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Posts tagged fantasy

Loncon 3 gears up for Hugo Awards
August 17, 2014 | 11:20 am

Loncon 3, the 2014 incarnation of Worldcon and "the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention," held at ExCel in London's Docklands, is playing host this Sunday August 17th to the Hugo Awards, "the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy," in an event due to be streamed live to fans worldwide. According to information already released by Loncon 3, "participation in the Hugo Awards is now officially at an all-time high. Loncon 3 received 3,587 valid Hugo Award final ballots (3,571 online, 16 paper). The previous high was 2,100 final ballots cast by members of the...

Book review: Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, by Greer Gilman, Small Beer Press
July 30, 2014 | 4:46 pm

The marvelous Small Beer Press, which is producing anything but small beer these days, with two Shirley Jackson Awards this year alone, also produces chapbooks and shorter titles, available mostly as DRM-free direct downloads. One of them is one of the award winners, Greer Gilman's Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, which runs to just 57 pages in the printed version and is also available as a beautifully produced short ebook. One blogger called this simply the best book of 2013. Greer Gilman has a reputation for producing superb work very slowly, and on the basis of this book, you can see...

Tor brings fantasy to Diagon Alley
June 25, 2014 | 2:22 pm

An interesting event for British science fiction and fantasy fans is shaping up for August, courtesy of Tor UK and independent bookseller Goldsboro Books. "Fantasy in the Court," an annual event which "celebrates Fantasy and Science Fiction and is an informal gathering for fans of this genre to meet the best fantasy and science fiction writers published today," and which will take place on August 12th in London's Cecil Court, long cited as the inspiration for Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. Already 38 authors are listed as due to attend, with more to be announced before the event date. Blogging about the...

More on Marion Zimmer Bradley and the ethics of artists
June 12, 2014 | 10:25 am

TolstoyThis is a follow-up to my earlier piece on Marion Zimmer Bradley and her serial sexual abuse of her own daughter and other child victims of both sexes. I'm writing this to correct some misunderstandings evident in the comments on that article, and to explain exactly why I wrote it how I did. So here are a series of points about my stance on the issue. These aren't exhaustive or prescriptive - this is an endless debate and everyone will have their own take on it. First, I'm not arguing for any public ban or restriction on Bradley's work. If anyone...

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a child abuser – says her own daughter
June 11, 2014 | 12:00 pm

Mists_of_Avalon-1st_edEvery so often, the question of a writer's life versus their work comes up - specifically, whether the value of the work mitigates, or even has any legitimate connection with, the wrongs they committed, endorsed, or sympathized with in their life. For instance, does Pablo Neruda's position as a poet of the people excuse his apologetics for Stalinism? Does The Faerie Queene excuse Edmund Spenser's plans to exterminate the Irish? Should William Burroughs have been jailed for shooting his wife? Conversely, should Ezra Pound's contribution to world literature have spared him incarceration for his collaborationist antics during World War 2?...

Neil Gaiman says scared is good
March 22, 2014 | 10:45 am

Bulgarian writer and New Yorker by adoption Maria Popova picked up on a "semi-secret" evening event on the literature of terror held by Neil Gaiman at TED's 30th anniversary event, TED 2014 in Vancouver - certainly secret enough to keep his name off the official speaker list. However, she detailed the whole thing in her much-followed blog Brain Pickings, including a recording reproduced with permission, and transcripts, where Gaiman speaks of the fascination of fear. "Technology does nothing to dispel the shadows at the edge of things," Gaiman says. And as just one instance of the value of tackling dark things,...

True or false writing – from two perspectives
March 5, 2014 | 2:25 pm

This article picks up from my previous piece in TeleRead on "Worldbuilding in fantasy/SF: Retreading the great clomping feet of nerdism," and in particular, on one of the comments on that post. There, a commentator called Sturmovik states that  When you remove world building from Fantasy then all you are left with is reality. I don’t consider Game of Thrones to be a fantasy series at all. It would have been set in 15th century Europe without losing anything that makes it enjoyable to its readers. In fact the recent success of the similarly named “House of Cards” proves the point....

Worldbuilding in fantasy/SF: Retreading the great clomping feet of nerdism
March 2, 2014 | 12:35 pm

Lucy Hounsom has just posted on the Waterstones blog referencing the great critique by by British science fiction and fantasy master - and consummate worldbuilder - M. John Harrison of worldbuilding in fantasy and science fiction: "Worldbuilding is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn’t there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there." M.John Harrison's original statement, along with his fascinating and very deep notes and explanations added later, is archived here, and it's recommended reading. At...

The SFWA might just stay relevant after all
February 20, 2014 | 11:12 pm

apologycatHere’s an epilogue to the SFWA kerfuffle I posted about a couple of days ago: the central figure in the article, Sean Fodera, has posted a public apology to Mary Robinette Kowal for his unprofessional remarks (which she has accepted), and also a clarification on his attitude about women in SF. (The apology was apparently so popular that it caused SFF.net to go down for a while. It seems to be back up now, but just in case, screencaps are available at Radish Reviews.) In the apology, Fodera explains that his antipathy toward Kowal was not because she was a woman,...

Is the SFWA losing its relevance?
February 18, 2014 | 3:25 pm

“This is the song that doesn’t end…it just goes on and on my friend…” To mix musical metaphors, I’m getting that whole “second verse, same as the first” feeling as I look at the latest vitriol to come out of the whole Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) sexism affair (which we’ve covered in more detail here, here, and here). A few days ago, an article appeared on The Daily Dot blog citing posts from the public discussion forums on SFF.net pertaining to the latest round of ugliness. SFF.net is the discussion forum website of the SFWA, but has always...

Does science fiction need defenders?
December 30, 2013 | 12:38 pm

science fictionKameron Hurley, prize-winning SF newcomer and author of the highly successful Bel Dame Apocrypha series, posted a Christmas present to the science fiction community in the Perspectives section of Locus Magazine's website, entitled "Making Excuses for Science Fiction," which has attracted a lot of favorable comment since. Science fiction website io9.com actually linked to it under the title "The Can't-Lose Secret to Making Anybody Want to Read Your SF Novel," which strikes me as a sure-fire way to get any writer's attention from any genre whatsoever. And as other writers have already pointed out, the post gives advice that's applicable...

Book Review: In the Forest of Forgetting
December 23, 2013 | 10:40 am

In the Forest of ForgettingWorld Fantasy and Rhysling Award-winning Hungarian-born American writer Theodora Goss has fast established herself as one of the frontier dwellers in the border country between different traditions and genres.  As Terri Windling writes in the introduction, "She is a master at evoking liminal spaces, those mysterious places and moments that lie 'in between'." These days, while teaching and writing in the U.S., she makes regular trips back to her original native country.This generous selection of 16 stories dates from 2002 to 2005, compiling the tales that first put her on the literary scene. The collection first appeared in paper in 2006, but...