One of the Earliest Science Fiction Books Was Written in the 1600s by a Duchess

A fascinating look at an early sf author: Meet Lady Margaret Cavendish. BY NATALIE ZARRELLI SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle. (Photo: Public Domain) NO ONE COULD GET INTO philosophical argument with Lady Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and walk away unchanged. Born in 1623, Cavendish was an outspoken aristocrat who traveled in circles of…

Father Word

What is it about that word? Aroostook. The County, they call it here in Maine. A word is a tiny thing, a written word. It is smaller than a leaf—a word printed on a page. Rarely as big as a blade of grass. Don’t even bother comparing its size to a tree. And yet…. Words…

A Year of Reading Lewis: The Abolition of Man

L. A. Smith of A Traveler’s Path has kindly agreed to let us take a look at some of her thoughts on Lewis! I have never read Abolition before. I knew it was an important work, but its subtitle, Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools, didn’t inspire me…

Charming Notions: The Neo-Orthanc cult of Saruman

Over at Bruce Charlton’s Notions, the good professor shares some Ork-related humor: A simple household candle… or is it? Few have yet noticed the sinister resurgence of those who revere the name of Saruman. I became aware of the problem some years ago when a shiny black pillar was erected near to my place of…

Galactic Christendom: A Short History

Post by Carlos Carrasco There is a prejudice in modern SF so nearly ubiquitous that it can be considered a trope. I’m talking about the assumption that the more technologically advanced a civilization becomes, the less religious it will be. While this prejudice is normally implicit in a lot of science fiction, the assumption was stated…

If J.R.R. Tolkien liked to write satire…

If J.R.R. Tolkien liked to write satire, the satire he wrote was secured in what he loved. He loved languages, of course, importantly. But I’m not learned enough to say if his languages are in anyway satirical. I can say however that he employed his love of language in his satires. What did he love…

Mapping JRRT Fan Fiction

  How best to go about telling a Bildungsroman for the son of Arathorn II, for a youth who would become the Good King Elessar? Achieving qualities Tolkien so carefully evoked in his great cosmology and Lord of the Rings stories, the landscape, map, and texts of Middle-earth provide answers, addressing formal and structural concerns…

Anglo-Saxon Elves

This is a crosspost by L. A Smith from The Traveller’s Path One of the intriguing questions about the Anglo-Saxons who lived in England in the Early Middle Ages revolves around their religious beliefs and mythologies. Pretty much all of what we know of these beliefs were written down by Christian monks, and so it’s…

Literary Dark Device

Article by S. Dorman Tevildo Prince of Cats was the first imaginative incarnation of Sauron the Dark Lord, whose power was destroyed in the unmaking of his Ring in the Third Age of Middle-earth. As many know, the process of writing is drafting and redrafting, a sort of making and remaking. An early incarnation of…