Category Archives: Thoughtful Essays

Why I Didn’t Finish IT as a Teen

I was a couple of years older than the kids in IT when I picked it up the first time. The novel is filled with sexual content, gory violence, and profanity—very little of which was carried over to the Hollywood … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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

Posted in Feature Friday, On Writing, Original Research, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

My Teaching Philosophy on the 1st Day of School

In the springtime I was thrilled to receive a teaching award. Today I’m walking into the classroom for the first time since then. Every time I step in front of students, I think about what I am doing. I have … Continue reading

Posted in Original Research, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Problem of Good: Thinking about God and Evil with “The Giver”

One of the great questions that fixes the attention of thinkers in our generation about the existence of God is the Problem of Evil. The argument is so simple it is almost sublime. I summarize the argument here in this … Continue reading

Posted in Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Sorrows of Young Goethe

Let me tell you a story. In the summer of 1772, 245 years ago, a young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe took a position articling in Wetzlar, Germany. He wasn’t a very good lawyer, however, and spent most of his time … Continue reading

Posted in Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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

Posted in Fictional Worlds, On Writing, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Between Mars and Malacandra, Fantasy and Real Life (A Friday Feature Visit to the Vault)

This is a post from 5 years ago that I still quite like. What interested Lewis about planets as a literary backdrop was not their physical properties but their mythical properties—both how they worked in classical and medieval mythology, and how … Continue reading

Posted in Feature Friday, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments