Category Archives: Fictional Worlds

“Just Enough Light: Some Thoughts on Fantasy and Literature,” the 2021 Tolkien Lecture by Guy Gavriel Kay

I was pleased last week to watch the 8th annual J.R.R Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature, an annual lecture on fantasy literature held at Pembroke College, Oxford, this year broadcast online. The Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature was established in … Continue reading

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“Inventing a Universe is a Complicated Business”: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Introduction to the Hainish Cycle

I have always loved Ursula K. Le Guin‘s Earthsea Cycle and have mused once about whether I liked Ged or Arha better. Though Earthsea suits me as a fantasy reader, I recognize that Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed … Continue reading

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Why Did Star Wars Stick? #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWarsDay

As much as we wonder about it, it’s a question that is not perfectly easy to answer. Cheesy lines, over-the-top acting, zippers up the back of the monster’s costume–how many films just like it have found their way into the … Continue reading

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Affirming Creation in the Lord of the Rings #earthday

Perhaps it isn’t that surprising that J.R.R. Tolkien’s books are so environmentally sensitive. Like Sam Gamgee, Tolkien loved things that grow and good tilled earth. He loved walks–long walks beyond his garden through English towns and villages and vast, untouched … Continue reading

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The Pretty Cool Imaginative World-building in Margaret Cavendish’s Pretty Terrible “Blazing World”

Margaret Cavendish’s The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World is just terrible. For me, anyway. It is an important book in feminist history and natural philosophy and, I would argue, the development of science fiction. Except for experts … Continue reading

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“War! What is it Good For?” Guest Co-Host Session on “Pints with Jack” about the Fifth Letter of The Screwtape Letters on Extremism and Spiritual Life during a Pandemic

Recently, I had a great sit-down with Matt from the Pints with Jack podcast to talk about the fifth Letter of The Screwtape Letters. I love doing this show–not just because I get to talk about great books, but because the … Continue reading

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“The Cosmic Preface,” Guest Skype Session on “Pints with Jack” about the Ransom-Screwtape Preface

I’m pleased to announce that I recently joined David Bates on the Pints with Jack podcast. I love doing this show–not just because I get to talk about great books, but because the hosts have managed to produce a great … Continue reading

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Roundtable about Upcoming Online MA Literature Courses at Signum University (Full Video) #Tolkien #Chaucer #EddicPoetry #Vampires

As some of you know, I have been an online professor even before this current moment of remote emergency education. As I have blogged about it a few times (see here and here), many know that I teach with Signum … Continue reading

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Roundtable about Upcoming Online MA Literature Courses at Signum University (Aug 14th, 2020, 10am EDT) #Tolkien #Chaucer #EddicPoetry #Vampires

As some of you know, I have been an online professor even before this current moment of remote emergency education. As I have blogged about it a few times (see here and here), many know that I teach with Signum … Continue reading

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Nnedi Okorafor Deep Future Story for the Moment, Binti

What a discovery Binti has been for me! In Binti (2015), Home (2017), and The Night Masquerade (2018), Dr. Nnedi Okorafor has given us a living, vibrant, complex character in literary SF prose. Binti is the award-winning novella of a young African woman … Continue reading

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