This week’s story is one of breathtaking imagination and emotional depth, a tale of borders and visas, dreams and language, captivity and liberation. At The Offing, Sofia Samatar’s “An Account of the Land of the Witches” takes us from an ancient land of flying boats and towering headdresses, where a single word can transport a person across space and time, to a modern-day country of war and bombings, where the borders are closed and the citizens trapped....more
Posts Tagged: fantasy
Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice....more
Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process....more
It’s particularly pleasurable to read interview between writers who know each other well. Over at Oxford American, long-time friends Ada Limón and Manuel Gonzales discuss Gonzales’s new novel, The Regional Office Is Under Attack, and what it means to write with an ear to the fantastical:
When I first started writing, though, I was deep into my college career as an English major and when I went to graduate school I aped mid-century realism—Carver, Yates, O’Connor, the like—trying to write austere, terse stories of disillusionment and vague regret, but these bored me.
We’re getting ready to send out our next Letter in the Mail, and it’s from Ben Fama! Ben writes about the release of his 2015 poetry collection, Fantasy, a hot summer spent with a difficult dog as a favor to a friend, an absent partner in Berlin, and the very little writing he’s managed to accomplish given all that....more
Electric Literature asked four writers to sit down and discuss Lian Hearn’s epic series The Tale of Shikanoko, a work of “historical fantasy” that “defies all easy description or easy understanding.” Here’s what author Kelly Luce had to say about the work:
The world of the Shikanoko books is so richly imagined.
Graeme Whiting, headmaster of the Acorn School (motto: “Have courage for the truth”) of Nailsworth, Great Britain, recently published a blog post condemning “sensational” fantasy novels such as the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games series that feature “dark,” “insensitive,” and “addictive” subjects....more
I’m going to learn to let my murder flag fly, flap by tiny blood-stained flap.
For some, the fantasy isn’t enough. They have to read about real people dying in horrible ways too. At Book Riot, Rachel Weber discusses her love of true crime, and how pop culture phenomena like Serial and Making A Murderer have made her feel less guilty about her morbid inclinations....more
E.R. Truitt writes for Aeon on the long history of the “Fantasy North,” the lands, people, and culture at the top of the world that have fascinated pop culture for centuries. Truitt also marks the points in history when the rugged, independent peoples of the Fantasy North became the chosen image of white supremacy movements in North America and Europe....more
Over at the Atlantic, Colleen Gillard takes a critical look at the differences between British and American children’s stories. While British stories for children tend to be rooted in fantasy and folklore, she writes, American children’s classics tend to be more grounded in realism....more
David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, has been nominated for both “literary” and “genre” awards, putting him in a somewhat unique position to comment on the ever-raging literary vs. genre war:
“It’s convenient to have a science fiction and fantasy section, it’s convenient to have a mainstream literary fiction section, but these should only be guides, they shouldn’t be demarcated territories where one type of reader belongs and another type of reader does not,” said [author David] Mitchell.
Author and photographer Rebekah Bergman talks with Electric Literature about the influence of her photography on her fiction, the rising popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction, the use of fantasy to explore sexuality, and more:
I have a theory about why many women might turn to this kind of fantasy.
Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll interviews fantasy author N.K. Jemison about her character- and world-building processes, the evolution of her publication history, and narrative structure.
I read pretty widely, not just fantasy, so I don’t feel particularly wedded to the genre conventions.