They Think They’re People: Domestication, Wildness and Personified Animals in Breath of Fire

[This piece was written as a part of Critical Distance‘s June 2015 Blogs of the Round Table feature] One day, a hero searching the wilderness (for a meal in a drought? for her missing sister?) stumbles upon a mysterious blue-haired boy. This boy is alien in two ways: he is stark naked and he is completely human. … Continue reading They Think They’re People: Domestication, Wildness and Personified Animals in Breath of Fire

Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

Violence is paramount to maintaining fantasy fiction and disembodied violence is a pillar of the fantasy genre. Disembodied violence is the celebration of violent power, or the expression of violent power against unthinking but vaguely human-shaped antagonists; it’s the kind of violence that isn’t really violent because it doesn’t take place against another person. Take Iron Man 2: in … Continue reading Imagine the Power: Disembodied Violence in Fantasy Traditions

“If you can read this, LEAVE!!!” Storytelling in Left 4 Dead and Zone One

Post-apocalyptic fiction continually attempts to project itself into the future by resisting endings; each ending becomes instead an opportunity for continuation. Storytelling is the main method by which post-apocalyptic fiction attempts to resist closure, and this method can be traced back to the roots of the genre itself. Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, published in … Continue reading “If you can read this, LEAVE!!!” Storytelling in Left 4 Dead and Zone One