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Speculative Fiction


FROM OUR (CHRISTIAN) AUTHOR-WRITERS A.G. Porter

The Shadow Rayna is seeing things she can’t explain and a dark being she calls The Shadow haunts her dreams, which are coming true... Order Now: Kindle & Paperback Add on Goodreads Read more about author A.G. Porter on her Goodreads profile and her blog. Info on further books in her Darkness Trilogy is coming soon! Charity Bishop

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I was born to read speculative fiction. Ghosts. Werewolves. Vampires. Magic. Even Zombies can be fun. What is it? Anything that spans multiple genres, anything wild, wacky, and a little bit ―out of this world.‖ Speculative Fiction can be anything from Star Trek (the ―sci-fi‖ side of the genre) to Sleepy Hollow. It is ―alternate history,‖ Steampunk, and the brothers Winchester. If a ghost is ―done in‖ by ghosthunters, a vampire wins over the girl instead of eating her, a werewolf is caught up in angst, a Vulcan tries to find his way in a feelings-dominated world, or a historical figure has a really cool made-up night job… that’s Speculative Fiction.

Sent to visit an aunt she’s never met, and faced with her increasing magical abilities, nothing has prepared Evangeline for the Northern Woods. Order Now: Kindle & Paperback Add on Goodreads Charity’s Other Books: Watching The Lord of the Rings With God: Kindle & Paperback Add on Goodreads I, Claudia: Kindle & Paperback Add on Goodreads

Orphan Black Horatio Lyle Vampire Diaries Warm Bodies Elysium Once Upon a Time Lisey’s Story Dresden Files Invisible Man

Our culture is packed with it at the moment. And I’m cool with that. XOXO, Charity

Nov 13: Hannah P. Nov 28: Camille Dec 30: Veronica

Editor’s Note: Many of the movies, shows, and books featured in this issue contain elements of violence, sensuality, or bad language. Please use parental discretion in taking them as outright viewing and reading recommendations.

The Raven 3 Star Trek 4 Parasol Protectorate 5 Vampire Hunter 6 Early Edition 7 Going Postal 8

Want to contribute? femnista@charitysplace.com This publication is a product of www.charitysplace.com 2

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I love the pure imagery of words perfectly chosen and the mysterious levels to which poetry can speak. Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven uniquely places his meaning clearly before his audience: a heartbroken man disturbed by his own agony as he projects it into a conversation with a visiting bird that parrots back one word: “Nevermore.”

n 1849 column in the Richmond Weekly Examiner proudly boasts of receiving permission from Mr. Poe to furnish their readers with ―the only correct copy ever published.‖ Poe revised the original purchased in bookstores but which had been long out of print. Interestingly, Poe frequently gave a performance of reading The Raven after he lectured on the ―Poetic Principle.‖ If only I was alive in 1849 to attend his lecture I might have learned and cherished his instruction on poetry. Alas, you my 21st century reader, are left to the musings of a devout literature lover but a novice in poetic forms.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door, Only this and nothing more. Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; and each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor, From my books surcease of sorrow— sorrow for the lost Lenore, Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad, uncertain, rustling of each purple curtain, Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terror never felt before, Here I opened wide the door, Darkness there and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, I stood wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

The Raven is a clear work of art but it was not always revered highly by critics. They were irritated with the impression the poem left on them but couldn’t quite pinpoint or explain it. They poured over it to find some allegory, some moral hidden meaning, and were disgusted to find no value on which to expound beyond the story it told, a narrative of simple events. Thankfully today poetry is valued not only for fine construction, but for fact that it ―ministers to the sense of beautiful in human minds.‖ The greatness of The Raven is its fantastic, yet strange, imagery and its troubling repetition. It is a classic because of its grave, supernatural tone, a tune that haunts the ear long after reading. I speculate that this line did not help the disturbed sense a person had after hearing the poem:

By Lindy Abbott

“Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quote the Raven “Nevermore.” The reader I am sure was jolted that a writer would dare speak of a beak inserted into one’s heart. I remember reading this poem as a youth and since I was quite concrete in thinking, I thought the bird did indeed attack this man. Having been terrorized by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie The Birds didn’t help any in my ability to see this as a literal possibility. I can well imagine the gasp of the dignified ladies in the audience displaying a ghastly reaction to such a horrible image. It was probably Poe’s intention to taunt this social disingenuous response. He understood that within us is the ability to ―enjoy‖ horror no matter how much we deny it. We like the thrill of horror, as long as it is not real. You can see from these few quotes the haunting words building a gloomy picture before the young man, nursing his broken heart and missing Lenore, has an emotionally distraught conversation with a Raven that only says ―Nevermore.‖ In the second half, the young man is tormented by his words 3

as he becomes emotionally unglued. ―Nevermore‖ reinforces his own madness at losing his love. It’s a fact that we’re often tormented by our own thoughts and words that we don’t take captive to Christ Jesus. (As we’re told to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5 ―…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.‖) We, as Poe’s character, talk to ourselves and mull over and over (in repetition) our deepest regrets and fears. We haunt ourselves. This poem is a classic because a broken heart is a universal experience and the dark drama that follows is equally shared. If one wants to know love one must be willing to feel the pain of loss. But we can find a safe place in the everlasting unconditional love of our Father who will even walk with us in the depths of our aching. One can only wish that Poe had found solace but like all mortals, it is during our brief life on earth that we must answer God’s call or forever enter into an eternity of ―Nevermore.‖ ♥


I met Spock when I was 14 years old. It was in a book in my school library: Star Trek Memories by William Shatner. I read how Star Trek was made and fell in love with the characters, particularly Spock. Until then, my experience with sci -fi was negative. I saw part of the Original Series episode “Day of the Dove” when I was younger and was traumatized when Klingons tortured Chekov. It formed my opinion of sci-fi as unpleasant and frightening, akin to the horror genre.

