List Season is Coming

List Season is Coming

The year is drawing to a close and taking the decade with it (because, for some reason, we use zero-based numbering for that kind of thing). That means that we're approaching list season, when every denizen of the internet will bombard the digital void with lists of movies, albums, books and whatever else they have [...]

As They Appear to Be: Veronica Mars, The Postal Service and Kenna (Alternate Version)

As They Appear to Be: Veronica Mars, The Postal Service and Kenna (Alternate Version)

Yesterday I posted an article that compared Veronica Mars, The Postal Service's Give Up and Kenna's New Sacred Cow in a discussion of how our perceptions don't always match reality. The article was fun to write and was based on an idea that I had had a few years ago but never finished, that original [...]

Rebranding

Rebranding

As you might have noticed, this site's name and web address have changed. Gone is the bold, all-caps version of my name that used to adorn the homepage and in its place is a new title: Songs & Stories. It's a name that seems to sum up what this place really focuses on and what [...]

Fiction Is Coming

Fiction Is Coming

Over the past six months, I've posted two new articles on this site every week (save holidays) and, barring a few digressions into other topics, they've mostly alternated between discussing music and books. (Sometimes both.) But over the next month, things are going to be a little bit different. Sticking to my two-posts-per-week schedule, I'm [...]

Hunting: Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Hunting: Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Having loosed a monster that he does not understand and which threatens to destroy him, Ged spends much of A Wizard of Earthsea running. The titular wizard's constant flight eventually leaves him wholly exhausted and on the brink of annihilation, at which point he returns to the mage who was his first master, Ogion. Under [...]

The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Deep in an ancestral crypt, a group of wizards gathers to uncover a nefarious plot. That sounds like an exciting premise, right? Spooky and mysterious and full of ambiguous power. Except that when that exact scenario unfolds in the latter half of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it falls completely flat. There are a [...]

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

When asked to describe what kind of music his band plays, Andy Dwyer—the kindhearted lug played by Chris Pratt on Parks and Recreation—states that he "doesn't like to define" their sound but that they sound like Matchbox 20 and The Fray. "So ... rock," someone responds. "Well, again," explains Andy, "I don't really like to [...]

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

In his short story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” Jorge Luis Borges—that miraculous, mind-fucking Argentinian—proposes an unusual premise. The titular Menard is shown to be obsessed with unusual literary feats and, as such, he decides to take it upon himself to rewrite Cervantes' classic, Don Quixote. He's not planning to translate the book or [...]