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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, August 17

How do environmental themes play a role in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien? Which fantasy roleplaying game is the best fit for you? Plus, how did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki impact modern Japanese pop culture? All this and more for Airy Monday, our weekly segment at the Pagan News Beagle on pop culture and its relation to religion and magic!

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, long-time friends and fellow mythology enthusiasts, are both renowned as some of the world's most popular fantasy authors. The role Christian theology played in their works is well-known, but what about their environmentalist views? Over at CNN, Joseph Loconte discusses how both authors channeled their antipathy for industrialism and love for nature into their fiction.

Speaking of Lewis and Tolkien, both writers helped found the Inklings, an informal gathering of writers interested in fantasy and mythology. The Mythopoeic Society, founded in 1967, celebrates the Inklings and the genres they helped inspire. Recently, they've announced the winners of their annual Mythopoeic Awards, commemorating the best of fantasy fiction in the style of the Inklings. You can check out the winners here.

Are you looking forward to the big-screen cinematic debut of Doctor Stephen Strange, Marvel's sorcerer supreme? Do you think Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton are the right picks for the film's cast? Writer Maddy Myers discusses some of the recent casting news for Dr. Strange and her own conflicted feelings about the film.

Alongside films like Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films and shows like Game of Thrones, fantasy is also making strides in the world of gaming. Two of the most successful fantasy games to be released over the last year were Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, both third installments in medieval fantasy trilogies. Wonder how you tell them apart? Gaming website Kotaku's got you covered.

Undoubtedly one of the most controversial events in modern history, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought to an end the Second World War that still has repercussions today. In Japan, where the bombings occurred, their memory has left a deep wound that is often reflected in the country's native popular culture. Science fiction website io9 has more details.

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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.


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