Owners of the World: The Surrender Of or To Humanity

Humanity threatening disasters of debatable evilness are prerequisites for most speculative fiction. Although these stories tend to also include character growth arcs, romances, and some degree of environment survival as well, there is always some looming threat that needs to be defeated. JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings typifies this kind of threat as Sauron […]

The Believability of a Heretic: Religion in The Scarlet Letter and The Priory of the Orange Tree

Novels that also serves as religious commentary have a long history and a continuing relevance in a world where religious extremism or intolerance are growing problems. However, the strength of these books, whether they be reflections of history or a fictional construction that mirrors the real world, lies in their believability and internal consistency. When […]

Becoming More Like Themselves: Naming in The Southern Reach Trilogy and The Pilgrim’s Progress

Names and naming are a fascination in literature in general, and fantasy in particular but sometimes the lack of naming can convey an even stronger message bout the characters. Some names have symbolism or convey inherent character traits such as the JK Rowling’s incredibly literal Wolf-Wolf in Remus Lupin while other characters remain largely nameless […]