Astrophil, The Renaissance Stalker: A Reflection on Astrophil and Stella Sonnets (Sidney)

Sidney has certainly offered readers a beautiful journey through the psychology of love, with all of its confusion, base emotions and obsessions in his Astrophil and Stella Sonnets. I can recognize that beauty, and I love the language. But deep in the back of my mind, Astrophil’s behaviour rouses up a whisper of fear that rasps… stalker.

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Good Gargoyle, It’s Gothic!

The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (1765) is one of the first recognized English Gothic novels. As an author, I get goose pimples just thinking about being the writer who started a genre, hooking its conventions like claws into a National readership. That’s what Horace Walpole did with his novel, Otranto. Readers of the time were thrilled by the…

A Zany Grey Romance: The Cowboy and The Vampire

The vampire genre has been thrilling readers since the 1700s, with few changes to the tropes of this horror category. Depending on the author, vampires have been presented as the undead (Bram Stroker’s Dracula 1897), as an alien species (Gustave Le Rouge’s Le prisonnier de la planète Mars 1908), and as products of disease (Richard Matheson’s…

Fang is for Vampire: Stories with Bite!

The vampire story has been popular with readers for over a century, and vampire literature even has its own genre. There are many people who are not comfortable with teenagers becoming enticed by  vampire literature and some who even say that times have changed for the worse because of this fixation with the undead. However, history shows…

PAWN – A Good Novel Study Match for The Hunger Games

Pawn by Aimée Carter is a YA novel featuring a strong female protagonist (Kitty) whose identity is taken from her by those who have social power. Kitty wakes up with the face and life of Lila, a young woman who is entitled to privilege through birth status. Kitty could never have attained this status in her…

An Unimaginable Act – Erin’s Law

An Unimaginable Act by Erin Merryn is not a book for every reader, but it does carry a message for every parent, teacher and anyone else who has contact with children. The book is informally divided into three parts: the author’s victimization and ensuing difficulties as a survivor of child sexual abuse, a detailed historical…

Forgive the Scarlet: The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

The Outcast provides a unique perspective into issues for women who are living in groups that adhere to belief systems not commonly shared by the majority of society. The novel is about an Old Order Mennonite woman, Rachel Stoltzfus, who is held solely accountable for an unforgivable act of fornication. Cast out by her family,…

Critical Film Review: The Missing – Subverting Western Stereotypes

Ron Howard’s 2003 film, The Missing, is a Western that destabilizes the classic Western genre. Audiences looking for a Hollywood-style Western get all of the expected elements: the isolated ranch, the horse chase, and the canyon shootout, but the story is played by contemporary characters. Instead of a Stetson-wearing gunslinger, we get the Native wannabe,…

The Evolution of Fantasy Film as Influenced by Peter Jackson

In high fantasy, the hero usually takes an epic journey through magical worlds populated with creatures from folktale in order to save society. The hero’s honour is equal to that of the Anglo Saxon warrior, the enemy usually dabbles in black magic, and the weapon of choice is usually a sword. Though viewers have many…

Rings of Power in Fantasy: The Hobbit

Imagine the fantastic–finding a ring forged for power. You might slip it on, unless you knew that most magic objects in fantasy have a rule—a catch (Hamilton 61). Then you might hesitate, wanting to know the consequence of wearing the magical band. But what if your hesitation is cut short, as your will is overcome by…

It’s 2325 and She’s Having a Baby! The female in science fiction and fantasy

Imagine the female protagonist as the last human on earth. She hides during the night, stealing supplies from abandoned stores during the day. She is a lone survivor of the apocalypse who fights back against the mutated population. Can science fiction filmmakers envision a strong, capable and independent “she” as humanity’s last hope? Apparently not very often,…

Kiss of the Kurgan: The Villains We could Love

Centuries of storytelling have taught us about the villain’s role in the plot.  He is the antagonist—the one who must stand in the way of the hero’s destiny. He must disrupt the hero’s life, and when possible, rip the very heart from the hero’s cage. The villain is the malicious, supercilious, sadistic, brutal bad guy….