Speculative ASMR

Speculative settings are known to enchant and exhilarate. Whether you’re flying through space and time, or surrounded by magicians and dragons, speculative works create an overpowering sense of adrenaline and excitement. What proves fascinating is the way in which these worlds and characters are also capable of lulling the audience into a peaceful, sometimes trance-like…

Impractical Immortality: Do You Really Want to Live Forever?

Well, do you? Really? The idea of immortality, in one form or another, comes up frequently in speculative fiction: elves, Timelords, divine beings, cursed humans, and undying monsters are all easy to find between pages and on screens. Immortality is often a flexible concept, ranging from gods that are all-powerful and cannot die but can—with…

Sandman : Handful of Dust

  When a young Neil Gaiman first approached Vertigo comics about The Sandman, he was pitching a simple revival of the 70s series of the same name by Joe Simon and Jack “The King” Kirby. But DC editor Karen Berger insisted that while they keep the name, Gaiman should create a new character. And thank…

Peter Pan: The Boy Who Grew Up

I think I speak for all of us when I say that we all struggle to find our footing in the world during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Growing up to become an adult is a difficult and arduous journey that forces us to decide whether to hold on to our childhood self or…

Falling Into The Abaddon

Webcomics are still a relatively small market, but with such gems as xkcd and Cyanide & Happiness, they will likely continue to gain traction in the future. One hidden gem is the vastly underrated bi-weekly webcomic The Abaddon by Israeli cartoonist Koren Shadmi. The Abaddon, which began in January 2011 and finished in April 2013…

Imagine Magic! In Defense of Fantasy Literature

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” ― Dr. Seuss Fantasy has been a part of the literary tradition since literature began. In fact, the case could be made that fantasy was the first literature of ancient culture. From Jewish folklore thousands of years old to…

A Love Letter To Dragon Age: Inquisition

2014 was a good year for dragons— and dragon-themed games. Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third instalment of Bioware’s well-received Dragon Age series, made a name for itself in the stomping ground of video game fanatics and fantasy lovers alike last November. Fuelled by teasers that had been coming out since early March, the game took…

How to Make a Land: The Magic of Literature in Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land

  This review contains spoilers. With The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman has completed one of the most sophisticated fantasy series of recent times. Written carefully and glowing with subtle beauty, The Magicians trilogy depicts the hopes and malaise of a self-conscious, self-critical, and sometimes self-destructive group of young adults trying to find their place in…

Infinity, Ineffability, and Loss in Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Aleph”

First published in 1945, “The Aleph” became one of Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges’s most beloved stories. Like many of Borges’s works, “The Aleph” is concerned with the nature of infinity and the illusion of reality. It gleefully traverses multiple genres and modes of fiction, including fantasy, satire, allegory, memoir, epistolary fiction, and voyage narrative….