Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy
Ben remains infatuated with his fellow man, despite suffering anti-Semitic prejudice and discrimination in his youth. His ongoing worry remains the rise of cruelty and dehumanization on a wider scale. Ben strives to communicate with empathy to others, writing to encourage individuals to embrace other perspectives, sans reliance on incendiary speech. His social contract remains to help those who would be stripped of life, property, or humanity.
Writer. Research Assistant.
“Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.” – Dante
With a keen, incisive mind, a background in education, and a strong desire to learn story mechanics (and how they fail), Ben Steiz is an author and literary critic, with insight beyond his years. Infatuated with the relationship between narrative analysis and the texts themselves, Ben flexed those muscles as a creative writing and philosophy major at Bard’s College of Simon’s Rock. In fact, he ‘fast tracked’ his way into their ‘Early College’ program after briefly attending Easton Country Day and Wilton High School. At Bard, Ben pursued western literary classics while researching East Asian and Native American faiths and cultures. To further “round out” his education, Ben also studied stagecraft and screenwriting, supporting his interests in performance art. Thus, he graduated from Bard in 2018 with a double major in creative writing and philosophy.
Ben’s love of education and literature comes from an early age, strongly aided by a supportive family. Introduced to genre fiction at a young age, Ben delved into fictional worlds, inspired by tales of human struggle and triumph in the face of cruel circumstances. These instilled in him a love for his fellow man, despite rankling at societal norms, that informs his core beliefs. While hitching his imagination’s wagon to the old gods and their stories, Ben’s feet remain firmly rooted in the social issues of our times. A beginning to his career in public service had him combine his love of literature and education as a teaching assistant for Great Minds of Connecticut. This family-run education enrichment company provided advanced courses in the literary arts, including literary analysis and creative writing, for students through junior high and high school. What’s more, he earned some of his aforementioned college credit as part of Steam-Funk Studios’ internship program. Ben’s time at SFS was spent researching ‘roundtables’ (podcasts with written research for publication) on the Nu Weird and fiction in the “Lovecraftian” mythos, as well as the subtle and overt influences that tactical gaming and collectibles had in our modern pop culture, in its various nuances.Today, Ben continues his development as a writer and philosopher, balancing his work with a mixture of gravitas and levitas that have quickly become his trademark. A natural abstract thinker, adept at invoking the metaphysical from written texts, Ben has parlayed this ability into creating realistic but intriguing cultures and philosophies for fictional settings. This stems from a conviction that far too few storytellers hone the acute craft in conveying ‘the thing in and of itself’, in their higher concepts. Ben further fuses these extrapolations with detailed and interesting systems for technology and magic in fantastic works. As far as his most recent activities and accomplishments, Ben is both writing a novel and pursuing lecturing and public speaking engagements on Dante’s Divine Comedy through Norwalk County Community College and elsewhere. In addition to these endeavors and others, Ben is also one of The Unconventional’s contributors, penning An Algebra of Archons, his in-depth look into the importance of mysticism to the human experience and narrative.