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hen I read how a rather jolly group of people made a TV show about present-day problems set in a futuristic world on a beautiful spaceship against the backdrop of fascinating cultures and thrilling adventures, how friendships formed between three utterly diverse characters, and how an epic battle for survival was fought between the network and the fans. Somehow, I was hooked on Star Trek after reading a book about it. My family didn’t have a television so instead of watching Star Trek, I read the series of novelizations of the episodes written by James Blish and everything else I could get my hands on about it. My imagination supplied all the visuals I needed in those preInternet days, so no 1960s hokiness dampened my fervor. What was it about Star Trek that changed my perceptions? First it was the characters. Their friendship drew me. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, now a classic combination, were the glue to bind the often ridiculous plotlines together. The two opposites, the cerebral and toological Spock and the fiery, too -passionate McCoy, might never have gained respect and liking for each other if not for the man who tempered them both, the strong, intelligent, compassionate leader Kirk. The three never really agreed about anything; their varying viewpoints created something stronger and better than any one of them by himself. They would have died for each other—and did die for each other, with a frequency worthy of Doctor Who. When I think of the greatest friendships in

fiction, I think first of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Star Trek was a futuristic vehicle for morality tales… … following a long line of tradition dating back to ancient Greek plays and probably to the first time someone told a story. A television series in the 1960s couldn’t bring a Black woman or a Russian man into an everyday setting unless it was sci-fi. Star Trek told stories of ethnic diversity, war, scientific responsibility, gender roles, and altruism, cloaked in rollicking, pseudo-science-y, sometimes completely ridiculous and very moving storylines. It was much more than just the monster-ofthe-week and an entertaining story. Star Trek meant something. Even more important, I think, for me at the time was the adventure and the scientific nature of it. The crew went out to explore, meet strange people, learn new things, see utterly new sights. The goal was to learn. The fantastic nature of it drew me, and so did its utterly homey and personal nature. They went out in a space ship, used amazing, futuristic

By Christy McDougall 4

used amazing, futuristic technology like phasers, tricorders, and warp cores, and met aliens, and yet that ship was their home and their fellow crewmembers were their family. It was at once fantastic and familiar, a beautiful combination. Discovering Star Trek changed my life. I’d always looked to the past for my mental stimulation, to classics and historical novels. Now I looked to the future and my mind expanded with the idea of possibility. My imagination grew, my interest in science, and my interest in what might be and what never can or will be grew. I love sci-fi because it can do anything. You can invent cultures, languages, technologies, ways of being. You can change the past and the future or make up a universe that never was. You can take an old plot that’s been told a thousand times and make it utterly new but with a core of the familiar. Star Trek gave me possibility, and I’ve been writing science fiction ever since. ♥


Recently, a unique trend in books has slowly grown in popularity and entered popular culture. It’s not a new genre, though it has enough distinguishing characteristics to define it in a reader’s mind. The feel and underground beginning of this trend is suggested by its name: steampunk, usually identified by its setting (often Victorian England). It qualifies as “alternate history” by being set in a world in the past where technology developed along different lines, such as steam power instead of electrical, hence the name.

By Rachel Sexton

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ne successful example of steampunk is the Parasol Protectorate, a series with the plot, setting, and characters necessary for an entertaining franchise. It begins with Soulless, written by Gail Carriger. Alexia Tarabotti is of genteel birth but considered past the marriageable age in Victorian England. Her father is a deceased Italian so Alexia must deal with a strict mother, a stepfather, and two half sisters. She meets Lord Conall Maccon and their adventures occupy the remaining books: Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless. The Parasol Protectorate is true steampunk! Alternative technology fills its pages. Air travel is common and done by dirigible. Occular devices called glassicals appear. There’s even a complicated but ingenious invention of a sort-of telegraph allowing written communication to travel across great distances and involving the steam-powered engraving of very thin metal scrolls. Also, Alexia’s favorite weapon is a tricked-out parasol. Those are only a few examples. There is more to the setting than just that, however. One of the clever ways Carriger creates a unique tone is in taking social conventions from that time and using them in humorous ways. For example, at one point in Soulless, Alexia and Conall are taken captive by scientists, forcing them to be alone together which is just not done. The most integral element of this world, though, is the paranormal aspect. Vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are an accepted part of society, sometimes even it’s upper

class. An interesting twist is that these vampires and werewolves have their abilities due to an excess of soul. Alexia herself is a rare preternatural, which means she has no soul. This causes her to ―steal‖ an excess soul when her skin comes into contact with the aforementioned supernatural creatures. (Unintentionally!) This makes the vampire or werewolf human for as long as she is touching them. Carriger crafts her worlds carefully, with many details. A group of vampires is called a hive and a group of werewolves is a pack, while Queen Victoria has a Shadow Council made up of one advisor from all three types of supernatural (vampire, werewolf, and preternatural), each with their own title. The paranormal trappings of the story are deftly incorporated into the plots throughout all five books. The romance between Alexia and Lord Maccon, a werewolf, is center stage in Soulless and occupies a lot of page time but there is also always some sort of supernatural mystery to solve. Usually it entails Alexia or Queen Victoria’s lives being threatened, but there’s a lot of time spent with Alexia gathering knowledge about different supernatural topics. She ends up in Scotland and learns about the past of her 5

husband’s pack, while she also learns about her father by traveling to Italy. Finally, Alexia visits the ancient supernatural place of Egypt, gleaning more on her special condition as a preternatural. Alexia is intelligent, strongwilled, stubborn, and brave. Her modern sensibilities make her relatable and easy to root for. Conall is a distinctive character, masculine and perhaps the most dynamic in the series. There’s also memorable and likeable supporting figures like Lord Akeldama, a terribly old and flamboyantly gay vampire, as well as Ivy Hisselpenny, who has a taste for ugly hats. Ivy is especially good for a laugh. There’s Conall’s second in command, Prof. Randolph Lyall. These characters are a major part of the enjoyment of the series. The Parasol Protectorate entertains with its engaging setting, plots, and characters. Steampunk can now be found in action and YA genres in addition to paranormal fiction. This series is firmly a staple in the Steampunk world. ♥


Christianity has been at odds with vampires since they appeared in fiction. Vampires have recently been depicted as tortured and empathetic… until Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. This film, inspired by a fictional autobiographical novel of the same name, takes an oldschool approach to vampires. It sticks with traditional ideas but presents unique concepts along the way.

