In which we discuss,

1. SEASONS OF GLASS AND IRON by Amal El-Mohtar, The Starlit Wood & Uncanny Magazine

2. WHAT IS LOST by Su-Yee Lin, Interfictions

Along with, among other things...

Amal El-Mohtar

Su-Yee Lin

Wordy Stuff

Thematic Stuff

Some Links to Places Where One Might Nominate The Starlit Wood, Among Other Things

Episodes of Storyological Past

  • WHEN RUMPELSTILTSKIN COMES AROUND, in which we discussed that other story we talked about from The Starlit Wood: Naomi Novik’s “Spinning Silver.”
  • LATER EVERYTHING, in which we discussed “Pockets,” also by Amal El-Mohtar
  • SEXY TRAINS ARE SEXY, in which we discussed a similarly sensual deep dive into the past, Stuart Dybek’s “Pet Milk.”

Storyological - HOLIDAY SPECIAL, VOL. 2

along with, among other things...

The Ghost of Storyological Past

The Ghost of Storyological Present

The Ghost of Storyological Yet to Come

Storyological - HOLIDAY SPECIAL, VOL. 1

In which we discuss that one film


along with, among other things...

Cinematical Stuff

Holiday Ephemera

Tropes and Problematicals

Storyological 1.32 - THE WORLD IS OUR SLUSH PILE

In which we discuss, among other things...


Episodes of our podcast

  • 1.31 - Fully Proofed
    • “The Jewish Hunter” by Lorrie Moore
    • “Every Tongue Shall Confess” by ZZ Packer

Magazines/Venues/Story Places


Along with, among other things:

THE YELLOW VOLUME, the fundraising anthology put out by Emma and I and the rest of our 2012 Clarion Workshop class. Pay what you want, $0 to $Infinity, with all money going to support the Clarion Workshop.


EG's comic debut, in Shelf Heroes: Issue E, in which she illustrates that one time she went to see Eddie the Eagle with her mum and also life and stuff.


Filmy Type Things



Storyological 1.27 - YOU ARE SO PERSPECTIVE

Leslie Jones, SNL,

Leslie Jones, SNL,

Along with, among other things...

Guardian review of The World and Other Places

The poetry of Carol Ann Duffy

The Poetics of Aristotle

  • Tragic Wonder

    Now listen to what Hephaestus says in reply: "Take courage, and do not let these things distress you in your heart. Would that I had the power to hide him far away from death and the sounds of grief when grim fate comes to him, but I can see that beautiful armor surrounds him, of such a kind that many people, one after another, who look on it, will wonder"

  • Catharsis

    What is experienced in such an excess of tragic suffering is something truly common. The spectator recognizes himself [or herself] and his [or her] finiteness in the face of the power of fate. What happens to the great ones of the earth has exemplary significance. . . .To see that "this is how it is" is a kind of self-knowledge for the spectator, who emerges with new insight from the illusions in which he [or she], like everyone else, lives.


Show don’t tell.

  • As explained on Reddit

    Which seems a good time to mention that 'show don't tell', while great advice, is not the be all and end all of writing. I had a professor who used to say, it used to be that his writing students couldn't see the wood for the trees, but now, thanks to having 'show don't tell' hammered into them from year 1, most of them can't see the trees for the wood, which is just as bad.

Storyological 1.26 - ZERO HUGS

along with, among other things...

Anthony Lane, writing about the film, Brokeback Mountain

“Brokeback Mountain,” which began as an Annie Proulx story in these pages, comes fully alive as the chance for happiness dies. Its beauty wells from its sorrow, because the love between Ennis and Jack is most credible not in the making but in the thwarting.

That one episode of our podcast where we discussed “Ponies” by Kij Johnson

A kind of Scott McCloud diagram
In Understanding Comics, one can find this classification of different types of artists:

Christopher Cox interviewing Annie Proulx in The Paris Review

They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re expecting me to say, Oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write it that way. And they all begin the same way—I’m not gay, but . . . The implication is that because they’re men they understand much better than I how these people would have behaved. And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.

Tanarive Due’s collection, Ghost Summer, reviewed by Paul Di Filippo in Locus

In “The Lake,” a teacher named Abbie LaFleur arrives in town and naively proceeds to mess with old powers that end up transforming her. But the transformation assumes an allegorical cast, as it brings out the hidden vices of her original flawed nature. Things do not end well.

Winners of the British Fantasy Awards 2016

That one episode of our podcast where we discussed “The Infamous Bengal Ming”

That one book Lolita

Storyological 1.25 - THE RIGHT KIND OF SEX

Along with, among other things...

Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Amy Sturgis writing at on Octavia Butler, liberty, servitude, and responsibility

Such works explore not only the foundations of the institutions of power but how freedom can be lost and why it is given away. Butler didn’t merely empathize with the alienated, dominated, and oppressed. She inverted readers’ expectations, forcing them to examine their own assumptions and instincts, to perceive how they might identify with and even become the alienator, dominator, and oppressor. In Kindred (1979), for example, a time traveler can protect her own existence in the 20th century only by encouraging a slave woman’s bondage and rape in the past. When the protagonist asks, “See how easily slaves are made?,” the reader, with a new appreciation and terrible understanding of the dynamics of brute force and the survival instinct, cannot help but answer in the affirmative.

