Death of the author: A Review of The Ice-Bound Concordance

In the glacial caverns beneath a polar research facility, someone hears a distant groan. No, that’s not right. Maybe she hears laughter instead, but that goes against the tone of the piece—an air of mystery with a heavy sense of foreboding. Distant whispers… no, faint whispers breathing through the ice makes far more sense. Changing that bit of language, of course, only fits one particular moment in a much larger narrative. Still, it feels significant enough given the delicate nature that comes with editing a novel—especially one written by the author’s digital ghost. Such are the considerations needed in The…


TIE Fighter found the humanity in fascism

In 1993, LucasArts released Star Wars: X-Wing, a space flight simulator that let the player fly as part of the Rebel Alliance in missions focused on ambushing Imperial forces and gathering intelligence. The game received near universal critical acclaim for its authenticity as both a window into the Star Wars universe and as a flight simulator that reproduced in excruciating detail the difficulty of piloting for the Rebel Alliance. In X-Wing, nearly every button on the keyboard serves a purpose, from shield and energy management to changing cockpit viewpoints, making the dogfights a careful balance of ship maintenance and white-knuckled…


Star Wars Battlefront is a beautiful diorama

  After the release of Star Wars in May of 1977, the Kenner toy company could not make enough action figures to meet the demands of an eager consumer base. Even into the Christmas season, the company still had inadequate stock, so Kenner instead sold people an “Early Bird Certificate Package”—an empty box containing a diorama stand, some stickers, and a certificate for four toys to be mailed to the purchaser when they finally became available the following February. People snatched them up, of course, placing empty boxes under trees, assured in the knowledge that in a few short months,…