Episode #65 – Various Topics with Dr. Michael R. Collings

MRCollingsMichael R. Collings is an educator, literary scholar and critic, poet, novelist, essayist, columnist, reviewer, and editor whose work over three decades—more than one hundred books and chapbooks and thousands of chapters, essays, reviews, and poems—has concentrated on science fiction, fantasy, and horror, emphasizing the works of Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, C.S. Lewis, and others. His books for Starmont House, beginning in 1984, were among the earliest scholarly appraisals of King.

He has served as Guest, Special Guest, and Guest of Honor at a number of cons, professional as well as fan-oriented, including Academic Guest of Honor at MythCon (Conference of the Mythopoeic Society), where he presented the Keynote Address on Orson Scott Card; Academic Guest of Honor at EnderCon, celebrating the novel’s 25th anniversary; Special Guest at the Salt Lake Comic Con (2014); and Academic Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention (2008, 2012, and 2016). He has been twice nominated for the Bram Stoker Award® from the Horror Writers Association, once for non-fiction and once for poetry.

He is a past Senior Publications Editor for JournalStone Publications (2012-2015), where several of the books he worked with went on to become Stoker® finalists; and his articles and reviews have appeared in both Hellnotes and the print-magazine Dark Discoveries.  These and other writings are posted online at Collings Notes(michaelrcollings.blogspot.com).

Professor Collings was poet in residence at Pepperdine University from 1997-2003.  Now retired as a professor emeritus of English after almost thirty years at Pepperdine, he lives in Idaho with his wife and number-one fan, Judi, and writes and writes and writes.

Professor Collings is the first Grand Master to be acknowledged primarily for critical and scholarly works as well as novels, short fiction, and poetry. His publications include the following books:


An Annotated Space Operae!—A Tale of Three Planets: A Meta-Novel in Seven Levels, by Michael R. Collings; Annotated by Michael R. Collings (In Various Manifestations) (Novel, constructed to tell a story, comment on a story, and comment on commentators, all simultaneously)


Space Operae: A Tale of Three Planets (novella)


C.S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy: Essays in Genre (Literary Study)

Chain of Evil: The JournalStone Guide to Writing Darkness (Writing techniques; incorporates Writing Darkness, 2012)

Michaelbrent Collings’ The Billy Saga: A Literary Study

Orson Scott Card: Penetrating to the Gentle Heart (Literary Study)

Taliesin: The Joseph Smith/King Arthur Sonets (Poetry)


Milton’s Century: A Timeline of the Literary, Political, Religious, and Social Context of John Milton’s Life (Chronology)


Writing Darkness (Writing techniques; 2012 Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for Nonfiction)

A Verse to Horror: An Abecedary of Monsters and the Monstrous (Poetry; 2012 Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for Poetry)

BlueRose and Other Chapbooks (Poetry)

Hai-(And Assorted Other)-Ku (Poetry)


Deep Music: A Selection of L.D.S. Musical Readings (Poetry)

Devil’s Plague (Novel, mystery)

Names and Naming in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: A Checklist of Persons, Places, and Things (Literary study)

Serpent’s Tooth (Novel, mystery)

Shadow Valley (Novel, horror)

Som Certaine Sonets (Poetry)

Static! (Novel, horror)

The Nephiad: An Epic in XII Books (Poetry)


In Endless Morn of Light: Moral Agency in Milton’s Universe (Literary study)

Matrix: Echoes of Growing Up West—Autobiographical Poems (Poetry)

Tales through Time (Poetry)

The Slab (Novel, horror)

Three Tales of Omne (Short fiction, science fiction)

Toward Other Worlds: Perspectives on John Milton, C. S. Lewis, Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, and Others (Essays, literary studies)

Wer Means Man, and Other Tales of Wonder and Terror (Short fiction, science fiction and horror)


In the Void: Poems of Science Fiction, Myth and Fantasy, and Horror.Introduction by Orson Scott Card (Poetry)

Singer of Lies: A Science-Fantasy Novel

The Art and Craft of Poetry: Twenty Exercises toward Mastery (Writing techniques)

Wordsmith, Volume One: The Veil of Heaven (Novel, science-fantasy)

Wordsmith, Volume Two: The Thousand Eyes of Flame (Novel, science-fantasy)


In Darkness Drawn: Poems (Horror)

Stephen King is Richard Bachman (Literary study)


The House Beyond the Hill (Novel, horror)


Growing Up West: Poems


All Calm, All Bright: Christmas Offerings (Poetry, short fiction)

‘Horror Plum’d’: An International Stephen King Bibloiography and Guide


Storyteller: The Official Orson Scott Card Bibliography and Guide


Hauntings: The Official Peter Straub Bibliography


Elementals: Auto-Reductive Sonets in Major and Minor Modes (Poetry)

Nestlings of a Dark God: Poems—Science Fiction, Fantasy, Myth, Horror 


Scaring Us to Death: The Impact of Stephen King on Popular Culture(Literary study)


The Work of Stephen King; An Annotated Bibliography and Guide


Dark Transformations: Deadly Visions of Change (Poetry, science fiction and horror)

In the Image of God: Theme, Characterization, and Landscape in the Fiction of Orson Scott Card (Literary study; incorporated into Orson Scott Card: Penetrating to the Gentle Heart)


Card Catalogue: The Science Fiction and Fantasy of Orson Scott Card(Bibliography)

The Stephen King Phenomenon (Literary Study)


Brian Aldiss (Literary study)

Reflections on the Fantastic: Selected Papers from the Fourth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, ed. Michael R. Collings (Anthology of literary studies)

The Annotated Guide to Stephen King: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography of the Works of America’s Premier Horror Writer

The Films of Stephen King (Literary Study)


Naked to the Sun: Dark Visions of Apocalypse (Poetry, science fiction, fantasy, and horror)

The Many Facets of Stephen King (Literary study)

The Shorter Words of Stephen King, with David A. Engebretson (Literary study)

Stephen King as Richard Bachman (Literary study)


Piers Anthony (Literary study)


A Season of Calm Weather (Poetry)

His short fiction has appeared in the following anthologies:

Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge, ed. Robert S. Wilson (2013, 2014)

Space Eldritch II: The Haunted Stars, ed. Nathan Shumate (2013)

Yondering: The First Borgo Press Book of Science Fiction Stories, ed. Robert Reginald (2013)

Space Eldritch, ed. Nathan Shumate (2012)

Cthulhu Mythos Megapack, ed. John Betancourt (2012)

Vampire Megaback, ed. John Betancourt (2012)

About James Duckett

James is a geeky, nerdy dude. He writes, sometimes. He blogs, sometimes. He's helpful to people, sometimes. He doesn't like to repeat himself, sometimes. He's funny... looking... always.

His hopes and aspirations of the future is to one day find a way that people will pay him while he sleeps. It is his dream job.