From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Essays

Nonfiction

Ten Reasons to be a Pirate

When people stumble into the pirate world—like drunken sailors stumbling into a seedy dockside tavern—they do it for one reason, the same reason that men and women became pirates in the golden age of pirates: Pirates are cool.

Nonfiction

The Language of Fantasy

Quenya, Tsolyáni, Láadan, Klingon, Kesh, Na’vi, Dothraki … this is not a magic spell, nor a litany from some ancient prayer book, but just a few just a few of the invented languages that have made it into print or onto the screen.

Nonfiction

Steampunk and the Architecture of Idealism

Steampunk as a genre is about traversing the edge of that level of technology. Characters have weapons and gadgets that are conceptually similar to things we have in the modern day, but work in entirely different ways.

Nonfiction

The Weirdest Fairy-Tale Wishes Ever Made

Thanks to a tireless awareness campaign on behalf of folklorists everywhere, the dangers of your standard wishes are well-known these days. In the wrong hands, we all know, a wish can go terribly wrong.

Nonfiction

How to Stock Your Magic-Fighting Toolkit

Supernatural evil is perhaps the oldest fear among humankind. Every culture throughout history recognizes some form of the evil eye, and acknowledges some form of a curse.

Nonfiction

The Messengers, Monsters, and Moral Instructors of Islamic Literature

Angel, Djinn, and Ghoul: each of these creatures appears in numerous Islamic scriptures or stories, from the Qur’an to the Thousand and One Nights to epic poetry.

Nonfiction

The Princess is Dead, Long Live the Princess!

From word-of-mouth storytelling to printed texts to cinematic adaptations, the princess has been defined and redefined in remarkable ways.

Nonfiction

Conversations with Wolves

A dog will tell you what is on her mind; to learn what is on a wolf’s mind, we must do much more than merely listen.

Nonfiction

When Wizards Rock

Sauron, Cthulhu, and Death Eaters be warned: Wizards were meant to rock.

Nonfiction

Indistinguishable From Magic

Remember Tom Cruise’s amazing computer display in Minority Report? Well, today that technology is a reality.