With The Surface Breaks, Louise O’Neill has reimagined the story of The Little Mermaid, while looking through a feminist lens. This fractured fairy tale follows of Hans Christian Andersen’s original plot line with variations typical of a reimagined tale. O’Neill’s story features Princess Muirgen, a curious mermaid whose mother named her Gaia.  This name has influenced her curiosity for earthly things.  Now that she is fifteen, Muirgen will be allowed to visit the surface rather than remain confined by her watery world.  She is eager for this trip since she hopes to find answers about her mother’s disappearance.  Muireann vanished on Muirgen’s first birthday, andRead More →

A couple of weeks ago we saw “her“, the Spike Jonze film about the lonely man who develops romantic feelings for his artificially intelligent operating system.  I thought that one of the most fascinating aspects of the film was how the OS, who calls herself Samantha, grew from the basic program that Theodore bought into a complicated, dynamic, interesting, and fully-actualized “person.”  Questions of physicality aside, witnessing Samantha’s evolution beyond her original programming was like watching any human being discover, adapt, learn, and become who they are meant to be. As I was thinking about Samantha (and her relationship with her world and Theodore), myRead More →