Your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a Father of many nations… Genesis 17:5

By Charity Bishop

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ven though Abe isn’t directly a ―spiritual warrior‖ on-screen, his weapon is fortified by silver (lethal to vampires due to its associations with Judas Iscariot) and he is pitted against an iconic representation of Lucifer in Adam, an ancient, cruel vampire responsible for much of the loss and misery in Lincoln’s life, and his friend Henry’s fall from grace and vampirism. Adam has seen the evil of the ages: the Israelites beaten in Egypt, Christians thrown to lions in Rome, and Africans sell each another into slavery. Adam feeds off his slaves. The symbolism seems apparent at first with vampirism being a metaphor for slavery, but a discerning Christian can look deeper and see the spiritual themes. It isn’t the southern slave owners who are ―most evil,‖ but Adam, who enables them to continue such cruelties. While Adam directly does very little, his influence reaches into the lives of all the characters in different ways. Without Adam making vampires, Abe’s mother would be alive, he wouldn’t be forced to kill vampires, and Henry would have lived and died naturally. Henry reminds Abe that real power comes not from hatred, but from truth. For a time, Abe is consumed with the idea of avenging his mother and killing the vampire responsible for his death. But he soon learns there are bigger concerns than his own desires as he takes a long, hard look at slavery. He ―puts aside childish things‖ and packs away his axe, turning his attention to politics. Little does

he know that he’s about to engage in ―a war for the soul of the country.‖ In a powerful scene, Adam tells Abe ―we’re all slaves to something.‖ He intends it as justification for his evil but it becomes a motivation in Abe’s life, to liberate his nation from slavery and the threat of vampires; the two have become inseparable in his mind, because the latter is a metaphor for the former in the mind of the audience. Slavery (vampirism) is a blight on the South and to gain freedom for his nation, Abe must destroy his ancient enemy, much as Christ defeated Satan. Most movies about Lincoln focus on his later years, his struggle in the Civil War, and his death. This is the first to introduce him as likable and fully human, an idealist more at ease with vampires than in wooing Mary Todd. His serious nature is a sharp contrast with her outspoken sweetness. It’s a romance, horror story, violent epic, and a cool twist on a legend. Abe is an underdog who gradually becomes a great man. He’s Lincoln the 6

President and Liberator of Slaves but also a penniless college student staying up nights to finish a law degree who can shatter a tree with one axe blow. Speculative fiction has taken root in our society. It offers us opportunities to talk about truth hidden in fiction. Whatever spin is put on it, these creatures remind us of society’s fear of death and desire for immortality. Christians believe the soul is immortal so to us, vampires represent a lost soul in eternal torment, forever separate from God. Adam’s final battle with Lincoln represents the fight for the souls of mankind between Christ and Satan. Abe’s victory liberates the South and ends slavery; Christ’s victory broke Satan’s hold over us and gave us freedom from sin. Their victories aren’t in evading death but in accepting it. Even though this Abraham Lincoln isn’t the stoic figure we know so well from our history books, in his open willingness to accept death, we find shades of Biblical greatness. ♥


Sitting in the middle of the ever busy Chicago Union Station seems the right place to reminisce about one of my favorite TV shows. Early Edition spanned four seasons, garnering a loyal fan-base (who, despite their best efforts, couldn’t prevent its cancellation). It’s my favorite example of speculative fiction because its premise revolves around the question of “what would you do if you could see into the future?” Gary Hobson gets tomorrow’s news today in the form of the next day’s Chicago Sun Times, delivered every day to his doorstep accompanied by a cat “guardian.”

By Hannah Price

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ary contemplates using the paper’s secrets for self gain but as a nice guy, Gary soon gives himself over to the hero within. Instead of using this unique gift for his own benefit, Gary chooses to help others. Gary takes it upon himself to prevent the tragic and unfortunate events he sees in the paper. In the process he becomes a human superhero, especially to the damsels in distress whose lives he saves. Doing good is its own reward in Gary’s world, but a higher power (presumably God) is looking out for him. Gary can’t hold a job and be able to leave at a moments notice to save someone, so his hero’s path is a poor one for a while. Then the owner of McGinty’s bar leaves him ownership in his will. Gary suddenly has a place to live and a source of income and the bar comes to serve as his safe haven for him, his best friends and those who need a helping hand along the way. It’s amazing how God provides for us everything we need in ways that we least expect, isn’t it? Throughout his journey from ―ordinary man‖ to ―hero,‖ Gary gets the chance to meet and save some very interesting people. Most are simple, everyday folk who just need a helping hand. Other times, Gary gets to help famous people, people from other countries, people from the past, people with villainous intent, people who have the ability to further what Gary has done and help others in their turn (sometimes greater numbers than even Gary could imagine), and in one harrowing instance, himself.

The ways Gary saves others are just as varied as those he helps. To save the marriage and career of a football star, Gary plays in a major game in the football star’s place, having a hand in winning the game. Gary has to guide a young, rebellious female royal from another country when she run away from her press tour to ―experience the city.‖ To save a young idealistic librarian, Gary inadvertently plays the role of ―modern day knight,‖ complete with horses, chases, escapes, harrowing rescues and eventually, romance (for the librarian, not Gary). Through all his adventures, Gary doesn’t give up hope in humanity, in his friends, in the importance of his mission, or in himself. Fleeting doubts and occasional argument aside, Gary remains devoted to the cause he is chosen for. That is what makes his character so compelling and ultimately inspiring. Gary is a simple man 7

with an ordinary past and no extraordinary abilities. He is chosen for a monumental task by a higher power. As Christians we know nothing happens by chance and that everything happens according to God’s design. Gary is chosen for his task because God knows he can do it and will empower him to achieve the seemingly impossible. It is nice to have a compelling and entertaining portrayal of a modern day knight. Saving the world isn’t what Gary set out to do like the mythical knights of old who went questing. But when he is caught up in it, he does his job with a chivalry and ―ordinary Joe‖ charm that could win over the most unromantic heart. We can always use more men like Gary in the world. It’s just a shame that they won’t come with tomorrow’s news in their hand. ♥


In life, most of us will hear at least a portion of the following: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...” But what if your name happens to be Moist von Lipwig? For the main character of two of Terry Pratchett’s novels, Going Postal and Making Money, any other name would be better. Perhaps someone gave Moist this advice as a child, because one way or another, he turned to a dubious life of crime, mostly as a confidence trickster by the name of Alfred Spangler who was so good at his trade he could sell glass as diamonds.

