From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Tag Archive for ‘book01’ rss

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Book Review: Pretty Monsters, Kelly Link

In “Magic for Beginners”, fifteen-year-old Jeremy Mars appears in an episode of The Library, his favorite television show. The Library is unlike any show we have in our reality –- the cast constantly switches parts, and the television program has no set airing time or station.

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Mastery or Moorditch: George MacDonald and True Faith

…here is the difference between MacDonald and Grimm: when boys and girls go into Grimm’s woods, they emerge victorious over some monster, terrified into some life lesson, or they do not emerge at all. When they go into MacDonald’s woods, they come out the other side gentler, stronger men and women.

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A Dozen Story Ideas A Day: David Farland

I recall reading from a Roman historian who complained that on one night, some 40 men were dragged from their beds and eaten by wolves. He said, “The only thing worse than the wolves are the wild Scotsmen themselves!” I was thinking about that, and suddenly my subconscious said, “Hey, I’ve got your magic system!”

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Mr. King’s Shortcut: Evolution, Gossip, and Character

For years, snooty critics have said that Stephen King is writing for cavemen and monkeys. If certain theories of evolutionary psychology are correct, they may well have been right in the best possible way.

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From Pages to Pavement

Thing is, most of us writers are spoiled brats. We’ve all been doing this since we were old enough to hold a crayon. If it takes 10,000 hours to become professional at something, we should have been paid ten cents a word by the time we hit 8th grade.

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On Star Trek Memoirs

But something about Trek turns these bland actors into heart-on-the-sleeve raconteurs, and occasionally into charismatic preachers. They tell tales that have obviously grown in the telling—like the oft-repeated story of how Gene Roddenberry got his agent.

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Reflections on Phantastes

…the unleashed power of Anodos’ shadow, the cottage of four doors and the visions that lay beyond them, the devilish ceremony at which Anodosy finally proves his true spiritual worth – have what Lovecraft might have referred to as a true touch of the cosmic.

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Wizard vs. Witch: Who’s the real Villain?

The Witch: The Witch’s eastern counterpart is dispatched without warning by a powerful child adversary who claims she didn’t mean to do it. But of course, that’s exactly what any child-assassin would say in that circumstance. And honestly, when was the last time an intact house fell out of the sky by coincidence?

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Found Among Time’s Detritus: Sybil’s Garage No. 6

Jason Heller’s “The Raincaller” is, like several other pieces in the magazine, a love story. Sybil’s is fond of having stories that set off strange resonances with each other, and “The Raincaller” benefits from its juxtaposition with the Jessup story as well as the transformations occurring on other pages. Similalry, Sean Markey’s “Waiting for the Green Woman” echoes against Canter’s piece, “Mother’s Garden” by Rumjhum Biswas, and Liz Bourke’s poem, “The Girl” almost eerily.

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Book Review: Midwinter, by Matthew Sturges

To be fair, the first two pages do sing with an echo of Kay’s famous lyricality; the protagonist, Mauritaine, does remind me to an extent of Corwin. But for every lyrical passage, there are nine others that just clunk along; and unlike Zelazny (who must be acknowledged for his skill, even if I’m not a visceral fan), the characters never quite transcend standard tropes.