Monsters & Mormons: Some Free Summer Reading

In the call for submissions for the Monsters & Mormons anthology, Theric and I mention a few authors as possible sources of inspiration. Luckily, because we’re hearkening back to the pulp era, you can find some of their work for free at Project Gutenberg and in a variety of formats, including html, e-book and, in some cases, audio book. Now this only covers the early years because many works are still under copyright, but it’s a good start. So in no particular order:

Feel free to add others in the comments section. I apologize for the lack of female authors — there weren’t many in the early era. However, I do plan on writing a second post that covers some authors whose works are still under copyright (so you’ll need to buy or borrow) but who are worth checking out if you are a) planning on writing something this summer to submit and/or b) simply interested in genre fiction.

7 thoughts on “Monsters & Mormons: Some Free Summer Reading”

  1. FWIW, Zane Grey wrote about Mormons 3 times, and not always as bad guys. In one case, Mormons are the good guys.

    Also, one other on your list also wrote a book that includes significant mention of Mormons.

  2. Wow, I had no idea Kent. Or if I did — it didn’t stick. For those who are as ignorant as I am: Jack London wrote about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in his novel The Star Rover (which can be read at the link above).

  3. I recently discovered M.R. James, who would fit nicely along the other choices.

    Though I have not come across anything Mormon-related, he does quite often use the device of ancient/scriptural/illuminated manuscripts in his stories, which I could easily see inspiring some Mormon gothic ideas. “The Haunted 116 Pages,” anyone?

  4. I found the chapters in The Star Rover (The Jacket) rather interesting. Although the narrator thought the Mormons acted inhuman and heartless, he didn’t find the actions without incidental provocation. It was mostly out of the blind ignorance of anger. The narrator considered those massacred were scapegoats for a war between Mormons, Missourians and the U.S. Government. The Kansans weren’t exactly innocent either as they killed Indians and considered raiding the Mormons. Not as if that justified the final act.

  5. Late again to this party, but if you’re looking for a female author of one heck of a ghostly thriller, try Shirley Jackson and _The Haunting of Hill House__. Bad old movie, I know, that you may have seen at BYU ages ago, but a fantastic read, even if a little slow on the uptake. Get past the backstory that frontloads the book and you’ll read some of the best suspense out there. Doubt you’ll find it as a free read anywhere, except the library of course. For some reason, its in the YA section of my local library. Don’t understand that… No Mormons connection in the book at all. But she’s female and an “early” (enough) writer. Book was published in the late 50’s. Read it if you haven’t. Very worth it.

  6. Love Shirley Jackson! Great recommendation. For those interested, Library of America just last week released a volume of her writings, edited by Joyce Carol Oates – great collection.

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