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The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman concludes: The Magician’s Land, reviewed.
Very good review of Grossman books which posits that Julia and Alice are the real heroes of the books. Fighting your way through adversity is the real challenge, not trying to stuff your life into a nicely ordered narrative.
book  review  fantasy  story-telling  story  narrative  gender  heroism 
april 2016 by tsuomela
Paradoxa - Home
"Paradoxa publishes articles on genre literature: science fiction, horror, mysteries, children's literature, romance, comic studies, the fantastic, best sellers, the occult, westerns, oral literature, and more. Paradoxa invites submissions on all aspects of genre literature which make a significant and original contribution to the study of those genres."
journal  sf  fantasy  fiction  literature  criticism 
february 2016 by tsuomela
The New Atlantis » The Possibility of Progress
"At any moment, the imagination says no to the world as it is while saying yes to an alternative reality — to a world that never was or has yet to be. Behind every vision lies dissatisfaction. This holds true for the statesman as much as for the artist. Both say no to the world in which they find themselves, even as they say yes to its next incarnation, now disincarnate. In his story “The Hall of Fantasy,” Nathaniel Hawthorne hints that every form of human activity verges on the unworldliness of fantasy, negating the present in favor of the future or imagined past. Yet it is the political use of the imagination that attracts Hawthorne’s most skeptical treatment. "
literature  19c  politics  imagination  progress  vision  fantasy  utopia  possibility 
february 2013 by tsuomela
Digitizing and distributing out-of-print SF books.
book  store  publisher  sf  fiction  fantasy  history 
september 2012 by tsuomela
Wearing the Poisoned Shirt - The Barnes
"But despite all the ancillary fuss, Cabell's accomplishments were -- and remain -- real and magnificent. Jurgen remains today the quintessence of this remarkably talented author's worldview, a milestone in the fantasy field, admirably, compellingly readable and entertaining and illuminating. Any reader who has not encountered this classic book before is in for an immense treat. And those who have chanced upon it in one of its many prior editions -- I myself read it for the first time nearly forty years ago -- will find it just as eternally fresh and stimulating as of yore."
book  review  fantasy  fiction  literature  1h20c 
august 2012 by tsuomela
Prime Books - Death and Resurrection by R.A. MacAvoy |
The award-winning writer of Tea With the Black Dragon and other acclaimed novels returns to fantasy with the intriguing story of Chinese-American artist Ewen Young who gains the ability to travel between the worlds of life and death. This unasked-for skill irrevocably changes his life—as does meeting Nez Perce veterinarian Dr. Susan Sundown and her remarkable dog, Resurrection. After defeating a threat to his own family, Ewen and Susan confront great evils—both supernatural and human—as life and death begin to flow dangerously close together.
book  publisher  fantasy 
june 2011 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: The Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy?
"Science fiction, in sharp contrast, considers the possibility of learning and change.

Not that children always choose to learn from their parent's mistakes! When they don't, when they are obstinately stupid and miss opportunities, you can get a sci fi tragedy... far more horrible than anything "tragic" in Aristotle's POETICS. Aristotle says tragedy is Oedepus writhing futilely against fate. A sci fi tragedy portrays people suffering, same as in older tragedies... but with this crucial difference -- things did not have to be this way. It wasn't "fate." We - or the characters - could've done better. There was, at some point, a chance to change our own destiny.
sf  literature  criticism  definition  fantasy  fiction  rhetoric 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Middle-earth according to Mordor - Laura Miller -
"Well, there's two sides to every story, or to quote a less banal maxim, history is written by the winners. That's the philosophy behind "The Last Ringbearer," a novel set during and after the end of the War of the Ring (the climactic battle at the end of "The Lord of the Rings") and told from the point of view of the losers. The novel was written by Kirill Yeskov, a Russian paleontologist, and published to acclaim in his homeland in 1999."
fiction  fandom  subcreation  fantasy 
february 2011 by tsuomela
When Hari Kunzru met Michael Moorcock | Books | The Guardian
"In contrast to the rural decencies of Tolkien, Moorcock's writing belongs to an urban tradition, which celebrates the fantastical city as a place of chance and mystery."
sf  fiction  literature  urbanism  fantasy  britain  1960s  counter-culture  hippies 
february 2011 by tsuomela
slacktivist: Don't you know that you can count me out
"The tea party and the loudest, most strident voices of anti-abortion politics love to flirt with the idea of armed revolution. This is, for the most part, just adolescent foolishness -- a kind of fantasy play-acting that can be summed up in a single word:


