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Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, a podcast in which writer and game designer Robin D. Laws (Hamlet's Hitpoints, The GUMSHOE system) and game designer and writer Kenneth Hite (Tour De Lovecraft, GURPS Horror) (previously) talk about stuff. Stuffs include: Why vampires are assholes and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, stopping WWI and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Margaret Atwood and the difference between a mystic and an occultist, why no invented setting is as interesting as the real world and Woodrow Wilson, Gencon and sundry RPGs, Neil Armstrong, HP Blavatsky and theosophy, the ebook prcing settlement, what big publishing could learn from RPG publishers, and the many crazy fictional possibilities of Charles Lindbergh and his UFO investigating chums, and Dungeons and Dragons edition wars and Aliester Crowley.
posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2012 - 30 comments

Light Ahead for the Negro...

Author and librarian, Jess Nevins, offers The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Sep 29, 2012 - 5 comments

As you wish!

It's The Princess Bride's 25th anniversary! Little known facts about it. Fred Savage remembers. Why it's Jonathan Haynes's favorite film. Reunion. And don't worry, there's no remake in the works.
posted by Artw on Sep 25, 2012 - 160 comments

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, went on sale 75 years ago today. The first printing, by Allen & Unwin, was for 1,500 copies (which now fetch a premium at auction); the first reviewer, the son of the publisher, was paid a shilling. Through a contorted publishing history, exact or even approximate sales figures are unknown; "over a hundred million" is often quoted. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 21, 2012 - 108 comments

South Wales, and Beyond the Infinite

What I wrote was unquestionably fiction — was fantasy. Among Others has magic and fairies. But I was writing fantasy about a science fiction reader who had a lot of the same things happen to her that happened to me. It’s set at the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980, and it’s about a fifteen year old just when I was fifteen, and from a family like mine and in the time and place and context where I was. I was using a lot of my own experience and memories. But this is Mori, not me, and she lives in a world where magic is real. Jo Walton, who as editor for tor.com revisisted the Hugos 1953-2000, now has one of her own, taking home the 2012 Best Novel Award for Among Others. Other winners include Kij Johnson for her Novella The Man who Bridged the Mist (excerpt) and io9 regular Charlie Jane Anders for her novellete Six Months, Three Days. The Best Graphic Story award went to the webcomic Digger by Ursula Vernon. E Lily Yu took home the Bets New Writer award (technically not a Hugo) and was also nominated for her short story The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees. A couple of TV shows you have heard of also got awards. Links to many of the nominated stories here.
posted by Artw on Sep 3, 2012 - 51 comments

Magic realism: not fantasy. Sorry.

Magic realism: not fantasy. Sorry.
posted by shivohum on Aug 27, 2012 - 136 comments

"Very good, sir. Should I lay out your crazy adventure garb?"

What If Other Authors Had Written The Lord Of The Rings?...Wilde, Wodehouse, and more.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 19, 2012 - 50 comments

What Clarke said

Fall, Mortality, and the Machine: Tolkien and Technology From the beginnings of modern fantasy, in the work of Tolkien, technology has always been the enemy of the good life. But does it have to be that way?
posted by infini on Jul 28, 2012 - 82 comments

District of Wonders

In need of a regular dose of audio short fiction, whether it's horror, crime, or pulp fantasy? Welcome to the District of Wonders, a collection of podcasts spun off from the award winning StarShipSofa (previously, previosly).
posted by Artw on Jul 27, 2012 - 9 comments

False Positive: a stew of short sci-fi and the macabre comics

False Positive is a a short story, webcomic anthology, which author and illustrator Mike Walton likes to call a stew, cooked from the gut, made with "a scoop of horror, a pinch of science-fiction, a dash of fantasy, and a bit of (To Be Determined)." Mike says the language could be rated PG-13, and the visuals feature a varying degrees of comic book violence and gore. There are 10 stand-alone "chapters" posted now, and new posts are made every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mike also made a short trailer to further pique your interest. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 23, 2012 - 10 comments

I've traveled to the floor of the pit of my own free will.

The trailer for Dungeons and Dragons 3: The Book of Vile Darkness has been released onto the Internet. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Jun 26, 2012 - 123 comments

"You can find the Beef", she stated, while doing a handstand for no apparent reason.

Tycho Brahe, probably best known for his drinking and pill binge of 1997 was the author of a great number of fantasy works, of which the most influential may have been The Story That Is Built One Sentence At a Time By Those That Read It.
posted by 256 on Jun 25, 2012 - 52 comments

Gorgeous fantasy photos

Kirsty Mitchell's late mother Maureen was an English teacher who spent her life inspiring generations of children with imaginative stories and plays. Following Maureen's death from a brain tumour in 2008, Kirsty channelled her grief into her passion for photography. She retreated behind the lens of her camera and created Wonderland, an ethereal fantasy world.
posted by Arbac on Jun 22, 2012 - 13 comments

In the land of the Old Masters, the multimedia technician is increasingly king.

Factum Arte in Madrid has made an animation film based on Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzione prints; and have also built many of his pieces which shows the workings of his imagination, merging his architectural ambitions with his obsessive interest in antiquity. Giovanni Battista Piranesi was a source of inspiration for, among others, Goya, Poe, Escher, Max Ernst, De Chirico. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Jun 13, 2012 - 4 comments

Gingerbread House

"There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls. It’s been many years since any child was taken. But still, on nights like these, when the wind comes cold from Tsibeya, mothers hold their daughters tight and warn them not to stray too far from home. “Be back before dark,” they whisper. “The trees are hungry tonight.” Tor.com brings us some short horror/fairy tale fiction from Leigh Bardugo, "The Witch of Duva: A Ravkan Folk Tale."
posted by The Whelk on Jun 8, 2012 - 29 comments

Theodor Kittelsen

Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) was a Norwegian artist, famous for his (frequently astonishing) pictures of trolls, as well as his illustrations of dragons, fairies, folk stories and the occasional absolute horror. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jun 6, 2012 - 24 comments

"I will lead the attack!"

"First of all, we almost had no battle at all. For budgetary reasons we came very, very close to having all the action take place off-screen, the way plays have handled battle scenes for a few thousand years." - How the epic battle at the heart of the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Blackwater, written by George R. R. Martin and directed by Neil Marshall, came to be. Mentor relationships in Game of Thrones (and Mad Men). The National's Lannister song. And, perhaps sriking closest of all to the central themes of the show, Jezebel plays Game of Thrones: Marry, Fuck, Kill.
posted by Artw on May 31, 2012 - 241 comments

Where Do We Go From Here?

SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks about the future of "big idea" Science Fiction: If SF's core message (to the extent that it ever had one) is obsolete, what do we do next?
posted by The Whelk on May 23, 2012 - 71 comments

The Man Who Thought He Was King

"I want to know how I am a small press, if I am outselling Robin Hobb and Terry Goodkind and Tolkien?" Fantasy author M.R. Mathias has a disagreement with Fantasy-Faction.com.
posted by Avenger50 on May 21, 2012 - 68 comments

"The beauty of [science fiction] is—the whole point of it is—that humans are the same."

Each morning at 9am for the next two weeks, (Mefi's Own) scifi and fantasy author John Scalzi will be chatting with musician Jonathan Coulton about one of his science fiction songs -- a different song each morning, -- in a daily podcast over at Tor.com called Journey to Planet JoCo. Series index. On May 29th, they'll be premiering a brand new, previously unheard Coulton song.
posted by zarq on May 17, 2012 - 3 comments

The Use Of Aslan Or Morpheus Is Cheating

Tor.com asks: So Who Would Make Up The Epic Fantasy Version Of The Avengers?
posted by The Whelk on May 10, 2012 - 169 comments

Probably not suitable for actual combat with dragons.

How to Make Fantasy Video Game styled Helmets and Armor. [more inside]
posted by quin on May 5, 2012 - 10 comments

What's good for the goose...

Posing like a man: after doing his back in imitating the cover poses fantasy heroines find themselves in (previously), Jim Hines is now trying out the male equivalent. Will these be any more dignified? The answer might surprise you! [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 24, 2012 - 45 comments

How to be a fan of problematic things.

How to be a fan of problematic things.
posted by zoo on Apr 3, 2012 - 206 comments

The wizard under the hill

Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen trilogy is to be concluded with Boneland, over 50 years after it started.
posted by Artw on Mar 16, 2012 - 30 comments

