It is with perhaps a modicum of trepidation that I recommend to you the fittingly titled Errata, the latest work of penmanship from Mr. Jeff Vendermeer, published this day at the web journal of Tor.com. I should not have to tell regular readers that despite my interest in the fantastic, I am not in the habit of giving way to common superstition. Hence, while I have often found myself entertained, fascinated and on more than one occaision deeply moved by the meta-fictional cavortings of Mr Vandermeer, I have not until this day been so genuinely terrified of the consequences such linguistic acrobatics might have upon the world as we know it. Continue reading Are you prepared to change the world?
Jane Lindskold talks about her penchant for Hard Fantasy over at Tor.com. Even with the slightly sleazy connotations, I like the term. I’m not sure I agree with Jane’s shot at defibing it however, which sounds a bot too much like obessesive world building for my liking. For me, the hard bit about about writing fantasy is creating chracters that are real people caught up with fantastic events. Fantasy that does that is rare, but truly wonderful.
The debate on positivity in science fiction continues. Co-editor of Years Best SF Kathryn Cramer makes a robust response to my Guardian article on the subject. Lou Anders, editorial director of Pyr, finds the middle ground and Jetse de Vries, who started the debate back in January, rebutts Cramer’s response.
There have been too many intelligent and thought provoking comments on both sides of the debate to summarise accurately. Despite being firmly on the Positivist side, I can see the merits of the Gloommonger arguments. In very rough terms, the constructive debate is currently being had on the issue of which direction SF should take to be most successful, both creatively and commercialy. On the one hand the Positivists claim that the balance between optimism / pessimism have gone too far in one direction, and its time to pull it back by exploring positive possibilities in science and our near future. On the other, the Gloommonger’s argue that the genre needs to navigate towards the pessimistic, because that is where the interesting stories and ideas are. Continue reading The Politics of Gloom
Tor.com are offering two free e-books nominated for this years World Fantasy awards. I have not read either War of the Oaks by Emma Bull or Dogland by Will Shetterly, but look forward to getting into both quite soon. You can download the e-books for free for the next month, but will need to be a member of Tor.com to do so. Sign up!