Archive for the ‘Mary Shelley’ Category
Please welcome today’s guest poster, Allison, from Geek Banter. Allison is a huge science fiction fan, a writer, a gamer, and an all around geek. When it comes to anime, scifi, and gaming, this is the woman who walks the walk. On her blog she talks all things speculative – books, movies, tv shows, video games, everything that makes geeks smile.
When I started talking to bloggers about guest posts, I pretty much left the topic up to them. Allison chose something near and dear to my heart: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Here’s Allison’s thoughts on and experiences with this beloved early science fiction novel:
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by Allison from Geek Banter
Before I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in high school, I believed all the misconceptions the parodies and movie adaptations led me to. Frankenstein, of course, was a greyish-green monster with bolts coming out of its neck that comes alive and kills the mad scientist who created it. Little did I know how much more interesting and terrifying the original story is.
Mary Shelley came up with the idea for Frankenstein when she was visiting with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and her husband Percy Shelley. They were reading a book of ghost stories together, and Lord Byron challenged everyone to write their own horror story. Mary wanted to come up with a story that “would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror–one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.” I would say she succeeded, because Frankenstein is creepy. It is just a different sort of creepy than I was expecting.
The book begins with a series of letters from the seafaring explorer Robert Walton to his sister as he heads out on a dangerous voyage to the North Pole. Of course, this confused me, and I immediately checked the cover to see if I was reading the right book. This was a story about a man who created a monster, wasn’t it? Where was the scientist, the lightning, the lab, and Igor? Well they were all to come (except the Igor part–that character comes from the 1931 film and isn’t from the original story), but Mary had other things to tell about first.