by Laura, Digital Production Coordinator
Paranormal is hot right now–in books, movies, and TV. But why now? What is it about this moment in history that makes paranormal such a popular genre?
- A story in the Australian newspaper the Courier-Mail notes that “The genre has grown at the expense of military romance, which she says no longer offers the escapism it once did. ‘With Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s a lot more real now,’” according to a store owner.The last upsurge in paranormal romance came in the 1970s, around the release of Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, when Americans were dealing with the aftermath of the Vietnam War. And the first English gothic novels such as Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho soared in popularity in the early 19th century as Napoleon advanced across Europe. (It should be noted, however, that this is purely anecdotal evidence. It would be possible to find a potentially relevant military conflict for almost any period in history.)
- In an interview at ParanormalRomance.org, author Kim Harrison says, “I feel much of the recent popularity is coming from the greater acceptance for Wicca and alternative religions in general.” Certainly, many paranormal elements come from the mythos and culture of pagan religions. Could the popularity of paranormal be related to the rediscovery these religions in the mainstream?
- Is spirituality in general on the rise? In a time of uncertainty, people may be seeking answers outside of what can be explained by science. An increased interest in paranormal may be one form of expressing the belief that there must be more to the world than we know.
Are you more interested in the genre than you used to be? Is it just because of the availability, or do you think there’s something about this particular time–in the world, or in your life–that led you to paranormal?