In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural

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Cover In the Hunt Essays.jpg
Title In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural
Medium essay collection
Creator(s) various authors, editor: Leah Wilson,
Publisher BenBella Books, Smart Pop series
Release Date available March 2009 from smartpop or amazon
Link -
Purchase; In The Hunt at Smart Pop

In 2008, BenBella Books decided to commission a collection of essays. In addition to the usual process of inviting authors to contribute, they ran the Smart Pop Supernatural Essay Contest to source contribution from the broader fan base.

Three competition winners were included in the book. The essays from the other finalists were posted on a special page on the Smart Pops website (archive link)

You can read extracts from all the essays, and a table of contents here.

You can follow BenBella Bookson Twitter @BenBellaBooks

From the Press release

BenBella Books and Team Up to Create the Essential Companion for the Serious Supernatural Fan.

Supernatural fans know there’s more to their favorite show than meets the eye; so does In the Hunt!

Now in its fourth season, the CW’s often-neglected Supernatural has demonstrated marked ratings gains since last season and its season premiere showed the largest yearly increase among all entertainment series returning for the 2008–09 season despite its crowded Thursday night time-slot—thanks largely to the efforts of the series’ devoted fanbase, which Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has rightfully called “some of the smartest, most passionate, most intelligent fans of any show on television.”

For In the Hunt, BenBella Books and Supernatural fansite have teamed up to give those fans the essential Supernatural companion. In addition to the forward by Supernatural tie-in writer Keith R. A. DeCandido, and passionate, insightful essays by popular SF and fantasy author Tanya Huff, Supernatural RPG writer Jamie Chambers and many others, the book includes the three winning essays from the Pop Supernatural Essay Contest from early 2008.

From Sam and Dean Winchester and the Impala to the show’s demons, monsters and urban legend source material, In the Hunt gives Supernatural fans the in-depth, creative analysis they crave on their favorite television show.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Keith R. A. DeCandido; archive link
  • Introduction by Dawn Bennett; archive link
  • "'We're Not Exactly the Bradys'" by Tanya Huff; archive link
  • "The Burden of Being Sammy" by Dodger Winslow; archive link
  • “What’s Supernatural About Supernatural?” by Randall M. Jensen
  • “Horror, Humanity, and the Demon in the Mirror” by Gregory Stevenson
  • “Good and Evil in the World of Supernatural” by Avril Hannah-Jones
  • “Sympathy for the Devils” by Robert T. Jeschonek
  • “Dean Winchester: Bad-Ass . . . or Soccer Mom?” by Tanya Michaels
  • “‘We’ve Got Work to Do’” by Amy Garvey
  • “A Powerful Need” by Sheryl A. Rakowski
  • “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jo the Monster Killer” by Mary Borsellino
  • “Spreading Disaster” by Jacob Clifton
  • “Who Threw Momma on the Ceiling?” by Carol Poole
  • “Scary Just Got Sexy” by Emily Turner
  • “Blue Collar Ghost Hunters” by Jamie Chambers
  • “A Supernatural Love Story” by Heather Swain
  • "Back in Black" by Jules Wilkinson; archive link
  • “Riding Down the Highway” by Mary Fechter
  • “John Winchester and the Magic Bullet Theory” by Tracy S. Morris
  • “The Evils of Hating . . . Um, Evil” by Amy Berner
  • “Another Roadside Attraction” by Maria Lima
  • “Keepers of the Lore” by Shanna Swendson
  • “Ghouls in Cyberspace” by London E. Brickley

Essays From Other Finalists

  • ”Sacrifice Yourself: Good, Evil, and Supernatural Activism” by Mary F. Dominiak (Bardicvoice); archive link
  • ”Vampires, Demons, and Humans? Oh My! A Closer Look at Supernatural’s Most Horrifying Creatures” by Amanda R. Hauck; archive link
  • ”Human Complexity and Supernatural Simplicity: Why All Is Not As Clear-Cut As It Seems in Supernatural” by Lee C. Hillman (Gwendolyn Grace); archive link 1, archive link 2
  • "Men Are From Mars, Women Are Evil: The Portrayal of the Fairer Sex in Supernatural Seasons 1-3″ by Samara Jensen; archive link
  • “One Hell of a P.A.: A Study on the Mating Habits of the Eldest Remaining Winchester” by Michelle Shavlik; archive link
  • "I'm Batman!" by Diana Taleski; archive link
  • "Hellraisers II: The Brothers Winchester" by Shannon Zupfer; archive link
  • “Supernatural - This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” by B. J. Peterson (bjxmas); archive link
  • The Family Business: Families in Supernatural by K Hanna Korossy; archive link