Harry Potter

The Geek Test: What’s Your Score?

I believe people of all types should be able to join in geek events and have fun whether they’re sufficiently geek credentialed or not, but I wondered how one might one go about quantitatively evaluating “geekiness”

It’s All My Fault – An Apology

Another summer of cinematic wilderness is drawing to a close and I owe you all a big apology. Why? Because I am responsible for the terrible state of mainstream American cinema today.

Sequential Wednesdays #17 – Comic-Con: A Recounting

Another year, another Comic-Con touches down in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district and billows the hell around and makes a metric ton of people really excited.  I love being one of those people and for as long as Comic-Con remains in the beautiful marina of San Diego’s downtown area, I will continue attending; no matter […]

Doujinshi: Distinctly Japanese

There are many expressions of fandom that cross genres and cultures – fan fiction, fan art, even cosplay.  But there is one form in particular that is distinctly Japanese, both in its origin and in its current form, and that is doujinshi.  The term refers to anything that is self-published (“doujin” means “same person”), but […]

How Young is a Young Adult?

The science fiction novels I read as a teen weren’t written for that age group. The themes were adult, as were the character dynamics and main issues. There just weren’t enough young adult books to keep me satisfied – at least any that spoke to the issues that were important to me at the time. […]

Characters: Kvothe from The Name of the Wind

Among fantasy titans, Patrick Rothfuss shocked just about everyone by carving a place for himself with his book, The Name of the Wind. It centered on Kvothe, a character of a hundred different stories and the truth behind those stories. Then Rothfuss did it again with The Wise Man’s Fear, the second book to feature […]

Sequential Wednesdays #11 – The Quiet Majesty of Kazu Kibuishi

Out in the world of beautiful stories, digital art, and ironclad contracts with Scholastic exists a beautiful man, in every sense of the word, named Kazu Kibuishi.  For years, Kazu has worked on, collected, and made nothing but monumentally gorgeous comics for mostly younger readers that surpass all expectations of what one can expect from […]

The Greatest Fantasy Author of All Time

This week some in the world are celebrating the birth/death of the Bard of Avon also known as William Shakespeare. Shakespeare as you might have heard was a well-known English playwright and poet. Curiously enough his birthday matches exactly with the date of his death April 23. Born in 1564 to humble beginnings in the […]

The Invisible World

When I walked out to my back patio, I unexpectedly met resistance. My throbbing forehead had crashed against an unseen force. I stepped back to look more closely and noticed a barrier standing between me and my escape. I determined quickly that it was an invisible force field the humans have named glass. My surprise […]

Defending Quality Over Popularity

It is to my ever increasing frustration that I continually see true literary talent dismissed as ‘too complex’ or ‘deep’ in favour of the mildly-talented easy-way-out authors who have become ‘popular’ in a day and age where mediocrity seems to be paramount. Pratchett vs. Rowling During the middle of the last decade – when I […]

The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 3 “The Easy Way”

Previously, in parts 1 and 2, I talked about collectors whose ambition, in collecting, was to have every one in set (“completists”) and those who had to have every one they wanted, however much it costs. Those two strategies may be satisfying, but there are easier ways to collect, ones that can be just as […]

Cloud Atlas Shrugged – or let the Skyfall

On Monday Skyfall was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK. Tomorrow Cloud Atlas will open in UK cinemas. Two films, poles apart. Skyfall, the 23th entry in probably the world’s longest running and most successful film franchise. An undemanding, commercially safe example of formula film-making and an enormous box-office hit. Cloud Atlas a […]