Conspiracy fiction

The conspiracy thriller (or paranoid thriller) is a subgenre of thriller fiction. The protagonists of conspiracy thrillers are often journalists or amateur investigators who find themselves (often inadvertently) pulling on a small thread which unravels a vast conspiracy that ultimately goes "all the way to the top."[1] The complexities of historical fact are recast as a morality play in which bad people cause bad events, and good people identify and defeat them. Conspiracies are often played out as "man-in-peril" (or "woman-in-peril")[2] stories, or yield quest narratives similar to those found in whodunnits and detective stories.

A common theme in such works is that characters uncovering the conspiracy encounter difficulty ascertaining the truth amid the deceptions: rumors, lies, propaganda, and counter-propaganda build upon one another until what is conspiracy and what is coincidence become entangled. Many conspiracy fiction works also include the theme of secret history and paranoid fiction.

Literature

John Buchan's 1915 novel The Thirty-Nine Steps weaves elements of conspiracy and man-on-the-run archetypes. Dashiell Hammett's 1924 short story "Nightmare Town" is conspiracy fiction on a small scale, depicting an Arizona town that exists as part of an insurance-fraud scheme, and a detective slowly uncovering the truth. Graham Greene's 1943 novel Ministry of Fear (brought to the big screen by Fritz Lang in 1944) combines all the ingredients of paranoia and conspiracy familiar to aficionados of the 1970s thrillers, with additional urgency and depth added by its wartime backdrop. Greene himself credited Michael Innes as the inspiration for his "entertainment".[3]

Conspiracy fiction in the US reached its zenith in the 1960s and 1970s in the wake of a number of high-profile scandals and controversies, most notably the Vietnam War, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the Watergate scandal and the subsequent resignation of Richard Nixon from the presidency. Several fictional works explored the clandestine machinations and conspiracies beneath the orderly fabric of political life. American novelist Richard Condon wrote a number of conspiracy thrillers, including the seminal The Manchurian Candidate (1959), and Winter Kills, which was made into a film by William Richert in 1979. Illuminatus! (1969–1971), a trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, is regarded by many as the definitive work of 20th-century conspiracy fiction. Set in the late '60s, it is a psychedelic tale which fuses mystery, science fiction, horror, and comedy in its exhibition (and mourning, and mocking) of one of the more paranoid periods of recent history. Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) includes a secretive conflict between cartels dating back to the Middle Ages. Gravity's Rainbow also draws heavily on conspiracy theory in describing the motives and operations of the Phoebus cartel as well as the development of ballistic missiles during World War II. Inherent Vice also involves an intentionally ambiguous conspiracy involving a group known as the Golden Fang.

John Macgregor's 1986 novel Propinquity describes an attempt by a modern couple to revive the frozen body of a gnostic medieval Queen, buried deep under Westminster Abbey. Their attempt to expose the feminine aspect of Christianity's origins results in fierce Church opposition and, eventually, an international manhunt. Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (1988) features a story in which the staff of a publishing firm, intending to create a series of popular occult books, invent their own occult conspiracy, over which they lose control as it begins to supplant the truth. The popular 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown draws on conspiracy theories involving the Roman Catholic Church, Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion. Other contemporary authors who have used elements of conspiracy theory in their work include Margaret Atwood, William S. Burroughs, Don DeLillo, James Ellroy, Joseph Heller, Robert Ludlum, David Morrell and James Clancy Phelan.

One of the first science fiction novels to deal with a full-blown conspiracy theory was Eric Frank Russell's Dreadful Sanctuary (1948).[4] This deals with a number of sabotaged space missions and the apparent discovery that Earth is being quarantined by aliens from other planets of the Solar System. However, as the novel progresses it emerges that this view is a paranoid delusion perpetuated by a small but powerful secret society. Philip K. Dick wrote a large number of short stories where vast conspiracies were employed (usually by an oppressive government or other hostile powers) to keep common people under control or enforce a given agenda. Other popular science fiction writers whose work features conspiracy theories include William Gibson, John Twelve Hawks, and Neal Stephenson.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Dargis, Manohla (2005-02-07). "We're Sorry". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2006-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "SF Books of the Damned". Ansible.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-31.

References

  • Melley, Timothy (2000). Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-3668-0.
  • Didion, Joan (1990) [1979]. The White Album. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-52221-9.
  • Taylor, Henry M. (2018) [2016]. Conspiracy! Theorie und Geschichte des Paranoiafilms. Schüren Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89472-947-9.

