The Mystery Behind Why We Love A Mystery

Most of what we regard as entertaining is mysterious; suspenseful. Watch television, or read a book and you will see what I mean – Will the Falcons defeat the Bears? Will Mr. Gold  / Rumpelstiltskin finally surrender to his dark side? Will Shaquita Love finally kill Pimpalicious and “come up”?

We aren’t sure how the story or the game will turn out, and we become very interested in finding out.


Uncertainty is not on most people’s list of pleasant experiences. If suspense builds on our uncertainty, then why is it possible to enjoy seeing a mystery movie or reading a suspenseful book?

But as much is uncertainty attracts us, we are still found returning to books and movies we have seen before and reading / watching them more than once. Why? You already saw the movie…you…know what is going to happen, but still you are sitting on the edge of your seat. How? Why?

Things that make you go “Hmm…”

The human brain is specifically adapted to adopt the perspective of others as it assesses situations. We are social beings, with the capacity to see and even feel the world as others see and feel it.

The ability to adopt perspectives that we know are fictional is basic to the human imagination and our imaginations entail feelings as well as thoughts – we not only imagine the scary serial killer who grinds up human teeth and uses the powder to flavor his morning tea, but are terrified of him or her.

As I stated in an earlier post, the brain does not know the difference between fantasy and reality. That is why we can care about a story we know to be fictional. It also explains how we can feel suspense even when we know how the story ends. Knowing the ending doesn’t interfere with our ability to place ourselves in the situation of the characters in a story, and once we do that, we can suspend our knowledge of the ending in the same way we suspend our knowledge that the situation is fictional.

Murder Mysteries have fascinated us for well over a century.  Whether you want to be in the middle of the unsolved case or just be a bystander, you are sure to enjoy it.

Join us on Friday, February 22nd, 2013, and discover just how much you enjoy it, as we step back in time, to the Age of Steam, and experience the Steamfunk Mystery Dinner Party!

Be the first person to solve the murder mystery and receive a free, signed copy of the Blacktastic new Steamfunk! Anthology!

Come in your Steamfunk gear. We are also giving a signed copy of Steamfunk! to the person with the (Steam)funkiest costume!

6:30pm – 9:30pm

Southwest Arts Center – Black Box Theater

915 New Hope Road, SW

Atlanta, GA 30331


About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at

3 responses »

  1. I’ve always liked my body-a-week (murder mystery) tv shows. I have a RDA of stories, but they have to fit in my moral framework or else it’s like eating foods that I’m allergic too– the thing that’s supposed to energize me sucks the strength from my body.

    Most mysteries have a very strong moral core that aligns with mine: Human life is sacred, we have a duty to seek the Truth, and a duty to protect one another.

    One of the hardest parts (I’ve found) to writing and reading is that ability (tendency) of the brain not to make distinctions between reality and fiction. When life is very demanding, the idea of consciously introducing additional stress becomes overwhelming.

    And that might be the final tic in favor of the shows: full story arc in 45 minutes. Craving sated.

  2. […] hit the shelves yet, but it will be released [during AnachroCon on February 22, 2013 and] at The Steamfunk Mystery Dinner Party on February 23, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Readers can pick up the first copies of Steamfunk! at […]

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