Tag: Fantasy

Jane Austen Meets Sci-Fi

After two hundred years of being known as a genius, Jane Austen is now a brand, a marketing phenomenon. According to Wikipedia—so this is more universally acknowledged than necessarily true—in 2015 ...

Miéville’s Surreal Weapons

In his rambling 2011 photo-essay “London’s Overthrow,” composed in the lead-up to the London Olympics, China Miéville takes his reader through the ever-changing, history-drenched streets of his beloved city ...

Losing Their Religion

Rarely do we pity the pious Victorian patriarch. Why should we sympathize with the privileged men who stoutly believed that God had placed them at the apex of a “Great Chain of Being”? One of the ...

Am I Not a Dragon and a Brother

Here’s what everyone will tell you about the award-winning Temeraire series that Naomi Novik has just completed: it’s the Napoleonic Wars (1803–15)—with dragons. The series has expressive, pitch ...

Bro Uprising

With Pierce Brown’s lately concluded Red Rising trilogy, the phenomenon of the blockbuster Young Adult dystopian novel that brought us The Hunger Games and Divergent has reached its eye-popping ...

Once More Down the Rabbit Hole

By all means, celebrate the recent 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by rereading or finally reading the novel and its sequel ...

How to Write About Videogames

I remember his blue-plastic hair, drawn back in a little bun that looked octagonal. I remember the pointy hat that crowned him in the eyes of other players: “Sorcerer’s petasos +1,” the “+1” ...

Le Guin’s Anarchist Aesthetics

What makes readers fall in love? You might want to start your answer by explaining Ursula Le Guin. I can only speak for one childhood—and one adulthood—spent reading Le Guin, but I’d bet my last ...

China at World’s End

In a galaxy far away, but close enough, an intelligent alien civilization finally realizes that its planet orbits around three suns instead of one. They face the classic three-body problem of ...

Gallantry, Ishiguro-Style

Quaintness is history defanged, a past we render harmless by declaring it naive. It’s a form of retrospection somewhere between a sneer in the rearview mirror and longing’s backward glance, one ...

Do We Need Wonder Woman?

My two-year-old daughter plays on the beach in a tiny red, white, and blue swimsuit, her chest emblazoned with winged yellow Ws that need no explanation. At a glance, the suit appears of a piece with ...

Adventure Capitalists

William Gibson has become a reluctant prophet for cyberculture. Although his early work failed to imagine some technological particulars (like the smart phone), he foresaw that cyberspace—a term he ...

What’s the Matter with Dystopia?

Dystopia is flourishing. In the process, it is becoming routine and losing its political power. If current fiction is to be believed, postapocalyptic wastelands will in the not too distant future be ...

Behind the Dungeon Master’s Screen

From Dickens’s David Copperfield and Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus to Elena Ferrante’s Elena Greco, we are familiar with the fictional protagonist as novelist, or as novelist-to-be. Recently, 40 years ...