Yesterday, Tor.com hosted one of their ongoing #TorChat twitter conversations, and invited Brandon Sanderson, co-author of A Memory of Light, the final volume of Robert Jordan’s long-running Wheel of Time series, to answer fan questions. And, well, it being Sanderson and Wheel of time, the questions were endless. And spoiler-filled. Egads, by the end of the chat, my virgin ears were stuffed full of more spoilers for A Memory of Light than I cared for. They were popping up on my twitter feed left and right. Ah well.
To save those of you still waiting to read the book from unwanted spoilers, I’ll hide them behind the jump. Continue reading
The Kitschies are a non-profit association with the mission of encouraging and elevating the tone of the discussion of genre literature in its many forms.
You know how we all like to bitch and complain about how out of touch the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award voters and judging panels are? Well, that’s why awards like The Kitschies exist. They’ve a pure, well stated prerogative and judging criteria, they were created by two of the best people in in the Speculative Fiction community (Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, of Pornokitsch), and the panel of judges is always stellar. They exist, in many ways, as a balance against the long-time awards circuit. So, you should pay attention.
They released the short list for this year’s awards late last week, and it’s looking mighty swell. Continue reading
Since the Fall 2012 release of the Wii U, Nintendo has been trying to convince gamers to make the switch from their tried-and-true PlayStation 3s, Xbox 360s and Wiis, for a new, shiny Wii U. The problem, those systems are already in gamers living rooms/dens and have a ton of good games, many still to come. It’s never safe to count Nintendo out, especially when you’re an long time fan of their mainstay franchises, and they’ve certainly taken a big step towards winning over gamers with today’s announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, a full-HD remake of the classic Nintendo Gamecube game. Unlike many HD ‘remakes’ release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which are little more than uprezzed versions of classic games, with little attention to detail given to updating the gameplay for a new audience, this appears to be a full remake. Think, if you will, the remake of Resident Evil released for the Gamecube, rather than the recent remake of Okami for the PlayStation 3. Both are terrific games, but the ideals behind the remakes are entirely different.
These screenshots are gorgeous. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is known for its bold and (at the time) divisive art style. Though it’s 10 years old, the original release holds up better graphically than games released five years afterwards. To see Nintendo giving such care and attention to the game makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. The bloom lighting is a little much, but I’m banking on the idea that it will look more organic and impressive during gameplay. I’m waiting anxiously for video of this remake.
Jonathan Strahan, a popular anthologist, has announced his next project, Fearsome Journeys, a collection of stories from some of today’s best traditional Fantasy authors. The Table of Contents is impressive:
- Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
- “The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats”, Scott Lynch
- “Amethyst, Shadow, and Light “, Saladin Ahmed
- “Camp Follower”, Trudi Canavan
- “The Dragonslayer of Merebarton “, K J Parker
- “leaf and branch and grass and vine”, Kate Eliott
- “Spirits of Salt: A Tale of the Coral Sword”, Jeffrey Ford
- “Forever People”, Robert V S Redick
- “Sponda the Suet Girl and the Secret of the French Pearl”, Ellen Klages
- “Shaggy Dog Bridge: A Black Company Story”, Glen Cook
- “The Ghost Makers”, Elizabeth Bear
- “One Last, Great Adventure”, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce
- “The High King Dreaming”, Daniel Abraham
I mean, I was sold on this by Daniel Abraham alone (we all know of the enormous crush I have on the man’s fiction), but look at the rest of that Table of Contents: Bear, Kushner, Ahmed, Parker, Lynch? It’s like Strahan reached into my mind and gathered together a list of authors to appeal directly to me. I suppose the list of included stories is a little short, but, given the amount of short fiction that I read (i.e. not enough), I’ll take quality over quantity with a smile on my face. Also, note that the page count is listed at 416 pages, meaning an average of 33 pages per story. This collection reminds me a lot of Swords & Dark Magic, also edited by Strahan, alongside Lou Anders, which collected some wonderful authors together to celebrate the resurgence of Sword & Sorcery-styled Fantasy. Strahan suggests that this could be the beginning of a new series of anthologies, thought that depends on the success of this publication. So, well, buy it, damn you.
Fearless Journeys will be released on May 28th, 2013 by Solaris Books.
As a fan writer, I’m personally eligible for the ‘Best Fan Writer’ award, but this space will not be devoted to me as a fan writer, but A Dribble of Ink as a publishing platform. I think I’ve published some pretty cool stuff, by some very talented fan writers, and I’d like to bring attention to some of those articles. 2012 was a big year for this blog, and I feel that several of the articles published here, and listed below, contributed positively to the ongoing discussion of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction in general.
Below, for your consideration, is a collection of asides, reviews and articles published on A Dribble of Ink:
The idea that the race, gender, or sexual roles of a given work of secondary world, quasi-medieval fantasy were dictated by history doesn’t work on any level. First, history has an almost unimaginably rich set of examples to pull from. Second, there are a wide variety of secondary world faux-medieval fantasies that don’t reach for historical accuracy and which would be served poorly by the attempt. And third, even in the works where the standard is applied, it’s only applied to specific, cherry-picked facets of the fantasy culture and the real world.
Let’s say my unexamined understanding of the European Middle Ages means I view the era as a monolithic block where the oppressed women of the time were in constant danger of having sexualized violence perpetrated on them, where women had no lives outside of their relationship with a man who gave them guardianship or money, and where they could barely be said to have personality because they were too oppressed and socially inferior and ignorant to have personalities. If this is what I think I know, then my attempts to read—much less write!—a fantasy story with women who do not fit those limited and limiting parameters will fail. Understandably so, since to write outside those assumptions means my normative ideas will have been transgressed. How unrealistic a more “diverse” story will seem to a reader or writer whose views of the past are mired in these sorts of errors. How flawed, even though it actually isn’t.