There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

"It all started with wondering what it was really like to be tapped on the shoulder and told that you are the savior of mankind. Ten years of thinking about that, and I began writing." He was James Oliver Rigney, Jr., a Vietnam vet who went on to get a degree in physics from The Citadel, and was then a nuclear engineer for the US Navy. He put all that behind him and started writing a variety of fantasy novels under various aliases. As Reagan O'Neal, he wrote the Fallon trilogy of historical fantasy in the early 1980s, which he followed up with a quick series of Conan novels as Robert Jordan. Under this pen name, he spent a decade planning and four years writing The Eye of the World, the first book in The Wheel of Time, an epic storyline in a fantasy world. Jordan had planned out the broad story arc from the beginning to the "final scene in the final book," but he died before his epic tale could be completed. A young author, Brandon Sanderson, was chosen by Rigney's wife and editor, Harriet McDougal, to complete the portions of the tale left as a loose collection of notes. One last book became three, and just last month, the release date of the final book was set: January 8, 2013, in the final month of the Year of the Dragon. Now that the end is in sight, you might feel the pull of nostalgia to finish the series, or maybe you're interested to see what all this fuss is about. With around 11,000 pages, 635 chapters, and more than four million words, it's a complex, daunting world to (re)enter. Fear not, the internet is here to help. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 10, 2012 - 66 comments

Reversal of the Heart

Reversal of the Heart - a 13 minute animated film of the fantasy persusasion, the senior thesis of artist Carolyn Chrisman.
posted by Wolfdog on Mar 8, 2012 - 6 comments

Roll 1d12 dot com

It's On The Ceiling! Roll d12:
1. d100 Swords of Damocles
2. City of the Intellectual Bats
3. Manhole-like trap door to maintenance level
4. Tapestry of webs depicting events in spider history
5. Stalactite pueblo dwellers: evil dungeon fairies
6. Adventurers impaled on barbed spikes
7. The furniture: nailed up by prankster
8. Alarming amount of dripping water and muddy seepage
9. Pulsating illumination from strange glass tubes in metal fixtures
10. Shriekers!
11. Eyes (d1000)
12. Hand-chiseled diagram of dungeon level
This and many other useful tables for DM improvisation at The Dungeon Dozen. New table every day!
posted by JHarris on Feb 3, 2012 - 22 comments

"Except for that Abercrombie. Swear that guy has Plot Armor to prevent anything bad from ever happening to him, just like his characters."

10 SFF Authors Play D&D Together’ by Brent Weeks
posted by Fizz on Jan 25, 2012 - 39 comments

"This was a game he never won, even when he was sober."

PodCastle is a free weekly fantasy podcast with 192 full-length episodes and 67 mini-episodes. Featured authors have included Elizabeth Bear, Hal Duncan, and MeFi's own Willow Fagan. [projects]
posted by 256 on Jan 23, 2012 - 7 comments

Day at Night, half-hour New York public television interviews from the 70s

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.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 16, 2012 - 6 comments

A Pixie is trapped in frost...

William and Sly 2 is a gorgeous, ethereal fantasy exploration game wherein you play a nimble fox tasked with finding the scattered pages of your human friend's journal, while gathering mushrooms, finding keys to unlock mystery boxes, and freeing rune-bound spirits and pixies trapped in frost along the way. [more inside]
posted by taz on Jan 16, 2012 - 14 comments

bloodrunsclear's real trailers for fictional films

The sci-fi and fantasy trailer edits of bloodrunsclear range from a more diverse recasting of The Last Airbender and a more accurate version of the upcoming live-action Akira film to a moody treatment of The Sandman to the retro-looking adaptation of Neuromancer and the haunting Call of Cthulhu film. Want trailers to video game adaptations? To wargamers he has a live-action Warhammer 40,000 teaser. To LARPers he gives you Vampire: the Masquerade. To video gamers? Well... which kind are you interested in?
posted by Apocryphon on Jan 15, 2012 - 43 comments

I'll go as the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor

Come with me, time-traveler, you'll blend in well at the 1980 WesterCon. [more inside]
posted by troll on Jan 13, 2012 - 24 comments

He wouldn't have survived a Liefeld cover

"Now I could talk about the way women are posed in cover art … or I could show you. " [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 11, 2012 - 81 comments

"Yes."

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam: "Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia, it seems like every windbag off the street thinks he can write great, original fantasy, too. The problem is that most of this "great, original fantasy" is actually poor, derivative fantasy. Frankly, we're sick of it, so we've compiled a list of rip-off tip-offs in the form of an exam. We think anybody considering writing a fantasy novel should be required to take this exam first. Answering "yes" to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once."
posted by Fizz on Jan 10, 2012 - 306 comments

Stuck in the Trollmire

Tales of Maj'Eyal (ToME) is a graphical roguelike RPG. It started off in 1998 as an Angband variant (history), but has since been completely rewritten, ditching both the engine and the Tolkien setting. It recently became the first game to win the Roguelike of the Year award for two years in a row (and also the first game to win it more than once). [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Jan 1, 2012 - 33 comments

