Who’s the Ultimate Witch in Superhero Comics?

What is a witch?

It seems like an easy question. Pointy hat. Black cat. Casts spells. Might have warts. You know—a witch.

But is “witch” just a catch-all term for female magic users? What’s the difference between a witch and a sorceress or a mage? Is the flying broom absolutely necessary?

Lots of superheroes have magic-based powers. Many of them get called witches, but I’m going to nitpick that definition and argue that most of them actually aren’t. Let’s see who makes the cut.

Zatanna

Zatanna

I know she’s pretty much the top magic-user in the DC Universe, but I don’t think “witch” is the right word to describe her. “Magician” seems more accurate given the top hat and tuxedo, and I’d also accept “sorceress.” Though if you want to be technical about it, she’s a member of the magical species “Homo Magi.”

Continue reading Who’s the Ultimate Witch in Superhero Comics?

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while and saw this one over at One Book More. It seemed like a good chance to examine my TBR pile, which–like the universe–is large and always expanding.

A Book That a Certain Friend is Always Telling You to Read

Rosemary and Rue

Well, NeriSiren does mention the October Daye series a lot… 😛 I can’t blame this one solely on another person, though, because I’ve known about the series for years and have always meant to get around to it. I just haven’t yet.

A Book That’s Been on Your TBR Forever and Yet You Still Haven’t Read It

No Man of Woman Born Cover

I first mentioned No Man of Woman Born on this blog back in September. This post is a good reminder to myself that I haven’t purchased it yet and need to get on that.

Continue reading I Should Have Read That Book Tag

5 Ways You’d Probably Die in an Urban Fantasy Novel (And how to Survive Them)

“If you could live in any fictional world, what would it be?”

Does that question give anyone else anxiety? Like sure, it would be nice to visit Middle Earth, but I don’t want to get murdered by bands of roving orcs. The Star Wars universe? Noooo, thank you. Did you see that new Death Star? It can blow up multiple planets at once. And don’t even get me started on the dangers of living in a superhero universe.

At first glance, an urban fantasy world might seem like a much better option to call home than an epic fantasy one. You can have modern conveniences like the internet and indoor plumbing while also enjoying the wonders of magic. But personally, I feel like the modern world is dangerous enough without throwing in supernatural threats. I love reading urban fantasy, but if I lived in the world of one of those novels… I would die. I would die so hard.

You probably would too. Let’s talk about how! Continue reading 5 Ways You’d Probably Die in an Urban Fantasy Novel (And how to Survive Them)

9 Superheroines who don’t have Superpowers (and don’t need them)

Wonder Woman has the power of the gods. Captain Marvel can punch a hole in a spaceship. The Scarlet Witch…can sometimes do magic, or probability manipulation, or telekinesis/telepathy. It’s confusing.

In my current novel, I’m writing a main character who takes on magic and monsters with no powers of her own, so today, I want to look at the heroines who face supervillain, aliens, and gods with nothing but their wits and years of training. Some of them are super popular, but I want to spotlight a few lesser-known characters, too, so let’s get started. Continue reading 9 Superheroines who don’t have Superpowers (and don’t need them)

5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes

Did you know January is Vintage Science Fiction month? I didn’t until I saw the hashtag on Twitter, which piqued my interest, because I love old sci-fi. You can feel the enthusiasm and energy in a lot of those old space travel stories, written in a time where mankind was just venturing beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and everyone was excited about the possibilities.

January is also great timing, because I’ve got a retro sci-fi short story coming out in Broadswords and Blasters Issue 12 later this month. You might find more than one of these tropes in it. Or not. Read it and see. 😉

Space Fashion

Are you venturing into the cold reaches of space and don’t know what to wear? No need to worry. Just pop a fishbowl over your head, and you’ll be fine.

Planet Comics Issue 36 Cover
The helmets won’t protect you from evil green space giants, obviously, but they will shield you from the void of space.