By Caitlin Horton

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ife in the Discworld has a way of catching up with any guilty party, and Moist finds himself on the wrong end of the noose with no way out but a back-stabbing helping hand from an ―angel.‖ It’s either accepting the most lackluster job in all of AnkhMorpork or fall down a hole with no bottom. Thus it was that Alfred Spangler died and Moist von Lipwig reclaimed his ludicrous given name. He’s required to run the mailstuffed and under-staffed Ankh -Morpork Post Office as Postmaster, a position that kills more people than the plague. He can’t run from his duty because a government hired clay golem named Pump 19 can and will find him, come rain, snow or sleet, mountain pass or ocean coral bed. Moist is stuck. He must get the Post Office running before it literally kills him, compete with a telegram service known as the Clacks, and win the heart of a fair, cigarette smoking maiden by the name of Adora Belle Dearheart. Even for a former con, this job is over the top. Can he do it? Of course he can, especially with a name like Moist von Lipwig! Moist takes to wearing a smart gold suit to match the ancient gold, winged Post Master hat that goes with the job. People might recall his face from his earlier con jobs, but who can remember a visage when confronted with gold, gold everywhere? At least, that’s what Moist hopes. Alas, he doesn’t realize that nonsense dictates his life. Dr. Seuss said, ―Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, a way of looking at life through

the wrong end of a telescope [ … ] that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.‖ Fantasy is all about dreaming up new places, people, worlds, machines and names and putting them all in one cohesive spot. As an avid reader I’ll come across one and thumb through it, hoping for something amazing to happen. I rarely found it… until I read Going Postal. Terry Pratchett not only writes good fantasy, he defines it. He makes you want to turn the page; he gives you something juicy and funny and practically says ―if you think that’s good, wait until you’ve read to the next line!‖ Perhaps it was the ―Neither rain nor snow nor glo m of ni t can stay these mes engers abot their duty‖ that graced the doorway of the crumbling Post Office or just the satirical way Mr. Pratchett poked fun at the Post Office that kept me going. The book produced more chortles, chuckles and downright full blown laughs from me than I’d ever experienced before. Pratchett should get a medal for that achievement. Pratchett looks through the wrong end of the telescope and taught me how to do the same. But although life can be funny for the reader, the characters can’t 8

escape how they’re written. Moist doesn’t realize the element of nonsense in his story and is walloped over the head by it on more than one occasion. He’s a sensible man born into a fantasy world that is absolutely crackers, which is why he’s perfect for it. He gets a lemon and decides to make lemon meringue pie, lemonade be hanged. That’s his style of surviving fantasy; that and his name. And when you consider a name, each person belongs to one. Truly, Moist, you really can’t have more than one. And ironically, or is it prophetically, the name he was born with is the one he uses to do good deeds because somewhere along the way in Going Postal he stops trying to run and starts trying to help. Alfred Spangler was a confidence trickster who ruined many lives and hung for it; Moist von Lipwig was not. Oh, don’t worry. If ever a character put on a pedestal by Ankh-Morpork citizens deserved to be taken down into reality’s sphere of influence, it would be Moist. Yet as flawed as he is, Moist is still the hero…the one with a funny name. ♥


At the beginning of Orphan Black, Sarah Manning’s goal is simple: go back to the city, get her child back from her foster home, and start a new life together. Things get complicated when she sees a woman who looks exactly like her jump in front of a train. Though she’s initially shocked and confused, Sarah sees an opportunity and takes the woman’s identity, Elizabeth Childs, for a quick con that will financially help jumpstart her new life with her daughter.

“Something really weird just happened at the train station. I saw a girl kill herself [...] and she looked exactly like me, Felix.”

By Lianne Bernardo

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aking on Beth’s life is a lot more difficult than Sarah thinks. Beth was a cop, recently suspended pending an investigation over a civilian shooting while on duty. That and the hovering presence of Beth’s partner, Arthur ―Art‖ Bell, further complicates her plan. Sarah learns there are more girls who look like her, not triplets or family members., but clones. Cosima, a PhD student, Alison, a soccer mom, along with Beth and a mysterious German named Katja worked together to find other clones and figure out what’s going on. Through an investigation led by Art, Sarah meets Helena, another clone but also a killer. ―Just one. I’m a few. No family, too. Who am I?‖ Who or what are they? Sarah begrudgingly continues her false identity to help the others find out more about their identity and purpose. Their efforts take a strange turn when they’re plunged into the intricate and dangerous world of human cloning, filled with conflicting ideologies of nature and ―self-directed evolution.‖ Silent and powerful groups move and fight behind the scenes, affecting the lives of the clones in profound and dangerous ways. Trust plays an important role in the first season. Sarah, who has grown up on the streets not trusting anyone but her foster brother Felix, must learn to rely on her sister clones to get to the bottom of things while keeping up appearances as Beth. While posing as a cop, she must continue to protect the group and make sure no one else finds out about her and the others,

even as the criminal cases she and Art are solving threaten to reveal their existence. There’s also Paul, Beth’s boyfriend, who may be hiding a few secrets of his own. She even suspects her foster mother of knowing something of her origins. Sarah and the others quickly must learn whose side the people around them is on as the groups behind the experiment emerge. Questions about cloning also raise the issue of identity. The clones have grown up with their own set of experiences and environments; aside from their DNA, they are wholly unique and different individuals. But the revelation of being clones threatens the lives they’ve built and their sense of who they are as individuals. Sarah initially can’t believe what is happening but the deeper they dig, the more she starts to accept the reality of their situation: ―maybe it’s time to embrace my clonage, [and go] on Oprah.‖ Despite everything, she still holds on to who she is: ―No! There’s only one of me.‖ Cosima treats the situation as a science experiment and suffers from no problems about her 9

sense of identity; she knows who she is and uses her intellect to help unravel the mystery of their genetic code. Meanwhile, underneath Alison’s facade of bravery is a fear of losing her own sense of self: ―I’m not even a real person.‖ Helena, on the other hand, believes the others are unnatural abominations that shouldn’t exist. Their individual identities are challenged in different ways, especially as their lives collide thanks to their present circumstances, but their respective motivations and their growing trust in each other keeps them going. Orphan Black is a sleek, intense sci-fi series that not only tackles the ethical questions concerning the progress of science and intellectual property but also quintessential human questions about identity and trust. The further Sarah and the others dig into the mystery, the more complicated their origins seem. Who knows what will come up next? As Cosima would say, ―Welcome to the trip, man.‖ ♥


In his pockets, he carries things that explode. His mind can handle the greatest chemical calculations known to late 19th Century science. At his ankles barks a perceptive hound named Tate, and at his side stands two children who drive him further and further into dark, dangerous and magical adventures. A kind of Doctor Who/ Sherlock Holmes hybrid, Horatio Lyle is unlike anything else you’ll find in contemporary Young Adult literature or, for that matter, in speculative fiction as a whole. There’s nothing quite like the tales of Special Constable Horatio Lyle in the literary world. Catherine Webb holds the distinction of possessing a voice that’d be impossible to emulate.

