Magical Words Link Roundup 6-28-2017

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Founded in 1964, Maple Street was, and for a few days remains, New Orleans’ oldest independent bookstore. But on Friday it will close its doors.

In his latest work, data journalist Ben Blatt takes an unusual approach to literary analysis. He crunches numbers.

Whether you’re surviving nuclear oblivion by hiding in a fridge, escaping zombies by scurrying under a dumpster, or just hooked up with Special Agent Mulder, you’ve just jumped the shark. Referring to an episode of Happy Days where this precise feat is performed by The Fonz, to jump the shark is to pass over an apex of quality — the very tip of the shark’s fin — before plummeting into a toothy abattoir filled with lazy retcons, puppy power, complete shifts in genre and magical aliens that only we can see.

John Scalzi says, “The first time I personally encountered Harry Potter was not long after the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, came out.”

Almost every copy of the first Dungeons & Dragons adventure written by a woman is buried in a landfill in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

A space ship filled with humans slumbering in cryogenic chambers encounters catastrophic troubles in deep space. We’ve all seen that in movies before—most recently, in Passengers and Alien: Covenant—but Javier Chillon’s short, chillingly titled They Will All Die in Space, puts a sinister new spin on the story.

Are there queer horses? Would there be a drive for gender equality? Resistance to the idea of herd over individual? What does horse religion look like? How far can we use human conflicts to model equinoid ones?

For those of us who like a touch of the magical and the medieval, nothing quite beats a visit to a fictional castle. But with all those trap doors, winding passageways, and changeable stairs, it’s hard to know where to start and how to make the most of your time.

Sing along with the 2017 version of Yakko’s World!

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