Continue reading 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes

5 Short Stories About Witches (that you can read for free right now)

I’m going to be a witch this Halloween. I’ve got the hat and the black dress, and I just need to figure out my makeup.

Witches have always been one my favorite paranormal beings. Maybe it’s the spells and potions or the feminist undertones. It could also be a side-effect of growing up reading Harry Potter. Or maybe it’s just the aesthetic.

Witch Aesthetic
It’s probably the aesthetic.

Anyway, if you can’t get enough witches, either, here are five short stories about them that you can read online. They all have different tones and fall under different subgenres, but each one is spellbinding in its own way. (See what I did there?) Continue reading 5 Short Stories About Witches (that you can read for free right now)

5 Supernatural Superheroes who Deserve more Spotlight

October is finally here, and that means a month filled with jack o’ lanterns, witches, and ghosts.

Although, to be honest, I don’t limit that spooky energy to October. I get my fix year-round by reading paranormal fiction. There’s something about things that go bump in the night that I just can’t get enough of in stories, especially when it comes to the heroes who fight them.

Comics has no shortage of the supernatural, and it’s one of favorite niches in both the Marvel and DC universes. Though I have my complaints about the Doctor Strange movie, I love that it introduced magic to the MCU, and Legends of Tomorrow got twice as awesome when they started fighting demons and introduced John Constantine.

Those two characters along with Blade, the Scarlet Witch, Zatanna, and a few others are what I consider the A-list of magical/supernatural superheroes. (Though I don’t think Zatanna has had a live-action appearance since Smallville. She really needs her own movie.) Today, I want to shine a spotlight on some paranormal superheroes who may be less popular but are all awesome characters who deserve more attention. Continue reading 5 Supernatural Superheroes who Deserve more Spotlight

10 Female Supervillains (who are Cooler than most Heroes)

Superheroines can be powerful role models for girls. They show that women can be brave, smart, and control their own stories, which is an excellent lesson for both girls and boys. I can only imagine the impact movies like Wonder Woman and comics like Ms. Marvel and Moon Girl have on kids. Superheroes have always been beacons of hope, symbols of what humanity could achieve if we strove to be better. Though they may be fictional, superheroes can truly change the world.

But supervillains have more fun.

So if you’re in the mood for destroying the world rather than saving it, here are ten of my favorite female supervillains—and let me tell you, it was hard to narrow the list down to just ten. These ladies are powerful, brilliant and terrifying, and while they’d probably murder us in real life without a second thought, they’re super fun to read about. Continue reading 10 Female Supervillains (who are Cooler than most Heroes)

Five Favorite Book to Screen Adaptations

“The book was better.”

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that about a movie or TV show, I… well, I wouldn’t be rich, but I could certainly buy myself something nice.

Adaptations of books to the big and small screen have a tricky balancing act to pull off. It’s impossible to accurately turn every single page of a book into a movie or TV show; the visual medium is a completely different animal from the written word. Screenwriters and directors have the challenge of making structural changes to adapt the story to the screen while remaining faithful to the spirit of the book.

Or at least, that’s how I think about it. Some movies don’t seem to care, presenting an adaptation that shares nothing in common with the source material except for a title, leading to masses of disappointed fans.

But I’m not here to talk about the disasters. I want to talk about my favorites. Continue reading Five Favorite Book to Screen Adaptations

More Spectacular Steampunk Short Stories

Need something to read this weekend? Want that something to have dirigibles, clockwork, and lady inventors? Would you prefer if it was FREE? Then you’re in the right place. Here are four awesome steampunk short stories you can read right now.

Clockwork Fairies

by Cat Rambo

This is one of the greatest examples of an unsympathetic narrator that I’ve ever come across. Really, though, the story isn’t about him but his fiancé. I would gladly read an entire series starring her, but this story is complete and lovely. Try it if you like a little magic in your steampunk, or if you enjoy stories about brilliant ladies dumping dudes who aren’t good enough for them. Continue reading More Spectacular Steampunk Short Stories