Star Wars no es Una

In the mid-1990s, one of those deep-dial networks – I wanna say it was USA? – used to play the Star Wars Trilogy (back then that’s all there was) one per night around holidays. I believe it was around Christmas, but it might’ve been Thanksgiving or even both. My roomates and I and other people…

Trespassing in an Alternate World

Sometimes the more interesting essays are the ones that you feel don’t get it quite right – the ones that have an intriguing premise but ultimately don’t pan out. That’s because these are the essays that help you step outside your worldview and think a bit in real time. An essay that’s dead wrong is…

In Defense of Shannara

A confession: I find The Lord of the Rings slow going. Another confession: I’ve just finished reading The Sword of Shannara all the way through for the third, possibly the fourth, time. The bombshell: I really like The Sword of Shannara. So put that in your pipe and smoke it. The standard-issue complaint about The…

The Curse of Chalion (Review)

I can’t say for sure, but The Curse of Chalion is likely the first book I’ve read by Lois McMaster Bujold – something I now know to be an oversight. It is, simply put, one of the better-crafted fantasy novels I’ve read. It isn’t exactly my kind of fantasy novel. I like mine either nature-loving…

Sweet Silver Blues – Review

I don’t have anything against genre mixing per se, I just think it’s not usually done right. Nine times in ten, it’s a gimmick and nothing more. And I’ve yet to see the perfect blend. Like with creoles, there’s a matrix genre, where you get the grammar, and a surface genre, where you get the…

The Goblin Tower – Review

If A Dram of Poison is a “mystery” about coming back to life rather than dying, The Goblin Tower is a fantasy about becoming a commoner rather than a king. Xylar has a strange custom: it ritually beheads its king every five years, tossing his severed head into the crowd. Whoever picks it up then…