Wandering the Forest of Forgetting

There isn’t a common name for the magical community—other than that cumbersome phrase, I suppose—which is unfortunate because it’s a tower on a hill. A bastion, a keep, a prison. It gets its fair share of tourists, of course, but those who stay tend to make it a lifestyle more than a hobby. It permeates their identity. The closest thing to it that I can … Continue reading Wandering the Forest of Forgetting

More on the Limitations of Writing Really Good Villainesses

One of the reasons Darth Vader is a timeless villain is because he’s Luke’s father. Luke, as the hero, represents us — either indirectly in that he fights for us, or directly as a stand-in, a power-projection of the self. Vader, then, in perverting his role as father, inverts it and becomes the antithesis of protector, and his betrayal of Luke becomes the betrayal of … Continue reading More on the Limitations of Writing Really Good Villainesses

Setting and Hardboiled Detective Fiction

I was listening to some lectures on the detective novel on the plane, and the dude really had some neat points. (Go figure.) But first, for background, you have to know that American detective fiction, sometimes labelled “hardboiled,” grew out of the English detective novel, which tended to be very genteel. The detective in the English stories, for example, was always protected by law and … Continue reading Setting and Hardboiled Detective Fiction