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03.02.2014
It’s that nerve-wracking time of year when all the votes are submitted, tallied up by the Powers That Be, and the resulting winners are declared. At least twice a week, I wonder how I would fare in Jane Austen’s world of ballrooms, gossip, and snappy dialogue. I recently had the honor and privilege of seeing Hamilton live and having it render everything else in my life extremely terrible. There's a little bit of a ginger in all of us, so where do you fit into the rickety, cosy, be-sweatered Weasley household? It’s no secret that television signals routinely leave Earth and go rocketing off toward the great beyond. In a shocking turn of events, some of these broadcasts are previously lost episodes of Doctor Who. After too many marathons of Gilligan’s Island, deep space denizens established an energy field that repels broadcast television.
Remember the ominous signal from Contact that was actually a televised speech from Hitler bounced back from Vegan intelligence? If I was an episode of The Andy Griffith Show flying through deep space, I would feel pretty intimidated at the sight of a sanity-devouring space octopus.
The Perpetually Anxiety-Riddled Guy's Guide to Not Throwing Up on One's Self When Talking to a Girl You've Never Met! Shakespeare was apparently a really strange guy in person, but also really fun and, unsurprisingly, clever.
It is impossible to get through a school year without having at least one overwhelming crush, the kind that makes you forget the quadratic formula every time the object of your affection comes near. Sometime during the next year, your best friend (of your preferred romantic gender) is going to start looking pretty good. Why is it that the person you randomly get paired with in lab turns out to be the most dreamy human alive? If you LITERALLY CANNOT DEAL, just know that in a few months, you'll probably start crushing on someone new. To celebrate Barnes & Noble's Get Pop Cultured, MindHut writer Ryan Britt sat down with Lev Grossman, author of the Magician series, to talk about his upcoming book, Magician's Land, and what exactly makes a sci-fi or fantasy trilogy work. I sat down with Lev recently in Brooklyn to discuss his books, but more specifically the notions of  what makes a trilogy a trilogy and how this one compares to others. So, what I wondered—because Julia’s backstory in The Magician King pretty much redefines your fictional universe;  is this something that always happens in trilogies? In Harry Potter, I don’t think any of us really might have seen the idea of the horcruxes being telegraphed out the way they were. There is for me, but Rowling might be a bad example; she’s got this steel-trap mind, she planned everything out seven books in advance before she wrote word one. Now, that we’re coming up on the last one [The Magician’s Land] is there a desire to completely abandon this world? In movie trilogies, there’s this notion of a beginning, middle and end, and the second chapter is the darkest. Yes, it was obviously my The Empire Strikes Back, and the only reason I didn't cut off Quentin’s hand was that it had already been done before. So, if the middle installment of any series is the darkest, is there any danger with the concluding chapter being too sunny? Visit B&N to buy and rent textbooks, and check out our award-winning tablets and ereaders, including Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK and NOOK GlowLight. Her first girl-on-girl kiss was with Ali, and in the first half of season 1, Emily falls for her new neighbor, Maya St. Lest anyone set their DVR to record the latest Ganymede Shore or Big Brother LV-426, be advised: these are re-runs that originate from our planet. When they face a significantly large obstruction, some of those signals bounce back in our direction.


