Analysis

Six Pointless Deaths in Spec Fic

Many people are familiar with the character shield and plot-armor tropes: those points in a story where it really feels like a character should die, but the writer won’t let them. It turns out that many stories have the opposite issue: a character dies for … read more »

Building Crescent City: How Maas Remixed Old Tropes

A map of Crescent City

Hey there, friend, do you feel like joining some vampires for a night out on the town? What about riding with a werewolf motorcycle gang or chasing down demons in the city’s unrealistically accessible sewers? I hope at least one of those things appeals to … read more »

How Can I Justify a Lost McGuffin?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hi! I read somewhere on here that it can be weird if you have a very important, world saving object and it is broken into pieces/deactivated/something like that without a reason. What are some valid reasons for doing this? -Clover Read more »

The Mixed Climaxes of Marvel’s Phase Three, Part 1

Spider-Man holding Captain America's shield.

The last time we looked at MCU climaxes, phase two had made significant improvements over phase one. The results still weren’t great, but at least there were some bright spots. Now it’s time to look at phase three, or at least the first half of … read more »

Building Mars: How Red Rising Flubs Class Conflict

The red wolf crest of House Mars in Red Rising

Red Rising by Pierce Brown imagines a far future where humanity has spread across the solar system. There’s just one problem: a rigid, color-coded caste system ensures the constant oppression of those at the bottom for the benefit of those at the top. Ruling Golds … read more »

Star Trek Series Finales From Worst to Best

The Enterprise viewscreen showing two other Enterprises.

Endings are hard, especially endings for a long-running series. A lot of expectations get built up along the way, and how well you meet those expectations will determine whether audiences remember your story fondly or are just glad it’s over. Classic Star Trek varies wildly … read more »

The Good and Bad Climaxes From Marvel’s Phase Two

A helicarrier rising up next to a flying city.

I won’t sugarcoat it: going through the MCU’s phase-one climaxes was a real slog. The action and quips might be top notch, but the climaxes are limited to nonsense deductions and meaningless sacrifices. Fortunately, there are way more of these movies to look at. Specifically, … read more »

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