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Old Mar 15 2008, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Is Dean R Koontz a genuine Science Fiction writer?
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Old Mar 15 2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

He's considered to be a horror writer, though some of his books certainly dabble with SF themes as well. I used to read him, and would heartily recommend several of his.

Have you read any of them, or did you get some in your recent book purchase?
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Old Mar 16 2008, 04:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

NINA...........Dean Koontz a sci-fi writer? Excuse me while I temporarily chuckle my head off. It's like calling Stephen King a sci-fi writer. Dean Koontz is mainly the horror genre. I know Stephen King wrote "Eyes of the Dragon" which is a fantasy book but his claim to fame is horror or very similiar. Dean Koontz has been classed as writing his books in the same vein. Although I'll admit that I could be wrong and he may have written a sci-fi book but I'd have to ask my father-in-law as he dabbles in DK's books. All I know is DK's genre is mainly horror! Or Cheryl could point you in the right direction with particular titles that deal with SF themes?
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Old Mar 16 2008, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

One example of Koontz book with SF themes is Phantoms, which is rather like the SF/Horror movie "The Thing", though I think the origin of the monster in Koontz's version turns out to be manmade rather than alien. Still, that just changes it from alien sf to near-future sf.

Also his book Watchers has SF elements, considering the experimentation in affecting the intelligence of the dog and ape which isn't possible today.

Lightning deals with time travel from someone originating in WWII Germany.

All of these things are giving horror treatment, which is to say the tale is set up to be scary and the main characters spend a lot of time being frightened. Told in a different manner, the same setup would easily be classified as SF or at least speculative fiction. Or if the publisher chose to market the books differently... some could be marketed as SF with horror themes, rather than horror with SF themes.
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Old Mar 16 2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Thank you, Cheryl, just the specifics I needed to hear. And you are right, I got a load of Dean Koontz books in my recent purchase.

Since I am past my horror period, I will sort them out of the SF piles and try a sample or two of the ones you mentioned with SF content and see if I like them.

Thank you for your answers, Cheryl and Jube.
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The Rowan is my favourite!

"The name rowan is believed to derive from the Norse runa - "a charm". It was often planted outside houses to ward off witches. On May Day a spray of rowan leaves was hung over doors to repel evil, and wells dressed with rowan to keep witches away. The rowan, or mountain ash, is found commonly in Scotland, sometimes clinging to a rock face."
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Old Mar 16 2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Most of the ones I mentioned above are the ones I'd recommend: Watchers, Lightning, Phantoms. Also would highly recommend Strangers (which I think has a SF explanation, as I recall) and Intensity (which is straight-up horror).

Watchers is one of his best-loved books, for the freindly, intelligent dog who's a major character in his own right. Lightning is just really cool for they way the time traveller fits into the life of the other main character.
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Last edited by Cheryl; Mar 17 2008 at 08:34 AM. Reason: had Strangers mixed up with Midnight...
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Old Mar 17 2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

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Originally Posted by jube View Post
NINA...........Dean Koontz a sci-fi writer? Excuse me while I temporarily chuckle my head off. It's like calling Stephen King a sci-fi writer. Dean Koontz is mainly the horror genre. I know Stephen King wrote "Eyes of the Dragon" which is a fantasy book but his claim to fame is horror or very similiar. Dean Koontz has been classed as writing his books in the same vein. Although I'll admit that I could be wrong and he may have written a sci-fi book but I'd have to ask my father-in-law as he dabbles in DK's books. All I know is DK's genre is mainly horror! Or Cheryl could point you in the right direction with particular titles that deal with SF themes?
I can easily think of both Dean Koontz & Stephen King as a sci-fi writers. Koontz's Frankenstein series deal with genetic engineering, and King's The Dark Tower series is alternate worlds.
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One example of Koontz book with SF themes is Phantoms, which is rather like the SF/Horror movie "The Thing", though I think the origin of the monster in Koontz's version turns out to be manmade rather than alien. Still, that just changes it from alien sf to near-future sf.

Also his book Watchers has SF elements, considering the experimentation in affecting the intelligence of the dog and ape which isn't possible today.

Lightning deals with time travel from someone originating in WWII Germany.

