Tag: Fantasy

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 ...

Invasion of the Funny Animals

“Funny Animals” is a genre of comics that is, like most things in comics, inappropriately named. Just as “comics” are quite often not comic and “graphic novels” are rarely novels, comics featuring anthropomorphic animals are only occasionally funny ...

Odd Angles

Rjurik Davidson’s debut novel Unwrapped Sky is set in the fictional city of Caeli-Amur, a complex mixture of ancient Rome, steampunk industry, H. P. Lovecraft’s sunken city of R’lyeh, and Davidson’s ...

Otherworlds

In the history of modern comics—as in the history of comic’s cousin, film—there have long been two competing impulses. Film history contrasts the styles of two pioneers: the documentary realism of ...

Baggy Monsters

In 2012, the New Yorker hosted a roundtable discussion on the question “Is Television the New Cinema?” Two years later, the New York Times asked, “Are the New ‘Golden Age’ TV Shows the New Novels?” ...

Russia Is No More

The future of Europe recedes far into the past, into a medieval world where Russia no longer exists—at least according to Vladimir Sorokin’s latest sci-fi marvel, Telluria (published in Russian in ...

Queer Magic

Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Michelle Tea’s Mermaid in Chelsea Creek both use magic to imagine solutions to childhood anxieties: What do you do when your family doesn’t feel ...