We've Lost One Of The Great Fantasy Writers: R.I.P. Graham Joyce
"Graham Joyce was a monumental writer in the fantasy genre. His humane, intense writing was like a masterclass in how to put story first, and he knew how to write people, with all our blind spots and our hopeful mistakes. He died today of lymphatic cancer, and it's a huge loss to fantasy literature." [more inside]
You have demons in your subconscious? In a fantasy world those demons can get out, where you can grapple with them face to face. The story I was telling was impossible, and I believed in it more than I believed in the 10,000 entirely reasonable, plausible things I’d written before. Lev Grossman
, author of the Magicians series of books, on how he found his voice
as a fantasy novelist.
Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens.
What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That's exactly what happens in the conversation below, where Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi.
"Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else."
"In Advanced Readings in D&D
, Tor.com writers Tim Callahan and Mordicai Knode take a look at Gary Gygax’s favorite authors
and reread one per week, in an effort to explore the origins of Dungeons & Dragons and see which of these sometimes-famous, sometimes-obscure authors are worth rereading today." [more inside]
"If Shirley Jackson’s intent was to symbolize into complete mystification, and at the same time be gratuitously disagreeable, she certainly succeeded" - The New Yorker takes a look at the over 300 letters in reaction to The Lottery
Orson Scott Card's Unaccompanied Sonata [Google Books]
, which he has called one of his favorite short stories, is an darkly enchanting tale about a boy who, at a young age, is taken from his family and brought to a house deep in the forest...
‘I am a phantasmagoric
maximalist. I like things to be overwhelmingly strange
and capacitous. I want what I write to live; it isn’t about
something, it is
something’— Michael Cisco
. [more inside]
Is Science Fiction promoting pseuodoscience?
Is it not really better than fantasy?
Is it exhausted and dying, per Paul Kincaid (part 1
, part 2
), a sort of genre-writing version of completing a list of The Nine Billion Names of God
? Does physics-bothering
unrepentant space case
Alistair Reynolds have a compass pointing the way forwards
Day at Night
was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury
, actress Myrna Loy
, medical researcher Jonas Salk
, singer Cab Calloway
, writer Christopher Isherwood
, nuclear scientist Edward Teller
, comedian Victor Borge
, tennis player Billie Jean King
, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky
, composer Aaron Copland
, actor Vincent Price
and boxer Muhammad Ali
This summer, The Paris Review interviewed two science fiction writers at length, Samuel R. Delany
and William Gibson
. Below the cut there are two passages, one from each interview. They aren't representative, they are just two of the many, many passages which have been going around in my head for the last few days. [more inside]
NPR Books is asking
people to vote for their ten favorite science fiction / fantasy books of all time. The list is exhaustive; the picking only ten is hard.
Cult books come and cult books go - that's part of what it means to be a cult book. A few keep reappearing, however. They get discovered over and over by successive waves of admirers. After the third or fourth reappearance, the suspicion begins to arise that this isn't a cult book, after all. It's a masterpiece with problems. Islandia is such a book.
- Noel Perrin, "The Best of All Imaginary Islands" [more inside]
The inmost circle is a geographically accurate map of Middle Earth according to Tolkien's design, and the journey of the Fellowship is plotted according to major destinations and places of action.
- JT Fridsma [more inside]
A Dance With Dragons
, the fifth book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, will arrive on July 12
. [more inside]
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown
- A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
- To mark the publication of a book of tribute stories
writer and editor Richard Bradley
has been blogging about the author's 60 year writing career- covering I Am Legend
, and The Incredible Shrinking Man
, not to mention Somewhere in Time
(full index here
). Of course Matheson is probably most famous for his contributions to the Twilight Zone, being one of it's three major writers and scripting Nightmare at 20,000 feet
is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied.
A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop
, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light.
Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
The December Lights Project: A short story archive
An archive of fanciful, feel-good stories that will keep updating throughout December. These are tremendous fun if you like scifi, magic and fantasy.
One of my favorites so far is Queen of the Kitchen, by Karen Healey.
Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski
on The Books That Founded D&D
. Some disagreement
Free Speculative Fiction Online
is a database of free science fiction and fantasy stories online by published authors (no fan-fiction or stories by unpublished writers). Among the authors that FSFO links to are Paul Di Filippo
(14 stories), James Tiptree, Jr.
(4 stories), Connie Willis
(3 stories), Eleanor Arnason
(3 stories), Bruce Sterling
(5 stories), Robert Heinlein
(7 stories), Ursula K. LeGuin
(3 stories), Jonathan Lethem
(5 stories), Michael Moorcock
(6 stories), Chine Miéville
(2 stories), Samuel R. Delany
(3 stories), Robert Sheckley
(8 stories), MeFite Charles Stross
(33 stories) and hundreds of other authors. If you don't know where to start, there's a list of recommended stories
Did The Wizard of Oz inspire Lord of the Rings?
"The first film version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was released in the summer of 1939, less than a month before World War II officially began. Though started as early as 1937, The Lord of the Rings was largely composed during the war years, but not published until somewhat later. Therefore, it is by no means impossible that J.R.R. Tolkien saw the magnificent MGM movie before he wrote most of his magnum opus. Could Oz have influenced his tale somehow, consciously or unconsciously?"
Looking for that rare science fiction first edition? The Barry R. Levin
Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature
store just might have the volume you seek.
: Antiquarian Supernatural, Fantasy & Mysterious Literatures, including the Gallery of Rare Dustwrappers
, the Golden Age of Illustration Index
, or the Westerns Dustwrapper Galleries
, and more.
Their "minute" is so spot-on a review for those books I've read that I'm off to find some books I haven't, just on this site's odd say-so.
Aslan gets a makeover? (NYTimes link, reg. required, sorry.)
Apparently Harper-Collins and the C.S. Lewis estate see a Harry Potter
-style merchandising bonanza in the Narnian Chronicles -- if they de-emphasize that pesky Christianity, that is, and write a few more Narnia books, and produce some plush toys of the Narnian characters. I feel queasy.