Lester Dent was an American pulp-fiction author, best known as the creator and main author of the series of novels about the scientist and adventurer Doc Savage. The 159 novels written over 16 years were credited to the house name Kenneth Robeson. Dent was born in 1904 in Missouri, he was the only child of Bernard Dent, a rancher, Alice Norfolk, a teacher before her marriage. The Dents had been living in Wyoming for some time, but had returned to La Plata so that Mrs. Dent could be with her family during the birth; the Dents returned to Wyoming in 1906, where they worked a ranch near Wyoming. Dent's early years were spent in the lonely hills of Wyoming, he attended a local one-room school house paying for tuition with furs that he had caught. He had few friends. Around 1919, the Dent family returned to La Plata for good, where Dent's father took up dairy farming. Dent completed his secondary education there. In 1923, Dent enrolled at Chillicothe Business College in Missouri, his original goal was to become a banker.
However, while standing in the application line, he began talking to a fellow applicant about career options. He found out that the starting salary for a telegraph operator was $20 a week more than a bank clerk, so he changed his major to telegraphy. After completing the course, he taught at CBC for a short time. In 1924, Dent became a telegraph operator for Western Union in Missouri. In 1925, he moved to Oklahoma, to work as a telegrapher for Empire Oil and Gas Company, it was in Ponca City that he met Norma Gerling. They were married on August 9, 1925. In 1926, the Dents moved to Chickasha, where Dent worked as a telegrapher for the Associated Press. One of Dent's co-workers had published a story in a pulp magazine, earning the huge sum of $450. Dent, a voracious reader, was familiar with pulp magazines of the day, was sure he could write at least as well, if not better, he took advantage of the slow time during the graveyard shift to write. His first professional sale was an action-adventure story entitled "Pirate Cay".
Shortly after the publication of his story, Dent was contacted by Dell Publishing in New York City. They were willing to offer him $500 a month if he would write for their magazines. Dent, stunned by the good fortune, took some time considering the offer, but accepted; the Dents relocated to New York, arriving January 1, 1931. Dent learned the trade of the pulp author, teaching himself how to write and with few rewrites. After Dell imploded its pulp line in May 1931, Lester retreated to Missouri to regroup. Soon, he was back in New York, writing for the other pulp chains. In 1932, Henry Ralston of Street and Smith Publications contacted Dent with a proposition for a new magazine. Ralston had scored a great success with The Shadow magazine, was interested in developing a second title around a central character, he had in mind an adventure hero. While Dent was unhappy to discover that his stories would be published under a house name, he was happy to receive $500 per novel, accepted Ralston's offer.
Issue Number 1 of Doc Savage magazine hit the stands in February 1933. Much of the success stemmed from Dent's fantastic imagination, fueled by his own personal curiosity. Dent was able to use the freedom that his new-found financial security allowed him, to learn and to explore. In addition to being a wide-ranging reader, Dent took courses in technology and the trades, he earned both his amateur radio and pilot license, passed both the electricians' and plumbers' trade exams, was an avid mountain climber. His usual method was to learn a subject then move on to another. An example is boating: in May 1934, Dent bought a 40-foot two-masted Chesapeake Bay "bugeye" schooner, Albatross, he and his wife lived on it for several years, sailing it up and down the eastern seaboard and doing some sunken-treasure hunting in the Caribbean sold it in 1940. The Dents traveled extensively as well, he was sponsored by fellow pulp writer J. Allan Dunn and Navy Reserve Captain Charles Richardson Pond, a member of the family that owned Pond's Cosmetics and a pioneer of transoceanic flight.
He was elected to membership on November 9, 1936 but was not all that involved in the Club beyond bouncing story ideas off more experienced members. He contributed to a year-long one-time fundraiser for the Club conducted throughout the year 1939, for which he was awarded a sterling silver miniature of the coveted Explorers Club Medal, No. 89 of an unknown number of such medallions, with a chain allowing it to be worn as a bracelet. He stopped paying his annual dues in December 1945 and was dropped from membership for this delinquency in January 1948. In 1940, the Dents returned to La Plata for good. Dent continued to write for Doc Savage, but found time to work in the other genres, his post-1941 Doc Savage work benefited from this. Doc Savage himself begins to shed his superhuman image, to show a more fallible, human side. Dent may have recycled some generic detective stories as Doc tales.
