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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Callum Leemkuil
    March 13, 2014 @ 2:35 am

    Excellent essay as usual! Loving the stuff on magical realism. Just one quick correction – Gabriel Garcia Màrquez's last name isn't Màrquez, it's Garcia Màrquez.


  2. Daibhid C
    March 13, 2014 @ 3:45 am

    I love that the robot-writer conceit leads to a poster of an advanced android toiling away on a red Selectric.


  3. Alex
    March 13, 2014 @ 5:47 am

    I've always had a huge fondness for Skizz, partly for the story itself (I always choke up a bit at the end, and proto-Constantine "Loz" is great, plus it captures the period and working class life in the 80s with atmosphere) and also partly for how I came across it (aged 17, in a charity shop, never heard of it, etc). Needless to say, I was quite disappointed to learn of Alan's disdain for it!

    Skizz is also notable among Alan's work for joining Marvelman and Top Ten in being continued by another – in this case the artist Jim Baikie, who gave us Skizz 2 and Skizz 3. I've only read the second, and while it's nice to revisit the characters it doesn't quite have the same punch as the original. Plus, the addition of colour somewhat dilutes Baikie's gorgeous, sooty artwork.


  4. storiteller
    March 13, 2014 @ 8:13 am

    I really don't understand Màrquez. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude and hated it, and then just read the story you mentioned above. While I rather enjoy the concept of the story, the characters' behavior just seems so inhuman, a trait shared with One Hundred Years. People say his work demonstrates "universal truths about humanity" but it doesn't connect with me at all.

    I find this particularly odd, because many of the people he influenced, such as Neil Gaiman, are some of my favorite authors.


  5. Adam Riggio
    March 13, 2014 @ 8:39 am

    I understand magical realism as using the techniques of modernist literature and implicitly politicized content (hence, the realism) to craft narratives that work more like myths and fables for the contemporary era (hence the magical). Think about the weird imagery of ancient Greek and Roman myths, or the religious stories of the Hindu Mahabharata and the Old and New Testament. They all have that same subtly strange flair. But Garcia Marquez's and Borges' stories all take place largely in the modern era. One Hundred Years of Solitude tell the story of Colombia's decades of civil war through the type of imagery usually found in mythological storytelling.

    That's where the 'universal truths about humanity' appear. Magical realism takes modern, realistic situations and describes them in mythic terms and imagery. Now, that doesn't necessarily work for everybody, myself included. (I've come to prefer Bolano, who always had something of a hate on for magical realism. I can understand why, because it's a style of literature that, when it's done badly, is absolutely horrible.) But when the style was first being developed and gaining in international popularity, it was revelatory.


  6. BerserkRL
    March 14, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    formalhaut ore

    I assume that should be "Fomalhaut," but is that Phil's typo or Moore's?


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