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Yo dawg so I heard you like meta...

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (warning: that entire description is possibly a lie) is a dojin visual novel (or, as the creators prefer, a sound novel) that has recently reached its seventh chapter Japanese. In addition, a group called the Witch Hunt has recently released an English patch for the sixth chapter. Forming the third and fourth part of the When They Cry series that began with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Umineko cranks the concept of metanarrative up to 11 and then breaks the knob. [more inside]
posted by charred husk on Aug 16, 2010 - 10 comments

Yes, but how is Hermione in the ring?

Inspired by the cage matches between popular characters over at Suvudu, Random House's SF/fantasy blog, Heather Zundel and friends have started a YA Fantasy version. At least 3 of the characters' authors are involved in the fight write-ups, although one author reacted differently. All I know is that I have a lot of books to check out.
posted by booksherpa on Aug 11, 2010 - 17 comments

Critters online genre fiction workshop

Are you an aspiring writer of genre fiction? Would you like to workshop your stuff before submitting it to magazines and publishers, but you don't happen to have a group of local friends that you can workshop with? Critters.org is an online, highly automated fiction workshop. You submit your manuscript, it waits in a queue until its time comes up, and then it gets sent out to all the active subscribers, some of whom will hopefully send you some helpful feedback! Make sure to critique at least one story every week, though, or you lose your privileges to post your own stories to the queue. [more inside]
posted by kavasa on Aug 1, 2010 - 19 comments

John Gray on science fiction

War of the words - Science fiction was once driven by a faith in human ability to change the world. These days, the genre seeks to expose the illusions of everyday life. cf. near-future science fiction [1,2] & radical presentism [3] (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Jul 17, 2010 - 56 comments

All you need is Conan on the side and you're set for some serious cruising

Fantasy Vans of Yesteryear, Fondly Remembered
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 9, 2010 - 57 comments

ghosts don't wear shoes.

John Jannuzzi of Textbook pulls together fresh-off-the-runway, high-fashion looks for fictional characters and historical figures, answering that eternal question: What Would Holden Caulfield Wear? Or Eleanor of Aquitaine? Or Zelda? Or Rasputin? Or an assortment of Pokemon?
posted by oinopaponton on Jun 16, 2010 - 21 comments

why dont you just speel in

Fans of Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear please take note: they are designing some kind of iPhone App. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 16, 2010 - 36 comments

Do: real armour, don't: real weapons

LARP - what is it? - a comprehensive guide in comicbook form.
posted by Artw on May 30, 2010 - 151 comments

The Machineries of Joy

Why Ray Bradbury made me want to write, by Neil Gaiman
posted by Artw on May 23, 2010 - 79 comments

Conan is Cimmerian, he cannot cry. I cry for him: Frank Frazetta - 1928 to 2010

Frank Frazetta, was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1928. He rose to fame first for his work with comic books in the 1940s and 50s, then for his iconic fantasy art from the 1960s on. Frazetta was the inspiration behind Zelda artist Yusuke Nakano, and Frazetta's artwork for the "Famous Funnies" were an inspiration for Star Wars. Frank Frazetta died today, at the age of 82. More history, eulogies and links inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 10, 2010 - 85 comments

The Lair of Kazoth

"This map was drawn by my cousin, Tim, who introduced me to gaming back in the earlier '80s."
posted by Artw on May 3, 2010 - 97 comments

Fights evil, even when it's not there

Apollo Gauntlet is an independent cartoon created by Winnipeg animator Myles Langlois, with contributions from Drue Langlois and Hollie Dzama. All 10 episodes are available on YouTube: [more inside]
posted by oulipian on May 2, 2010 - 5 comments

A special kind of person with special weird things they go to...

China Miéville has won his third Arthur C Clarke award for his crime/weird fiction novel The City and The City - making him the first person to win the prize three times. Somewhat emotional video of him accepting the prize, where he thanks one special crime reader in particular, his mum, who passed away before it's publication. 10 Questions about China Miéville. An A-Z of China Miéville - 1, 2. An extract from his next novel, Kraken. A Bas Lag Wiki. A discussion of the best genre crossovers. An out of season Christmas tale.
posted by Artw on Apr 30, 2010 - 71 comments

Redrawing the map, Economist-style

The European map is outdated and illogical. Here's how it should look.
posted by armage on Apr 29, 2010 - 45 comments

Bad horse

Good Show Sir - a blog of the worst science fiction and fantasy book covers from the deepest depths of second hand bookstores around the world.
posted by Artw on Mar 27, 2010 - 67 comments

Marwencol is a fantasy world created by Mark Hogancamp.