A hardcover or hardback book is one bound with rigid protective covers. It has a sewn spine which allows the book to lie flat on a surface when opened. Following the ISBN sequence numbers, books of this type may be identified by the abbreviation Hbk. Hardcover books are printed on acid-free paper, they are much more durable than paperbacks, which have flexible damaged paper covers. Hardcover books are marginally more costly to manufacture. Hardcovers are protected by artistic dust jackets, but a "jacketless" alternative is becoming popular: these "paper-over-board" or "jacketless hardcover" bindings forgo the dust jacket in favor of printing the cover design directly onto the board binding. If brisk sales are anticipated, a hardcover edition of a book is released first, followed by a "trade" paperback edition the next year; some publishers publish paperback originals. For popular books these sales cycles may be extended, followed by a mass market paperback edition typeset in a more compact size and printed on shallower, less hardy paper.
This is intended to, in part, prolong the life of the immediate buying boom that occurs for some best sellers: After the attention to the book has subsided, a lower-cost version in the paperback, is released to sell further copies. In the past the release of a paperback edition was one year after the hardback, but by the early twenty-first century paperbacks were released six months after the hardback by some publishers, it is unusual for a book, first published in paperback to be followed by a hardback. An example is the novel The Judgment of Paris by Gore Vidal, which had its revised edition of 1961 first published in paperback, in hardcover. Hardcover books are sold at higher prices than comparable paperbacks. Books for the general public are printed in hardback only for authors who are expected to be successful, or as a precursor to the paperback to predict sale levels. Hardcovers consist of a page block, two boards, a cloth or heavy paper covering; the pages are sewn together and glued onto a flexible spine between the boards, it too is covered by the cloth.
A paper wrapper, or dust jacket, is put over the binding, folding over each horizontal end of the boards. Dust jackets serve to protect the underlying cover from wear. On the folded part, or flap, over the front cover is a blurb, or a summary of the book; the back flap is. Reviews are placed on the back of the jacket. Many modern bestselling hardcover books use a partial cloth cover, with cloth covered board on the spine only, only boards covering the rest of the book. Bookbinding Paperback
A biography, or bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work and death. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae, a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, may include an analysis of the subject's personality. Biographical works are non-fiction, but fiction can be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Works in diverse media, from literature to film, form the genre known as biography. An authorized biography is written with the permission, at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs. An autobiography is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter. At first, biographical writings were regarded as a subsection of history with a focus on a particular individual of historical importance; the independent genre of biography as distinct from general history writing, began to emerge in the 18th century and reached its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century.
One of the earliest biographers was Cornelius Nepos, who published his work Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae in 44 BC. Longer and more extensive biographies were written in Greek by Plutarch, in his Parallel Lives, published about 80 A. D. In this work famous Greeks are paired with famous Romans, for example the orators Demosthenes and Cicero, or the generals Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Another well-known collection of ancient biographies is De vita Caesarum by Suetonius, written about AD 121 in the time of the emperor Hadrian. In the early Middle Ages, there was a decline in awareness of the classical culture in Europe. During this time, the only repositories of knowledge and records of the early history in Europe were those of the Roman Catholic Church. Hermits and priests used this historic period to write biographies, their subjects were restricted to the church fathers, martyrs and saints. Their works were meant to be inspirational to the people and vehicles for conversion to Christianity.
One significant secular example of a biography from this period is the life of Charlemagne by his courtier Einhard. In Medieval Islamic Civilization, similar traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad and other important figures in the early history of Islam began to be written, beginning the Prophetic biography tradition. Early biographical dictionaries were published as compendia of famous Islamic personalities from the 9th century onwards, they contained more social data for a large segment of the population than other works of that period. The earliest biographical dictionaries focused on the lives of the prophets of Islam and their companions, with one of these early examples being The Book of The Major Classes by Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi, and began the documentation of the lives of many other historical figures who lived in the medieval Islamic world. By the late Middle Ages, biographies became less church-oriented in Europe as biographies of kings and tyrants began to appear; the most famous of such biographies was Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.
The book was an account of his Knights of the Round Table. Following Malory, the new emphasis on humanism during the Renaissance promoted a focus on secular subjects, such as artists and poets, encouraged writing in the vernacular. Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists was the landmark biography focusing on secular lives. Vasari made celebrities of his subjects, as the Lives became an early "bestseller". Two other developments are noteworthy: the development of the printing press in the 15th century and the gradual increase in literacy. Biographies in the English language began appearing during the reign of Henry VIII. John Foxe's Actes and Monuments, better known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, was the first dictionary of the biography in Europe, followed by Thomas Fuller's The History of the Worthies of England, with a distinct focus on public life. Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, A General History of the Pyrates, by Charles Johnson, is the prime source for the biographies of many well-known pirates.
