by Lee Cross
I typed that title, The Future of Fear, intending to wrap up my Halloween series of blogs with an installment about what monsters I believe the worlds of books will bring us in the years to come.
We’ve had vampires, werewolves, serial killers and zombies… viruses that have ended some worlds, while creating others where we, humanity, do not stand above all in dominance… and of course the pantheon of Gods and Devils, from both above and below.
Who is to say what shape the nightmares of tomorrow will take… actually, fuck it, Stephen King – he probably could…
Alas, I’m not the greatest horror writer of the last 40 years… so I need to make it smaller – What is the scariest thing that I can imagine happening in a book?
My biggest literary fear is simple; that we, which is to say this current generation or the one immediately following us, will be the last where the average person is capable of reading a full-length novel. More simply, I’m afraid that the great love of my life is a passion destined to die within my own lifetime
As things stand, in this world of bit/bytes/tweets and memes, information is becoming absorbed in smaller and smaller increments, with an ever increasing premium being placed on visual aids.
Even drawing on my own (extremely limited) experience as a blogger and writer, I know our stuff goes better when we include images, pictures, visual stimulus and the like… and Literati Pulp is a website aimed at bookworms and bibliophiles.
Sensationalist, irrational, etc. but that’s my honestly my fear – that we might be the last generation that reads The Lord of the Rings or… well, the list is endless, spanning every great novel ever written. How much longer will people choose to pick up the novel when the movie and/or television series, these digital reincarnations, provide quick and easy access to the great writers, and passionate readers, secret dreams?
Right now a 400 page novel would be an intimidating prospect for most people to consider reading… how long before it becomes 200 pages? …or 50?
What monster will readers be most afraid of in the years to come? – I don’t know.
My fear is that there won’t be enough of us readers left to even make the question worth asking.