Two volumes of a unique horror literature book that has been on Amazon’s top 10 is now available for purchase and was edited by Ranger College’s own Matt Cardin.

The E-T interviewed Cardin, who is Ranger’s associate vice president and assistant professor of English and religion, Tuesday to get all the details on the book.

“For students in multiple subjects, it can serve as a resource for research and because of the interlocking nature of the three-part structure it helps to serve multiple purposes,” Cardin said. “Students can study individual authors and trace their writing in history and how they were influenced; they can also use it to find out where works of literature - both horror and general - lies in relation to important historical events; or to study the intersection of horror with important topics that everyone is talking about these days like religion and gender.”

The book is called “Horror Literature Through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears” and features content from 70 contributors from around the world.

The book has three parts: Horror through History; Themes, Topics and Genres; and alphabetically organized entries on authors, literary works, awards, monsters, techniques and important elements in the field like haunted houses and ancestral curses.

Cardin was approached by the publishing company, ABC-CLIO, LLC, and spent two years working on the heavily-involved project. He has already worked on a couple of other reference works with the company in the past.

“The whole book is devoted to showing both the interest and value of horror literature as an important type of literature and presents the background of all the modern horror in non-literary form,” Cardin said. “The whole package together is, I think, the more comprehensive view of the history of horror literature primarily in the western tradition than any other single work has done before.”

Cardin got interested in horror and fantasy/science fiction when he was in junior high and at the time also grew up with a strong religious sensibility.

“I think the thing that led me to be interested in religion and horror stems from the same place because they’re all fundamental questions about the world and what is real and what’s not real,” he said. “They both deal with the questions of the supernatural and good and evil so there’s a crossover value for me among them.”

Cardin said the book is available at the Ranger College library and at some point may be available at Tarleton’s Dick Smith Library and the Stephenville Public Library.

The two-volume set can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and through the publisher, ABC-CLIO/Greenwood.