Father of the Alien Xenomorph

H.R. Giger is the father of the Xenomorph. We call it an alien, we call it a monster, but to Giger his creation was beautiful, no matter how many people it raped and killed. Known for its interspecies sexual domination and wanton destruction, the xenomorph is not unlike ourselves. Perhaps we are […]


On Being a Muggle

I was never invited to Hogwarts. In this episode I offer you the Wizarding World as seen from an outsider’s perspective. This is a muggle’s story. Full Transcript Hey everyone. You’re listening to Paracosms where my goal is to help you get to know your fiction. I’m Arthur McMahon and […]


Ghost in the Shell is an American Horror Story

Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell franchise can be summed up in two words: fear and philosophy. The story became a success because it mirrored real American fears during a time when Cold War tensions were rising and the Internet was still a mystery to most. Full Transcript In 1989 I […]


The Layers of Discworld

Discworld is perhaps the quintessential example of worldbuilding. Decades of imagination by the late author Terry Pratchett went into creating a land so rich with depth that it has become a lens into our own world. Full Transcript Discworld is one of the most detailed and storied worlds in the realm of […]


The Legend of Zelda is a Modern Fairytale

The Legend of Zelda has used the fairytale formula to create memorable settings and characters that will stick in our memories for ages to come, but it has also added a new layer of complexity to the method in the form of interactivity, the game mechanics. Full Transcript The Legend […]


The Walking Dead Wants to be Star Trek

AMC says that the Walking Dead franchise has the potential to last as long as Star Trek has. I have an issue with that. In comparing the Walking Dead’s decade of success to the fifty years that Star Trek has been around, I don’t have much faith in the franchise’s […]


Marvel’s Cinematic Universe – Where the Villains Don’t Matter

The Marvel Cinematic Universe highlights its heroes and neglects its villains. Why is this? Marvel has a history of creating complex comic book villains with rich character depth, but the MCU movies display the bad guys as hollow shells of their true selves, nothing more than stepping-stones for the heroes to show […]