A notable early collection of biographies of eminent men and women in the United Kingdom was Biographia Britannica edited by William Oldys. The American biography followed the English model, incorporating Thomas Carlyle's view that biography was a part of history. Carlyle asserted that the lives of great human beings were essential to understanding society and its institutions. While the historical impulse would remain a strong element in early American biography, American writers carved out a distinct approach. What emerged was a rather didactic form of biography, which sought to shape the individual character of a reader in the process of defining national character; the first modern biography, a work which exerted considerable influence on the evolution of the genre, was James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, a biography of lexicographer and man-of-letters Samuel Johnson published in 1791. While Boswell's personal acquaintance with his subject only began in 1763, when Johnson was 54 years old, Boswell covered the entirety of Johnson's life by means of additional research.
Itself an important stage in the development of the modern genre of biography, it has been claimed to be the greatest biography writte
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Doc Savage is a fictional character published in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. He was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic at Street & Smith Publications, with additional material contributed by the series' main writer, Lester Dent; the illustrations were by Walter Baumhofer, Paul Orban, Emery Clarke, Modest Stein, Robert G. Harris; the heroic-adventure character would go on to appear in other media, including radio and comic books, with his adventures reprinted for modern-day audiences in a series of paperback books, which had sold over 20 million copies by 1979. Into the 21st century, Doc Savage has remained a nostalgic icon in the U. S. referenced in popular culture. Longtime Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee has credited Doc Savage as being the forerunner to modern superheroes; the Doc Savage Magazine was printed by Street & Smith from March 1933 to the Summer of 1949 to capitalize on the success of The Shadow magazine and followed by the original Avenger in September 1939.
In all, 181 issues were published in alternative titles. Doc Savage became known to more contemporary readers when Bantam Books began reprinting the individual magazine novels in 1964, this time with covers by artist James Bama that featured a bronze-haired, bronze-skinned Doc Savage with an exaggerated widows' peak wearing a torn khaki shirt and under the by-line "Kenneth Robeson"; the stories were not reprinted in chronological order as published, though they did begin with the first adventure, The Man of Bronze. By 1967, Bantam was publishing once a month until 1990, when all 181 original stories had run their course. Author Will Murray produced seven more Doc Savage novels for Bantam Books from Lester Dent's original outlines. Bantam published a novel by Philip José Farmer, Escape From Loki, which told the story of how in World War I Doc met the men who would become his five comrades. Clark Savage, Jr. first appeared in March 1933 in the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine. Because of the success of the Shadow, who had his own pulp magazine, the publishers Street & Smith launched this pulp title.
Unlike the Shadow, Clark Savage, "Doc" to his friends, had no special powers, but was raised from birth by his father and other scientists to become one of the most perfect human beings in terms of strength and physical abilities. Doc Savage set up base on the 86th floor of a world-famous New York skyscraper. Doc Savage fights against evil with the assistance of the "Fabulous Five". Doc Savage has appeared in comics and a movie, on radio, as a character in numerous other works, continues to inspire authors and artists in the realm of fantastic adventure. Doc Savage Magazine was created by Street & Smith Publications executive Henry Ralston and editor John Nanovic to capitalize on the success of Street and Smith's pulp character, The Shadow. Ralston and Nanovic wrote a short premise establishing the broad outlines of the character they envisioned, but Doc Savage was only realized by the author chosen to write the series, Lester Dent. Dent wrote most of the 181 original novels, hidden behind the "house name" of Kenneth Robeson.
One Lester Dent biographer hypothesizes that one inspiration for Doc Savage may have been the American military officer and author Richard Henry Savage, who wrote more than 40 books of adventure and mystery stories and lived a dashing and daring life. The character first appeared on screen in Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, it was announced on May 30, 2016, that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be playing Clark "Doc" Savage, being billed as the "World's First Superhero", the film will be directed by Shane Black with a script written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry. Doc Savage's real name is Jr.. He is a physician, adventurer, inventor, researcher, and, as revealed in The Polar Treasure, a musician. A team of scientists assembled by his father deliberately trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, a mastery of the martial arts, vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices.
