This has been a tough year. Pop culture let us down in many ways, even as our political system and our social institutions revealed a deeper seam of ugliness. But speculative fiction still offers us hope: not just optimism about human ingenuity, but actual reasons to look forward and keep our heads up.
Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy has won legions of fans, in large part thanks to its vividly described world. And now, Syfy is bringing that world to life, and we’ve been there. We sat in the front row at Brakebills’ magic lab, hung out in the Physical Kids’ Cottage, and met the cast of The Magicians.
Chinese magician Fu Yandong is under fire from animal rights types for a trick in which he "controls" six goldfish, waving his hands over their enclosure and coaxing them to swim in various formations. The activists suggest that Fu likely fed the fish magnets—which, watching them chug about awkwardly, seems…