From The Narnian, by Alan Jacobs: "[C.S. Lewis] did not know what difference being a Christian was supposed to make, or could make, in his life as a literary writer. He needed clarification—he needed a better grasp of the intellectual landscape through which he was moving. In August 1932, when he was taking an Irish … Continue reading How C.S. Lewis Wrote Books
There are times in life when you meet nerdy enthusiasts whose speech and mannerisms make you promise to never stoop to such depths of nerdy obsession yourself---only to later realize you merely needed the right book to pull you in. This is what happened to me when I first read The Lord of the Rings … Continue reading Book Review: ‘Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth’
“The only part of an argument that really matters is what we think of the people arguing." So goes one line in this passage from Kim Stanley Robinson's sci-fi novel about settlers on Mars. I think it's more true than we want to admit.
Vengeance is a common theme in fantasy fiction, and it is striking how well certain FF authors tell the truth about what a messy business it is. Are there parallels one could draw to life in America today? I think so. We live in a society where social media offers a robust and pervasive platform for condemning evil people but no framework for forgiving them even when they repent.
In the fictional world I've been building for my novel, there are semi-spiritual beings called syven (a Siberian term for "helping spirits" or familiars) that can be bound to a person's tattoo and later summoned in need. Here's how I imagine they look.
Lent, Rembrandt, and updates on various writing projects (just submitted another article, yay!). Recommended readings on MLK and celibacy.
From the day I started this blog, I haven't committed to a strict blogging cadence. Until I do that (and I really should), if I don't have any well-formed thoughts to publish, I'll settle instead for giving a brief update on what I'm reading and working on.
Why is 'Frankenstein' considered the mother of the genre? How did we go from seeing so many utopian stories to dystopian ones? Where did the word "robot" come from? Will SF ever be recognized as "true" literature?
In a Slate op-ed published earlier this week, author Lee Konstantinou argues that "something is broken in our science fiction" and that we need to move beyond the cyber punk aesthetic. Perhaps, but there's one particular insight of cyber punk we should never abandon, which is that technology doesn't just serve us, it changes us---and not always for the better.
Susanna Clarke's 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' is no mere fantasy mixed with historical realism. Each page seeps with clever wit, raising poignant questions about our modern relationship with the Otherworldly.