From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Essays

Nonfiction

Talking to the Dead

What are the real-world examples and practices of necromancy? And do you really have to dress like Dracula’s flamboyant goth cousin to be a necromancer?

Nonfiction

Back To Bordertown

It’s been thirteen years since the Way to Bordertown mysteriously closed. But now editors Ellen Kushner and Holly Black have re-opened it to us with Welcome to Bordertown.

Nonfiction

Five Ways to Cheat the Devil

Sure, the most obvious option is to take the standard contract, but as many of us have learned the hard way, the standard contract isn’t usually the best deal you can get.

Nonfiction

Man-Made Men

A man (it’s almost always a man) becomes a powerful magician (or later, a scientist) and creates something that looks almost human. Then it all goes wrong.

Nonfiction

Now Hiring in the Airship Lounge: Fantasy Archetypes Get Steampunked

Steampunk is frequently associated with the Victorian and Edwardian periods of British and world history lasting roughly from 1837, when Queen Victoria took the throne, through the end of World War I.

Nonfiction

The Unicorn Tapestries and Other Depictions: Beyond the Obvious Symbolism of the Unicorn’s Horn

At present, when one hears the word “unicorn,” the associations are obvious: a horned white horse, representing purity; a similarly chaste and pristine young woman; a series of single entendres.

Nonfiction

“A silver swan, which had a living grace”: A Brief, Bizarre Collection of Historical Automatons

In recent years, automatons have seen a surge in popularity, from steampunk contraptions to mecha. But this interest is hardly new.

Nonfiction

Choosing Our Own Adventures

For kids who love to read, there’s something deeply exciting about opening up a book and being absorbed into someone else’s adventures. But sometimes there’s an alternative to simply reading about the protagonist’s derring-do.

Nonfiction

From Story to Screen

Why do we have such strong feelings for alternate retellings? We love seeing a book come alive on the screen, but it comes with a price: trying to cram pages of character development into a two-hour movie.

Nonfiction

Five Fantasy Worlds That You Wouldn’t Want to Visit

Who hasn’t thought of shooting out the eyes of the deserving with an Elven bow? We’ve all been there. But you should actually be really, really glad you haven’t been there at all. Here’s why.