StokerCon 2019 has ended

John H Faria

Jackson County Public Library
Library Director
Ripley, WV
I have been a public librarian for 23 years and worked in several public libraries from large urban libraries to now a small rural one with two branches. I have also been a reader of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres since I was very young. From Tolkien to C.S Lewis to Clarke to Bradbury to Heinlein to Octavia Butler and C. J Cherryh to Frank Herbert and Tad Williams to Robert E. Howard to David Eddings and eveyone in between I read widely in these science fictional and fantastical realms. I was lead to these adventurous realms by the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville. From Poe's internal terrors to Melville's mystical depths of the sea and far flung shores I longed to go beyond those shores and did so with science fiction and fantasy but in pondering the problems of good and evil I went from the fantastical realms into the spine tingling realms of horror. F. Paul Wilson's The Keep, S.P Somtow's Moondance, Whitley Strieber's The Wolfen, and Dean Koontz's Midnight an outstanding modern retelling of Well's Island of Dr.Moreau were instrumental in getting me hooked into the horror genre. I eventually read the classics Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker's Dracula (twice) and Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr.Hyde. Of course I encountered the gothic horrors when I was younger. I was one of those kids who ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows. I also came across a little known Dracula Horror Series by Robert Lory in the paperback racks at 5 & 10 store. After reading some of the aforementioned classics I read Robert McCammon's works, Stephen King, and picked up the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Annuals edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Eventually in my work as a librarian I became the Collection Development Specialist for the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres for the whole library system at the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District for several years. I also contributed to the three chapters on Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror in Genrefied Classics : A Guide to Reading Interests in Classic Literature by my then colleague Tina Frolund published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006. It is one of the Genreflecting Advisory Series titles. I have always considered Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror combined as Fantastic Literature or the Literature Fantastique. More recently I have gone back to reading Edgar Allan Poe again all his tales and poems including his critical works and essays. Truly a seminal figure the tormented genius of American Literature. At my library we recently started a Story time program for adults and I decided to apply that idea to a Halloween program by reading several of Poe's short stories and poems during the program. We have subsequently did similar readings with other cultural holidays such as Christmas. I eventually did a power point presentation on this type of program called Reading to Adults: Story Time is Not Just for Children Anymore. Part of the presentation focused on how to use horror anthologies or short story collections of such authors as Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates to do readings for Halloween programs or any other themed program such as HWA's upcoming Summer Scares program. In West Virginia for West Virginia Day one can read ghostly tales from any number of West Virginia or Appalachian themed horror anthologies. With my rereading of Poe I have started to explore further the roots of Gothic Literature reading a number of works from the past and the present. I recently finished The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova one of the finest vampire novels and a fresh retelling of the Dracula myhos. I believe it is up there with Stephen King's Salem's Lot. I am currently reading The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore. Concurrently I am continuing to read Poe and non-fictional works on him. I also started reading Usher's Passing by Robert McCammon. David Skal's The Monster Show is on the back burner for the moment. I am hoping to do a non-fiction work on Poe more of a research guide. I am also interested in updat
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Friday, May 10

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