What Is Horror Fiction?

What is horror? The answer is more complicated than you’d think. Some horror fans believe that a story must have a supernatural element to be called horror. Is The Silence of the Lambs by Robert Harris a thriller novel or a horror novel? Or psychological horror? Could it be all of the above?

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During the silent era, comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle once raked in the big bucks. But a scandal — and false rumors — destroyed his career.

Today, even people familiar with the name of Fatty Arbuckle believe the worst of him. Few know he was eventually acquitted of his crimes (after three trials). Not only that, but the jury read an apology to Arbuckle.

A headline reads “Exonerated of Manslaughter” and stands above a larger picture of Arbuckle in the courtroom and a smaller picture of Virginia Rappe.
A headline reads “Exonerated of Manslaughter” and stands above a larger picture of Arbuckle in the courtroom and a smaller picture of Virginia Rappe.
Newspaper article announcing that Arbuckle was exonerated. (Source: Wikipeda; public domain.)

Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault.

Who Was Fatty Arbuckle?

Fatty Arbuckle was born “Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle” in 1887. He didn’t like his nickname and asked friends to call him “Roscoe.” Like many comedians, he came…


Things I Learned from True Crime

If you inhale a lot of true crime, you might find yourself shouting advice to the victims. Sadly, we know it will come too late to help them. But maybe we can apply the lessons to our own lives.

Avoid Hitchhiking

Sure, it was very popular in the United States for a while, and it was necessary for many people during times like the Depression. It still is necessary in countries where most people don’t own cars. It’s still accepted in a number of countries, as long as you follow safety guidelines. Even in…


Once you download a lot of Kindle eBooks, you’ll realize that it’s harder to keep track of them. Until you start using Collections. The home screen on my Kindle Paperwhite listed so many books that I couldn’t find the ones I wanted. That’s when I became a huge fan of creating Collections to keep the books better organized.

A Kindle Cover with a Grumpy Face and the Text “Don’t Touch My Kindle.”
A Kindle Cover with a Grumpy Face and the Text “Don’t Touch My Kindle.”
My Kindle Might Look Grumpy Because It Contains So Many eBooks. (Source: Anne Marble)

The Collections feature is one of the best ways to organize the books on your Kindle. …


Did you know that many of your favorite novelists were influenced by pulp magazines? So were many of your favorite movies, comic books, and TV shows.

You may have never seen a pulp magazine. You might think “pulp fiction” is just the name of a popular movie. Yet that movie got its name from pulp magazines. And like many others, movie reviewer Roger Ebert grew up reading pulps. So did SF author Philip José Farmer.

When people say that a story is “pulp,” they often mean that it’s like those published in the pulp magazines: lurid and full of action…


Today, when we can stream so many films, it’s hard to imagine that many movies were lost forever. Yet there are many known lost films. Most of the lost films are silent films, as well as some films from the early “talkie” era.

What Went Wrong?

Believe it or not, accidental losses were not the worst cause of the destruction of movies. The biggest culprits were the studios. They often destroyed their old films because they believed them to be worthless once the movie was no longer showing in theaters. …


Are there any living actors who performed in silent films? You might be surprised to learn the answer. And you might learn something new about silent films.

Maybe you’re a serious student of the silent film era, studying movies like Battleship Potemkin and even Nanook of the North. Or maybe you’re a horror fan who has dipped into movies like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or the Lon Chaney, Sr. version of The Phantom of the Opera. A comedy fan who watched Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton. A fan of classic literature who saw the Lon Chaney, Sr. version of…

Anne Marble

I'm a writer and a copy editor with experience in editing science and engineering articles.

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