By pretending to believe that America is on the verge of collapse into a totalitarian tyranny, they can pretend to themselves that they are the vanguard of a courageous resistance. The Red Dawn fantasy isn't all that different from any other childhood fantasy about what if there were dragons? And what if I was brave and good and strong? And what if I slew the dragon and everybody cheered for me because I was brave and good and strong and I slew the dragon? Wouldn't that be cool?"
tea-party  politics  revolution  violence  reform  fantasy  psychology  ideology  right-wing  conservatism  just-war  cognition  dissonance  loyalty  con  fraud  media 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Walk through this portal with me into another world
What makes these and other modern portal fantasies work, even though they're using the same "through the magical gateway" trope? Two things: The ambiguity of the fantasy worlds (they're neither good nor bad); and the double-sidedness of the portal (people travel both ways). One of the terrific revelations of His Dark Materials is that our protagonist is from a parallel Earth, so her journey through the portal into our world reverses the typical scenario. And in Pan's Labyrinth, the fantasy world is as ugly and dangerous as the real one.
sf  fantasy  literature  writing  portal  genre  liminal 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Viruses? Assassination? Arming Insurgents? How Could That Go Wrong? « Easily Distracted
But there is something about secrecy that unleashes extravagant dreams and imaginative fantasies about a world where sociopolitical trends have simpler, more intimate, and more knowable levers, where killing heads of state is a hey presto! way to make a new state, or mindfucking insurgents with some leaflets and misinformation is a way to get rid of an insurgency.

It’s not just that coverts and their armchair supporters dream of finding the delicious center of tractability inside of the confusing, multilayered Tootsie Pop of modern life. It’s that they also hope that covert action will somehow rid us of the demon of unpredictable and unintended outcomes who so relentlessly stalks most other policy-making, as if covert action might be a humanint form of a smart missile, delivered only to its target.
politics  foreign-policy  covert  war  modernism  fantasy  power  spying 
october 2010 by tsuomela
The Valve - A Literary Organ | ‘Avatar’ and the War of Genres
That Pandora features staggeringly improbable lifeforms and impossible physical structures isn’t, therefore, any sort of narrative failure; rather, the complete abandonment of science fictional “explanation” in favor of unabashed fantasy is part and parcel of the war of genres that structures the film.
title(Avatar)  sf  fiction  movies  criticism  genre  fantasy 
january 2010 by tsuomela
Fantasy Bests « Easily Distracted
Favorite fantasy books by Timothy Burke and links to others.
book  lists  fantasy  recommendations 
january 2010 by tsuomela
Notes from New Sodom: Down in the Ghetto at the SF Café » BSCreview
by Hal Duncan argues with himself about when the genre of Science Fiction started.
sf  literature  genre  criticism  history  literary  review  essay  fiction  fantasy 
september 2009 by tsuomela
10 Questions with Lev Grossman
TIME magazine book critic Lev Grossman's latest book, The Magicians, is the story of a callow, young magician—not to be confused with Harry Potter. Although the book has been billed as a pastiche of classics from the fantasy genre, including a twisted homage to The Chronicles of Narnia, Grossman injects unexpected realism into the world of magic—think Holden Caulfield at Hogwarts. It's a far cry from the style of his previous endeavors, Warp and Codex, but all three novels share a common theme of 20-something confusion.
authors  interview  fantasy  young-adult  fiction  literature 
august 2009 by tsuomela
ProFantasy Software - map making for fantasy, modern and SF RPGs, and historical cartographers
ProFantasy Software brings you everything you need to create great maps for your games.
There are symbols and tools for overland maps from all ages, buildings, floorplans, heraldry and many other uses. We help you create more and better maps, more quickly, than any comparable softwar
mapping  maps  geography  computer  software  windows  fantasy  literature  games 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Michael Bérubé - American Airspace
His Dark Materials, or Pullman Prêt-à-Porter. Discussion of Pullman series.
literature  sf  fantasy  criticism  about(PhilipPullman) 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Infocult: Information, Culture, Policy, Education: Through the Spectobarathrum
Which then returns us to the modern questions of digital images, edited representation, and how one assesses the quality of information presented via digital networks.
digital  media  hoax  image  flickr  19c  fairies  fantasy 
june 2007 by tsuomela
The Hugo nominees, 2006
good list and links to many different reviews of hugo award nominees
fantasy  fiction  sf  reviews  hugo  award 
june 2006 by tsuomela
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