Fantasy

How to Begin a Short Story

How to Begin a Short Story

Maybe I’m just impatient, but I’ll generally stop reading a short story if the first two paragraphs don’t answer the following questions: Who is this story about? (Character) Why should I care about that character? (Empathy) Where ... Read More »

The Lost Boys

The Lost Vamps: Bloodthirsty Flicks that Actually Don’t Suck

Photo: The Lost Boys (1987) / zazenlife.com Vampire flicks have been all the rage since Twilight flooded the box office with sticky, coppery crimson in ’08, and have proven a solid moneymaking strategy ever since, with each of the saga’s ... Read More »

Women in Armour vs. Chicks in Chain-mail

One of the more common tropes of fantasy illustration is depictions of women in armor, but this is not necessarily unique to fantasy illustration. Armored women have been depicted in art throughout the centuries. Most notable among these are depicti... Read More »

The Chocolate Teapots of the 21st Century

The Chocolate Teapots of the 21st Century

Looking back at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear disaster of 3/11/2011, I ask more questions about Japanese robotics. Baudrillard and M. John Harrison are roped in to help. Also, we bought a Roomba. Read More »

Cloud Atlas Shrugged – or let the Skyfall

On Monday Skyfall was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK. Tomorrow Cloud Atlas will open in UK cinemas. Two films, poles apart. Skyfall, the 23th entry in probably the world’s longest running and most successful film franchise. An undemanding, com... Read More »

Top Ten RPG Game Systems of All Time

Pull the blinds and turn off the phone, it’s time to head to the Game Room and lock in on some hardcore meta-gaming action.  In the Game Room we will explore the world of gaming in all its many incarnations, while lingering over that corner of the me... Read More »

Unicorn

Unicorn

I’ve wanted to leave the realms of fantasy behind this time, and move on into the vastness of open space, but then this came up: The Hobbit and the Unicorn? — Combined sketch by Alan Lee and John Howe, for Robin’s Relief Fund –... Read More »

Crossroads: The Power in Paranormal Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day! In my first draft of this week’s essay, I started to trace the history of the paranormal romance all the way from the Gothic novel, through to noir, into romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and to the ass-kicking, lea... Read More »

Dark History: Bran Mak Morn

Robert E. Howard, more than anything, wanted to sell to Adventure Magazine. This publication of the Buttrick Co. was considered by many the best Pulp of all the hundreds of cheap magazines published between the 1920s and 1950s. It featured writers l... Read More »

The Galapagos Frontier Thesis

The Galapagos Frontier Thesis

The formative American experience was the conquest of the western frontier. Would science fiction and fantasy exist without the frontier model? What does Japan's parallel conquest of Hokkaido tell us about the legacy of colonial expansion? Read More »

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