The Paris Review interviews William Gibson and Samuel R. Delany

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]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 25, 2011 - 37 comments

Breastplates and Boobplates

Fantasy armor and lady bits, from the perspective of an armorer
posted by Artw on Dec 18, 2011 - 88 comments

The Season 2 Winds Are Rising

HBO's Game of Thrones was a huge hit (with some controversy and rebuttals of same), securing a second season only two days after its debut. Filming of said season finished on December 11th and now the production crew is pulling all the pieces together for the April 2012 start of season 2. A few details have officially and unofficially come out, details after the jump: [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 14, 2011 - 85 comments

A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End

The Rules of Magic. Every fantasy saga has its own rules for magic, and its own explanations for how the magical arts work. Where does magic come from? Who can use magic, and how? io9 has compiled a list of the rules of magic in 50 fantasy sagas. (jpg)
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2011 - 63 comments

The Sweet side of fantasy art... farewell

The fantasy artist of Xanth, Robert Jordan and many, many more...... If you read fantasy novels in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and beyond, up to ... well, just recently... you know his work. Please raise a . to... Darrel K. Sweet
posted by The otter lady on Dec 7, 2011 - 56 comments

Mordor’s going about it all wrong, incidentally. Harness all that geothermal energy, sell it to the humans, LIVE LIKE KINGS.

SF author and Mefi's Own Jscalzi was alone one night during a LOTR marathon and decided to live-tweet a running commentary.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 27, 2011 - 56 comments

Giving thanks with pumpkin juice and butterbeer.

Great food ideas for a fantasy and sci-fi themed Thanksgiving features recipes from Inn at the Crossroads (medieval recipes/Game of Thrones), Harry Potter Recipes, and The Geeky Chef ("a collection of recipes inspired by books, movies, and video games").
posted by flex on Nov 17, 2011 - 34 comments

GeekGirlCon Power!

Was GeekGirlCon 2011 the most important con of the year? [more inside]
posted by Artw on Oct 22, 2011 - 88 comments

Warhammer maps galore

The Super Huge, Detailed Map of the Warhammer Old World is exactly what it claims to be. 29952 by 22528 pixels in size, it covers all of the Old World area of the Warhammer Fantasy setting. The map was made by Gitzman, who has made lots of other maps of the Warhammer Fantasy world, hosts a WFRPG podcast and has a bunch of other resources to help game masters and players in that setting. He had help from Andreas Blicher, whose site has even more maps of the Old World, and Alfred Nunez jr., who has even more maps, articles and resources for people interested in the Warhammer Fantasy universe.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 20, 2011 - 57 comments

How Zombies and Superheroes Conquered Highbrow Fiction

Realistic stories once dominated American literature, but now writers are embracing the fantastical. What happened?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 18, 2011 - 138 comments

"...coppers are easy to write for; they tend to run on rails."

Snuff, Sir Terry Pratchett's 50th book (and 37th Discworld book) will be released in the U.S. tomorrow, and Neil Gaiman has interviewed him for Boing Boing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 10, 2011 - 47 comments

"Even if you ignore the embarrassing ceremony and clichéd platitudes, few of these awards actually reflected genuine quality or what is happening in mainstream genre publishing today."

British Fantasy Award winner returns prize; Sam Stone hands back award after criticism of judging process. [The Guardian] "Controversy has riven the 40-year-old British Fantasy Awards, with the winner of the best novel prize handing her award back just three days after it was bestowed. But the organisation and presentation of the awards has been drawing criticism since then, culminating in Sam Stone, the winner of the best novel award – named after American writer and editor August Derleth – announcing yesterday that she is giving it back. The biggest attack on the awards was delivered by editor and anthologist Stephen Jones, who on Tuesday posted a lengthy blog decrying the organisation of the BFAs and making several allegations against awards co-ordinator and British Fantasy Society chairman David Howe."
posted by Fizz on Oct 6, 2011 - 27 comments

Sergey Tyukanov

The paintings of Sergey Tyukanov are rich in colors, in characters, in details, delightful the eyes from the first sight. Each work is like a little world, where people live according to different rules. Normal proportions not respected in his works; surrealism characterizes his art the best, and traces of the Russian customs and traditional costumes may be spotted without much difficulty. It all seems to happen in a Russian fairytale or in the nightmare of an artist-because only in the head of an artist’s genius, such a nightmare could be born.*
posted by Trurl on Sep 28, 2011 - 9 comments

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