Author Archives : Carey Ballard

Chain Reaction: Is This The Real Life, or Am I Tripping? Two Metafictional Novels and A Movie


Anyone ever read Don Quixote? I promise it isn’t all about tilting at windmills and going on impractical adventures. In fact, in the second half of the story Don Quixote reads the same story we just read. This is metafiction — when an author makes literary characters aware that they’re in a book and they are characters, not people; sometimes…

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The Rich Fantasy of A Taste of Honey: A Review


A Taste of Honey (2016) Written by: Kai Ashante Wilson Genre: Fantasy Pages: 100 (Nook) Publisher: Tor/Forge Why I Chose It: Many reasons. That gorgeous cover, for one. The story is about two men of color, and that’s what’s on the cover. (Because publishers whitewashing book covers is a thing.) Also because I haven’t read much fantasy lately. And lastly…

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Chain Reaction: Three Marvel Female Superheroes Who Need Their Own Movie, STAT


With DC’s Wonder Woman finally due to hit theaters on June 2 (after which I will formally change my bio), it’s just not possible to stop thinking of other characters that need their own silver screen treatments. Because come on already. Before I started reading Wonder Woman a few years ago, I was a die-hard Marvel girl. I grew up on…

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Chain Reaction: Three Madcap Time-Travel Adventures


Who doesn’t love a good time-traveling adventure? Although more serious time-travel stories — 12 Monkeys [the film], Ray Bradbury’s classic short story “A Sound of Thunder” (1952), the TV series Continuum (discussed in a prior post) or the film Primer — can break your brain (especially Primer!), time travel has enchanted audiences since H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in the…

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Chain Reaction: Three TV series Cut Off In Their First Season


I’m a sucker for series that only get short runs. I like ruminating about untapped potential, I suppose; the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens make great daydreaming material (and story fodder). Every so often there’s talk of reviving Firefly, Joss Whedon’s beloved 2002 space western series, whose fans often feel was given short shrift by FOX. Firefly’s first season was fourteen episodes…

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Chain Reaction: Crossing Over — Three Tales of Thin Places, Goblins, and Fairies


In Celtic mythology, “thin places” are spots where this world and the Otherworld allow inhabitants to cross over. The most famous example is actually Halloween, followed by the tale of Tam Lin, and Cristina Rosetti’s classic poem “Goblin Market.” Halloween, or Samhain (pronounced SAH-ween), took place just after the harvest and was thought to be a time when the boundaries…

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Chain Reaction: Three Female-Driven TV Series


The Star Wars franchise is finally centralizing women in its storylines, as evidenced by last year’s The Force Awakens and this winter’s smash Rogue One. This got me thinking about all the SF/F television series I’ve enjoyed whose stories are driven by and/or created for women. In no particular order: Bionic Woman. Wonder Woman. Buffy. Haven. Agent Carter (RIP dear…

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Chain Reaction: Technology, the Underworld and Society — Three Films about Class Struggle


Stories about class struggle are not new. In fact, these plots have been around for a long time, and we’re familiar with most of them: the Matrix trilogy, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games, Escape from New York, The Grapes of Wrath, The Outsiders, Jane Eyre, We, Equilibrium, almost any Philip K. Dick story, The Dispossessed, the Divergent series, even The…

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Chain Reaction: Three TV Series If You Liked/Loved Netflix’s Stranger Things


It’s October! Always a good month to scare yourself silly (and other people if you can manage it without retaliation. Erm, not that I’m advocating being a bully or anything). If you’re like me, my family, my friends, our uncles, aunts, third cousins, and all the people we passed notes to in first grade, you’ve seen Stranger Things at least…

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