Category: Fiction

Han Solo 33

I Want to be Kissed by a Scoundrel

Heads up, dudes, YOU’RE the ones that can’t control yourselves, some of you. Why don’t you let me decide what I like and want for myself?

Manic Pixie Dream Girl 103

Confessions of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl

How much more satisfying might a romance be if you could see yourself there, not just a faceless, shapeless, personality-less blob like Bella Swan?

Joker 16

Killing the Joke

The most controversial comic book of all time won’t go away.

school 3

Short Story: Back to School

School had been out for a long time; longer than Jack could remember. He wasn’t sure why they’d had to stay away. But he was excited to be going back.

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Social Science and Fiction Part 7: Fissiparous Eschatology

Escalation of stakes is part of the appeal of doomsday end-game modules, but I have a hunch there’s more to it than the natural progression from local to regional to national to global threats. I suspect that apocalyptic stories draw from some dark universal well abiding in the human heart. Or maybe it’s that engine from Event Horizon. Maybe that engine from Event Horizon is the darkness that dwells within the human heart.

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Social Science and Fiction Part 6: It’s Time For Some Game Theory

Something interesting happens in most high fantasy and science fiction settings. Capital-F Faith in an absentee God who may or may not exist is absent. In Dungeons and Dragons, the gods exist. If you want proof, watch a paladin lay on hands. Science fiction settings can be a little looser with divine intervention tropes, but a sufficiently advanced AI is a reasonable substitute for a supernatural entity, and for ordinary NPC plebes, even modest mutant, cybernetic, or technological abilities are sufficiently advanced to provide a reasonable stand-in.

2

Social Science and Fiction Part 4: Of Constitutions

Having trouble finding the soul of your fictional society? Have you considered their fundamental rule-making process? Why not take a little time to suss the foundations of your make-believe culture by drafting their constitution? You might find that specific laws, mores, and cultural habits are easier to develop when you have a framework for decision-making and conflict resolution.

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Social Science and Fiction Part 3: Politics at the Gaming Table

Many Americans consider it boorish to bring up politics or religion outside of sanctioned times and places. One simply does not talk politics at the dinner table. It won’t do.
But the gaming table is not the dinner table. Ideally, you play games with friends. Or if your close friends don’t share your hobbies, then at least your regular group is acquainted well enough that political differences of opinion are unimportant enough to keep you from playing together. Or if that isn’t the case, then at the very least you all retain enough courtesy to stow your partisan inclinations while the game is underway.