Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is often heralded as the “first” science fiction novel and 2018 marked the 200th anniversary of its publication. Much of the controversy and questions around “can science go too far” first raised in that novel continue today. It was with a lot of excitement that I co-designed with the two teachers a project for an honors sophomore humanities class using Frankenstein as our central text. We offered four lenses for analysis: historical, scientific, biographical, or fiction. My contribution was to work with the students who chose to write some manner of fiction (horror, sci-fi, and graphic novels) in response to reading Frankenstein.
Earlier in the year, when I was working on my untitled poltergeist novel, I spent much time thinking about what makes a piece of fiction frightening, unsettling, terrifying, and/or haunting. Gothic horror writers like Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe are great mentor texts for this kind of work.