Dopes To Infinity

This man is the biggest rock star who never became a big rock star, but deserves to. I had to find some excuse to write about my love of Monster Magnet and by golly, I found one! Read on to discover what writers should learn from Dave Wyndorf & co. in this brave new world.

Girl, You’re In the Army Now

Why do authors write equal opportunities for women into fantasy worlds with pre-modern technologies and societies? Unless they are Terry Pratchett, they’re only making themselves look silly.

Your Majesty, I’m So Over You

Ranks and titles are powerful tools in the fantasy writer’s toolkit. What a shame they are used so unimaginatively in general. I offer some inspiration alongside your weekly dose of young fogeyishness.

What’s Your Type?

Does fantasy fiction feed racism? An important distinction between literature and film is often elided. Arthur Conan Doyle on the classification of peoples and my thoughts on the Boston Marathon bombing.

Zero-Magic Fantasy

Zero-magic fantasy is a growing subgenre. But can it ever rise above the level of thought experiment? And what are the tradeoffs?

The Meteor That Never Fell

Just kidding! Putin didn’t really ride that meteor! But it was an uneasy thing to watch, and it prompted uneasier thoughts about other things that fall, and why I crave stories with endings.

Writers Writing About Writers Writing About …

There’s something unseemly about writers who write about writers. Many of my beliefs about writing have changed since I was a pink-cheeked little colleen getting up early to write before school, but this is one that has not and on present showing, never will. I always suspect writer protagonists of being the author in the […]

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.

Ora Pro Nobis. The Zombies Are Coming

Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world on February 11th by announcing his abdication. In related news on your Amazing Stories channel, the zombie apocalypse is coming. Even Snooki agrees! “One day, I know that the world is going to end with zombies.”

The Impossibility of Escaping the Palm of Buddha’s Hand

“Mortal, you have angered Shaka-sama and now Pigsy will eat your face.” This is one of the improbable lines that is never spoken in the foundational saga of Buddhist fiction. Many other improbable lines are. Further out on the improbability spectrum: Shingo Katori costumes up as a monkey.

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.

I, Shebot

If this photo gives you the creeps, congratulations, you may be human. But in another few years, it may not be so easy to tell. And as usual, science fiction is largely to blame.

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?

Why Doesn’t Fantasy Sell in Japan?

Epic fantasy is a hard sell in Japan. Why? A country so saturated in the fantastic seemingly ought to have an affinity for our beloved genre. But shared passions often get lost in translation.

The Elves of Japan

In Japan, even the elves are different. Fantasy novelist Satoru Sato has won a place in the postwar fantasy canon for his uniquely charming creations, the Korobokkuru.