content by

Diane Callahan

Five Life Lessons From Ella Enchanted on the Novel’s 25th Anniversary

Some books are simply meant to be reread again and again. My well-loved copy of Ella Enchanted attests to this fact. With its wrinkled spine and its pages crisp with age, the novel is made more magical with each life milestone we’ve shared together. This year marks the book’s twenty-fifth birthday and the third time I’ve reached that “happily ever after.” I have now stepped into Ella’s adventures as a child, a teen, and an adult.

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Eight SFF Books That Echo Famous Works of Art

Although novels and visual art may seem like vastly different media, both are forms of storytelling—ways of seeing and understanding the world. We paint mental images from words on the page, and we conjure up narratives from brushstrokes on a canvas. Just as one might pair different wines with particular cheeses, so can we match authors with artists, each bringing out the flavors of the other’s work.

Below, I’ve paired eight fantasy and science fiction books with works by famed artists that echo the thoughts and emotions these stories evoked for me…

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Weird as Hell: Falling in Love With Speculative Poetry

Reading poetry sometimes feels like battling a giant squid: overwhelming, disorienting, and more than a little slippery. Poems can be elusive beings, evading comprehension and dissection. When you take an already chimeric beast and give it appendages of fantasy, science fiction, horror, or mythology—well, then it becomes another monster entirely.

Even just a few years ago, I would steer clear of poetry tables at book festivals, feeling that it was too frustrating of an artform to fully grasp. But now writing and reading poetry is a weekly pleasure for me, and I recently read the 2021 Rhysling Anthology—which specifically celebrates speculative poetry—from cover to cover.

[What sparked my transformation?]

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