Friday, November 12, 2021

Christopher Pike Born on This Date, 1954


The pen name of New York City-born Kevin Christopher McFadden, Christopher Pike was one of the big-selling writers of young adult speculative fiction during the late Eighties and well into the Nineties. I well recall selling lots of these slim little paperbacks during my bookstore days back then. Published by Pocket Books under their YA imprint Pathway, his books popped off the shelves with his name featured in neon as well as distinctive, evocative cover illustrations, most by artists Brian Kotzky, Danilo Ducak, and Mark Garro. Die-cut peekaboo and stepback covers abound!

I was too old to read them myself, but I know Pike's books strike a real nostalgic chord for younger horror fans who later graduated to adult horror writers. Tor Books published his two adult novels, Sati (1990) and The Season of Passage (1992). Pike is famously reclusive, but a recent, illuminating interview can be found here. These paperbacks you see in this post are from my wife's collection; she's been buying them off and on for years!


Arkhivist said...

Thanks for the nostalgia! Christopher Pike and the perhaps even more prolific R.L. Stine were like the Coke and Pepsi of the YA shelves back then. While they seemed practically interchangeable from their titles, I quickly decided that Pike's books were good-bad, or good on their own cheesy terms, while Stine's were transparently bad.

My favorite was THE LAST VAMPIRE (later reprinted together with its various sequels under the title THIRST). One of those cases where the first-person narrative voice just makes the whole book, like he just found the character and let her do her thing.

Mike said...

R. L. Stine wasn't that bad. One of my favorite characters was Slappy the Living Dummy.

In fact, I've got a great idea for his next book: a Slappy omnibus! All the Slappy stories from beginning to end(?) in one book. He could call it THE SAGA OF SLAPPY THE LIVING DUMMY.

Pretty good, huh?