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

In the Beginning: a very short history of religious thought

It starts with a crisis, the singular belief that defines the religious history of our species: that this world, full of suffering, where the race does not go to the swift nor food to the hungry, cannot be all there is. That there must be something more. So it is, the divine singularity, the unity of creation, shatters. And mankind is left separated from the … Continue reading In the Beginning: a very short history of religious thought

It was a bad sign

It was a bad sign. Ruud stopped when he saw Zen-ji standing outside the closed doors to Erasmus’s chambers. The stiletto killer straightened his velvet tie and brushed back his pomaded hair before walking up the last few steps and standing before the giant Japanaman. He didn’t look up. There was no point. Zen-ji’s colorful, curved helm kept his face hidden. Nor was there any … Continue reading It was a bad sign