From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Category Archive for ‘Non-Fiction’ rss

Non-Fiction

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson

Husband and wife Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley have each had remarkable writing careers as individuals. This is the second book (after Water, Putnam 2002) they have written together, collaborating on the book but not the individual stories. The two longer stories in Fire are by McKinley, the three shorter ones by Dickinson. All are Young Adult fantasies, about “fire spirits” of various types, such as a salamander, a phoenix, and a dragon. Fire is a wonderful blending of talents of two writers who have already given us some of the best YA fantasy of the past few decades.

Non-Fiction

Nebula Awards 2009 Final Ballot

SFWA is proud to announce the nominees for the 2009 Nebula Awards. The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. The awards will be announced at the Nebula Awards Banquet the evening of May 15 at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, just 20 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center in Fla. Other awards to be presented are the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Science Fiction or Fantasy for Young Adults, the Bradbury Award for excellence in screenwriting and the Solstice Award for outstanding contribution to the field.

Non-Fiction

Author Spotlight: Nathaniel Williams

I’m fascinated by the idea of someone holding one person accountable for some other person’s or group’s actions–how that’s innately unfair yet very recognizably human, how we cope with it when it’s done to us or when we realize we’re doing it to someone else.

Non-Fiction

Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing edited by Delia Sherman & Christopher Barzak, Introduction by Henry Jenkins

Overall, these twenty-one stories offer high quality prose and a fair amount of unpredictability. But the anthology is uneven in a way that will allow readers to differ—perhaps radically—in their reactions. Still, you too may find the best stories to be Carlos Hernandez’s delightful “The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria”, which walks the tightrope between mainstream and magic realism without a slip, and Theodora Goss’s gemmed beauty “Child-Empress of Mars”. Goss’s tale takes its inspiration—in the finest post-modern fashion—from a Wikipedia entry on John Carter of Mars instead of the series itself, yet still manages to turn the interplanetary romance inside out in a way that would make Jack Vance proud.

Non-Fiction

Author Spotlight: Sharon Mock

Obviously the social conditions complicate things, the homophobia both institutionalized and internalized. But other characters, in other stories, they could overcome those difficulties. Leo and William can’t, not because they’re gay but because their choices make it impossible.

Non-Fiction

Worldforge #3: A Faceted Jewel

As creators of worlds for fiction and gaming, we must see the big picture. It is our duty to paint the landscapes of our settings with enough detail to engage and fascinate. We may find ourselves responsible for entire cultures and continents. Truly epic works may find us bearing the weight of galaxy-spanning civilizations.

Non-Fiction

Goodbye to Kage Baker

Fantasy and science fiction writer Kage Baker died of uterine cancer on January 31, 2010. Her final message to her readers appears on her website: “I want you to tell all these people that I wanted more time to spend with them. Tell them I meant to, tell them I wanted to hear what they said and tell them what was on my mind.”

Non-Fiction

The Line Starts Here

It looks to be a banner year for fantasy and science fiction films, at least in terms of quantity, if not quality. In the first month of 2010 we’ve seen the release of Daybreaker vampires, a post apocalyptic Book of Eli, and a Legion of killer angels, not counting The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasus, the latest Terry Gillium film to tank at the box office.

Non-Fiction

Unplugged: The Web’s Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 2008 Download, edited by Rich Horton

Editor Horton packages fourteen stories originally published online during 2008 into an anthology that confirms the obvious: good short sf/f can be found on the Web. It is, perhaps, more bounteous than in the days when OMNI magazine went online in late 1996 (“Get a Grip” by Paul Park, published by OMNI in March 1997, became the first fiction originally published on the Internet to be nominated for a World Fantasy Award), but the amount of less-than-good fiction is even more abundant. Unplugged serves two purposes: to point out examples of outstanding fiction and to direct the reader to the online sources that publish it.
It also provides proof of the variety of speculative fiction available. Most importantly Unplugged does what any good “best of” anthology does:
showcase highly readable, enjoyable fiction.

Non-Fiction

The Winners of the Best Fantasy Story of 2009 Poll and Contest

Congratulations to Jessica J Lee, our winner of the Best Fantasy Story of 2009 Poll and Contest, and well done to Camille Alexa, Aidan Doyle, Cate Gardner, and Aliette de Bodard for their talented, top four stories!