External links

Arcadia (utopia)

Arcadia (Greek: Αρκάδια) refers to a vision of pastoralism and harmony with nature. The term is derived from the Greek province of the same name which dates to antiquity; the province's mountainous topography and sparse population of pastoralists later caused the word Arcadia to develop into a poetic byword for an idyllic vision of unspoiled wilderness. Arcadia is a poetic shaped space associated with bountiful natural splendor and harmony. The 'Garden' is often inhabited by shepherds. The concept also figures in Renaissance mythology. Although commonly thought of as being in line with Utopian ideals, Arcadia differs from that tradition in that it is more often specifically regarded as unattainable. Furthermore, it is seen as a lost, Edenic form of life, contrasting to the progressive nature of Utopian desires.

The inhabitants were often regarded as having continued to live after the manner of the Golden Age, without the pride and avarice that corrupted other regions. It is also sometimes referred to in English poetry as Arcady. The inhabitants of this region bear an obvious connection to the figure of the noble savage, both being regarded as living close to nature, uncorrupted by civilization, and virtuous.

Ashwin Sanghi

Ashwin Sanghi (born 25 January 1969) is an Indian writer in the fiction-Thriller genre. He is the author of three best-selling novels: The Rozabal Line, Chanakya's Chant and The Krishna Key. All his books have been based on mythological theological and mythological themes. He is one of India's best-selling conspiracy fiction writers and is an author of the new era of retelling Indian history or mythology in a contemporary context. Forbes India has included him in their Celebrity 100 list. His latest novel, Keepers Of Kalachakra was released on 26 January 2018.

Conspiracy theory

A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. The term has a pejorative connotation, implying that the appeal to a conspiracy is based on prejudice or insufficient evidence. Conspiracy theories resist falsification and are reinforced by circular reasoning: both evidence against the conspiracy and an absence of evidence for it, are re-interpreted as evidence of its truth, and the conspiracy becomes a matter of faith rather than proof.On a psychological level, conspiracist ideation -- belief in conspiracy theories -- can be harmful or pathological, and is highly correlated with paranoia. Conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media, emerging as a cultural phenomenon of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Delta Green

Delta Green is a setting for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game created by Adam Scott Glancy, Dennis Detwiller, and John Scott Tynes, a.k.a. the Delta Green Partnership, of the Seattle gaming house Pagan Publishing. Delta Green is set in the contemporary era, revolving around a highly secretive organization known as Delta Green, tasked with protecting the United States from paranormal and alien threats. Delta Green takes the classic setting of the Cthulhu Mythos from Call of Cthulhu and mashes it with conspiracy fiction.

In August 2011, Arc Dream Publishing and the Delta Green Partnership announced development of a standalone Delta Green role-playing game. Funding began in 2015 and in 2016 the Agent's Handbook was released followed by the Handler's Guide in 2018. Arc Dream Publishing also made a partnership with Pelgrane Press to release a prequel named The Fall of DELTA GREEN using the Gumshoe System in 2018.

Eric Frank Russell

Eric Frank Russell (January 6, 1905 – February 28, 1978) was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales and non-fiction articles on Fortean topics. Up to 1955 several of his stories were published under pseudonyms, at least Duncan H. Munro and Niall(e) Wilde.

Fnord

"Fnord" () is a word coined in 1965 by Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill in the Principia Discordia. It entered the popular culture after appearing in The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975) of satirical and parody conspiracy fiction novels by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. In these novels, the interjection "fnord" is given hypnotic power over the unenlightened, and children in grade school are taught to be unable to consciously see the word "fnord". For the rest of their lives, every appearance of the word subconsciously generates a feeling of unease and confusion, preventing rational consideration of the text in which it appears.

The word has been used in newsgroup and hacker culture to indicate irony, humor, or Surrealism. Placement at the end of a statement in brackets (fnord) explicitly tags the intent, and may be so applied to any random or surreal sentence, coercive subtext, or anything jarringly out of context, intentional or not. It is sometimes used as a metasyntactic variable in programming. Fnord appears in the Church of the SubGenius recruitment film Arise! and has been used in the SubGenius newsgroup alt.slack.

Kulpreet Yadav

Kulpreet Yadav is an Indian writer in the fiction-Thriller genre. He is the author of two novels: The Girl Who Loved a Pirate and The Girl Who Loved a Spy.

The Girl Who Loved a Pirate is India’s first thriller based on marine piracy & hijacking.

List of films from North Macedonia

A list of feature films produced or filmed on the territory of the current North Macedonia.

Outline of literature

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to literature:

Literature – prose, written or oral, including fiction and non-fiction, drama, and poetry. See also: outline of poetry.

Paranoid fiction

Paranoid fiction is a term sometimes used to describe works of literature that explore the subjective nature of reality and how it can be manipulated by forces in power. These forces can be external, such as a totalitarian government, or they can be internal, such as a character's mental illness or refusal to accept the harshness of the world he or she is in.

