Category Archives: On Writing

Octavia Butler’s and Robert Heinlein’s Rules of Writing

My most significant alien encounter this year has been in the science fiction of Octavia E. Butler. I have only dipped into her work, enjoying her Xenogenesis Trilogy (1987-89) and a collection of short pieces, Bloodchild and Other Stories (2nd ed., … Continue reading

Posted in Memorable Quotes, On Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

C.S. Lewis’ Teenage Bookshelf, and Other Lessons on Reading

The Beowulf author, Sir Thomas Malory, Jane Austen, William Morris, Charlotte Brontë, and Shakespeare. With the exception of Morris, who is merely an important author of his period, these are all canonical authors. Notably, though, these are all authors that Lewis … Continue reading

Posted in Fictional Worlds, Letters, On Writing, Original Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

“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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 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

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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

Posted in Feature Friday, Fictional Worlds, On Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments