Charlotte Ahlin is a writer, playwright, actor, and artist. She's a native New Yorker and a graduate of Oberlin College. She's also the Associate Artistic Director and Morale Officer of Fat Knight Theatre. Right now, she's reading science fiction from the '70s and drawing sad cartoons.
Latest Articles

13 Books Set In Bookstores For People Who Are TRULY Obsessed With Reading

There is a certain mundane magic to bookstores. You walk in and suddenly all is right with the world (even more so if the bookstore has a cat). It doesn't matter whether you're browsing the aisles of a beautiful, old fashioned bookstore filled with w…
By Charlotte Ahlin

I Re-Read These 9 Kids' Books As An Adult — And Learned Something New From Each Of Them

I think we worry far too much about what age certain books are meant "for." Sure, I'll allow that most toddlers aren't going to get much out of a true crime book, and most 40-somethings can probably handle turning pages that aren't made of cardboard.…
By Charlotte Ahlin

11 Short Stories You Can Actually Finish In A Single Beach Trip

Summer is at last upon us, with all of its sticky weather and its rooftop bars and its beachy summer reads. And yes, the ideal summer reading scenario is throwing your shiny new summer novel into your large woven bag, and heading to a beach somewhere…
By Charlotte Ahlin

5 Literary Mysteries That Have Never Been Solved — Like What Killed Edgar Allan Poe

Unexplained disappearances, strange and otherworldly manuscripts, deaths with no known cause — these are the mysteries that have been staples of literary fiction for centuries. But they've also been staples of literary fact: the history of writing is…
By Charlotte Ahlin

15 Sci-Fi Books That Don't Take Place In A Bleak Dystopian Reality

Dystopia novels seem to be more popular than ever these days. Between The Handmaid's Tale and The Hunger Games and the disturbing resurgence of 1984, the dystopia is dominating science fiction on both page and screen (and IRL, kinda.) Dystopian YA no…
By Charlotte Ahlin

This Bran Stark Theory Involves Him Going Back In Time — But It's Honestly Possible

Get out your tin foil hats and your direwolf sigils, because it's time once again to get all up into some fan theories about Bran Stark. Poor Bran. Little dude didn't ask to get pushed out of a window and then later become a psychic tree. Out of all …
By Charlotte Ahlin

13 Books About Words & The English Language That Are Actually FASCINATING

Language is a funny thing. If you're reading this sentence, for example, there's a good chance that you speak and understand English perfectly well. But there's also a good chance that your English is slightly different from my English — we might dis…
By Charlotte Ahlin

How Seeing 'Cursed Child' On Broadway Completely Changed My Opinion Of The Story

When I first sat down to read the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I felt... mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, there was a little thrill to be holding a brand new Harry Potter story in my hands after so many years, a sense-memory …
By Charlotte Ahlin

This Character From 'Game Of Thrones' May Not Even Exist In The Books

If you've been keeping up with this whole Game of Thrones craze that all the kids are into, then you already know about the White Walkers. In the books, they're known as the Others, a mysterious, beautiful race of ice folk who seem to be interested i…
By Charlotte Ahlin

11 Short Stories You Can Read In 10 Minutes That Will Stay With You Forever

Is there anything better than settling down for a languid afternoon of reading your favorite novel cover to cover, perhaps on a park bench or in a field of delightful and very relaxing flowers? No, there isn't. But do you have time to read an entire …
By Charlotte Ahlin

This Magical Object In 'Game Of Thrones' Is More Important Than You Think

For all of its fantasy tropes, A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't have too many ultra-magical items kicking around. Sure, there are special swords made of Fancy Metal, and there are poisoned hairnets and golden hands. There are dragon eggs which eventual…
By Charlotte Ahlin

Cersei From 'Game Of Thrones' Is Based On A Real-Life Evil Queen

Whether you watch the Game of Thrones TV show, read the Song of Ice and Fire books, or just enjoy the occasional GoT nonsense online, there's a good chance that you've heard of Cersei Lannister. She's the current ruler of Westeros in the show, and bo…
By Charlotte Ahlin

10 'Choose Your Own Adventure Books' For Grown-Ups

So you're a kid and you're on your way to visit your uncle, when suddenly you find yourself trapped in a mysterious, time-traveling cave. Or abducted by aliens. Or headed directly for the bottom of the sea. One wrong move, and you could be devoured b…
By Charlotte Ahlin

The Real Meaning Of 'Kafkaesque' Actually Makes For A Brilliant Life Rule

If you were to awake one morning and find yourself transformed into a giant insect, you might call the situation "Kafkaesque" (although it would probably be difficult for you to pronounce the word through your giant mandibles). You wouldn't be wrong,…
By Charlotte Ahlin

The Meaning Of The Word 'Orwellian' Is A Lot More Complicated Than You Think

If you've ever taken a high school English class or watched the news, there's a good chance that you've heard the word "Orwellian" before. It's the most frequently used adjective derived from an author's name. Forget Dickensian orphans or Machiavelli…
By Charlotte Ahlin

11 Times Sci-Fi Novels Actually Inspired Real-Life Inventions, Like The Credit Card

You can roll your eyes all you want at the aliens and spaceships and dimension-hopping shenanigans of classic science fiction. You can deride sci-fi as "genre" writing, and you can choose to read only the realest of "realistic" fiction instead. But i…
By Charlotte Ahlin

This Book From 1915 Features A Feminist Utopia That's Actually Pretty Badass

We talk a lot about dystopias these days. We're living in a world where The Handmaid's Tale feels less like fiction and more like a dire warning of things to come. And dystopias are important, even when they don't come true — they engage with our cul…
By Charlotte Ahlin

Rickon Stark Is Probably Still Alive In The 'GoT' Books & It Could Change Everything

Whether you know of the Game of Thrones universe through the TV show, the book series, or the endless internet articles scrutinizing every last detail of George R.R. Martin's creation, you've definitely heard of the Stark kids. They're (some of) the …
By Charlotte Ahlin

Sherlock Holmes's Creator Was Obsessed With All Things Supernatural — But It Didn't End Well

The name Sherlock Holmes is all but synonymous with logic. Sherlock isn't gullible. Through every iteration of the Holmes mysteries, every reboot and retelling and fanfiction story, the world's most famous fictional detective has approached his cases…
By Charlotte Ahlin

11 Fantasy Short Stories You Can Read For Free Right Now

When we think "fantasy," we usually think big: enormous castles besieged by large dragons, sweeping, multi-generational epics about kingdoms and queendoms, and hefty, hardcover book series that seem to go on forever. Fantasy fiction tends to work wel…
By Charlotte Ahlin