A prolific author, Orson Scott Card has written works that encompass a range of genres including a large body of commentary, Mormon drama, science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and often melds elements of one into another. In particular, as John Clute notes, “a ‘feel’ of fantasy pervades much of his s[cience] f[iction] work.” In fiction...s such as Enders Game, Treason, and Wyrms, and stories like “The Originist,” his tribute to Asimov’s Second Foundation, he employs traditional elements of fantasy: its language in references to wizards, dragons, magic, and such characters as dwelfs, a portmanteau of “elf” and “dwarf”; the episodic quest narrative of escalating perils undertaken by the protagonist, who moves from isolation to community; and the conventional, often medieval, fantasyscape of fabulous forests, rivers, and mountains. Through such a strategy Card establishes a heightened significance to human experiences that both genres address, and opens another portal to the sense of wonder that informs each. (WAS)
This essay examines Heinlein's Young Adult (YA) stories—commonly referred to as his “juveniles”—and argues that Heinlein's "Others" are not defined by race, gender, or planet of origin but by their inability to understand and deal with the changes that inter-planetary travel will bring. (CWS)
Ingman, Heather. Ageing in Irish Writing: Strangers to Themselves. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 209 pages. ISBN 978 3 319 96429-4. Hb. €74.89.
de Bruin-Molé, Megen. Gothic Remixed: Monster Mashups and Frankenfictions in 21st-Century Culture. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. x + 264 pages. ISBN 978-1350103054. Hb. £76.50.
Mourant, Chris. Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2019. 301 pages. ISBN 9781474439459. Hb. £80.
Newman, Daniel Aureliano. Modernist Life Histories: Biological Theory and the Experimental Bildungsroman. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2019. 234 pages. ISBN 9781474439619. Hb. £80.
Crişan, Marius-Mircea, ed. Dracula: An International Perspective. Palgrave Gothic. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. xi + 280 pages. ISBN 978-3-319-63365-7. Hb. $101.51.
Relying on Joseph McMinn’s statement that the connection between realist and non-realist fiction is not a hierarchical relationship, this essay maintains that realism in Irish language fiction is, and has always been, an energizing force for experimentation. This is nowhere more evident than in the work of writer Daithí Ó Muirí (1954-), a...native English speaker now residing in an Irish speaking area in Ireland. Much of Ó Muirí’s work is experimental due to his use of allegory and fantasy, yet many of the stories remain rooted in the realities of the world, particularly in his representations of masculinities and in works concerning the impact of war, violence, and displacement on men’s lives. The essay examines Ó Muirí’s first three collections, Seacht Lá na Díleann (1998), Cogaí (2002), and Uaigheanna agus Scéalta Eile (2002), in which he explores subjects that are classically realistic: war, death, religion, and relationships between men and women. The essay explores how Ó Muirí’s work often combines realism and magic realism, and shows that Ó Muirí’s fiction provides a fresh if somewhat bleak narrative of 21st century realism in Irish language prose fiction.
David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks (2014) centers on Holly Sykes, the main character whom the novel follows from her youth into old age, thus witnessing the major events of a lifetime through her. This recounting serves as the traditional plotline that is intertwined with a fantastic story of two warring organizations of quasiimmortals... and a narrative of climate change that ultimately leads to “Endarkenment,” the environmental catastrophe that hits the globe in Holly’s lifetime. These three distinct stories converge on the novel’s protagonist, through whom the reader encounters questions about aging, time, and mortality. The war between two atemporal factions, the Horologists and the Anchorites in particular, sheds light on humankind’s aspirations for immortality and focuses on present society’s conceptualization of old age. The paper analyzes these three distinct but tightly connected issues for a complex view both on the aging process itself and on society’s reaction and relation to it, that is, ageism. Mitchell’s novel—fantastic and realistic at the same time—becomes an intricate statement about aging, one of the most pressing issues facing humankind. (NA)
In his own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Neil Gaiman exploits the possibilities in doubling: he presents the Shakespearean comedy as a play within the artistic space of his graphic novel and Such a reading reveals that what is a tool in Shakespeare’s play to visualize that art is capable of mirroring reality becomes a means... to express the interchangeability of the realistic and the fantastic realms. Gaiman’s strategy of doubling thus suggests an understanding of life that surpasses the narrow interpretation of historical facts, and thereby it may offer a viable alternative to what we experience as reality.