The Fabulist Reviews

Reviews, essays, interviews, and other nonfiction “related works.”

The Fabulist Podcast No. 1: Dan Hintz, Kimberly Unger

In The Fabulist Magazine's debut podcast, New York City photographer, musician and author Dan Hintz reads "Altar," a weird work of short-short fiction. We also speak with Kimberly Unger, author of "The Extractionist," a new ...

‘Scorched Earth’: Fighting Fire with Fire (Review)

"Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World"By Jonathan Crary, Verso Books: 2022Buy this book via Bookshop.org Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World, by Jonathan Crary, has a multiple-entendre ...

Mona Caron: Getting Lost in the Weeds

Mona Caron's epic murals are full of pageantry, wonderment and amazing detail, and have been a transformative presence in San Francisco neighborhoods, alleys and street corners since the '90s. In her extravagant illustrations of re-imagined ...

Loren Rhoads: A Personal Relationship with Cemeteries

Death’s Garden Revisited, a new anthology edited by Morbid Curiosity's Loren Rhoads, collects cemetery essays from genealogists and geocachers, tour guides and travelers, horror authors, ghost hunters, pagan priestesses, and more about why they visit ...

‘Half-Earth Socialism’: Half-Baked or Half a Chance?

"Half-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change, and Pandemics"by Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass, Verso Books: 2022Buy this book via Bookshop.org The authors of "Half-Earth Socialism" are visionaries, utopians, and ...

The Power, The Glory, The Marketing: Why Marvel Studios Rules the Big Screen

Yet another cinematic auteur — Francis Ford Coppola — has inveighed against Marvel Studios for using a "single prototype" to produce a generic product that is predictable, stereotypical, formulaic, and otherwise lacking in the adventurousness ...

‘The Book of Boba Fett’: Relax, Kid, It’s Just A TV Show

The spectacle of reasonably well-compensated TV critics struggling to make themselves relevant with their trenchant, telling, sharply observed takedowns of Disney's "The Book of Boba Fett" threatens, like the sound of a sour fart at ...

Emily Knox: ‘People Who Try to Ban Books Truly Believe That Books Are Powerful’

Emily Knox has good news to share. The path to salvation, she says, can be found in books, through the act of reading widely, with an open mind, and thinking critically. She also has a ...

Urban Fantasy Has a Political Edge in Jadie Jang’s ‘Monkey Around’

‘Monkey Around”By Jadie JangSolaris (2021)ISBN: 9781781089200 Buy this book on Indiebound In Jadie Jang’s “Monkey Around,” urban fantasy is the milieu — specifically the richly diverse, politically activated, increasingly gentrified San Francisco Bay Area of the ...

Phil Tippett: 24 Frames Per Second

In this transcript of The Fabulist's wide-ranging conversation with Phil Tippett, the modern master of stop-motion animation talks about the art, mental health struggles, and techniques of sculpture, puppetry, writing, film editing, lighting, and collaboration ...

‘Mad God’ is Phil Tippett’s Stop-Motion Nightmare Come True

Phil Tippett already lives in your dreams. Are you ready to take a tour through his nightmares?   As a master and innovator of stop-motion animation, Tippett made his name bringing exotic creatures to life for ...

Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ is a Visual-Storytelling Triumph

This review was originally written in tweets. Check it out on Twitter. Denis Villeneuve has successfully made a great movie out of "Dune" — author Frank Herbert's pulpy, sprawling, unfilmable space-opera — by using the ...

Let’s Get Lost with Izumi Suzuki’s ‘Terminal Boredom’

Terminal Boredom: StoriesBy Izumi Suzuki (Verso, 2021)ISBN: 9781788739887 Buy this book on IndieBound! At first, Izumi Suzuki's short works of self-spelunking science fiction — complete with shapeshifting aliens, interspecies relationships, dream machines and gendered dystopias ...

Crank 2: High Voltage (2009)

There are movies, and then there is "Crank 2," a film that stands alone on the mountaintop of grindhouse sleaze. Jason "Crank 2" Statham stars as Chev Chelios, a tough guy whose heart is stolen ...

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

This movie opens with a space center control room where scientists are using an elaborate satellite to look at butts on a beach. “Zoom and enhance!” someone shouts, and as the butt gets closer and ...

Book launch: ‘Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950-1955’

Our friends at PM Press have another socko book launch currently live on Kickstarter that we commend to your attention. "Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950-1955," edited by Andrew Nette and Iain ...

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

I first saw this movie as a child and it blew my mind. I’m happy to say it’s still a perfect movie — it’s a charming non-stop thrill ride buoyed by the absolutely incredible music ...

The Thing From Another World (1951)

Up at the North Pole, a scientist in pajama pants wants to study the man from Mars (who is frozen in ice) but the stone-faced Captain thinks it's too dangerous. Guess who is right? Sure, ...

The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967)

Has Frankie Avalon ever been in a good movie? Granted he's a better actor than Keanu Reeves, but all the Frankie Avalon movies I've seen range from "dippy" to "raspberry sound." "The Million Eyes of ...

Fire Down Below (1997)

Steven "The Whispering Ponytail" Seagal stars as an Environmental Protection Agency officer who is also exceptionally well trained in firearms and kung fu (I never knew such training is required for collecting water samples and ...

Thief (1981)

James Caan has never been better as the titular burglar in director Michael Mann’s crime-world masterpiece. Buoyed by the uncanny synth-rock of Tangerine Dream and great photography of gritty Chicago, “Thief” is still the template ...

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

“Look at these small town nerds!” this movie screams vindictively, “they’re just like the nerds you knew in school! Aren’t they hilarious?” Um, no. Granted, the mannerisms are perfect, but little else is: These characters ...

Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (2001)

On paper, this is the best movie of all time: a rock band (“Slade Craven”) stages their last concert on a 747 in flight, but the singer is kidnapped and replaced with a satanic imposter, ...

The Killer Elite (1975)

James "Thief" Caan is the star of this Sam "The Wild Bunch" Peckinpah movie, and while it is not as bad as Bloody Sam's "Convoy," it's still a very bad movie. However due to the ...