Mind Candy

Origin | Table of Contents | Introduction | Buy It

Mind Candy

Where This Book Came From:

I actually started selling non-fiction before I sold any fiction; the very first time I got paid to write was a series of feature articles I wrote for a local newspaper, the Bedford Patriot, in Bedford, Massachusetts. I was seventeen.

I focused on fiction through the next decade or so, but in 1983 Don and Maggie Thompson, the new editors of The Comics Buyer's Guide, after reading some of my letters to the editor, invited me to write a column for them.

So I did. "Rayguns, Elves, & Skin-Tight Suits" ran a total of 112 installments before I quit, and I discovered I enjoyed writing non-fiction; it was generally easier for me than fiction. I started selling articles on comic books and movies and books and TV and so on to other magazines and newspapers -- always as a sideline, while fiction remained my career. I had the idea of eventually writing actual non-fiction books, though, and did a lot of preliminary work on a planned history of pre-Comics Code horror comics, to be called Strange! Eerie! Terrifying!, using some of my CBG columns as a starting point. But I never completed it; other people got there first and I decided it wasn't worth the effort.

In 2002, Glenn Yeffeth, publisher of BenBella Books, invited me to contribute an essay to an upcoming non-fiction anthology, Seven Seasons of Buffy. As a big fan of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," I couldn't resist, and wrote "Matchmaking on the Hellmouth."

Glenn was pleased with it and invited me to write more, which I did, and by the time all was said and done I'd written fifteen essays for BenBella's Smart Pop series. (To date, though, only fourteen were published there; the fifteenth anthology, about Wonder Woman, never came out, and that essay has only appeared in Mind Candy.) I'd also written, at his suggestion, an entire non-fiction book for BenBella: The Turtle Moves! Discworld's Story Unauthorized.

Inspired by that, I decided to compile those fifteen essays, along with enough other material to get it up to full book-length, into a single volume.

And that's Mind Candy: Twenty-Three Brain-Smacking Essays on Popular Culture. It's got the fifteen Smart Pop essays, revised versions of some installments of "Rayguns, Elves, and Skin-Tight Suits," and a few random bits from elsewhere.

I think it's a lot of fun; I hope readers do, too. Below you'll find the complete table of contents, and the introduction.

Origin | Table of Contents | Introduction | Buy It

Table of Contents: