Tagged fantasy

How Visions of Hope Unite the Works of J. R. R. Tolkien

Of all the common threads in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, I propose that the uniting theme is hope. It can be found in his popular works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as well as his more obscure writings like The Silmarillion and Morgoth’s Ring. If one were to assign a theology to his writings, it would be a Theology of Hope. It is a multifaceted hope, with trust as the foundation—the belief that...

Dark Horse’s American Gods Comic Series Achieves a Happy Medium between Page and Screen

As a longtime fan of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, I was thrilled to check out the first issue of Dark Horse Comics’ new series based on the same work, out March 15, 2017. As is usually the case when I experience something created by Neil Gaiman, I was not disappointed. It is a richly illustrated rendition of the story and worthy of its place next to both the novel and the forthcoming television show, due to air on Starz beginning...

The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories Are All Smoke and No Fire

I need to start this review with a confession: I am not an aficionado of the short-story format. That being said, I’ve seen my share of well curated anthologies. A good collection, to my mind, is bound together not simply by a single characteristic but by a larger uniting theme. Every piece in The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories—edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad, and including stories by local favorite Neil Gaiman and 2016 CONvergence guest...

At Home with Monsters Invites You into the Mind of Guillermo del Toro

Vampirism. Lycanthropy. Wraithlike remnants of the soul, trapped eternally in their own suffering. Demons. Monsters. These are staple elements of lore across time and culture, shadow puppets of our reality—of us. Stories that tell stories that we don’t want to openly tell. The lust and seduction of bloodletting, the tragedy of immortality, the relatable fear of some hidden self released and unrestrained. Stories that, at their core, are undeniably human. It is no surprise that filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s personal collection, opening at the...

Read Your Child All the World’s Potential

Sometimes, the world is a worrisome place. It can seem that all that is good in the world is outweighed by a threatening thunderstorm of bad, making me wonder what my child would learn from it all. Then, I remember how, at a convention in the recent past, my tiny Jedi used her lightsaber to help a similarly aged friend find the courage to walk past a rather intimidating Dalek. In other words, let me paraphrase the advice given by...

Fairy Tail Is a Fun (and Fraught) Anime Adventure

Fairy Tail is, for me, one of those stories that sneaked up on me almost before I realized it. I first encountered it in manga form, when my husband gave me a copy of the first volume last Christmas. I was a little wary at first—I liked the premise right off the bat, but the story itself didn’t hook me very quickly, and there were some problematic elements that put me off a bit (more on that shortly). Still, despite these reservations,...

Throwback Thursday: Leaving Kansas Again in Return to Oz

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. In 1985, Disney decided to go back to the well of one of the biggest family classics ever. Having acquired the rights to L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels, Disney decided to make a sequel to 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, mixing and melding two novels and that film to create...

Shadows of the Dark Crystal Is a Fitting Continuation of Jim Henson’s World

When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was The Dark Crystal. It was this beautiful world filled with creepy creatures, with things presented in a very matter-of-fact kind of style. The film didn’t talk down to me to explain things, just presented the world as it was and let me keep up on my own: Of course she can fly—she’s a girl. Gelfling girls have wings. As it was said to the main character as if...

This Week in Geek (06/27/16–07/03/16)

Welcome to This Week in Geek, your guide to events of interest to the Minnesota geek community for the week of Monday, June 27th through Sunday, July 3rd. Girly Book Club: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens What: Meet-Up, Books When: Monday, June 27th at 7:00 p.m. Where: Kieran’s Irish Pub The Minneapolis chapter of the Girly Book Club is hosting a meet-up at tonight at Kieran’s Irish Pub. The book being read for and discussed at this...

Deep in the Shadows of the Dark Crystal: J. M. Lee on Writing New Canon for a Cult Favorite

The Dark Crystal, like many fan favorites and cult films, has a fairly rough history. Not appreciated all that much in the wake of Star Wars, the film was either too original or too derivative (depending on which critic you asked). Despite this, love for it has lived on in the people who did see the film in its original release or have discovered it on DVD or through revival screenings. However, over the last couple years, Penguin Random...
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