content by

Mark Benedict

Vampires on Main Street: A Complete Guide to ’Salem’s Lot

For me, and for many others, the horror started with a floating vampire boy.

I was at a family sleepover at my Aunt Becky’s house. My cousins and I were in her basement watching the CBS adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ’Salem’s Lot. I was six—the youngest cousin present. There are actually three scenes with a floating vampire boy, but the one that got me was the third. The boy, materializing in the night amid thick white fog, hovers outside his friend’s bedroom window. “Open the window, Mark,” he begs. “Please! Let me in.” Mark, as it happens, is also my name. My little-kid mind could hardly take it. I was shocked, petrified.

I was also, in the fullness of time, hooked.

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A Guide to the Fascinating Fiction of Karen Russell

Karen Russell isn’t exactly an unsung author.

Quite the opposite, actually. Though a teller of deeply weird tales, Russell was almost instantly embraced by the literary mainstream. Arriving on the short story scene in the mid-aughts, she quickly scored publications in The New Yorker, Zoetrope: All Story, and various other esteemed markets. Books followed, along with bestseller status and numerous accolades, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her debut novel. In short, she’s an acclaimed, popular writer.

But this I submit: she’s not as popular as she should be. Karen Russell is a writer with a big readership who deserves a huge one. Her imagination is that versatile, that soaring, that vast.

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