All in essays

Why Babylon 5 Is The Greatest Sci-Fi Show Ever Made

At the time B5 was on the air, shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation were still largely reliant on episode-by-episode plots, and had only just started to experiment with season-long arcs. And here came Babylon 5 with not just a single-season story arc but several complex multi-season arcs. This kind of storytelling was and still is a rarity in television.

Casting Superheroes And The Legacy Of White Hollywood

Sunspot is one of the very few Afro-Latinx heroes in the Marvel universe. His story relates to the real-world issue of colorism and racism in Brazil, and though Sunspot is an admittedly niche character and the New Mutants movie is still some time away from release, this casting has led to a significant outcry about the general pattern of casting white actors to play characters of color in superhero movies.

What Is A 'Strong Woman' Anyway?

It's obviously limiting to say that 'strength' only means physical prowess. This definition would exclude women who bravely face hardship, or who overcome difficulty, or who achieve great things from being called strong, and that's clearly reductive. There's a whole other category of female characters whose strength is psychological in nature: think brave Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, determined teenager Mija in Okja, or the women of Hidden Figures who overcome racism and sexism to bring their mathematical genius to the Space Race.

Continuing The Legacy of Marvel Characters

Legacies give a sense of history and development to a universe to stop it from seeing static and outdated. Legacy characters reflect changes to readers' societal attitudes, like an increased acceptance of queer sexualities or people of color in prominent roles – but they also show how the fictional universe has changed over time. There have been heroes in the Marvel universe for fifty years, and the presence of these heroes has changed the in-universe public's attitude so that many people want to become heroes themselves.

Alien: Covenant Takes The Mystery And Horror From Alien Franchise

While the ambitions of the Alien franchise are impressive, the realization has been patchy. This is partly because the central conceit of the franchise, the xenomorph being itself, is suited to only a limited number of settings and story styles. You can make a horror film or an action film about the xenomorph, but obviously, you couldn’t use it to make a comedy or a romance.

Why YA Fiction Is More Diverse Than Adult Genre Fiction

Young adult encompasses all of those stories which do not fit the mold of what (adult) writers, reviewers, and publishers think that literature should be. This leaves YA fiction as both less seriously regarded but conversely less constrained by the assumptions of what a book should be. After all, those less beholden to a tradition of the straight, white, and male will be more comfortable in including the diverse.

Five Genre Books That Would Make Great Movies

A romping fantasy story which sets a heist-type plot in a sprawling city in a magical universe, this has been one of the big hit young fantasy novels of recent years. The crew of thieves who come together for the plan are a diverse group of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexualities, and include characters with disabilities and mental health issues.

Terry Pratchett's Fantasy As Social Commentary

Unlike many fantasy worlds which seem to be frozen at a point in the past as if preserved in amber, the Discworld is constantly evolving. This means there is a constant tension between the in-world society as it exists now and the ideal society as envisioned by the developers of the technology. This tension creates the perfect space for considering how the ubiquity of real-world email has affected our relationship with the written word and with each other, in a humorous manner.