The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 17, 2016
by Dan
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The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin

Julie Phillips long profile of author Ursula K. Le Guin for The New Yorker is wonderful: Starting in the nineteen-eighties, [Le Guin] published some of her most accomplished work—fiction that was realist, magic realist, postmodernist, and sui generis. She wrote the Borgesian feminist parable “She … Continue reading

September 26, 2016
by Dan
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Drafts of the Novel

Tom Gauld for The New Yorker. Tom’s new graphic novel Mooncop is out now.

June 20, 2016
by Dan
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“What a Silly Idea”

Tom Gauld on women leads in spy fiction for The Guardian. See also, people of colour in fantasy films.

July 6, 2015
by Dan
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This Year’s Hot New Genres

Tom Gauld.

May 25, 2015
by Dan
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Errors Commonly Made by Inexperienced Murder-Mystery Novelists

Tom Gauld.

May 24, 2015
by Dan
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Why Star Wars?

In the most recent installment of the Laser Age, the Dissolve’s fascinating history of science fiction films from the 1960s to the 1980s, Keith Phipps turns his attention to Superman, Star Trek, and Flash Gordon — three movies released in the immediate wake of Star Wars. It’s a great read if you are … Continue reading

April 10, 2014
by Dan
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Jim Jarmusch on Genre

Jim Jarmusch talks to The Playlist about his new film Only Lovers Left Alive, and his interest in genre: I just like genres… I really like the whole history of vampire films that are more the kind of marginal, the … Continue reading

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