They were published by Paradox Press, an imprint of DC, and were absolutely huge for me.
There was the Big Book of...
- Urban Legends
- The Unexplained
- The 70's
and most importantly, The Big Book of Conspiracies:
This book was to me in my twenties what In Search Of... was to me when I was 9. It was a look through that same strange portal into a decidedly weird version of the world. Highly irrational, but absolutely irresistible.
The release of the Big Book of Conspiracies dovetailed nicely with a relatively new television show that trafficked heavily in the subconscious monsters birthed by pre-millennial jitters and the underground language of conspiracy, The X-Files.
These two things reinvigorated my sense of mystery in the world around me. Truthfully they got me into speculative fiction again. It was like rediscovering a beloved phantom limb.
I wanted to believe.