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. [more inside]
posted by dobbs on Mar 16, 2010 - 40 comments

Judaism is a science fiction religion

Why there is no Jewish Narnia. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Mar 3, 2010 - 136 comments

You know, that thing where...

The secret origin of TV Tropes (Previously)
posted by Artw on Feb 24, 2010 - 48 comments

Georges Méliès, the Cinemagician

He invented or popularized a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects. [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Feb 3, 2010 - 31 comments

back tattoo, back tattoo, weapon, moon, corset

SciFiGuy.ca explores the infinite wonder and beauty of the Urban fantasy book cover (youtube, bad music) (via).
posted by Artw on Feb 2, 2010 - 64 comments

Well, that's that then

Lev Grossman (wiki) has picked the six greatest fantasy novels of all time to This Weeks "Best Books...chosen by" series. Grossman blogs that each one"absolute indisputable classic" that "completely changed the game." [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Nov 30, 2009 - 144 comments

Abyssal chthonic resonator

RIP Robert Holdstock, writer of the Mythago Wood series and many other award winning fantasy novels.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 30, 2009 - 33 comments

Tomes of ancient lore

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.
posted by Artw on Nov 24, 2009 - 109 comments

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien
posted by nthdegx on Sep 16, 2009 - 24 comments

Bang Barstal

The now-defunct Bang Barstal tells the story of a man and his baseball bat after everything went wrong at once.
posted by Pope Guilty on Aug 28, 2009 - 7 comments

Inspiration

Concept Art World - For example: Michael Kutsche, Marek Okoń, 25 Inspiring Examples of Spaceships and Aircraft, Star Trek XI Concept Art by Ryan Church plus lots more.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 19, 2009 - 9 comments

Sci Fi Songs

John Anealio records songs inspired by science fiction and fantasy. Sing along about Cylons, Summer Glau (Firefly/Serenity), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and about how "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch" (previously).
posted by gemmy on Aug 12, 2009 - 20 comments

Inner Space

Where I Write 'Fantasy & Science Fiction authors in their creative spaces' Photography by Kyle Cassidy
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 5, 2009 - 42 comments

"Magic missile!"

The New York Times profiles Jack Vance (but fails to mention Vancian Magic. (Curse you Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition!)
posted by Artw on Jul 16, 2009 - 53 comments

New Worlds and Old

The Readers of Boing Boing interview Michael Moorcock
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2009 - 42 comments

RIP David Eddings

According to the BBC, US fantasy author David Eddings has died at 77 due to natural causes. More coverage at the Guardian. (via bureau42)
posted by reptile on Jun 7, 2009 - 84 comments

Fire and Ass

Fire and Ice (YouTube playlist) Ralph Bakshi's 1983 collaboration with Frank Frazetta. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jun 2, 2009 - 51 comments

Tell me a secret.

Published speculation first appeared in 1911, although others point to 1945 for its first modern phrasing. It originally looked like a flashlight on Star Trek. In Star Wars, it walked, talked, and was fluent "in over six million forms of communication." Many narratives have just abandoned the idea entirely.
Previous iterations have been quite limited in scope, but now it appears that the first learning, dynamic universal translator has finally arrived. And its futuristic aesthetic has been relegated to fiction in favor of a much more familiar object. [more inside]
posted by hpliferaft on May 23, 2009 - 30 comments

The Sinister End-of-the-World Homerun

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved" .... and mad enough to play fantasy baseball. In the new book Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats, a NY Public Library archivist considers documents revealing the author's detailed obsession with the imaginary exploits of players like Pictorial Review Jackson and teams like the "Pontiacs, Nashes, and cellar-dwelling LaSalles" in his finely grained, fictional Summer League.
posted by Miko on May 21, 2009 - 22 comments

'Bottles of wine, covered with dew, and otters.'

