One of the purported benefits of modern day app stores is to make it easier for companies to review and ensure that the software you download isn’t harmful or malicious. But with upwards of 2.1 million apps on Google Play, sometimes things slip through the cracks, which seems precisely how at least 19 different free navigation apps were found to actually be knock-offs based on Google Maps saddled with an extra layer of ads.
For a medievalist like myself, it doesn’t get much better than Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches. Both the internationally bestselling trilogy and the newly adapted TV show have many of the conventions of a kickass fantasy story. There’s a 1,500-year-old vampire, a powerful witch who can literally make it rain, and their prophesied love story.
There’s the imminent threat of the end of all creatures — demons, vampires, and witches — and the ensuing battle between good and evil. And, at the heart of A Discovery of Witches is an enchanted alchemical manuscript hidden deep within Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, Ashmole 782, and the witch who was able to call it up for the first time in 500 years. That witch is a medievalist, badass feminist, and history of science professor, Dr. Diana Bishop.