By Rachel McMillan

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ebb’s series is part poetry, part ramshackle guide to dingy Victorian London, part fantasy-steampunk and all speculative sparkle. There’s a mechanical wonderment to Webb’s prose: her ability to plod words along on a rickety, speeding-up track, her parallel structure, her alliteration, her use of consonance and her thoroughly original grasp of Old London’s seedy, dank and colorful appearance. She also jostles perspectives so each of the main characters have a starring stage point of view. Indeed, even Tate gets a few chapters here and there, allowing the reader to see the world from his low, bedraggled vantage point. Horatio Lyle is sometimes police-man, often scientist, and all-times eccentric. Until Tess the pickpocket and Thomas the ―bigwig‖ drop into his life, his only real companionship is found in his loyal, long-eared dog and the occasional innuendo-ridden conversations he engages in with his neighbor Mercy Chaste. What makes Horatio Lyle so groundbreaking is that its first installment was written by Webb when she was still a teenager. What makes it even more remarkable is it’s one of the few young adult books with an adult protagonist. In his 30s, Lyle is not the typical figure in a YA novel. All gruffly distracted on the outside and soft within, Lyle isn’t preoccupied with relationships until two children take over his time and his heart. Webb’s brand of snide, sarcastic, knowing humor is a treat to those who prefer their

narration with a bit of a winking edge. Some readers read for plot, for mystery, for deeper knowledge; I read for character. Part of my penchant for this series is because I love revisiting old friends. Horatio Lyle and his young protégés Tess Hatch (―reformed‖ pickpocket extraordinaire) and uppity Thomas, Lord Elwick are three delightfully intriguing, fresh and humorous personages. For the span of the four books we grow and learn with them, laugh with them and hold them close. Webb spins a sprawling yarn. Like the chime of church-bells or the rain-slicked contours of the London Bridge, or the soggy banks of Westminster lapping over the Thames, there’s a cadence of Nursery Rhyme to her musings. It’s well-paired with the fantastical and hovering, mysterious Tseiqin: green-eyed other worldy creatures pitted against the start of the industrial revolution, with their strange, ethereal way of materializing and controlling the city with magic. While certainly Lyle’s greatest enemy, they also become his greatest crisis of conscience, most potently with the arrival of Lin, a Tseiqin woman who captures his imagination, his conscience, and his heart with her artful ways. When the entire species is threatened with genocide at the 10

clutches of a Doomsday machine, Lyle, again, peels back another layer of his stout morality. He straddles both worlds: a middle class science man wedged between Lord Elwick’s magnanimous son and young Teresa Hatch whose thieves’ cant is one of the many distinguishing aspects of the books vernacular charm. Someone’s always trying to kill Lyle, Tess and Thomas… either green-eyed creatures allergic to the iron of the industrial age, or those who would see them stopped for turning wrong on its ear and defending the right. But they get over it, charge ahead, mix a stalwart potion of particles and chemicals with their quick banter and powers of deduction, and make the most fun, fresh, lusciously vibrant and original trio known to historical YA fiction to date. ♥


When you think of Virginia the words “supernatural hotspot” doesn’t come to mind unless you’re a fan of the The Vampire Diaries, where the sleepy little town of Mystic Falls is anything but sleepy. Its streets crawl with vampires, werewolves, doppelgangers, witches, hunters… even a ghost or two. The Vampire Diaries, originally a YA book series, is penned by J.L. Smith. Further books are still coming out about the characters of Mystic Falls, but if you want to see them in cinematic action, you must tune into the CW where there’s a new episode every week.

By A.G. Porter

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eenage Elena Gilbert attracts the attention of two vampire brothers, Damon and Stephan Salvatore. She is haunted by the death of her parents who died in the automobile accident that nearly took her own life. Her view of the world and of life is forever changed. She’s finished with playing the part of happy-golucky cheerleader. She can now see there’s more to life than pom-poms or high school drama. Her friends, Caroline, who is turned into a vampire, and Bonnie, a powerful witch, notice the change in her but try to leave her to her own devices of coping with the loss of her parents and her innocence. Elena and her brother, Jeremy, a hunter, live with their Aunt Jenna. While Jenna is a great aunt and responsible adult, Elena is still protective and motherly toward her brother. Elena puts her brother before all else, even her own life. She clings to Jeremy as if he’s her only connection to humanity. In a way, and in the future, he is. She is in an emotional rut until she meets Stephan Salvatore. He’s mysterious, brooding and gorgeous. He carries around a heavy burden of responsibility for his brother’s vampirism. He has a bloody path that he tries to keep hidden from Elena. Secrets are never secrets for long, Mr. Salvatore. The two are instantly drawn to each other. It’s an immediate intense attraction on an emotional and physical level that neither one is expecting or prepared for. Soon his brother arrives. He isn’t anything like the sensitive Stephan, or so it seems at first. Damon is troubled and chooses to vent his pain by lashing out

at others. Elena brings back his humanity and that brings with it an emotional attraction to her. Viewers loyal to the series know Stephan and Elena’s love story was intense, dangerous and fatal for many, especially Elena. She loses her humanity on many levels and becomes a vampire. Essentially, in time, everything about her changes. Eventually, the attraction between Elena and Damon manifests. Elena and Stephan are over. So where does that leave Elena? How long can happiness really last between her and Damon knowing that he is Stephan’s brother? Let’s put this on as a realistic level as possible. Let’s say a human and a vampire did fall in love. It would be the ultimate example of star-crossed lovers. There would be a lot of hard choices to make. The human would have to consider leaving behind their loved ones and friends to become a vampire. They’d have to give up their 11

entire lives. Some would have a moral dilemma on their hands. Would their soul be damned? Is there be a way to save them? Is loving someone for all eternity worth losing your soul? The vampire wouldn’t get off scottfree. If the vampire truly loved the human, could they hurt them? They’d have to in order to turn them! Isn’t that the struggle that most immortals face? Do they want to kill their love and possibly condemn them to hell? You have to die to come back as one of the living-dead. Is it truly love to do that to someone? Pushing all of the difficult and realistic questions aside, The Vampire Diaries is still an amazing show for fans of the supernatural, but it also deals with blood, murder, torture, promiscuity, witchcraft and profanity. It’s not for everyone. ♥


What is love? Is it a collection of feelings? Is it a gesture? Is it “uncontrollable”? When the book-toscreen adaptation of Warm Bodies made the rounds among my friends, I couldn’t help an inkling of curiosity rising toward it. Zombies are not my thing. I didn’t want to be curious about, or actively invested in, a story about the undead, but all the same I had to admit that whether the more conservative girl in me liked it or not, I was. I decided to give it a chance, and I’m so glad I did!

