Gumshoes, Fangs, Rockets, & Spies: How Literary Genres Evolve and Change Our World

“Readers are sure to learn a lot. As a broad survey of genre fiction, and particularly as an investigation into the origins of classic genres, the book more than delivers. A sprawling and engrossing map of genre fiction.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A fascinating account into a fascinating subject!” —Steve Berry

From BEOWULF to THE TIME MACHINE to HARRY POTTER, an entertaining and provocative look at fiction genres, how they shift and grow, and how they change us and our world, often in profound and unexpected ways. 

Storytelling has bonded humanity with shared lore and lessons since prehistory. How did our favorite tales of mystery and imagination come to be? Were the authors hatched in airtight vacuums?

For the most part, no. All good writers are good borrowers first. Gillian Flynn borrowed from Daphne du Maurier. Albert Camus borrowed from James M. Cain. Stephen King borrowed from Sheridan Le Fanu. Wars, disasters, plagues, and technological breakthroughs have shaped stories, and in turn, many genre stories, both good and bad, have shaped human societies.How did a volcanic blast affect all popular culture to follow? How did a mystery writer invent modern police detection? How did an Edgar Allan Poe story of treasure hunting help win two world wars decades after his death? How did a novel about peace kickstart the atomic bomb? 

The connections are endless. GUMSHOES, FANGS, ROCKETS, & SPIES digs deep to tease out these connections, and to celebrate the world of writers and writing.

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