Historical Fiction

The Alternate History Masterpiece You’ve Never Read

Satire is no longer being written in America. It’s still on television via Saturday Night Live, South Park, and the great, unsung animation series Squidbillies. (I’d lump Superjail in there, but it’s not for the squeamish and satire works best if an... Read More »

The Empty Art of Onmyodo

The Empty Art of Onmyodo

We're all living on borrowed time, but it can take a fox to remind you that what you should fear most may be the very thing you desire. What does moe culture have in common with black magic? A lot, actually. Read More »

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Crossroads: World-building in Westerns and Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction gives my imagination space to play. Whether it’s a strange, fascinating city, an entire alien world, or a different time/reality, the genre’s ability to transport offers both escapist entertainment and the insight into... Read More »

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (via Wikipedia)

Crossroads: Riding into Space – Westerns and Speculative Fiction

March is here, and that means it is time to move into a new Crossroads series. For some reason, March always brings to mind melting snow, spring’s inexorable creep across the plains, cold mountains withstanding the coming warmth. In other words... Read More »

Why Sorcerers Have Long Grizzled Beards

Ever notice that fictional sorcerers always seem to have long, grizzled beards? Ever wondered why?  Well, probably you haven’t, but you’re about to find out. The sorcerer “look” originally comes from a real-life sorcerer named... Read More »

War and Dreams – Two Novels by Kathleen Ann Goonan

Kathleen Ann Goonan’s In War Times, originally published in 2007, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel and the ALA’s Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year. A complex exploration of the political implications of alternative hi... Read More »

Sequential Wednesdays #2 – To Stand The Gap: The Secret Truth of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Sequential Wednesdays #2 – To Stand The Gap: The Secret Truth of S.H.I.E.L.D.

This is not how the World ends.  This oft-spoken mantra, among others, repeated throughout the narrative of the Marvel comic S.H.I.E.L.D. is a tried and true indicator of how much I adore this work. Created by heralded writer Jonathan Hickman and me... 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 »

Crossroads: Where Genres Meet in the Night

Speculative fiction's ability to stay fresh is a direct result of its ability to blend with other genres: the mash-up, the hybrid, the literary crossroad are where science fiction has always found innovation. We're a magpie genre, and I think that sh... Read More »

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