Category Archives: On Writing

“A Novelist’s Business is Lying”: A Farewell to Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)

I have just heard that Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away. I could be humble about my opinion, but I want to impress upon you that she is one of our very greatest imaginative writers of the last 50 … Continue reading

Posted in Fictional Worlds, On Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Top 6 New Posts of 2017

In 2017, A Pilgrim in Narnia passed a number of milestones. We passed the 700-post threshold, had our 500,000th hit, were shared for the 10,000th time, and are nearing in on 7,000 followers. We had our seven biggest months this year, … Continue reading

Posted in News & Links, On Writing, Studies in Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Lament for the Loss of Young Teachers (A Feature Friday Post from the Vault)

I am doing work in the statistical analysis division of our labour market research unit in government. Of course, I am. After all, I’m doing a PhD in fantasy literature. I wrote this piece a couple of years ago, where … Continue reading

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The Fantastic Imagination: An Essay on Fantasy Theory by George MacDonald

This essay is a great find, originally an introduction to the collection of The Light Princess and Other Fairy Tales. With George MacDonald’s characteristic wit, it forms a nice partnership with C.S. Lewis’ “On Stories” and J.R.R. Tolkien’s “On Fairy-stories“–and indeed … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Fictional Worlds, On Writing, Original Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Is Narnia an Allegory? (A Friday Feature from the Vault)

No. It’s not.   While tempted to leave it at that and produce the shortest blog of history, I think it is important to let the Narnian himself address the question. C.S. Lewis was, after all, a literary scholar who … Continue reading

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Infodump and Identification: Thinking about Fantastic First Pages with Anne McCaffrey

I’m having trouble getting into the (sort of) second Dragonriders of Pern book, Dragonquest. I loved Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong, caught up by the protagonist’s heartsore struggle to express her creativity in a world of martial law. In dire threat of the biological terror of … Continue reading

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Stephen King and the Genre of Genius

This year for my Stickin’ Huge Awesome Novel Winter Awesome Read (SHANWAR), I chose Stephen King’s The Stand (1978) I have never read it before and I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with someone about it. Still, … Continue reading

Posted in On Writing, Reflections, Reviews, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments