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"Coffins are hot and dark on the inside"

Science fiction and fantasy writer/editor Jay Lake has been living with cancer for years, but in early May received notice that unfortunately he wouldn't do so for much longer (diagnostic details), with the most optimistic forecast giving him just a year left to live. If nothing else, this has given him time to wind up his affairs, as well as do something few people get the chance to: attend his own wake.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 29, 2013 - 12 comments

Not Lying

Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples , has swept the Eisners, taking home awards for Best Continuing Series, Best New Series and Best Writer. Here's why you should be reading it.
posted by Artw on Jul 20, 2013 - 42 comments

I have never been a very sound sleeper...

The Moon is Rolling in Her Grave is a video adaptation of the first chapter of the ongoing (since 2003) comic series "No Rest For The Wicked" by Andrea L. Peterson, a fantasy / adventure / horror tale that takes traditional fairytales and turns them on their heads: "Ms. Peterson uses, in conjunction with several more popular fables, folktales that you may have never even heard of. The entire plot actually centers around a little known Grimm fairytale called 'The Buried Moon', while also making reference to 'Red Riding Hood', 'Hansel & Gretel', 'The Girl Without Hands', 'The Boy Who Went Forth and Learned What Fear Was', and many MANY others." [more inside]
posted by taz on Jul 7, 2013 - 3 comments

2013 Locus Awards

The 2013 Locus Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy have been announced by Locus Magazine, and (at least) two MeFi writers have won in the novel categories. [more inside]
posted by Sunburnt on Jun 30, 2013 - 46 comments

Planet Rise

What would the night sky look like if the other planets were as close as the moon?
posted by jim in austin on Jun 29, 2013 - 55 comments

Bewilderment, speculation and plain old fashioned abuse

"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
posted by Artw on Jun 27, 2013 - 44 comments

A Revolution in Fiction Unfolds

Nill Kamui is an independent island caught in a power struggle between the forces of Donatia, the land of Knights and the Church, and Koran, an empire of secrets and the immortal empress Ghost Mother. When the Red Dragon, the ancient protector of the island, goes berserk and starts killing for no reason, a desperate plan is hatched: a team of representatives from each of the three powers is given a mission to find why the Red Dragon went mad and stop him by any means necessary. Red Dragon is a tabletop RPG campaign with its own trailer, and that's not all. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Jun 22, 2013 - 20 comments

Haunted by the Future

Enki Bilal: Haunted by the Future -Paul Gravett on the Yugoslavian/French comics superstar.
posted by Artw on Jun 16, 2013 - 9 comments

Beyond ‘Game of Thrones’

The LA Times Hero Complex looks at diversity in SF and Fantasy fiction.
posted by Artw on Jun 9, 2013 - 45 comments

Writers manipulating readers

"I've been thinking recently about the way readers come to be in sympathy with characters in a story. This is something that isn't talked about much, and when it is it seems to be in terms of how to manipulate the reader. Indeed, I stopped reading Orson Scott Card for a different reason than the reason everyone else stopped reading him -- long ago he said in a book on how to write that you get reader sympathy by taking a sympathetic character, preferably a child, and doing something terrible to them, like for instance torturing them. Once I knew he was doing this on purpose it was like "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", I couldn't enjoy reading because I felt manipulated. Also, torturing children? Really? That's the only way to make me care? I don't think so." -- Jo Walton's Wiscon speech on how to make readers care about your characters.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 5, 2013 - 42 comments

Urban Fantasy Garden

Magdalena Bors constructs and photographs fantastical landscapes in domestic spaces. Her site doesn't make it easy to link specific images, so check out the different galleries under Images.
posted by jacquilynne on Jun 4, 2013 - 4 comments

"It's a Sugar song."

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...
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 4, 2013 - 40 comments

"There was never a call for suppression. There was a call for respect."

"So. I get it. The world used to agree with you. You used to be able to say things like, “I really like those lady writers in this industry, especially in swimsuits!” and your fellow writers, editors, agents, and other assorted colleagues would all wink and grin and agree with you, and Asimov would go around pinching women’s asses, and it was so cool!" -- Kameron Hurley is not amused by the ongoing sexism problems in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America or the idea that criticism of this is censorship. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 4, 2013 - 285 comments

“More,” you moan, “More pizza! More future!”

Cecil Crowninshield, resident mystical defender of Salem Massachusetts, has put down his Lumurian Quartz topped wand and picked up the keyboard to help keep his neighbors informed of goings-on around town via a series of local news columns - Impress your date! - The Top Five Salem Sandwiches and the ghosts who stole them! - Magick On A Budgetk! When not writing his regular column, Cecil enjoys commenting on others. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on May 28, 2013 - 13 comments

Yes, llamas sure are scaly!

Because you’ve seen this story so many times, because you already know the nature and history of llamas, it sometimes shocks you, of course, to see a llama outside of these media spaces. The llamas you see don’t have scales. So you doubt what you see, and you joke with your friends about “those scaly llamas” and they laugh and say, “Yes, llamas sure are scaly!” and you forget your actual experience. -- We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative by Kameron Hurley.
posted by MartinWisse on May 22, 2013 - 34 comments

Is that in the rules?

Each event has a different theme, revolving around a past era. Previously, Steam Garden did a Meiji-themed party — a fascinating time when Japan was opening its doors to the West, and fusing Victorian fashion with traditional kimonos and obis. This time, the code word was Celtic Fantasy. Luke describes it as “a blend of industry, fantasy, and epic adventure set to a soundtrack of exciting tribal and Celtic music.” - Japanese Steampunk, complete with bagpipes, medieval food, fire dancers and wood elves.
posted by Artw on May 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Best worn with tiny loincloth and underboob-straps

The thirteen types of armor female characters are forced to wear in the majority of MMORPGs (via)
posted by prize bull octorok on May 16, 2013 - 109 comments

Science Fiction (or something like it)

The Science Fiction and Fantasy art of Yuko Shimizu
posted by Artw on May 16, 2013 - 10 comments

The shadowy cursor has come at last! The prophecy will be fulfilled!

Vim Adventures. Have you always wanted to learn vim but were too intimidated by its vimness? Then give vim adventures a shot! Combining fantasy adventure with learning an archaic terminal program, this game is so nerdy you'll surely alienate friends and family. But who cares, you'll know vim! [more inside]
posted by Alex404 on May 10, 2013 - 42 comments

The short sci-fi/fantasy/noir/b-movie stories of Richard Kadrey

Richard Kadrey is not the most prolific novelist in the world. Still, every five, six years or so out comes another book like Metrophage, or Kamikaze L'Amour, dark, violent, intense works mostly set in and around Los Angeles with characters straight out of a good punk rock song. The self-confessing film nerd is probably best known for his Sandman Slim series, and if you're impatient for the forthcoming Dead Set novel, you can bide your time with a ton of short stories online. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 7, 2013 - 14 comments

Lord Talky McBoring! Of the McBoring clan of East Wanker.

Unsounded is an ongoing fantasy webcomic by Ashley Cope. Updates are Monday-Wednesday-Friday, the scope of the story is apparently enormous, the writing is great, the world is complex, well-planned, and full of fistfights, magic-fights, political intrigue, zombies, giant dogs as beasts of burden, diverse characters, and smoke eels from the great beyond. Chapter 1 begins here.
posted by little cow make small moo on May 1, 2013 - 15 comments

One book review ah ah ah two book reviews ah ah ah three book reviews

As you know Bob, the gender inbalance within science fiction and fantasy has been a hot button item for a while now. As the just released Strange Horizons count of books reviewed and reviewers writing in sf publications in 2012 shows, this gender inbalance shows no tendency to decline just yet, with some notable exceptions. However it might just be that this gender imbalance is exacerbated in the count by the omission of RT Bookreviews? [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 25, 2013 - 36 comments

Happy Objectified Scotsman Thursday!

Bad Romances is a tumblr celebration of awful Romance novel covers (Related: Awful Fantasy Covers)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 19, 2013 - 56 comments

Sinuous, Grotesque, and Fantastic.

