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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In an essay about cell phones in horror fiction Bryan Curtis quotes mystery writer Andrew Klavan: "If I had to pick two things that have changed the world of genre writing, one would be the fall of the Berlin Wall, which eliminated a whole genre of fiction. And the other would be cell phones. The question everybody asks about crime stories is, 'Why don't they just call they police?' And now, with cell phones, you have to come up with a pretty good explanation."

The solution, at least as put forward by Curtis, is to turn cell phones into instruments of horror themselves. The examples he gives-- notably the current Stephen King-- impress me as sort of cartoonish, but it is true that thrillers have had to address this issue. It's something that frustrates me as I try to rough out plots in my mind. Truth to tell, any sort of roadblock is enough to throw off the plots I try to sketch out in my mind. Maybe I should try to write something set in the 70's, but then I'd have to think about those clothes.

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