Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, September 7

Mad Max: Fury Road retold in the form of ancient Egyptian art! A review of Japan's new fantasy strategy game Fire Emblem Fates. And just why is it that we love horror? It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on religion and magic in pop culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

S.M. Stirling's long made a name for himself as a friend of Pagans, partly as a result of his popular "Emberverse" novels. Over at The Wild Hunt, Cara Schulz had a chance to talk with the author about his most recent entry in the series and what it is that attracts him as a writer to Paganism, despite not holding to any particular Pagan religion himself.

Did you watch Fury Road this year? If you enjoyed the post-apocalyptic re-envisioning of George Miller's franchise you might appreciate this art by Takumi, which retells the film's story in a style deliberately reminiscent of ancient Egyptian art.

What is it that makes us fall in love with fictional characters? Why do we care so much about what happens to imaginary people named "Luke Skywalker," "Katniss Everdeen," or "Bilbo Baggins?" Abby Norman tackles the topic over at The Mary Sue, arguing it has much to do with our ability to "suspend disbelief" as well as the way in which we look to fictional characters as either idealized selves or friends.

Are you familiar with Nintendo's Fire Emblem series of tactical roleplaying games? Set within the fictional countries of Hoshido and Nohr, the series' newest entry Fire Emblem Fates looks to change up some of the series' conventions and add a more in-depth story. If you're interested in checking it out, Kotaku has an early review of the game's Japanese release.

Lastly, why do we love horror? If the goal is to horror is to scare and intimidate the audience, the idea that we should deliberately seek it out seems counter-intuitive. But as this round-table discussion notes there are actually many appeals to being scared, including the fact that communal fright brings us closer together.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Monday, 07 September 2015

    I put in a reserve at the library for "The Desert and the Blade" and it arrived last week. I just finished reading "Changes" the first Emberverse anthology. I'm really enjoying the characters. My only disappointment with the series is that Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America in Granite Falls, Washington doesn't appear to have survived the change. Still I'm enjoying the series.

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