Tolkien Blog Party 2018!

This year, to top off my celebration of Tolkien Week, I’m participating in Hamlette’s Tolkien Blog Party! (Many thanks to her for organizing!) 1. What’s your favorite Middle-earth story/book? It may be cliché, but since Lord of the Rings is one of my top three books of all time, it’s that one. I count LOTR […]

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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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William Faulkner Teaches Fantasy

In my last post, I argued that reading classic literature can help inspire our writing of speculative fiction. To demonstrate this principle, I’ll (over time) write several posts describing how my own reading and teaching of classic English literature has enriched and enlarged my views of what spec-fic can do. For the sake of argument, […]

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