The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Deep in an ancestral crypt, a group of wizards gathers to uncover a nefarious plot. That sounds like an exciting premise, right? Spooky and mysterious and full of ambiguous power. Except that when that exact scenario unfolds in the latter half of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it falls completely flat. There are a [...]

It’s Complicated: Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine”

It’s Complicated: Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine”

Halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, titular hero Harry is in need of reassurance. Like a lot of teenagers (and, frankly, a lot of adults), Harry is suffering from a common malady: He thinks he sucks. Because J.K. Rowling knows her way around a plot device, Harry's lovably rogue father figure [...]

Veritaserum

The idea of truth serum - a tonic that compels its drinker to speak the truth when questioned - has a long and storied history. So why is it that when I think of truth serum I only ever think of one incarnation of it, the veritaserum of the Harry Potter universe? Oh, that's right. [...]

A Question of Reality

I've read three books and a couple of stories by Philip K. Dick, most recently The Man In the High Castle, and in each and every one of them there is some debate over what is and is not 'real.' This occurs most famously in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, upon which the film Blade [...]