Friday 30 October 2020

Friday Five: Feeble Fumblings from Tired Minds

1) I don't know how many of us spend too many brain cells on what Fantasy Actually Is. I try not to, but I had a tiny epiphany thanks to doing some academic reading and wanted to share it.

Fantasy is both the silliest and most serious of fiction genres. It is the silliest because it is unabashedly throwing aspects of reality out of the window, holding on hard to childhood passions and games, embracing the bizarre and surreal. It the most serious because it is a direct descendant of our most important stories, our sacred texts, our ancestral memory on how humans should act, updated time and time again. At this point, this dichotomy is so embedded that there's no shifting it.

And how do you define a genre that has those two tentpoles so far apart? You can't really. It's just an open invitation for some clever swine to go "Well actually" once you think you've got something. There'll always be a traditional view but the tradition will merely by the tip of the iceberg (and I'd also point out the traditional view will be informed by all media, not just the literature).

I'd love to sum this thought up in a clever and poetic way, but it's Friday. Maybe something cleverer and fuller will come along another day.

2) Malinda Lo's craft series is continuing and is well worth checking out with these posts on vision and mystery. The latter particularly appeals to me as someone who wants options other than conflict, and who frequently sees people talking about the lure of the unanswered question.

3) The finalists for the British Fantasy Society Awards have been announced. I can tell you virtually fuck all about the choices because I'm about as up to date as bleeding people as a medical cure but I know that it'll be remarkable if Jen Williams wins again, making it a win for every book in her trilogy, that RJ Barker and Tade Thompson are fantastic twitter follows, and that there's no shortage of very talented authors, creatives, and creative enablers on that list. Congratulations to everyone!

4) Hoo boy. I am really struggling to hit five this week. I do indeed plead guilty to the charge of not being particularly engaged with the community recently. As such, item four will be me sharing all the books I got ARCs of through NetGalley (please don't ask when I'm finding time to read all of them)

Look at that list! Assuming your eyes are good enough for that small image. Aha, made it bigger. I'm so fucking smart. Anyway, a lot of excitement there. So far Fallen Queen is winning my attention most, but we'll see how Mr Goldfish Brain here gets on.

5) Okay, I've run out of fantasy things, so lets talk Sci-Fi. I know, I know, spaceships are boring, but there are occasionally good things in the twin genre. One of them is the Sci-Fi Month event on twitter, hosted by DearGeekPlace and OneMore. Everyone looking to engage with others into their Sci-Fi-ish ways should check it out.

6) I lie! But I just saw this and had to include. Go. Look. Much cute. It's a lovely short about a witch and her cat.


  1. I am very intrigued by The Stone Knife

    1. Not gonna lie, I didn't get into that one from the first few pages, but we'll see how it goes.