Fear Street

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Fear Street
Author R. L. Stine
Country United States
Language English
Genre Horror fiction
Publisher Simon Pulse and Golden Books
Published 1989 – 2005; 2014 – present[1]
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)

Fear Street is a teenage horror fiction series written by American author R. L. Stine, starting in 1989. In 1995, a series of books inspired by the Fear Street series, called Ghosts of Fear Street, was created for younger readers, and were more like the Goosebumps books in that they featured paranormal adversaries (ghosts, vampires, monsters, aliens, etc.) and sometimes had twist endings.

R. L. Stine stopped writing Fear Street after penning the Fear Street Seniors spin-off in 1999. In summer 2005, he brought Fear Street back with the three-part Fear Street Nights miniseries.

As of 2010, over 80 million copies of Fear Street have been sold.[2]

R. L. Stine is reviving the book series in October 2014.[3]

Setting[edit]

The Fear Street books take place in the fictional city of Shadyside, Ohio, and feature average teenagers, who are elders to the Goosebumps preteens, who encounter malignant, sometimes paranormal, adversaries. While some of the Fear Street novels have paranormal elements, such as ghosts, others are simply murder mysteries. Although the Goosebumps books have a few deaths, the deaths presented in Fear Street, particularly the sagas, are far more gruesome, with more blood and gore.

The title of the series comes from the name of a fictional street in Shadyside, which was named after the Fear family. Their name was originally spelled as Fier, however after being told that the family was cursed and that the letters could be rearranged to spell "fire", Simon Fier changed it to Fear in the 19th century. The curse survived, however, and Simon and his wife, Angelica, brought it with them when they moved to Shadyside sometime after the Civil War. It all started in Puritan times when Benjamin and Matthew Fier had an innocent girl and her mother, Susannah and Martha Goode, burned at the stake for allegedly practicing witchcraft. The father and husband, William Goode, put the curse on the Fiers to avenge their deaths, bringing misery and death to the previously mentioned family. Although a fire allegedly burned the last of the Fears, the series features some surviving Fears and suggests that one of the brothers survived. These events are described in the Fear Street Sagas, a spinoff of the main series.

Similar to the Goosebumps series, the characters change in each book, although some characters still live on and are mentioned (or show up) multiple times. Some of the previous novel plots are also mentioned in later books, and some characters appear in multiple stories (for instance Cory Brooks, hero of The New Girl is mentioned and shows up several times during the later novels). The plot for the books occur between the late 80's and early 90's, although multiple novels occur within the same chronological year they take place. All books released are also released in the Shadyside chronological timeline it occurs.

Release[edit]

The first Fear Street book, The New Girl was published in 1989. Various spin-off series were written, including the Fear Street Sagas and Ghosts of Fear Street. As of 2003, more than 80 million Fear Street books have been sold.[2] Individual books appeared in many bestseller lists, including the USA Today[4] and Publishers Weekly bestseller list.[5]

After a hiatus, R. L. Stine revived the book series in October 2014.[6] Stine had attempted to write a new Fear Street novel for years, but publishers were not interested. Some publishers thought that young adult literature has changed since Fear Street was first published, since the new world of young adult literature is dominated by dystopian worlds and paranormal elements.[7] After Stine told his followers on Twitter that there were no publishers interested in reviving Fear Street, Kat Brzozowski, an editor at St. Martin's Press, contacted him. Initially, the publisher bought three new books,[8] but it was later announced that six new books would be published in the series.[9]

Party Games, the first book, was first published on September 30, 2014, in hardcover.[10] The novel is Stine's first Fear Street novel since the last book in the Fear Street Nights series was published in 2005.[8] The novel will be followed by Don't Stay Up Late, which will be published in April 2015.[11] Stine says the new books will be longer, more adult and more violent, to reflect how young adult literature has changed since Fear Street was first published.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bosman, Julie (2013-10-24). "R.L. Stine to Revive 'Fear Street' Series". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b Luisa Gerasimo e.a. in The Teacher's Calendar of Famous Birthdays page 8, on R. L. Stine: "That year he also created Fear Street, the first horror series for teenagers, which sold 80 million copies." (2003)
  3. ^ Bosman, Julie (2013-10-24). "R.L. Stine to Revive 'Fear Street' Series". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Best-Selling Books Database". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  5. ^ Collins; Latham (1993), 146.
  6. ^ Bosman, Julie (2013-10-24). "R.L. Stine to Revive 'Fear Street' Series". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ a b Strickland, Ashley (September 30, 2014). "'Fear Street': R.L. Stine and the return of teen horror". CNN. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Doll, Jen (October 31, 2013). "R.L. Stine on Reviving Fear Street and Why He Loves Twitter". Vulture. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ Ius, Dawn (January 1, 2014). "Special to the Big Thrill: R.L. Stine and the Return of Fear Street by Dawn Ius". The Big Thrill. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Party Games". Kirkus Reviews. July 15, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Don't Stay Up Late". Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved December 21, 2014.