Unfortunately, the Hubble Space Telescope is as of yet unable to pin down the source of the massive obstruction. It turns out that Vega’s top scientists thought it would be funny to send a scatter-shot of data back to the planet of origin and freak us out. As a planet, we should welcome back the frightened stream of data, give it a mug of hot cocoa, and encourage it to tell us all about what happened out there in the scary space between the stars. I'd like to think that somewhere out there, perhaps resting his hand on the Curiosity rover, Rod Serling smirks with a private sense of accomplishment. Your friend will crack a funny joke or compliment your outfit, and suddenly you'll start thinking about Hermione and Ron and all of the famous friendships from literature that turned into True Love. There might be a little awkwardness, but once your friend understands that you're not going to turn every conversation into "DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? Wait out the semester and see if your crush still holds up once you take those plastic lab goggles off. Ask the new kid a few questions and see if you get answers that are longer than "Uh-huh." See if the new kid asks you any questions in return. They don't read history books for fun, or spend their weekends vacuuming their cars, unlike a certain charismatic ENGLISH TEACHER you know ;) When did your teacher become so exquisitely brilliant? Teacher crushes are perfectly normal, and a lot of students have turned a crush on a teacher into a lifelong love of literature or music or whatever—just remember that even though you might be riding rainbows while your teacher reads from 1984, there aren't sending you a secret love message through government propaganda. Specifically, the thing that's changed is that you now find them SURPRISINGLY CRUSH-WORTHY. It's not like anyone is going to end up all "avada kedavra" from you crushing on someone who is already dating someone else, but making a move on someone else's date is a pretty Voldemorty move. There is also NOTHING cool about being the person who is always hanging around, trying to get your crush to see that YOU ARE THE PERSON TO DATE, NOT THAT OTHER PERSON (did make for a good music video tho, tbh). Her work has appeared in The Billfold, Boing Boing, Yearbook Office, The Write Life, and The Toast, among other sites. While there, he fell in love, grew into an adult, and became the magician he always wanted to be. If you’re a writer, a magician, or just a person trying to think about big life choices, check out the wisdom from Master Mage Lev. Something you said to me years ago was that Julia’s story wasn't something you initially had planned, would you say that’s still true? Because your characters can kind of access every other world—in a way—could the Magicians subsume everything you do?
It’s probably some profound mythological structure wandering around in our psyches somewhere. I’m even willing to bet that some of the dialogue from bygone episodes is suspiciously re-dubbed. Hidden somewhere in a commercial break is an encrypted message from across time and space: LOL, N00BS.
You'll go home and look at photos of you and your bestie together, wondering if your OTP has been in front of you the entire time.
Suddenly all you can think of is how many hours you have to live through until you get to go to class again. Look at the way they drive that minivan, or say "Pizza's here!" You dream about the day you'll be old enough to talk with them about mortgages and mutual funds. There is no good that can come of announcing to the world that you have a crush on somebody's parent. Next, he had his dreams crushed as he realized his childhood heroes were actually monsters living in a deranged version of the best and most magical place of all.
Do you think it’s important with your books that not only are the narrative rules changed, but like you said, the rules of magic are changed, too.
But I don’t know…It’s certainly very helpful dramatically to take away everything away from a character which then forces him to figure out who he is without any of the things through which he used to define himself.


Anytime you’re trying to achieve closure or God-forbid, write about a happy person, you’re in grave danger, and suddenly you’re up on a tight rope.
The Awl, VICE Motherboard, Clarkesworld Magazine, and is a consulting editor for Story Magazine. At the same time, our extraterrestrial neighbors might regret their decision when their barrier inadvertently block out the last season of Breaking Bad. You feel like you're watching someone open a textbook for the very first time, and this new kid is the best textbook-opener you've ever seen.
You thrill at every returned assignment, and spend your nights staring at your completed homework, looking at the capital G in "Good job!" like it was the most beautiful capital G ever written. The story of Quentin Coldwater has been posited by critics and fans over and over again as a grown-up Harry Potter, or what Hogwarts would be like if it were a real-life college. Like in the classic Star Wars trilogy, there seems to be this moment, where the narrative is suddenly saying, “Well, actually…” Do you think the “changing of the rules” has to happen for a trilogy to work?
So, is there something inherent to writing about these complicated magic systems that makes you have to change the rules, in order to keep the story exciting? My first two answers are The EarthSea Trilogy [by Ursula LeGuin] and The Hitchhikers Guide Trilogy[by Douglas Adams] both of which ended up being more than three-book trilogies.
In Magician’s Land, I’m taking Quentin back to many of the places he’d been before as a way of showing how much he’d changed. Just because people assume—correctly or incorrectly—that I [Lev Grossman] can’t do magic, there must be the wide gulf between the stories I’m telling and what has happened to me in real life, whereas in reality the separation is paper-thin. When you share a personal story with your friend, does your friend look all "tell me everything about yourself and invite me inside your magical tent purse," or more like "you are interesting, but so is this chili dog I'm eating?" Watch for signs of reciprocated interest before the big ask-out. You'll go home and listen to old episodes of Welcome to Night Vale, wondering if you've found your Carlos. But Lev Grossman’s slick Magicians novels are so much more than pastiches of other fantasy literature and lore. And having him take the tests he’d taken in the early books, but this time he was going to pass.
Plus, here is one person who didn't see you knock yourself out trying to whack a pinata back in grade seven. Like they remember the original Fantastic Four, from all those years ago. So mature, and so crushworthy.
With the trilogy of The Magicians concluding in the impending release of The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman is sending Quentin off not only in magical style, but with also heart and realism.
That is a totally universe that I made!” And then, the book comes out, and you rest for a little bit and you think “Oh my God! And fortunately, due to just the general level of complexity that novels entail, there wound up being contradictions and blank spaces. There’s gigantic holes in that universe!” Then you suddenly realize, that’s where your next book is going to fit in.
He goes back to Brakebills, back to Antarctica, he meets people he knew before, and he’s not the same. I want my readers to be satisfied, but at the same time, I did feel compelled to break all the things that seemed so important before. Looking at the Magicians universe I thought: right, we've basically got wizards and muggles.
But then I thought, nah, it can’t be that simple; there must be some vast grey area between wizards and muggles where people just practice magic in this rather low-scale, uninformed, semi-mystical, totally incompetent way that they just made up by themselves.



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