From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Category Archive for ‘Non-Fiction’ rss


2008 Nebula Award Winners Announced

Last night SFWA held their annual Nebula Award ceremony amid much glitz and glitter. The winners are:

  • Best Novel: Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Best Novella: “The Spacetime Pool” by Catherine Asaro
  • Best Novelette: “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel
  • Best Short Story: “Trophy Wives” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • Script: WALL-E Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Andre Norton Award: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) by Ysabeau S. Wilce

Solstice Award: Kate Wilhelm, A.J. Budrys and Martin H. Greenberg.

SFWA Service Award: Victoria Strauss

Bradbury Award: Joss Whedon

Grand Master Award
: Harry Harrison

Author Emerita: M.J. Engh

Congratulations to all of the winners!


Dollhouse Season 1, Episode 10: Haunted

In this week’s episode of Dollhouse, Miss DeWitt places the personality of her dead friend into Echo. Said dead friend (Margaret) then decides to spend very little time with our favorite stony Brit and instead goes home to solve her own murder.

Anyone who has ever seen any episode of television or movie wherein a person who is rich and spoiled and a bit of an ass gets to view her or his life as an outsider (or a ghost or similar) knew exactly what was bound to happen in this episode. Her children, whom she doted on, hate her! Her gestures of symbolic affection piss people right off! She was not universally loved by those she loved in a cold, distant, and annoying way. How sad for Maggie.

This is like a really bad A Christmas Carol production done by 5th graders.


I’ve Never Wanted To Be Mythical: J. Kathleen Cheney

Why is this the hardest question? I’ve never wanted to be mythical. As a child I did, however, want to be a horse. Never really grew out of that. I guess I’d have to be a puca…


Introducing: The Fantasy Cafe

This week we’re introducing a new section on Fantasy Magazine: Fantasy Cafe. This space is for our readers and friends and fans to kick back, sip a dark roast cuppa sweetened with the finest fairy sugar, and chat about fantasy-related stuff. There’s a small stage in the corner of the lounge for our Open Mic Nights, shelves filled with books, and a kiosk in the back that may open up when you least expect it and tempt you with shiny trinkets. There’s also a TV Den in the basement where you can chat about the latest episode of your favorite shows.

We’re still putting the finishing touches on the place, but you’re welcome to come in and hang out right now. This space is for you, so if you have suggestions on things that would make it an even friendlier place to hang out, let us know!


Geeky Flashback: Alien Nation

SF fans have plenty of reasons to be pissed at Fox Network right now. the cancellation of Sarah Connor Chronicles, the futzing they did with the first few episodes of Dollhouse, and there will always be Firefly. What some people may not realize is that Fox has a long history of canceling excellent SF shows for dubious reasons (including their own incompetence in promotion and marketing). Remember Alien Nation? Like Buffy, which debuted many years later, this series was based on a B movie that didn’t enjoy huge success. Also like Buffy, the TV series was heaps better. The background/mythos was pretty deep, the show explored social issues, and the producers essentially made the concept work.

Alien Nation combined two genres — science fiction and buddy cop shows. Matthew Sykes was a hardened LA cop with an attitude. George Francisco was a somewhat naive alien. The perfect pair!

The show only got one season and that ended on a cliffhanger, which was a real shame. Despite a setup that could have been completely cheesy, the show explored some really deep issues (race, class, immigration, assimilation, prejudice) without being constantly morose or patronizing. It also featured an alien race that had a well thought out culture, society, and physiology. (One of the best things about the Newcomers was that they ate things humans considered rancid like sour milk and weasel.) It was an intelligent SF show — and everyone knows how well those go over on network television.


Notable Stories of 2008!

Congratulations to the many fine authors whose stories appear on the list of storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2008 and especially the six Fantasy Magazine authors!


The Successful Hero’s List

Just because flying monkeys or sharks with laser beams attached to their heads sound stupid and impractical, it doesn’t mean that the villain won’t have them.


Camille Alexa, Author of “Shades of White and Road”

Camille Alexa likes “her humor dark and her horror funny.” A short fiction writer and poet, she writes for The Green Man Review, serves as Flash Fiction Editor for Abyss & Apex, and Poetry Editor for Diet Soap. Her short story “Shades of White and Road” appears this week in Fantasy Magazine.


Doctor Who Easter Special — “Planet of the Dead”

It’s hard not to be bitter about the fact that we’re not in the midst of Doctor Who‘s fifth season right now and instead have to content ourselves with just one hour-long episode. But I was determined to put that behind me and enjoy “Planet of the Dead”. After all, Michelle Ryan is a favorite of mine (ever since her turn in Jekyll). I must admit that I was generally underwhelmed by the episode. This would have been forgivable if it was mid-season, but it’s one of the last three with David Tennant. Is it so much to ask that it be super amazing and awesome?

Apparently so.

Come to Fantasy to read more, but beware spoilers if you haven’t seen the episode.


Dollhouse Season 1, Episode 8: “A Spy In The House Of Love”

As you may have surmised from my last post, I am not a huge fan of Dollhouse. I find the concept sketchy and the execution even sketchier. I keep watching because, well, I’m paid to (sort of). That being said I found more to like than to hate in last night’s episode and it’s apparently all down to Andrew Chambliss, the writer. Proof that even the worst concepts can work when the right writer steps into the driver’s seat.

The theme of “A Spy In The House Of Love” is revelations: Topher discovers a foreign chip in the equipment that reveals the presence of a spy; the audience discovers that Miss DeWitt is the true Miss Lonely Hearts who keeps requesting Victor for romantic escapades; Paul Ballard finally learns that Mellie is a sleeper doll; the Dollhouse staff finds out that Mr. Dominic is the spy (and also that DeWitt is so hard and freaking British that she can take a bullet and still continue on with revelatory dialogue).

All of this is handled extremely well and teased out through a familiar, though hard to pull off, structure of overlapping time- and plotlines. Perhaps if we’d had more of this in the beginning I could have been on board with this show. Or maybe not.

Because there’s still all that damn rape. Because the show continues not to show any remorse for all the damn rape. And last week, when it was supposed to be all about closure and such, I did very much notice that Sierra’s closure in no way involved actually getting to do anything about the man who had her kidnapped and forcibly made into a doll. Sure, Victor punched him a few times, but why did he not die? The show hasn’t shied away from death before. And I have to say that the dude who put Sierra in the Dollhouse has to be as punishable or even more so than the handler who raped her. (And again, show, if you play that scene one more time, I will come for you.)

I suppose it comes down to this: “A Spy In The House Of Love” made all the episodes that came before it look even worse because we now see the show is capable of so much more.