U.K. illustrator Kate Baylay creates gorgeous book illustrations, like these for The Olive Fairy Book. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Apr 8, 2013 - 29 comments

Night Shade's Deal or No Deal

"I should have known before Night Shade came to me with a deal that things were rotten. Instead, I got an email immediatley upon announcing that I’d inked the deal saying “You know they aren’t paying people, right?” Everything authors knew about the rotten abuse at Night Shade was shared in private. With a few exceptions (Moon and Williams, most notably) no one was talking out loud about what was happening. The SFWA was accomodating and gracious and gave them chance after chance. We should have spoken up. All of us." Kameron Hurley talks about the culture of silence surrounding the problems at Night Shade Books. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 6, 2013 - 43 comments

Caldera

Caldera. "Through the eyes of a young girl suffering from mental illness, CALDERA glimpses into a world of psychosis and explores a world of ambiguous reality and the nature of life and death." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 3, 2013 - 5 comments

He is interested in confusion

‘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]
posted by misteraitch on Apr 3, 2013 - 4 comments

A Fantasy Fantasy Baseball Draft

A collection of baseball writers have gotten together for a different kind of fantasy draft. All the players are fictional, although some players are more fictional than others. [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter on Mar 29, 2013 - 13 comments

On Romance and Psychosomatic Sneezing

"It’s pretty safe to say that a decent chunk of the population experiences sex-related sneezes." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Mar 27, 2013 - 39 comments

We demand rigid boundaries between science fiction and fantasy!

"There use to be just sci-fi [sic]; then along came New Wave, New Weird, Cyberpunk and countless other genres; now new writing is stepping beyond even these" -- The Irish Times discovers it can be hard to tell what's science fiction and what's fantasy these days.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 26, 2013 - 160 comments

How science fiction/fantasy blogs cover female writers

"When looking at a sample of bloggers reviewing SF/F, a majority of men will skew toward reviewing more men. A majority of women will skew toward a more equal gender parity, or the opposite in which they review a majority of women. There will be a handful of outliers." -- An analysis of the visibility of women in (online) science fiction and fantasy reviews and whether the gender of the reviewer impacts that visibility.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 16, 2013 - 20 comments

"Why don't you do what you dream?"

A brief Tumblr rant about Fantasy: The great temptation, the fatal temptation, of adult fans of fantastic fiction is the temptation of Law. We want the contents of our imagination taxonomied and classified, ordered and indexed, subject to rules and regulations. Gaps exist to be filled. Mysteries exist to be solved. Legends are just timelines that haven’t been formalized yet. Fantastic fiction becomes a code to crack. [...] It’s like people really want to write a wiki, and have to come up with the pesky “moving, powerful, imaginative literature” stuff out of obligation. via
posted by cgc373 on Mar 12, 2013 - 97 comments

The Value of Grit

One person’s disheartening pessimism that threatens the heart of western civilisation is another’s thought provoking deconstruction of conventions. Joe Abercrombie discusses the value of grit and grimdark in modern fantasy in response to some criticism regarding the state of the genre. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes on Feb 28, 2013 - 67 comments

Influential- though vile and ponderous

Fifty Sci-Fi and Fantasy Works Every Socialist Should Read (by China Mieville)
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 15, 2013 - 146 comments

When Walt Met Peter Met Abe Met Andy Met Philip: "The Perfect American"

"Disney goes to Anaheim late at night to help repair the animatronic Disneyland Lincoln, which has been malfunctioning and attacking members of the audience. Disney gets in an argument with the robot about blacks, and Lincoln goes crazy again and whacks Walt...." (source). Starting today at 2 PM Eastern time (just under 3 hours from now) and for the next 90 days, medici.tv will stream, free of charge, Teatro Real's January 22 premiere performance of the new Philip Glass opera The Perfect American. It's based on the novel of the same name by Peter Stephan Jungk, which the NY Times called "a surreal, meditative, episodic account of the last days of Walt Disney." Four minute preview video. ENO rehearsal trailer. (Happy belated 76th, Mr. Glass.) [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Feb 6, 2013 - 21 comments

Collections of sci-fi online

Sometimes you might find yourself sitting at a computer, wanting to read something. But you don't want something long. You're thinking, what about a short story, and possibly something in the fantasy or sci-fi realms? You're in luck! Here are four collections, for your reading pleasure: Apex Magazine short fiction | Baen Ebooks Free Library, which includes some short story collections | Eclipse Online, from Nightshade Books | Strange Horizons fiction archive, including podcasts of many stories. If this is overwhelming, io9 has a pick of 5 short stories from January, with synopses. [Previously: Plane of the Ecliptic, on the Eclipse series | This isn't your grandfather's science fiction, where "Exhalation" is from the Eclipse series]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 5, 2013 - 15 comments

Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen

At a time when the Lord of the Rings didn't exist as a film or a book trilogy, Fritz Lang created the 5-hour-long film Die Nibelungen (The Nibelungs, 1924), based on the 13th-century poem Die Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs). A short clip of Siegfried slaying the dragon was used as a trailer for the restored edition of the film. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 3, 2013 - 28 comments