By Rissi C.

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is a zombie. Like any of the undead, he’s a creature in a cursed state. He does what is natural to survive by feeding off the human brain, lest he morph into the even worse zombie state. But at least he has the decency to feel bad about it. Then he meets Julie, the daughter of a rebel leader, the last of the human race fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse. R decides to protect Julie, even though it goes against his basic zombie nature. In the process, Julie and R form an unlikely friendship, and things start to change for R in major ways. At its best, Warm Bodies is a warm-hearted teen romance that avoids the usual clichés. It isolates its characters, involves a boy who kills the boyfriend of the girl he crushes on, and has a whip-smart narration that makes us laugh but also tugs at our heartstrings. It obviously pays homage to Romeo & Juliet yet underneath are threads of a beating heart of gold. It’s a story about hope that stirs the heart in unexpected ways.

Pure love goes beyond human feelings. Julie’s love of R is unconditional. She puts no limits on its price and because of that acceptance, romantic love blooms during their time together and he is brought back from a fate far worse than the inability to express emotion. R isn’t a paper cut-out character. He is both a protagonist and an antagonist. His nature is to destroy, to take away life, until Julie transforms his undead life.

R is dead, without feelings or the ability to show compassion or love, until he locks eyes with Julie, who stirs something foreign in his cold body that he’s never before experienced – she unknowingly inflicts in him a desire to protect. That sprig of hope is just the beginning; their connection slowly redeems him and brings him back to life. It isn’t immediate; R learns to live again through snapshots of life, Julie’s kindness and her friendship. Love isn’t just one dimensional in this film—it takes many forms.

On the outside, this story may look like something it isn’t. It isn’t just a zombie story, and Christians in particular will see the symbolism of a story of a love more powerful than death. For those willing to take a chance and try out this little ―zombie film‖ (as I did), Warm Bodies is less a teen drama and more a study of redemptive love. In fiction (whether that is book or film) young adult tales that look beyond pretty faces are a rarity indeed. Warm Bodies doesn’t suffer that fate. It’s story isn’t about a girl’s 12

corruption, but a boy’s literal redemption. Julie cares for, shows kindness to, and even loves R when he’s at his worst. This enables R to do something extraordinary when, as a zombie he shouldn’t have been able to: he protected Julie. In this sweet but complicated relationship we learn something precious. Love (kindness, friendship, or acceptance) isn’t always about what’s on the outside. It won’t always be easy. Instead of blaming life for our mistakes, we can realize that love can be a choice. Julie and R color ―outside the lines‖ in their burgeoning love story but for them, it isn’t ―bad‖ or inappropriate. Because of their journey, as individuals and as a couple, they change everything. Life could use a little more kindness. R and Julie are a perfect example of what that looks like. ♥


Speculative fiction can be anything: Abraham Lincoln slashing vampires with an axe or the Winchester brothers chasing down demons, ghosts, and ghouls. Or it can be a look into the future. People like to speculate about what the world will be like in the distant future. We’ll never see it, but will our great, great grandkids have flying cars? Will there be a cure for cancer? No more taxation? What if the future isn’t so nice? What if it’s nasty and scary and our great grandkids wish they had never been born?

By Carissa Horton

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his is the world of Elysium. It’s the year 2154. Earth as we know it doesn’t exist. The class distinctions have widened. The cure for cancer, and any other disease or injury, has been invented, but only for the elite. The people face each day with the shadow of Elysium hanging over them. The space station is a mocking reminder to earth’s destitute and downtrodden that they aren’t influential or rich enough to merit even one drop of compassion from Elysium’s citizens. Clouds of smog and pollution clog the cities. The people are dirty from physical labor, hopeless because they have nothing to hope for, yet somehow, they go through the motions of one day at a time. Ever since he was a little boy in the orphanage playground staring up at the space station, Max Da Costa has dreamt of visiting Elysium, because it’s something he can’t attain. He sees it on his way to work each morning and when he trudges home at night. He’s only good enough to build the robotic soldiers that keep law and order on earth, not good enough to earn a flight to Elysium, to see the kingdom of his dreams. He has no chance of ever seeing Elysium until something happens that changes his life and puts him on a new track. Now Max has a choice to make: stay on earth and die or get to Elysium (no matter the cost) and live. It’s strange that Max acts on his desire only when faced with life or death. Why did he not try sooner? Was it complacency? Fear? Or was the dream of Elysium more powerful for him than making it a reality?

If Max reached Elysium, would his life have meaning? When dreams are fulfilled, a void can take their place. It’s the same with revenge; once it’s taken, the avenger is often left with a hollow emptiness inside. Gazing at Elysium every day from his small patch of planet Earth kept Max alive. It was a dream, a reason for continuing to live in spite of what seems like a purposeless existence. It was enough to just see it. Elysium kept his world turning, like a job or a family can do for just about anyone. It’s a reason to get out of bed each day. The fulfillment of Max’s dream gives him nothing else to dream for because there’s nothing left. His dream has only been for himself, and once he attains it, what else is there? Another character to influence Max’s journey is Frey, his best friend at the orphanage. In their youth, he thought the sun rose and set on her. It’s been years since she and Max were friends but a twist of fate joins them together again. Frey also has a reason to reach Elysium, a reason much stronger than Max’s, and suddenly he finds himself getting involved, something he never really 13

wanted to do. He can barely take care of himself let alone anyone else. But if there is one thing Max has (and fights so hard to hide), it’s a big heart. When Frey waltzes back into his life, Max must look past his own needs to those of others. It’s not just about him anymore or his reason for wanting to reach Elysium. It’s about all the goodness and social equality Elysium has withheld from the world for so many years, simply because it can. And he can’t let the status quo remain unchanged, not anymore. Reluctant heroes are so multifaceted because they struggle with genuine human flaws and emotions. Stories with a little bit of an emotional punch are always the longest lasting, and Elysium will continue to resonate with audiences for decades to come because its message is valuable. Max isn’t your typical everyday hero because he starts out thinking only of himself and has to have his mind changed during the course of his journey. But he is, overall, a good man, and that light of goodness shines at the end as a beacon to audiences everywhere. ♥


Imagine you were a foundling, and when you finally find out who your parents are, you discover they’re the well-known fairytale figures of Snow White and Prince Charming. They have been banished to live on earth, in the town of Storybrooke because of a curse by the Evil Queen. To top it off, your parents don’t know who they are, living their lives as primary school teacher Mary Margaret and animal shelter employee David. That sure would be a lot to take in, wouldn’t it?

