Why the ending of E. Paul Wilson';s “Soft” anticipates The Last of Us and the aftermath of COVID-19.
Tag: John Clute
Weird #62: “The New Rays” by M. John Harrison (1982)
A weird emanation of energy straight out of Blue Man Group, the "blue bodies" are doubles that haunt the narrator of "The New Rays."
Weird #48: “The Sea Was As Wet As Wet Could Be” by Gahan Wilson (1967)
Gahan Wilson’s “The Sea Was Wet As Wet Could Be” hits quite differently than the other weird tales in this collection—his twisted, singsong references to Lewis Carroll form the background context to a story of the indifference of a barren universe.
Weird #34: “The Summer People” by Shirley Jackson (1950)
Things go wrong when an older couple decides to stay at the cottage past Labor Day.
World Fantasy Convention 2015, Part III: Challenging the Canon
Last week I wrote about my interview with Charles de Lint at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs. Today, I wrap up my discussion of the conference with some comments on the fantasy canon and the awards ceremony, which have of late been the subject of some controversy. My MA thesis is on fantasy …
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Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
The following is an excerpt from the presentation I made earlier this week for my seminar on (Post)Colonial Geographies with Professor Sandeep Banerjee at McGill University. The young protagonist of Salman Rushdie's children's fantasy novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories asks his father Rashid Khalifa, a great storyteller better known as the Shah of …
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Folklore and Graffiti: A (Potential) Study of Spatial Tactics and Urban Fantasy (Part II)
When we left off last week, I was trying to prove that graffiti interrupts the rational order of the city, as a spatial tactic, and therefore can be compared to urban fantasy, inasmuch as it too subverts conventional "consensus reality." I quoted Bramley Dapple in Charles de Lint's short story “Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair,” who says, …
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Ember Nights in Guy Gavriel Kay and John Crowley
In Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana and John Crowley's Love and Sleep,part of his Aegypt sequence, characters born with cauls are summoned in the middle of the night to walk among the dead. Kay calls these individuals Night Walkers. Their story stretches back to real-world superstitions about children born with a membrane around their heads. This …
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Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever: Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson
Beware! Leper unclean! shout the crowds. Don't touch me! responds Thomas Covenant, the antihero of Stephen R. Donaldson's memorable epic fantasy trilogy. In this exchange, which Convenant repeats in his mind like a mantra for his sanity, Donaldson summarizes the conflict of his protagonist. Despite being unlikeable, Covenant tends to garner your empathy. He's a …
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River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
My hardcover of River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay We first see Ren Daiyan, the heroic protagonist of Kay's newest novel, as an angst-ridden adolescent in a grove, wielding a bamboo sword to channel his anger. Living in a time of famine, and of war against the barbarian Kislik tribe, he is deeply aware …