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The American Diner as the Perferct Setting for Sci-Fi/Horror Fiction

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Author Topic: The American Diner as the Perferct Setting for Sci-Fi/Horror Fiction  (Read 1549 times)
Bad Penny
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« on: July 25, 2011, 02:06:34 pm »

Right now I see myself as being in competition with the greatest writer in the history of my beloved and ancient city of Providence, Rhode Island, USA., that being, of course, the great Howard Phillips Lovecraft.  This is not to say that I am claiming to be his equal (hey, I know I'm a crap writer compared to him), but I still think I can stake a certain claim as his runner-up by trying my best with one of the greatest (and spookiest) American institutions: the traditional American diner.

For those of you non-Americans who may not know what a diner is, allow me to explain that it's a small restaurant, whose design is based upon that of a railroad dining car, which serves such classic American meals as hot open-faced turkey sandwiches with a side of cranberry sauce, cheeseburgers deluxe with a side of fries, and, for dessert, pies of all kinds, particularly banana cream pie topped with a huge pile of meringue.

Here's a floorplan of a typical diner:



This American institution has much in common with the British pub, except that the British pub serves as a center (OK, centre!) of community unity among those whose families have known one another for centuries, whereas the American diner attracts a MUCH more diverse and transient crowd (i.e., families in transit to vacation (OK, OK, holiday), gangsters, serial killers, drifters, shady ladies, and, according to the "Twilight Zone" television program(me), even outer-space aliens!  There's even been a Canadian mini-series based on this idea called "Nightmare Cafe".

The truth is, they're beautiful places that serve simple (but delicious) food to wholesome families during the day, and, at least in the popular imagination, to some pretty tough customers during the night and very early morning..  But the best thing is that, while Lovecraft limited himself to Arkham, Massachusetts (which is actually the East Side of Providence rotated 90 degrees), the diner can be located anywhere, from a lonely road in the middle of a forest or a desert to the waterfront of a tough city, so it's much more versatile.  It's a cliche that, unlike the donuts in a diner, never gets stale.























« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 05:40:38 pm by Bad Penny » Report Spam   Logged

Are you taking over?
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I ain't going backwards!
We're going only forwards!

The Clash, White Riot

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Bad Penny
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 05:37:58 pm »

The above post was actually inspired by my having seen, this morning, an episode of the 1980's revival of the "Twilight Zone" series entitled "Nightcrawlers", which I've just viewed again.  While it's not quite up to Lovecraft, it comes close, and it makes me realize that, given the limits of my own writing talent, I would most likely best serve myself by sticking to spoofing this genre.  Besides, there's enough scary crap in the news these days that maybe a little spoofing of horror fiction would provide readers with welcome relief.
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Are you taking over?
Or are you taking orders?
I ain't going backwards!
We're going only forwards!

The Clash, White Riot
Bad Penny
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 10:11:32 am »





























And, last but hardly least, here's "Flo on the Go", the waitress that makes the whole thing work:


« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 10:15:57 am by Bad Penny » Report Spam   Logged

Are you taking over?
Or are you taking orders?
I ain't going backwards!
We're going only forwards!

The Clash, White Riot
Bad Penny
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2011, 11:13:15 am »

Here 'tis:

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Are you taking over?
Or are you taking orders?
I ain't going backwards!
We're going only forwards!

The Clash, White Riot
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