Sometimes A Story Is About Making the World Better
I’m a freelancer and have been reading and watching fantasy
for more than forty years, so when I read that the protagonist of Rachel Aaron’s
Minimum Wage Magic was a freelance mage, I was tickled.
I had previously read Aaron’s Eli Monpress stories and her Heartstriker
Series so I was confident I’d love Minimum Wage Magic and I bought it on the
I was not disappointed. (more…)
Like many of us who read fantasy as adults, I got my start
on Narnia. My first-grade teacher read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to
the class. It was wonderful. Wardrobes with new worlds hidden in them, talking
animals, magic, and a classic confrontation between good and evil where evil
wins—what more could you ask for?
I devoured the rest of the books, and while I thought it was
weird that they skipped through different characters and different periods, the
fact that they were Christian allegory went entirely over my head.
Then I re-read them in junior high and picked up on the fact
that they weren’t just an allegory for Christianity, they were an allegory for
a particularly loathsome form of Christianity that prioritized obedience to
authority and punishment for wrongdoing over being a decent person. I was
If you haven’t read the Halcyone Space series by LJ Cohen,
you’ve made a horrible mistake and you should probably fix that ASAP. It’s YA
Space Opera set in a dystopic future that’s much better than the stormy
The universe of Halcyone Space can be pretty miserable. Earth
has suffered a climate catastrophe that has driven millions into permanent
refugee camps where they exist as a permanent underclass. The government of the
galaxy is incompetent, corrupt, and utterly uninterested in serving the people.
It’s got problems, but it’s a tremendously immersive world
that feels like it still exists when it’s offscreen. Oh, and it’s the setting
for a hell of a story. (more…)