H.P. Lovecraft's fantasy novel, as a comic and animated movie

H.P. Lovecraft, inspired by Lord Dunsany (Wikipedia; Project Gutenberg; UPenn online library) and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom (annotated stories online), created the Dreamlands, in which he set the 20+ stories of the Dream Cycle. The longest story was The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (Wikipedia), completed in 1927, but unpublished in his lifetime. Comic artist, Jason Thompson, started illustrating the story in high school, then re-drew the story after college, and that comic was semi-animated as a feature-length film. He wrote up his influences for a hidden commentary on the DVD, and expanded it online as The Annotated Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. More Lovecraft sketches and comics online in Thompson's Mockman archive. [Previously: Lovecraft comic adaptations]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 1, 2013 - 34 comments

Walking To Mordor And Back Again

For the release of the Hobbit, Lindsay Ellis of the Nostalgia Chick (previously) has decided to look back at all the LOTR films in order to analyze how they changed genre film-making, expected movie length, extended cuts, the problems of adaptation, and why Eowyn and Merry are made for each other. (Fellowship Of The Ring, Two Towers, Return Of The King Part 1, Part 2) Still need more? Then why not watch Kerry Shawcross and Chris Demarais of Rooster Teeth (previously) try to walk the 120+ mile journey across New Zealand from the filming location of Hobbiton in Matamata to the filming location of Mount Doom, Mount Ngauruhoe in A Simple Walk Into Mordor.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 1, 2013 - 29 comments

Kindness killed, just as surely as the huntsman's knife

Seven For A Secret - an anonymous fanfic author creates seven unhappy ( or at least, unconventional ) endings for Disney Princesses by placing them in proper historical, mythological, or thematic context.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 27, 2012 - 53 comments

"Mio, min Mio" av Astrid Lindgren

This 1987 live-action film version of an allegorical fantasy by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren was co-produced by Swedish, Norwegian, and Soviet filmmakers; shot in Sweden, Scotland, and the USSR; and starred a mixed British/Russian/Swedish cast. Among others, it featured confirmed wizard Christopher Lee and an adolescent Christian "This Isn't a Car" Bale, and was scored by Abba's Benny Andersson. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Dec 25, 2012 - 11 comments

There is always a last time for everything

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?
posted by Artw on Dec 19, 2012 - 84 comments

Is the beard gray? Does he have a donut-shaped beard extremity? Does he look goofy?

How to identify each Hobbit dwarf by their epic beards
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 14, 2012 - 142 comments

Warning, academic in the house

I am BUSY today, far too busy for a rant, but then I felt one coming on, and was worried I might end up with a migraine if I tried to stifle it. You know how it is. So let’s talk about sexism in history vs. sexism in fantasy. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 8, 2012 - 127 comments

"Asking where a fairy tale came from is like asking who invented the meatball."

Once Upon A Time - The Lure Of The Fairy Tale [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 4, 2012 - 19 comments

Fantasy board games

Fantasy-themed board games from the early 80 to the early 90s.
posted by curious nu on Dec 3, 2012 - 54 comments

Jeffrey Beebe's Refractoria

Over the last fifteen years, I have created the world of Refractoria, a comprehensive imagino-ordinary world that is equal parts autobiography and pure fantasy. - Jeffrey Beebe [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 27, 2012 - 11 comments

Adventure Chef, c'mon tell your friends, we'll cook in very distant lands.

Rutabaga, a webcomic about an adventuring chef.
posted by curious nu on Nov 15, 2012 - 9 comments

All I remember about it was that I was having sex with Pierce Brosnan in a hot tub. Except that he had a vagina.

"Emma Stone was my dream best friend for a number of weeks. We'd see movies together. Get drinks and gossip. I remember one dream where we just texted. She resurfaced as my best friend last fall after I saw The Help. An actual friend of mine once told me a story about meeting Andrew Garfield's best friend, which meant Andrew Garfield and I were dream best friends for the following few nights. Again, there was texting." The Awl asks people: What Was Your Weirdest Celebrity Sex Dream?
posted by The Whelk on Nov 15, 2012 - 113 comments

Behold, the Orc!

Ecce Orcus! An Argument for Humanizing the Orc [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 6, 2012 - 52 comments

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