Code or Creed: Statements of Belief In Star Wars and Dune

Despite entertaining fan projects such as listing Jedism on the faith section of the Canadian census I don’t think there are many people who genuinely hold science fiction philosophies at the centre of their lives. However, the short and catchy poems that represent those philosophies have become an interesting point of both fan culture and […]

Academically Ugly: Geometric Horror in H.P. Lovecraft

One of the consistent motifs in the short fiction of H.P. Lovecraft is the description of creatures and spaces as non-Euclidean. Most readers are still able to identify the horror of these creations (as well as the rampant racism in the stories) but the description itself is highly academic. For many readers this isn’t enough […]

Act Your Age: A Rant about Children in Fiction

Children in most fantasy fiction decidedly do not act their age but instead behave like adults whose appearance has just been adjusted for emotional impact. Most often this is in pursuit of giving the book a gritty or disturbing feel rather than an actual need for child characters. Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks is […]

Unseen: Informal Magic in Among Others

There is no wiki for Jo Walton’s Among Others and even if there was it probably would not be particularly helpful. This is because unlike many other, more well-known fantasy stories, the magic the novel is not something that can be codified for fans to pour over the technicalities of. Instead Among Others is built […]

Selection: Some Thoughts on Deciding What to Read

I get asked about what I read fairly often and usually by people who encounter my reading habits in the context of higher education. This is unsurprising given that my reading strategy very intentionally is designed to give me an edge in a classroom, but I always have mixed feelings about suggesting that others read […]

Gateway Drug: Access Points to Fantasy Epics

Being a latecomer to an expansive fantasy world is often daunting and sometimes requires an unfortunate amount of trial and error to figure out where to begin. So, although authors may not have planned for their projects to end up quite so large it is still essential that their fantasy epics exist with some kind […]