Archive for February, 2015

An interesting question I read the other day asked about the Red Brick Road in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, and what one might have found at the end of it (as opposed to following the word of Glinda and the Munchkins, as Dorothy did, and following the Yellow Brick Road). What was it exactly they didn’t want Dorothy to see? (more…)


            The degree to which literature can influence or affect an individual is dependent on many factors, and is all but impossible to measure objectively. Even narrowing our focus to look only at the way gender is portrayed in children’s books, and the part these books play in shaping the attitudes and ideas a child forms in relation to gender stereotypes, is difficult to gauge. One person may say that a particular piece of literature had such an impact that all of their views on gender are based on just one book; for another, literature has played a tiny part in an immense amalgam of conflicting and complementary ideas and influences from all manner of sources; and for another still, literature may have no direct influence whatsoever. (more…)


Stories is a collection of twenty-seven short fiction pieces, penned by separate contemporary mainstream writers. These are works of fantasy, but not fantasy in the traditional mainstream sense. Neither elf nor dwarf nor wizard makes an appearance. There are no dragons, no castles, and no kings in this book. There are a couple of vampires, some gods, a ghost, and an alien or two, that is true. But this is fantasy fiction that, for the most part, defies the traditional, stereotypical norm, each piece selected by Gaimann and Sarrantonio based on the fact they were difficult to nail to a particular genre; imaginative fiction, encompassing a broad range of subjects, intended to leave the reader asking “What happens next?”
And in this sense the book is a success. Stories gets you hooked and leaves you hanging for the next page’s fix. (more…)