Reading Genre: Hardboiled Fiction and Me

Long ago, when I was all hopped up on little sleep and theory readings, I tried to write a paper making the case that the most important genre marker of science fiction was not the nova that it introduces but the way it teaches the reader to read it as it goes. Now, I still sort of like that idea, but it’s too common in all texts to really work. I think my professor’s comment was something that boiled down to, “this is a very good paper, A, but the idea doesn’t make sense, don’t try to publish this.” Fair.

I’m telling you that because the way that a text shows you how to read it, and how to read the genre it is in, means a lot to me. And I think it’s important generally as well. I’ve written on genre a few times before, most recently in using genre theory to evaluate magic texts. But here, I want to talk about an experience I had with a novel and the general idea of reading using genre.

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Literature for Magicians: The Night Land

The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson is one of the strangest things I have read, I believe. Anyone interested in dreamscapes, fantasy, post-apocalypse fiction, or weird fiction should give it a try. This essay is "for magicians" simply in that this novel will enrich the imagination powerfully, something any magician should do every so often.

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Literature for Magicians: The Novels of E. R. Eddison

As opposed to the previous entry in our series, Literature for Magicians, this post is more holistic and less pointedly pragmatic in nature. Less of a toolbox, this set of works is inspirational and philosophical. So: have you heard of E. R. Eddison?

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The cover of Blues Traveler's release of 12 Swords

Tarot Time: Blues Traveler’s Decisions of the Sky

I figured, what with Thanksgiving and all, that maybe I should take it easy this week. In addition, I only just now got my internet back after a three day outage. So what could I do? I haven’t yet left the safe waters of “concept album” to talk about albums that are “just” collections of songs. Well, maybe I did with Abbey Road, but I feel like by that time the Beatles were one step away from making concept albums anyway. So guess what? I remembered that time Blues Traveler released a miniature album for free on their website!

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Daggerfall in the Cards, pt. 1

Here’s a god-awful idea. Let’s play Daggerfall, making every decision by drawing a tarot card! Nothing could possibly go wrong! I will draw a tarot card for every major decision, and possibly a lot of the minor decisions. I predict nothing but smooth sailing.

In this episode, mostly character creation probably.

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