Monthly Archives: June 2013

Developing Consciousness in AI and cute spider robots

Last week I talked about magic in a fantasy novel – though in the comments we learned it might be best to think of it as a science fantasy. So this week let’s consider a science fiction text. Specifically, the webcomic Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques.

Continue reading


What I learned about symbolism and magic

Or, why I may not finish Mistborn despite little being wrong with the book.

Yes, that’s a weird opening gambit, you’re definitely right about that. But I’ve been reading Sanderson’s Mistborn and despite being pretty interesting and adequately written, it’s not quite doing it for me. It took me a few days to realize why. It all starts with the magic…

Continue reading

On the Symbolic Meaning of Forestry

Or, I go a little New Critic for an evening…

So that’s a weird title. OK, I try to come up with weird titles all the time here, but that one just sounds odd. Maybe a little pretentious? I dunno. Basically, personal background info here, I’m back home after a long time away, and if you didn’t already know, my family lives in the middle of nowhere, in Appalachia. So basically I live in the woods. Not really – there are people around here who genuinely do live in the fucking woods – as in, their front yard is full of fucking trees and bushes. But compared to the places I’ve lived and worked, yeah, woods. And it got me to thinking about the woods as a setting for fantasy and horror – and let’s talk about fantasy here. Horror’s pretty obvious and probably it’s been done to death.

Continue reading