New Movies: Only Lovers Left Alive, APP, Jodoroswky’s Dune

It used to be that tracking the latest in cutting edge horror, fantasy, and science fiction films required traveling to film festivals, tracking down second hand videotapes, of staking out the local art house or revival cinema to catch a limited engagement.  And living in a non-major film market (or really anywhere outside of Los Angeles […]

The Horrors of Domesticity: The Works of Ira Levin

Facing the complications and stresses of pregnancy as a couple attempts bring new life into the world.  Striving and fighting to raise a child that can function in society as a compassionate, successful adult.  Staring out the window at your suburban neighborhood and watching your identity stamped into conformity minute by passing minute.  These are […]

What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism: The Work of William Peter Blatty

“Ah. Well… I attended Juilliard… I’m a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I’ve seen the Exorcist about a hundred and sixty-seven times, and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it.” -Beetlejuice (1988) While […]

Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain

2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.  Like such other classic works as The Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Narnia, the Prydain novels are often one of the first fantasy series that young readers approach.  Easily accessible to a younger audience and rooted in concepts […]

Shirley Jackson, Weird Fiction, and The Haunted House

Shirley Jackson, born in 1914, was part of a group of writers who worked in the genre of Weird Fiction writers that arose out of the early to mid-20th century.  Weird fiction stories feature elements of science, the supernatural, and the fantastic all mixed together, and  the genre itself arose in the time period before […]

Women of SF/Fantasy

March is Women’s History Month and I’d like to highlight some of my favorite women sci-fi and fantasy authors: Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Mercedes Lackey. In 1934, Andre Norton had her first novel, The Prince Commands published by Appleton–Century. One of her more well-known series is her Witch World saga. One […]

Science Fiction: Answering the Big ‘What If’ Question

Fantasy is the genre that explores our imaginations and takes us on glorious adventures. In a similar vein, horror flirts with the darker nature of humanity and gives rise to those things that go bump in the night. Science fiction, though, is meant to answer the question “What if?” What if science gave us the […]

Horror and Speculative Fiction

Fredric Brown, an American Science Fiction author, is credited with one of the shortest horror stories ever written, titled “Knock:” “The last man on Earth sat alone in his room. There is a knock at the door.” Those two simple sentences convey much about why we as readers and writers pursue horror as a genre. […]

The Crossover Conundrum in Teen/YA Science Fiction & Fantasy

More than ever before those of us who read science fiction and fantasy (and every other genre besides) are seeing the rise of teen books which strongly appeal to both teens and adults. Can anyone say Divergent? Are these ‘crossover’ titles the wave of the future, and should we expect or hope to see more […]

Why read comics?

Graphic novels have for some time been given the critical reception appropriate to their cultural relevance and formal complexity. Thanks to a few early luminaries like Maus by Art Spiegelman, Watchmen by Alan Moore, The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, and later Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, critics (and more importantly […]

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