Some Gothic Stuff “Monsters and Madwoman” “Gothic fiction in the Victorian fin de siècle: mutating bodies and disturbed minds”

Michael Knight

Interview by Elizabeth Weld on StoryCorps. (I can’t believe we didn’t talk more about Dungeons & Dragons…) A review of his book, The Typist

Cultural Appropriation

The Atlantic on some do’s and do not’s

“…Novelists have their say on cultural appropriation” in The Guardian


My Voice is My Passport


An Original Bad-Girl Comedy

Biting, Bitter, and Pushing Boundaries

Some of Hemingway’s Thoughts on Stuff

As a writer you should not judge. You should understand. (via)

A few things I have found to be true. If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless. The test of any story is how very good the stuff that you, not your editors, omit. (via)

If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. (via)

The Politics of Sex and other such

Slavoj Zizek, “The Sexual is Political”

Chitra Nagarajan, “What does a feminist internet look like?”

“13 Movies You Never Realized Had a Feminist Message”

Bechdel Test Movie List

Why the Bechdel Test Fails Feminism

“What Really Makes a Film Feminist?”

John Green on adulthood and searching for what to do with your life

Commencement speech at Kenyon University

What to do with your life?

Storyological 1.24 - IT'S NOT ABOUT ZEB

along with, among other things...


To hell with suspense! and 7 other Vonnegut tips on writing.

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Catch-22, a reference from Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name.

Some stuff about genre. Skip if uninterested in such ballyhoo.

  • And, Annalee again, writing a few days later on io9, about what changed her mind

    On Monday I said I was a little disappointed that Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel in 2007. Though I think the novel is excellent, and certainly qualifies as scifi, I said it seemed wrong to give the coveted scifi award to an author who uses scifi tropes, but isn't immersed in the world of scifi. But I was wrong. Here are a few of the comments from the discussion thread that changed my mind

From Rookie, on depression and stucture

M.A.S.H, the series finale


along with, among other things...

  • The thing about MacGuffins

    The MacGuffin is the engine that sets the story in motion. It can be anything, or nothing at all. In The 39 Steps, it is "secrets vital to your air defence"; in Number Seventeen it is a valuable piece of jewellery, while in The Lady Vanishes it is, in the most perfectly abstract of all Hitchcock's MacGuffins, a coded message contained in a piece of music.

  • That one book by Ray Bradbury, R is for Rocket, and, in particular, a quote that speaks to Nina Allan’s The Art of Space Travel (emphasis mine)
    • There was this fence where we pressed our faces and felt the wind turn warm and held to the fence and forgot who we were or where we came from but dreamed of who we might be and where we might go…

Storyological 1.21 - THE BOURNE LAMPSHADE

along with, among other things...

Storyological 1.19 - THE DEAD GIRL IN THE ROOM

Pokemon from

Pokemon from

Corpse Bride from

Corpse Bride from

along with, among other things...

[1]: Of note, this film stars the amazing Bae Doo-na, what you might recognize from the also awesome Sense 8

Storyological 1.18 - THE ONLY BEAUTIFUL THING





along with, among other things...

No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised, those Americans who struggle to pay the bills, make the rent, hold onto a job they might detest — folks who find their dreams slipping from their grasp as they frantically tread water, trying to keep from drowning.

I was thinking back in Sumatra, in 1982, this is a classic? Aliens did not belong in classics. Aliens belonged in movies. Aliens were great; I loved aliens in movies, but I did not want them in my Literature. What I wanted in my Literature was a somber, wounded, masterly presence, regarding the world with a jaundiced, totally humorless eye...

A forest was a forest, he seemed to be saying, let’s not get all flaky about it. He did not seem to believe, as I had read Tolstoy did, that his purpose as a writer was to use words to replicate his experience, to make you feel and think and see what he had felt. This book was not a recounting of Vonnegut’s actual war experience, but a usage of it. What intrigued me—also annoyed me—was trying to figure out the purpose of this usage. If he wasn’t trying to make me know what he knew and feel what he’d felt, then what was the book for?

In fact, Slaughterhouse Five seemed to be saying, our most profound experiences may require this artistic uncoupling from the actual. The black box is meant to change us. If the change will be greater via the use of invented, absurd material, so be it. We are meant to exit the book altered.

  • Edmund Burke said a thing once like, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
  • But, on Wikiquote, there’s a fascinating disputed section concerning this quote, e.g.

This purported quote bears a resemblance to the narrated theme of Sergei Bondarchuk's Soviet film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's book "War and Peace", in which the narrator declares "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", although since the original is in Russian various translations to English are possible. This purported quote also bears resemblance to a quote widely attributed to Plato, that said "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." It also bears resemblance to what Albert Einstein wrote as part of his tribute to Pablo Casals: "The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it."

Anglophiles, and especially lovers of the high art of English loneliness, are probably already familiar with ''Talking Heads,'' which Mr. Bennett originally wrote for BBC television in the late 1980's. Several of the installments, including Maggie Smith's deliciously dry portrait of a wine-soaked vicar's wife in ''Bed Among the Lentils,'' instantly became genteel cult classics.

Storyological 1.17 - A DIFFERENT KIND OF GHOST

In which we discuss,

1. "Man on the Stairs" by Miranda July, from Fence

2. "presence" by Helen Oyeyemi, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

along with, among other things...