Move Aside, Masculine Mayhem: Mad Max: Fury Road is Here to Stay

I happen to like my fast-paced, car-chase, post-apocalyptic movies chock full of social commentary, the more nuanced the better. Does that mean that I have many favourite fast-paced, car-chase, post-apocalyptic movies? No. At this point, I happen to have one. Enter Mad Max: Fury Road. What may unexpectedly turn out to be the cinematic star of…

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…

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

“Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time.” These are the words that begin Kurt Vonnegut’s great 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five, also known as The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death. This is not Vonnegut’s only work of science fiction; indeed, it is not even his only good one. But of all his novels, Slaughterhouse-Five has perhaps…

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…

My Human Library: How I Started Reading My Friends

My Human Library: How I Started Reading My Friends If I had a super power it would be the ability to read people like books. I mean, teleportation or shooting lasers from my eyes would definitely be fun for a while, but there’s something uniquely attractive to me about understanding the mechanics of being human….

X meets Y or Z: Myth as Norm Reinforcement in Girl Meets Boy

Ali Smith’s masterpiece of a novella, Girl Meets Boy, is a love story—albeit not the one you’re probably thinking of, the one the clichéd title has deceived you into believing it is. The phrase, “girl meets boy”, is about finding the one person who is supposed to—destined to, even—wholly complement you in the heteronormative sense….

Fantastic Love in The World of Makoto Shinkai

Although Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli has long been representative of the quality of the Japanese animation film industry, a rising star has been making waves around the world. Makoto Shinkai has been hailed as the “new Miyazaki”, with the depth of his cinematography garnering critical acclaim and millions of fans worldwide. Besides his dogged work…

Gateways to Glory: an Interview with Brian Gottheil

Brian Gottheil is a University of Toronto Law alumnus and the author of Gateways, a self-published fantasy novel that he is launching March 29. As a journal for speculative fiction, The Spectatorial is thrilled to interview Brian about self-publishing fantasy fiction. This interview has been edited for length. Your Goodreads page describes your work as…