Exploits in Non-Fiction

You won’t find a writer who lacks their fair share of bad habits, and Lord knows I’ve got mine. One is my tendency to hit on an idea for a non-fiction book (generally related to fantasy, horror and science fiction) and start work on it, even when I’ve already got a number of similar projects on the boil.

These are the books that were in progress when I came into 2021…

Thoughts & Fears: Essays on Horror and Culture
The idea here was to gather together my blog posts about horror media, with some original writing on the side. The complicating factor? That original writing required me to delve into some very deep rabbit holes. Right now I’m working on an essay about the early horror fiction of Whitley Strieber, in relation to his claims to have been abducted by aliens…

Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers: Speculative Fiction in the Culture Wars
The first non-fiction book I embarked upon, this one will be about the stories caught up in the Sad/Rabies Puppies campaigns that occurred from 2013-2016. At the time I started work these events were still fresh in the memory; by this point, however, I’m very much writing about media history. I dusted off a 10,000-word chapter a couple of weeks ago.

Amazing Histories
Strictly speaking, this one isn’t a book… at least, not yet. My issue-by-issue retrospective of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories has very nearly reached the end of founder Hugo Gernsback’s tenure. That means I’ll have more than enough material to be complied into an entire book on an interesting era in the history of SF, although arranging a stack of short story reviews into a coherent critical work will take time.

And then…
Finally, I’ve got one more non-fiction book on the boil. I’d rather not go into detail about it because, well, I’ve already spent more than enough time talking about unfinished books. Suffice to say that I came up with the idea last year, it’s already passed 20,000 words, and I’m determined to have it published by the end of this year. The subject matter is flexible enough for me to say that it’ll be finished when it’s finished.

(And all that’s leaving aside the fact that I’m also working on two novels…)

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