Confessions of a fantasy junkie

My name is Damien, and I am a fantasy fan. It started as a child, when my mum read me The Lord of the Rings. Three times. Eventually tiring of JRR Tolkien, I scoured the shelves for alternatives. I found Ursula Le Guin but her great books were too few for my habit. So I turned to David Eddings – but even the 10 volumes of the Belgariad were soon exhausted. That’s when I got into Dragonlance. My fate was sealed.

Read more @ Guardian books

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WorldCon vs. World Fantasy

If you could go to only one, which would be and why?

Answer below.

I am caught in indecision. I can afford to do either WorldCon (Montreal) of World Fantasy (San Francisco) this year. I had almost settled on World Fantasy because of the higher concentration of writers and editors in my favored milieu of contemporary fantasy. But recent discussion amongst my Clarion group has swayed me back to World Con, because it is *more*.

All advice gratefully accepted.

Gemmell Award Winner

Andrezj Sapkowski has won the innugural David Gemmell award for Fantasy fiction (Fantasy with a big F, as the organisers say).

There is a lot to like about the Gemmell’s. I loved David Gemmell’s novels as a teenager and was sad when he passed away. I can really enjoy a rollicking good heroic fantasy, mark my consistent praise of George R R Martin as evidence. And any award that harnesses popular opinion and gets 10,000 votes for its shortlist deserves mighty praise. Continue reading Gemmell Award Winner

We need more beautiful magazines

Mary Robinette Kowal made a wonderful point on tonight’s Sofanauts. In a discussion on the iPhone as e-reader Mary argued that e-books and online ‘zines would not kill printed publications. But the publications that survive will be the ones who understand the value of the physical object they are producing. I could not agree more. Continue reading We need more beautiful magazines

iPlayer and the Sofanauts

My short story Cthul-You is repeated on BBC iPlayer this week. Whenever the beeb repeat this story I start getting hits on the blog ‘damien g walter’ along with ‘disturbed’, ‘sick’ and ‘evil’. Its the only real horror story I’ve tackled so I’m glad it had the intended effect.

Tony C. Smith has invited be back on the Sofanauts this week, subscribe in iTunes or the podcatcher of your choice and listen to myself and the other panelists ramble on about various sfnal topics.

A Circumnavigation

Excellent fantasy author Catherynne Valente has taken action against the economic meltdown of the western world by asking readers to support the writing of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. As I write Valente’s initiative has already generated enough support to alleviate the financial crisis she was facing, but please do pop over and donate if you are a fan of her writing.

I’m genuinely very excited to see Valente’s novel appear in real time online. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of serial fiction for some time, because the concept of shaping a novel episode by episode online seems so natural in the internet era. I wish Catherynne every luck and will be reading every Monday.

30,000th Birthday

A little earlier this week this blog crossed the 30,000 hit barrier, only eight months after crawling over the 20,000 mark in October. To celebrate this wonderous news, a few random statistics for your bemusement.

Total Posts: 363

Best Month: March 2009 with 1,960 hits (An average of 63 hits a day, which this month is on track to beat with 67 hits a day!)

Top referrer this year: http://emilyjiang.wordpress.com (Thanks Em!)

Most read post this year: To self publish or to not

Most clicked link: Tor.com