Author Brian Francis Slattery's favorite fictional secret societies

The Freemasons. Fight Club. The Bilderberg Group. The Illuminati. The Watcher’s Council. The Knights Templar. The Order of the Phoenix.

Bookburners is available from Amazon.

Bookburners, out now from Saga Press, is about a team of experts trying to keep magic from breaking out all over the world. It’s a secret team inside a (fictional) secret organization inside a (real) institution prone to secrecy. When Serial Box assembled its writing team for the first volume of Bookburners — Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and me — we didn’t have to look far for inspiration. I didn’t have to look much farther than my own town.

Those of us who live in and around New Haven, CT are no strangers to secret societies. We see Yale’s secret society buildings right on the street -- nearly windowless constructions that look like temples, or like tiny libraries. The societies that own them have names like Skull and Bones, Scroll and Key, Book and Snake, Berzelius, and no one outside of the societies is really sure what goes on them.

Wolf's Head

Berzelius

Book and Snake

Scroll and Key

Skull and Bones

A small secret organization even governs the enormous town green in the center of the city: the Committee of the Proprietors of Common and Undivided Lands at New Haven, a group of five people appointed for life to preserve and maintain the Green. When members die, they are replaced by other people who then serve for life. The Proprietors were formed at the start of the New Haven Colony in the 1600s, and they’re still going strong. Read the rest