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Strangeness...

Today, I kept myself occupied with icon-making, taking a CBL course for my new job at Wal-Mart and reading Dean Koontz.

I love Dean Koontz, he's fast become my favorite author, with Anne McCaffery and J.K. Rowling right behind him.

For years I refused to read them, even when someone recommended them to me, because along with the recommendation they'd say, "Well, you probably won't like it because it's horror. He's just like Stephen King."

Now, I have every respect for Stephen King, and I rather enjoyed reading IT and watching the movie, but it's the same cliched horror as Freddy and Jason. I just don't get it. It doesn't terrify me in the least, and that seems to be the only reason that genre exists. (Please note that I am making a very broad generalization here and know that there's probably a lot more to it psychologically than that but it's 2 a.m. and I know that I'm neither qualified nor inclined to speak properly on the matter.)

However, recently, I was so bored, so incredibly in need of intellectual stimulus (this was during my two month hiatus from all things internet) that I took the book my sister offered me.

It was called Cold Fire and it blew me away. The man was a genius. There was horror yes, some graphic descriptions which I normally shy away from, but it wasn't just horror. It was like every genre imaginable all rolled into one. Science fiction, suspense, romance, mystery, you name it. And, underneath it all, between the lines, if you cared to read that much into it, was this hope, this love and compassion and even though the characters were going through a rough time, you knew they'd pull through even though you were afraid they weren't. It was amazing.

All his books are this way. Not all of them have an "all encompassing genre" feel to them, though most are multi-genre, but they all have that common theme of hope, love and family will get you through the bad times.

The second book I read by him was Watchers and this book more than blew me away. I've read that this is many fans' favorite and I know why. It's like the perfect blend of science fiction/modern mystery/suspense. More than that, it has these characters that you can identify with, and you don't even know why you're doing it because nothing like anything they've gone through has ever happened to you. But you do anyway, because there's something innately human about them, something so fundamental that you can't help but empathise with them.

Even the main antagonist. Especially the main antagonist. If you can't identify with it, then you won't enjoy the book, because that feeling of sympathy is an integral part of the reading process.

I've read several other books by him, some that I enjoyed more than others. The Taking, one of his newer novels, was the strangest of them I think, but by the end, everything made perfect sense.

Icebound was a simple disaster/suspense story about some people stuck on an iceburg that's split off from the arctic circle. Except for the fact (or maybe that's what made it even better) that I kept waiting for something supernatural to occur, it was an excellent read.

I think maybe that may have been where that drabble came from. I was trying to work out my feelings from reading by putting them into words. That letter thing wasn't supposed to be bad, more of a person realizing that, although the one they loved the most was gone, the death of them had finally freed them from a personal prison, allowed them to see that they had been used and abused.

Only it didn't quite come out the way I wanted it to, I couldn't figure out what to do with it.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the book I've been reading (and have now finished) The Door to December This book actually reads like a mystery novel peppered through with supernatural events and the occult.

M.A.

Who shouldn't try to write essay things with so little sleep...worse than writing a fic...