Critical Linking: November 1, 2014

Whether you followed the series for its entire run or, like most of us, stopped somewhere in the 30s, R.L. Stine continued to write the horror fiction novellas at an incredible pace from 1992 through 1997. (Seriously, the guy was a machine.) Twenty-two years after the release of the first volume, a spin-off series, and a television show, we decided to look back and rank all 62 of the original series below. Try not to get too scared, and tell us your own favorites in the comments. 

A definitive ranking of R. L. Stine’s original Goosebumps series. This is a work of love.


Over the centuries Aristophanes’ dots moved up and down the line: the period dropped to the bottom (.) and has stayed there ever since, while the colon gained an accomplice (:). The modern comma, however, despite its visual kinship with Aristophanes’ original, is not the same mark at all. In the twelfth century, as the Renaissance gathered steam, an Italian writer named Buoncompagno da Signa took a crack at inventing his own system of punctuation. He proposed only two marks: the suspensivus, or slash (/), represented a pause and the planus, or dash (–), marked the end of a sentence. By the fifteenth century Buoncompagno’s slash was being used interchangeably with Aristophanes’ ancient comma: gradually, the newer mark dropped to the bottom of the line and acquired a slight curve, and when it took on the name of the older mark the comma we recognize today was born.

A fascinating look at the evolution of 5 punctuation marks we all know and love.


Even if there aren’t quite as many horror comics coming out, comics has produced some of the most introspective, provocative, and horrifying storytelling of any medium in the past few decades. (Could film ever truly capture Ben Templesmith’s gorgeously grotesque figures or commercially reproduce the incessant dread of Charles Burns’ Black Hole?) We thought back to the beginnings of the modern age (mid ‘80s) to hand pick some of our favorite comics that may have kept us up at into the wee hours of the night. Let us know your favorite horror comics in the comments.

Halloween may be over, but there’s never a time when you can’t dive into a really good horror comic.



This Anne of Green Gables wedding is gorgeous.


Of course, Octavia Butler tops any list of Black science-fiction and speculative-fiction writers. Her futures are frightening: the characters try to survive in societies governed by right-wing theocracies, where alien viruses mutate men into monsters, where almost all of humankind has been wiped out by nuclear war. In each of these dystopic scenarios, not only do Black women survive, but they bring with them the seeds of hope and future survival.

October — which is Black Speculative fiction Month — may be over, but a list of the top five black sci-fi writers is a welcome list all year long.


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