"He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers." Dent described the hero as a mix of Sherlock Holmes' deductive abilities, Tarzan's outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy's scientific education, Abraham Lincoln's goodness. He described Doc Savage as manifesting "Christliness." Doc's character and world-view is displayed in his oath, which goes as follows: By the third story, Doc has a reputation as a "superman". Savage is accompanied on his adventures by up to five other regular characters, all accomplished individuals in their own right. Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair, an industrial chemist. Monk got his nickname from his simian build, notably his long arms, his covering of red hair, he is in a constant state of "friendly feuding" with "Ham" Brooks. This began when his friend taught him some French words to say to an officer and Monk repeated them, not knowing they were a string of insults; the result was a lengthy stay in the guardhouse. Brigadier General Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks, an accomplished attorney.
Ham is considered one of the best-dressed men in the world, as part of his attire, carries a sword cane whose blade is dipped in a fast-acting anesthetic. Hi
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside
Fiction broadly refers to any narrative, derived from the imagination—in other words, not based on history or fact. It can refer, more narrowly, to narratives written only in prose, is used as a synonym for the novel. In its most narrow usage fiction refers to novels, but it may denote any "literary narrative", including novels and short stories. More broadly, fiction has come to encompass imaginative storytelling in any format, including writings, theatrical performances, films, television programs, games, so on. A work of fiction implies the inventive act of constructing an imaginary world, so its audience does not expect it to be faithful to the real world in presenting only characters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually true. Instead, the context of fiction understood as not adhering to the real world, is more open to interpretation. Characters and events within a fictional work may be set in their own context separate from the known universe: an independent fictional universe.
Fiction's traditional opposite is non-fiction, a narrative work whose creator assumes responsibility for presenting only the historical and factual truth. The distinction between fiction and non-fiction however can be unclear in some recent artistic and literary movements, such as postmodern literature. Traditionally, fiction includes novels, short stories, legends, fairy tales and narrative poetry, plays. However, fiction may encompass comic books, many animated cartoons, stop motions, manga, video games, radio programs, television programs, etc; the Internet has had a major impact on the creation and distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright as a means to ensure royalties are paid to copyright holders. Digital libraries such as Project Gutenberg make public domain texts more available; the combination of inexpensive home computers, the Internet and the creativity of its users has led to new forms of fiction, such as interactive computer games or computer-generated comics.
Countless forums for fan fiction can be found online, where loyal followers of specific fictional realms create and distribute derivative stories. The Internet is used for the development of blog fiction, where a story is delivered through a blog either as flash fiction or serial blog, collaborative fiction, where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using a wiki. Types of literary fiction in prose include: Short story: A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words; the boundary between a long short story and a novella is vague. Novella: A work of at least 7,500 words but under 50,000 words. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is an example of a novella. Novel: A work of 50,000 words or more. Fiction is broken down into a variety of genres: subsets of fiction, each differentiated by a particular unifying tone or style, narrative technique, media content, or popularly defined criterion. Science fiction, for example, predicts or supposes technologies that are not realities at the time of the work's creation: Jules Verne's novel From the Earth to the Moon was published in 1865 and only in 1969 did astronaut Neil Armstrong first land on the moon.
Historical fiction places imaginary characters into real historical events. In the early historical novel Waverley, Sir Walter Scott's fictional character Edward Waverley meets a figure from history, Bonnie Prince Charlie, takes part in the Battle of Prestonpans; some works of fiction are or re-imagined based on some true story, or a reconstructed biography. When the fictional story is based on fact, there may be additions and subtractions from the true story to make it more interesting. An example is Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a series of short stories about the Vietnam War. Fictional works that explicitly involve supernatural, magical, or scientifically impossible elements are classified under the genre of fantasy, including Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Creators of fantasy sometimes introduce imaginary beings such as dragons and fairies. Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or "genre" fiction.
Neal Stephenson has suggested that while any definition will be simplistic there is today a general cultural difference between literary and genre fiction. On the one hand literary authors nowadays are supported by patronage, with employment at a university or a similar institution, with the continuation of such positions determined not by book sales but by critical acclaim by other established literary authors and critics. On the other hand, he suggests, genre fiction writers tend to support themselves by book sales. However, in an interview, John Updike lamented that "the category of'literary fiction' has sprung up to torment people like me who just set out to write books, if anybody wanted to read them, the more the merrier.... I'm a genre writer of a sort. I write literary fiction, like spy fiction or chick lit". On The Charlie Rose Show, he argued that this term, when applied to his work limited him and his expectations of what might come of his writing, so he does not like it, he suggested that all his works are literary be