Many millenials have fond childhood memories of the virtual pet community Neopets, especially YA author Jordan Ifueko. When Ifueko was 10, she was obsessed with Neopets—and Jane Austen. She brought her two passions together in the form of a popular serialized story titled “Pride, Prose, and Princes.” Ifueko spoke to Elizabeth Ballou at Vice about how fan fiction fostered her love of storytelling and allowed her to comment on the social dynamics around her. “The Internet may tend towards trash fires, but Ifueko’s experience is proof that certain online communities can allow players to express their most heartfelt creative impulses. Neopets filters out violent or sexual content and requires users younger than thirteen to get signed waivers before posting, so at the peak of its popularity in the mid-2000s, it was a soft landing place for kids and teens just starting to experiment with storytelling.”
There are two essays on the narrative genius behind The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling, over at Berfrois: Michael A. Moodian on how using genre tropes allowed Serling to tell politically volatile stories during the McArthy era of Hollywood, and Christopher Cappelluti takes a look at how The Twilight Zone changed television history.
“By running two lives that started from the same point off along divergent tracks, they throw up questions about our uniqueness, and the chances and choices that make us who we are.” On identical twins in literature, from Stephen King to Shakespeare. Also check out Ramona Ausubel’s essay on first children and first novels.
“Salinger’s Holden Caulfield made a distinction between writers you would like to call on the phone and those you wouldn’t care to talk to at all. Teju Cole belongs to the former group.” Year in Reading alum Aleksandar Hemon interviews Teju Cole. If you can’t get enough of Cole, we interviewed him, too.