By Tryntsje Cuperus

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t’s what happens to Emma Swan in the first episode of Once Upon A Time. Emma, hardened by the experiences in her childhood, is earning her living as a bail bondsman and keeping to herself. Eleven years ago, she gave her baby up for adoption. On the eve of her 28th birthday, she suddenly finds him on her doorstep. Her son Henry tells her an unbelievable story about fairytale characters trapped on earth and a curse that only Emma can break. Emma doesn’t believe a word of it, but decides to take him back home to Storybrooke and his adoptive mother, the mayor. Despite everything, Emma feels responsible for her son, who went through such trouble to find her, and decides to stay near him for a while. She soon befriends Mary Margaret and finds a job as deputy sheriff. Indulging Henry, Emma listens to his stories about the fairytale characters he believes he’s surrounded by: the waitress at the local diner is Red Riding Hood; the town psychologist is really Jiminy Cricket. She can’t deny that Storybrooke is a little strange. No one ever leaves and no new people ever settle in

town. The city’s mayor has an uncanny hold on everyone. Then there’s the pawnshop owner Mr. Gold, who speaks to Emma in mysteries, and a sheriff who dreams of wolves and sometimes believes he doesn’t have a heart. As Emma settles into the small town and her relationship with Henry deepens, cracks begin to appear in her armour. What if all the stories really are true? What if Mary Margaret, the first friend Emma made in town, really is her mother? What if she isn’t a foundling, but a princess? Once Upon a Time is a wonderfully original series that creates a world unlike any other, a world where fairytales collide with our surroundings and everyday life... a world in which none of the characters from these stories are who you thought they where! If there is one thing the series does, it’s surprise you with its twists and characterizations again and again. Snow White is a helpless maiden needing to be rescued? Think again! The Evil Queen is a villain and nothing else? Not in Once Upon a Time! 14

More than just an amazing world to get lost in, the unique fairytales are a platform to tell stories about relationships and above all, family. Family is at the heart of this show and the love between parents and children is a strong driving force for the plotlines. The ―Charming‖ family unit is nothing if not unusual, with Snow White and her Prince only getting to know their daughter after 28 years and Emma struggling to build up a relationship with the son she gave away. This unusual setting allows us to explore parent-child relationships that so often take a backseat in other series in favour of romantic love. Other families also have stories to tell: the Evil Queen has a troublesome relationship with her mother (to say the least) and Rumplestiltskin’s son is disappointed when his father keeps breaking his promises. Before Emma can claim her inheritance as the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, there’s one missing ingredient: belief. Next to family, believing is another central theme. Emma must believe the implausible story


of her birth before she can find her destiny and become who she was always meant to be. She must believe in magic solutions when dangers surround her and learn to believe that there are more worlds out there than just Fairytale land! This theme makes Once Upon a Time a show with a message for Christians as well. Though I’d never compare belief in God with belief in fairy tales, it’s true that the struggles of Emma can teach us about how new believers searching for God can struggle with the truths of our faith. In a way, the story of the Bible is as implausible to secular people in the 21st century as the story Emma is told at the start her journey.

I think most of us had a secret place when we were kids; maybe a tree house or a club house or even a fort made from blankets; a place that made us feel safe. We could battle giants or explore new planets or set sail as pirates. But then we grew up and let those places go.

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ot so with Scott Landon and his widow Lisey (rhymes with CeeCee). Ever since he was a boy, Scott has been able to visit a country filled with fragrant and strange flowers that perfume the air. He and his brother called it Boo’ya Moon. Follow the path past the Sweetheart Trees, up the hill, past the Fairy Forest, and you come to a pool, the most beautiful pool that shines under a too-big sun. If you sit on the benches, that pool can be whatever you want it to be. But at night, the flowers that smell so sweet during the day turn to poison, insane laughter fills the air, a bloated moon fills the sky with its silver light, and an unknowable monster waits. And even during the day, shrouded figures sit gazing at the pool. Growing up, Scott lived a horrific childhood, but together he and his brother Paul got through it by depending on one another. Their love made them strong. But when Paul died and Scott was left with his abusive father, Scott had no choice but to return to Boo’ya Moon. He crouched beneath the one Sweetheart Tree that kept a little of its sweet perfume, only coming back to this world when hours had passed and the moon had set.

Once Upon a Time is an amazingly entertaining show with a whole new world to discover, much action, great characters, and touching relationships. But more importantly, it uses its unique setting to teach us lessons about family and belief. ♥

By Carol Starkey

He escaped his father, grew up, then met and fell in love with Lisey. He told her his dark past, but she loved him anyway. And though he took her to Boo’ya Moon, that place was too beautiful and too terrible for

her to think of, so she put up a purple curtain in her mind to block her memories. After Scott’s death, though, the curtain had to come down. To save her life and her sister’s, Lisey tore down the purple curtain, then found her way back to Boo’ya Moon. Again, the beauty of the place nearly drove her insane, but even after death, Scott watched over her. Under the same tree he had hidden under as a boy, he placed a story that gave a clue on how to come back to this world to stay. So she did. Lisey rejoiced in being back in this world for good; she didn’t have to fear unwittingly traveling to Boo’a Moon again. As glad as she was, though, a very tiny part of her soul ached for that other world. The beauty and sweetness never quite left her. When I was a teenager, I would have gone to this other world happily, despite the dangers. But as an adult, I see that though that world holds sweetness unimaginable, so does this world. I think that I, like Lisey, choose to stay. ♥ 15


Jim Butcher brings many aspects of mythology into The Dresden Files novels and he tries to make the system of magic believable. There are three different kinds of werewolves, at least three different kinds of vampires, and two Faerie Courts. Jim never shies away from putting a different spin on all the old Mythologies. Toss in some Cops, a Mob Boss, and Private Detective Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (the only Wizard in the Chicago phone book). That’s the premise of The Dresden Files urban fantasy series. The books have a noir Robert Parker vibe to them. The plot is very fast paced and I often read “just one more chapter” to see what happens next.

