On the Study of the Fantastic, Part II

I was deeply tempted to title this post “Academia for Fun and Profit,” but it seemed a bit misleading as the vast majority of people tend to read “profit” as traditional monetary gain.

American Tolkien

There is a kind of writer whose name evokes not just the titles of their best-known novels or the characters in them, but a certain way of experiencing the world. If one hears the name “Hemingway” it is hard not to think of cold Italian rains and the sound of mortar shells, or perhaps smoky […]

Old Friends, and Why We Love Them

Dragon Battle Book Sculpture by wetcanvas. First sentences are important. Introductions are important. Not gonna lie, I’ve been writing in my head for weeks trying to figure out the perfect start to this blog, and failing miserably, I finally just decided to jump in with a line from George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of […]

The History of Fantasy, Part II: Barbarians and Elves and Jesus Figures and D20s

         The nineteenth century closes with two books that will be imitated constantly for the next hundred years or so: Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. To a very real extent you have the spectrum of Fantasy right there: children’s stuff with its own unique self-contained logic and […]

The History of Fantasy, Part I: Books of Monsters

      Some people like to date Fantasy as starting with Tolkien, some like to reach back to the tales of the ancient world, but I like to split the difference and start with Beowulf. In terms of historical reach, the Anglo Saxon world is barely a stone’s throw from us today, and you can […]