catalog!
For 21st-century young adults struggling for personal autonomy in a society that often demands compliance, the bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games remains palpably relevant despite its futuristic setting. For Suzanne Collins’ characters, personal agency involves not only the physical battle of controlling one’s body but also one’s response to such influences as morality, trauma, power and hope.
The author explores personal agency through in-depth examinations of the lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Primrose, and others, and through an analysis of themes like the overabundance of bodily imagery, social expectations in the Capitol, and problem parental figures. Readers will discover their own “dandelion of hope” through the examples set out by Collins’ characters, who prove over and over that human agency is always attainable.
The Global Vampire: Essays on the Undead in Popular Culture Around the World
Edited by Cait Coker
The media vampire has roots throughout the world, far beyond the shores of the usual Dracula-inspired Anglo-American archetypes. Depending on text and context, the vampire is a figure of anxiety and comfort, humor and fear, desire and revulsion. These dichotomies gesture the enduring prevalence of the vampire in mass culture; it can no longer articulate a single feeling or response, bound by time and geography, but is many things to many people. With a global perspective, this collection of essays offers something new and different: a much needed counter-narrative of the vampire’s evolution in popular culture. Divided by geography, this text emphasizes the vampiric as a globetrotting citizen du monde rather than an isolated monster.
Willful Monstrosity: Gender and Race in 21st Century Horror
Taking in a wide range of film, television, and literature, this volume explores 21st century horror and its monsters from an intersectional perspective with a marked emphasis on gender and race. The analysis, which covers over 70 narratives, is organized around four primary monstrous figures—zombies, vampires, witches and monstrous women. Arguing that the current horror renaissance is populated with willful monsters that subvert prevailing cultural norms and systems of power, the discussion reads horror in relation to topics of particular import in the contemporary moment—rampant sexual violence, unbridled capitalist greed, brutality against people of color, militarism, and the patriarchy’s refusal to die.
Examining ground-breaking films and television shows such as Get Out, Us, The Babadook, A Quiet Place, Stranger Things, Penny Dreadful, and The Passage, as well as works by key authors like Justin Cronin, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, Margo Lanagan, and Jeanette Winterson, this monograph offers a thorough account of the horror landscape and what it says about the 21st century world.
Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics
When Superman debuted in 1938, he ushered in a string of imitators—Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. But what about the many less well-known heroes who lined up to fight crooks, super villains or Hitler—like the Shield, the Black Terror, Crimebuster, Cat-Man, Dynamic Man, the Blue Beetle, the Black Cat and even Frankenstein?
These and other four-color fighters crowded the newsstands from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. Most have since been overlooked, and not necessarily because they were victims of poor publication. This book gives the other superheroes of the Golden Age of comics their due.
This first-ever biography exploring the life of Ping Chong (1946), successful avant-garde artist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, focuses on his valuable contributions to modern theatre. Drawing on primary sources and her own attendance of Chong’s productions, the author takes a broad and informative approach to his work as a performer, playwright and director over 48 years.
Welcome to Arkham Asylum: Essays on Psychiatry and the Gotham City Institution
Edited by Sharon Packer, M.D. and Daniel R. Fredrick
Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is a staple of the Batman universe, evolving into a franchise comprised of comic books, graphic novels, video games, films, television series and more. The Arkham franchise, supposedly light-weight entertainment, has tackled weighty issues in contemporary psychiatry. Its plotlines reference clinical and ethical controversies that perplex even the most up-to-date professionals. The 25 essays in this collection explore the significance of Arkham’s sinister psychiatrists, murderous mental patients, and unethical geneticists. It invites debates about the criminalization of the mentally ill, mental patients who move from defunct state hospitals into expanding prisons, madness versus badness, sociopathy versus psychosis, the “insanity defense” and more. Invoking literary figures from Lovecraft to Poe to Caligari, the 25 essays in this collection are a broad-ranging and thorough assessment of the franchise and its relationship to contemporary psychiatry.
Today only, get 30% off all locomotive history books with coupon code LOCOMOTIVE30!
Today only, get 30% off all books about science fiction and fantasy with coupon code SCIFI30!
Science Fiction and the Dismal Science: Essays on Economics in and of the Genre
Edited by Gary Westfahl, Gregory Benford, Howard V. Hendrix and Jonathan Alexander
Despite the growing importance of economics in our lives, literary scholars have long been reluctant to consider economic issues as they examine key texts. This volume seeks to fill one of these conspicuous gaps in the critical literature by focusing on various connections between science fiction and economics, with some attention to related fields such as politics and government. Its seventeen contributors include five award-winning scholars, five science fiction writers, and a widely published economist.
Three topics are covered: what noted science fiction writers like Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and Kim Stanley Robinson have had to say about our economic and political future; how the competitive and ever-changing publishing marketplace has affected the growth and development of science fiction from the nineteenth century to today; and how the scholars who examine science fiction have themselves been influenced by the economics of academia. Although the essays focus primarily on American science fiction, the traditions of Russian and Chinese science fiction are also examined. A comprehensive bibliography of works related to science fiction and economics will assist other readers and critics who are interested in this subject.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today only, get 30% off all books about comics with coupon code COMICS30!
Today only, get 30% off all books about horror with coupon code HORROR30!
Today only, get 30% off all books about Westerns with the coupon code WESTERN30!
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@example.com) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Dré.
The Apocalypse, Ethics and Philosophy
Sustainability, Ethics and Philosophy
Pop Culture and Philosophy
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.
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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Layla.
Literature & Pop Culture
Comics & Heroism
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.
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.
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@example.com) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Gary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Dré.
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.
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.
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.
Modern? Urban? YA? Medieval? Dark? Weird? Fairy Tale? Delve into the fantastic with McFarland’s latest catalog of fantasy books, and, through Sept 30, get 20% off your order with coupon code FANTASY19!
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.
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.
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 Fringe, Guardians 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.
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.
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.
Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics
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.
Our Fall 2019 new books catalog is now available—browse our authors’ new and forthcoming titles today!
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.
Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Star 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.
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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
Seeing the Beat Generation: Entering the Literature through Film
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.
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.
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.
Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.