Unlike speculative fiction, paranoid fiction is written in a way so as to imply that the story may only be a delusion of the characters, instead of treating it as an alternate history or an in-fiction universe.

Point of Impact

Point of Impact is a 1993 thriller novel by Stephen Hunter.

Techno-thriller

A techno-thriller (also known as technothrillers) is a hybrid genre drawing from science fiction, thrillers, spy fiction, action, and war novels. They include a disproportionate amount (relative to other genres) of technical details on their subject matter (typically military technology); only hard science fiction tends towards a comparable level of supporting detail on the technical side. The inner workings of technology and the mechanics of various disciplines (espionage, martial arts, politics) are thoroughly explored, and the plot often turns on the particulars of that exploration.This genre began to exist and establish itself in the early 20th century with further developments and focus on the genre in the mid 20th century.

The Apocalypse Fire

The Apocalypse Fire is a 2016 mystery detective thriller novel by the English historian and journalist Dominic Selwood. It is part two of the Ava Curzon trilogy and sequel to The Sword of Moses.

The novel's premise involves a hunt for an ancient biblical book to stave off a planned apocalypse in the Middle East, and features Dr Ava Curzon, an ex-MI6 archaeologist working at the British Museum.

The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence

The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence is a 1974 controversial non-fiction political book written by Victor Marchetti, a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and John D. Marks, a former officer of the United States Department of State.

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery thriller novel by Dan Brown. It is Brown's second novel to include the character Robert Langdon: the first was his 2000 novel Angels & Demons. The Da Vinci Code follows "symbologist" Robert Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu after a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris causes them to become involved in a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus Christ having been a companion to Mary Magdalene.

The novel explores an alternative religious history, whose central plot point is that the Merovingian kings of France were descended from the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, ideas derived from Clive Prince's The Templar Revelation (1997) and books by Margaret Starbird. The book also refers to The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) though Dan Brown has stated that it was not used as research material.

The Da Vinci Code provoked a popular interest in speculation concerning the Holy Grail legend and Mary Magdalene's role in the history of Christianity. The book has, however, been extensively denounced by many Christian denominations as an attack on the Roman Catholic Church, and consistently criticized for its historical and scientific inaccuracies. The novel nonetheless became a worldwide bestseller that sold 80 million copies as of 2009 and has been translated into 44 languages. In November 2004, Random House published a Special Illustrated Edition with 160 illustrations. In 2006, a film adaptation was released by Columbia Pictures.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels by American writers Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, first published in 1975. The trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex-, and magic-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary, related to the authors' version of the Illuminati. The narrative often switches between third- and first-person perspectives in a nonlinear narrative. It is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture, numerology, and Discordianism.

The trilogy comprises three parts which contain five books and appendices: The Eye in the Pyramid (first two books), The Golden Apple (third and part of fourth book), Leviathan (part of fourth and all of fifth book, and the appendices). The parts were first published as three separate volumes starting in September 1975. In 1984 they were published as an omnibus edition and are now more commonly reprinted in the latter form.

In 1986 the trilogy won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, designed to honor libertarian science fiction.The authors went on to write several works, both fiction and nonfiction, that dealt further with the themes of the trilogy, but they did not write any direct sequels.

Illuminatus! has been adapted for the stage and has influenced several modern writers, musicians, and games-makers. The popularity of the word "fnord" and the 23 enigma can both be attributed to the trilogy.

The Lone Gunmen (TV series)

The Lone Gunmen is an American conspiracy fiction thriller drama television series created by Chris Carter, Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz. The program originally aired from March 4, 2001 (2001-03-04), to June 1, 2001 (2001-06-01), on Fox. It is a spin-off of Carter's science fiction television series The X-Files and a part of The X-Files franchise, starring several of the show's characters. Despite positive reviews, its ratings dropped, and the show was canceled after thirteen episodes. The last episode ended on a cliffhanger which was partially resolved in a ninth season episode of The X-Files entitled "Jump the Shark".

The series revolves around the three characters of The Lone Gunmen: Melvin Frohike, John Fitzgerald Byers, and Richard Langly, a group of investigators who run a conspiracy theory magazine. They had often helped FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files.

The Secret Book

The Secret Book is a Macedonian feature film combining the detective, thriller and conspiracy fiction genres, based on "Secret Book" (French: Le Livre Secret, Macedonian: Тајната книга), a real mystical book written by the Bogomils with Glagolitic letters (the first Slav alphabet, made by SS. Cyril and Methodius).

Bogomil ideas, carried back to France and Italy from the Balkans by refugees or returning crusaders in the 11th century, became the basis of the Cathar heresy. Like them, the Bogomils were massacred by the church and their name almost burned from history.

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Psychology
Deaths and
disappearances
New World Order
UFOs
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environment
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