There was no way to simply say, "I read a really bad description in this book last night." I had to scan it and share it for you to understand just how bad it truly, truly was. It is the sort of bad that causes pain and must be shared with other people so you can feel better. Part 1, Part 2. This really is prose so purple that it verges into the infra-red. Some NSFW descriptive naughtiness.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 1, 2009 - 149 comments

This Would Save a Lot of Time

World Builder by Bruce Branit. A strange man builds a world using holographic tools for the woman he loves. There's more at Not Possible in Real Life, dedicated to identifying and sharing well conceived and realized content creation in Second Life® that would not be possible in real life.
posted by netbros on Mar 28, 2009 - 23 comments

There is actually a fantasy adventure series on television

Legend of the Seeker is a syndicated TV show based on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth novels from some of the people behind the mid-90s Hercules show and Xena: Warrior Princess. It is in a similar vein, yet now with more earnestness. The entire series is available on Hulu for your enjoyment.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Mar 16, 2009 - 58 comments

Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere!

How Science Fiction Found Religion
posted by shoesfullofdust on Mar 13, 2009 - 72 comments

The Other Side

"These are like cool Magic Cards!" - the sometimes disturbing (and sometimes NSFW) art of Alfred Kubin.
posted by Artw on Feb 22, 2009 - 8 comments

Fantastic art by John Jude Palencar

Just some cool dark fantasy art by John Jude Palencar, including covers for Lovecraft, de Lint, Tolkien and other popular books.
posted by mediareport on Dec 25, 2008 - 11 comments

A merry "Bah, Humbug!" to us all

[more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Crom!

Why Conan the barbarian isn't just some big dumb-dumb.
posted by Artw on Dec 8, 2008 - 89 comments

"just numbers on a piece of paper"

I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
- Race in Dungeons & Dragons by Chris van Dyke, a powerpoint talk given at Nerd Nite. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog where there's a smart discussion going on about the essay.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2008 - 195 comments

Preliminary sketches of Tony Blair invariably had the PM knocking off the head of a robot.

When the House of Commons required a portrait of outgoing PM Tony Blair, to whom did they turn? Phil Hale. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow on Nov 15, 2008 - 22 comments

Speculative Poetry

When we think of contemporary poetry, what comes to mind is difficult footnotes, scorching confessions, bardic combat, or maybe a new translation of a classic. Look to the land of children and you spy the sidewalk's end or a pack of Thneeds. Somewhere between the gravid and the childlike is the realm of speculative poetry. [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja on Nov 2, 2008 - 31 comments

Rosenbaum, The Plausible-Fabulist

Like others before him Benjamin Rosenbaum is making his debut short story collection, The Ant King And Other Stories, available from his publishers, Small Beer, as a free download. More than this though, he is holding a competition to find the best derivative work inspired by it. These include "translations, plays, movies, radio plays, audiobooks, flashmob happenings, horticultural installations, visual artworks, slash fanfic epics, robot operas, sequels, webcomics, ASCII art, text adventure games, roleplaying campaigns, knitting projects, handmade shoes, or anything else you feel like." [more inside]
posted by ninebelow on Sep 19, 2008 - 19 comments

So you want to be a hero?

The remake of Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is finally finished [more inside]
posted by Glow Bucket on Aug 25, 2008 - 50 comments

Fallen Lights

Artwork by Laura Pelick. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 31, 2008 - 9 comments

The Fabled Pyramid

Jesse van Dijk paints fantasy and science-fiction scenes. Some of these paintings include a little shot of narrative about the astonishing imagined worlds they depict. His work has appeared in a mediocre PSP game and won a Gnoman Workshop challenge. Mr. van Dijik does his thing with Photoshop, and this is how he does it.
posted by EatTheWeak on Jun 30, 2008 - 23 comments

# The thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder.

Stephen King has described The Dark Tower as his "Jupiter." The epic series, inspired in part by Robert Browning's poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", has spanned 22 years, 7 books and nearly 4000 pages. The first book in the series, The Gunslinger, begins with a simple, memorable declaration, "The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." [more inside]
posted by kbanas on Apr 18, 2008 - 160 comments

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