All of these things are giving horror treatment, which is to say the tale is set up to be scary and the main characters spend a lot of time being frightened. Told in a different manner, the same setup would easily be classified as SF or at least speculative fiction. Or if the publisher chose to market the books differently... some could be marketed as SF with horror themes, rather than horror with SF themes.
Like Cheryl mentioned, it really depends on how the books are marketed by the publishers and how people perceive them. Nowadays quite a lot of fiction crosses over different genres, paranormal romance books are a good example.
It all depends on how you look at the book. Previously I use to refuse to read King's books or watch the movies because he wrote horror. That was until I saw The Stand mini-series. Still haven't read or watch most of his books but some I do.
It all depends on how you look at the book. Previously I use to refuse to read King's books or watch the movies because he wrote horror. That was until I saw The Stand mini-series. Still haven't read or watch most of his books, and probably won't, but some I have tried.
Nowadays quite a lot of fiction crosses over different genres. It really depends on how the books are marketed by the publishers and how people perceive them.
I've been meaning to take a look at Phantoms & will also now have a look at Lightning.
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Old Mar 17 2008, 02:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Koontz is my fall back guy. Can't find something to read? Koontz always has at least one new book out and has written so many you can always find one you haven't read and he seldom writes something that is bad IMO. Just picked up his newer dog book, can't think of the name, and The Face from my Mom over the weekend. Watchers and Twilight Eyes are my two favorites of his.
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Old Mar 17 2008, 10:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Flinx, point taken on the Gunslinger series, I'd forgotten that was fantasy. I just don't have much time for DK, even though I have several books somewhere that my father-in-law gave me as he doubled up on some of his horrors. I suppose that's like classifying Anne McCaffrey as a romance author (The Kilternan Legacy et al) instead of a scifi/fantasy author. Okay, okay, point taken, it's just I've never read them, that's all, barring one or 2 short stories. Stupid excuse, I know, now I've got to find those books and find out for sure........O well, an excuse to read something new.
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Old Mar 18 2008, 06:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

I was only mentioning it to show how different people see the same thing in different ways. Sort of like those pictures that show either a vase or two faces, it depends how you look at it.
I have actually heard Anne be described as a romance writer.
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Old Mar 19 2008, 07:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Thank you all for your answers, this has been very enLIGHTENING

I will pick out the mentioned books and take a peek at both Koontz and King.
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The Rowan is my favourite!

"The name rowan is believed to derive from the Norse runa - "a charm". It was often planted outside houses to ward off witches. On May Day a spray of rowan leaves was hung over doors to repel evil, and wells dressed with rowan to keep witches away. The rowan, or mountain ash, is found commonly in Scotland, sometimes clinging to a rock face."
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Old Jul 23 2008, 04:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

Just as a side note, back in the late 60s and early 70s Dean Koontz did write science fiction. He was not a very good writer back then though. It kind of tickled me to see that as he got older not only did his writing improve, but he got better looking.
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Old Jul 24 2008, 09:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

What tickled me is that he started looking more and more like Stephen King!
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Old Jul 24 2008, 11:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

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What tickled me is that he started looking more and more like Stephen King!
But he's much better looking than King!
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Old Jul 26 2008, 12:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

I think his writing is much better than King's later works.

The Koontz books I've read (The Watchers, Lightning) were excellent. Terrifying without being grotesque, squicky, and wordy.

King seems to have latched on to the adolescent-boy-ickness - it seems that he never passes up a chance to describe snot, farts, shit, vomit, or any combination of those. I prefer my horror to be more intellectual than visual.
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Old Jul 26 2008, 12:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

His first books (SF) were pretty bad, but by the time he wrote Visions, he had vastly improved and he just got better after that. I like him better than King also. I think he has a more spiritual quality.
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Old Jul 26 2008, 01:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dean R Koontz - SF writer?

I've only read one King novel, Firestarter. I didn't like it as it inspired no sympathy for the protagonist. When you don't give a darn about the central character and what happens to her, then there's hardly a point in reading a book.

Koontz on the other hand, has never failed to create a central character I cared about and rooted for. He is quite good at creating terror without gore, as Shalyn said -- for a real terror treat try his Intensity. It has you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. I don't read him often anymore; after 30 or so books there is a certain predictability and a sameness to the central characters.

The only other horror author I've tried is John Saul. I had to stop reading him, because after tying up his books with a nice resolution, he always added just a few sentences to let you know that it wasn't really over. I didn't like being left horrified, I prefer Koontz's happy endings.
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