Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones #1) - Veronica Roth




Comedian Jessica Krys’s standup routine

Laugh Factory, Chicago, March 20, 2011

I’ve got a question for you: How the fuck did we end up with the name “Dark One” anyway? This guy shows up out of nowhere in a cloud of fucking smoke or whatever, literally rips people limb from limb—apparently using only the power of his mind—recruits an army of minions, levels whole cities, brings about a degree of destruction heretofore unknown to humankind . . . and “Dark One” is the best we can do? We might as well have named him after the creepy guy in your building who looks at you a couple seconds too long in the elevator. You know, the one with the really moist, soft hands? Tim. His name is Tim.

Personally, I would have gone with something like “Portent of Doom in the Form of a Man” or “Terrifying Fucking Killing Machine,” but unfortunately, nobody asked me.


The Dark One and the Emergence of Modern Magic

by Professor Stanley Wiśniewski

There are, of course, some who would argue that the little understood force we informally refer to as “magic” has always existed on Earth in some form. Legends of supernatural incidents date back to the beginning of human history, from Herodotus’s mágoi, who commanded the wind, to Djedi of ancient Egypt, who made a show of decapitating and then restoring birds such as geese and pelicans, as recorded in the Westcar Papyrus. Arguably, it is an integral part of nearly every major religion, from Jesus Christ turning water to wine, to Haitian Vodou practices, to reports of Theravada Buddhists levitating in the Dīrgha-āgama—though, notably, these acts are not referred to as “magic” by practitioners.

These stories, great and small, appear in all cultures across all regions in all of time. Formerly, scholars might have said that it’s simply human nature to devise imaginative stories to explain things we don’t understand or to aggrandize those we perceive to be higher or greater than ourselves. But then the Dark One came and, with him, the Drains—those infamous catastrophic events that could not be explained despite valiant attempts by scientists to do so. Perhaps there is no truth to the ancient legends at all. But perhaps there has always been a supranormal force, a little understood energy, that intrudes upon our world.

Whichever theory we posit, one thing is certain: no “magic” was ever as plain or as powerful as the Drains the Dark One wielded against humanity. It is the purpose of this paper to explore various hypotheses for why this may be. In other words, why now? What were the circumstances leading up to his arrival? What goal was he working toward before he was thwarted by our five Chosen Ones? What effect has he had on the planet since his death?

Sloane Andrews Doesn’t Care (No, Really)

by Rick Lane

Trilby magazine, January 24, 2020

I don’t like Sloane Andrews. But I might want to sleep with her.

I meet her at her neighborhood coffee shop, one of her usual haunts—or so she says. The barista doesn’t seem to recognize her as either a customer or one of the five teenagers who took down the Dark One almost a decade ago. Which, to be honest, seems remarkable, because world-famous face aside, Sloane Andrews is that wholesome, clean brand of gorgeous that makes you want to get it dirty. If she’s wearing makeup, I can’t see it; she’s all clear skin and big blue eyes, a walking, talking cosmetics ad. She’s wearing a Cubs hat when she comes in with her long brown hair pulled through the back, a gray T-shirt that’s tight in all the right places, ripped jeans that show off long, shapely legs, and a pair of sneakers. They’re the kind of clothes that say she doesn’t give a fuck about clothes or even about the long, lean body that fills them.

And that’s the thing about Sloane: I believe it. I believe she doesn’t give a fuck about anything, least of all meeting me. She didn’t even want to do the interview. She only agreed, she said, because her boyfriend, Matthew Weekes, fellow Chosen One, asked her to support the release of his new book, Still Choosing (out February 3).

In our preliminary exchanges about this interview, she didn’t have many ideas for where I might meet her. Even though everyone in Chicago already knows where Sloane lives—in the North Side neighborhood of Uptown, just blocks from Lake Shore Drive—she flat-out refused to let me see her apartment. I don’t go anywhere, she