Monday, July 24, 2023

Weinstock, Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition (2020)

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition. Broadview Press, 2020. Pp. 246, ISBN 978-1-5548-1445-9. $15.55.

Reviewed by Don Riggs

I have taught from Weinstock’s Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition for three years now, and have found it to be extremely useful in presenting the basic principles of academic writing for students, including what instructors call the “mechanics” of writing, including punctuation, paragraphing, and transitions; finding and using sources for research papers (helpfully called “Graverobbing” with a nod to Victor Frankenstein); preliminary stages like brainstorming and outlining; “Conducting Experiments” as a way of developing strategies for informing, persuading, and evaluating; and in a stirring chapter, “The Monster Lives!” providing approaches to revising, peer review, and retroactive outlining; and finally, “Placating Ghosts,” or documenting sources “to Avoid Angering the Dead… and the Living.” In other words, a very conventional approach to forming and formulating an argument… but presented in the guise of horror movie tropes.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Raglin (ed.), Shredded (2022)

Eric Raglin (ed.), Shredded: A Sports and Fitness Body Horror Anthology. Cursed Morsels Press, 2022. Pp. 274. ISBN 978-1-73695-327-3. $13.99.

Reviewed by Gwen C. Katz

First off: I am not a sports person. The closest I come to a sports horror story is being stuck on the bleachers in the freezing rain waiting for my sister’s track meet to finish. So I wasn’t initially real drawn to Shredded. However, I have full faith in Eric Raglin as a horror editor. Can he overcome my inherent indifference to athletic events? Let’s find out!