By Frank Kennedy

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ach book can be read individually, since the plots wrap up, but there is a larger meta-plot over the series. Each book reveals another aspect of Harry’s world. I’ve enjoyed watching it develop over 14+ books so far. Jim Butcher does a great job with his backup characters. In Storm Front, you meet Bob the Skull, Harry’s arcane assistant with a penchant for bodiceripping Romance novels. Then there’s Captain Murphy, in charge of the police special investigations department and tasked with solving the unsolvable for the City of Chicago. Murphy hires Harry, the Resident Wizard, to deal with cases that baffle her mundane colleagues. She has suspicions when Harry doesn’t level with her about what’s going on in her city. Murphy’s determination leads her into a partnership with Harry where she battles Vampires, Fae, and Hexenwolves by his side. Michael Carpenter turns up in Grave Peril, as one of the Knights of the Cross. Michael is presented as a Christian (a Roman Catholic) and is neither weak nor evil. He’s the real deal, someone who truly tries to live out his faith. Each Knight of the Cross carries a sword with a nail of the Cross worked into the blade. Knights have their own personal enemy —Knights of the Blackened Denarius. (Read more about them in Death Masks.) The Denarians are a binding of man and fallen angel. For each of the 30 pieces of silver paid for Jesus’ life, a fallen angel is bound to that coin. Some are

enslaved by the coin, others are active partners. Each Denarian has the power and knowledge of an ancient, fallen angel. The calling of the Knights of the Cross is to convince them to repent and give up their coins. In Small Favor, Harry has interesting encounters with Uriel, one of four Archangels. The results of these intense conversations are interesting and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading them as Harry gets more understanding about the spiritual world. Free will and the associated costs of it is a recurring theme. Harry is often put in situations where he could take the quick and painless way out, but Harry knows doing so will cost him his identity. He values his free will more than to give in to despair and surrender. This theme becomes particularly potent when Harry is exposed to one of the coins and gets his own shadow representation of a fallen angel. Harry walks a fine line between using Laschiel and being used by Laschiel. 16

Another character to struggle with free will is Thomas, a White Court Vampire, which is the ―Dresdenverse‖ version of the sparkly vampire. White Court vampires are human bloodlines that were merged with Demons. Thomas gains psychic energy feeding off other people’s lust. This can be a fatal situation for the Victims. Thomas has to walk a thin line to keep from giving in to the literal Demon in his soul. I enjoy this series as fun, enjoyable escapes with a unique sense of humor and philosophical ideas that give me much to ponder. The books aren’t outright Christian, but characters like Michael get to speak their mind. It’s a marketplace of ideas where believers are able to fully participate. That’s what we want, isn’t it? God’s greatest curse and blessing to humanity is free will! Jim Butcher understands that, and his unique world is richer for it. ♥


H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man is one of those classic tales that seize the popular imagination and never let go. The theme of invisibility (and its consequences) seem to resonate with readers and viewers in every generation. Over the years there have been dozens of adaptations on film, TV, and radio. (I even participated in one in junior high school!) But I doubt any adaptation has ever done it better than the one that started it all: James Whale’s 1933 film for Universal Pictures, starring Claude Rains as the tragic title character.

By Gina Dalfonzo

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hale, best known for directing the 1931 Frankenstein, turned a classic novel into a film equally deserving of a ―classic‖ label. This horror film makes viewers laugh one minute and shiver the next. It sticks fairly close to the plot of the novel, about a scientist who becomes obsessed with discovering the secret of invisibility. Griffin tries his formula successfully on himself, only to find that reversing the effects won’t be easy. While struggling to recover from his invisibility, Griffin descends into madness, terrorizing those who dare to cross him. The role is Claude Rains’ American film debut. It would seem, on the surface, not a very auspicious one. Rains (who happened to be claustrophobic) spends much of it swathed in bandages; at other times, special effects erase his face completely—and effectively for 1933. His face is seen only for a moment at the end. But hampered as he was by all this, Rains still gives an incredibly powerful performance. Through body language and especially his marvelously versatile voice, he creates an indelible impression as the tormented Jack Griffin. It’s hard to say which is more chilling: his thunderous growls of anger, or his high-pitched, manic giggles. Sometimes he’s hilarious, as when we see him as nothing but a pair of pants skipping down a country lane; at other times, the pathos in his voice is deeply moving. This simple, old-fashioned film may be worlds away from today’s explicit horror films, but Rains manages to ensure that it can still give us the creeps. He’s backed up by a cast of wonderful actors, especially Una O’Connor as his landlady.

The Invisible Man is full of brilliant, macabre comic touches, and she is responsible for many of them. Screaming uncontrollably at the sight (so to speak) of the invisible man, with her hair standing on end, she’s like a demented exotic bird. Other luminaries in the cast include Henry Travers (Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life) as Griffin’s former boss, and Gloria Stuart (Titanic) as Flora, Griffin’s love interest. Flora is the only person Griffin still feels any tenderness or compassion for, but even she can’t persuade him to change his course. The rest of the world he treats with contempt, and to his former colleague he boasts of his plans to start a ―reign of terror.‖ Sometimes he kills people because they’re in his way, or out of revenge—but sometimes, it seems, he kills just because he can. What turned the dedicated scientist into a would-be tyrant who dreams of wealth, power, and ―invisible armies‖? Here’s where the movie deviates from Wells’ book (and annoyed Wells, so the story goes). In the 17

book, Griffin is a cold, selfish person all along, not caring who gets hurt as long as he has his way. From the start of his research, he dreams of power. He’s also an albino, and it’s suggested that sensitivity over his appearance may also be a motivating factor for him. In the film, Griffin is motivated partly by love of knowledge, and partly by the desire to earn enough money to marry and support Flora. But here, an ingredient in his invisibility formula has the unfortunate side effect of driving the user insane. This highlights the theme the filmmakers wanted to emphasize, repeated several times by different characters: there are some things humans shouldn’t meddle with. This resonates more than ever today. If you’re looking for something different for your Halloween viewing, you could do worse than Whale’s The Invisible Man. Its timeless themes and magnificent performances ensure that this is a film that will be enjoyed, and pondered, for a long time to come. ♥


Musicals! Upcoming articles: Les MisĂŠrables, Singing in the Rain, The Band Wagon, My Fair Lady, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Carousel, Newsies, West Side Story, Wicked!, Once, Fiddler on the Roof, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Sound of Music, Young Man With a Horn, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins. Want to contribute? Claim your topic! Email Charity femnista@charitysplace.com!

Coming Dec 1.

Halloween 2013  

The Raven, Star Trek, The Parasol Protectorate, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Early Edition, Going Postal, Orphan Black, Horatio Lyle, Vam...

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