Very Belated Thoughts: Moana

When I first saw Moana, I ranked it as typical Disney. It was better in some ways; Moana’s primary relationship is with family, not a boyfriend, which is a refreshing change, and she is athletic and does stuff. But once I saw the same old “Junior knows best” and “Follow your heart” tropes at play, […]

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Laws of Magic: Less is More

It’s counterintuitive, isn’t it, that magic—this concept that makes possibilities endless—can actually be better when you give it boundaries? Part of the lure of magic is that it’s mysterious, right? Not necessarily. The draw of fantasy for many is not only passively experiencing, but learning a new world: understanding it well enough to work out […]

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The Science of Magic

One of the biggest protests to reading fantasy is, “Well, magic means anything can happen and it doesn’t have to make sense.” I’ve read books like that–I call one of them out below–and I agree. They’re problematic. People want to read books with plots that, you know, work. Magic can’t just come in and clean out […]

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