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Book Review – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Austen and Grahame-Smith

There were a surprising amount of fart and vomit jokes (Wickham becomes a loose-bowled paraplegic, and Mrs. Bennet’s nerves express themselves with constant vomiting), and asinine innuendos about balls and fine British packages. The majority of Grahame-Smith’s additions were redundant uses of “unmentionables,” “dark arts,” and “Shaolin.” There were plenty of zombie skirmishes, but they became tiresome and further dragged down the pacing.

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Fantasy Magazine‘s Micro-Fiction Contest: And the Winners are . . .

First Place — “Night Comes Softly” by Kelly Stiles — “Night comes softly, and the crickets chirp their spell-binding lullaby. In a small thicket the nymph lulls to trance-like slumber as the last rays of light disappear . . .” Check back for podcasts of our first, second and third place winners. The next micro-fiction contest will be held . . .

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Not Your Father’s Sci-Fi Convention: WisCon 33

You had to give the cold shoulder to six panels, even at 10:30pm, just to make the What Gender is your Roomba? Panel. (The cringeworthy answer, according to the mod’s informal poll of con attendees: female, because it does domestic duties. Oh, WISCON.)

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Razor Blade Valentine: Gay Partington Terry

I was thrown off my high school newspaper for handing in a Valentine poem that the advisor asked me for knowing full-well I was NOT the mushy Valentine type. In it, a jilted lover swallowed razor blades “internally slitting his throat”–in iambic pentameter! Despite the fact that I don’t normally write graphic or violent pieces, I am proud.

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A Window of Wonder Closes: David Eddings

But something happened when I read Pawn of Prophecy that had never happened to me before when I’d read a fantasy novel. Quite simply, quite ridiculously, I fell in love–not just with the prose, not just with the setting, not just with the action and adventure and wit and ideas. I fell in love with the characters.

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Ain’t I A Woman? Tiptree Winner Nisi Shawl

Eileen: Of course, I also want you to talk about your tiptop Tiptree-tipping short-story collection from Aqueduct Press. How did that come about?

Nisi: Timmi Duchamp, who is the editor at Aqueduct, approached me about doing a collection of my short stories. It was her idea. I mean — of course I had wanted to put a book together for a long time. I had a whole list I wrote down of titles for this imaginary collection. But the book wouldn’t exist without her impetus.

She asked me to send her all my stories, and I took her at her word. I sent the first story I’d ever sold, “I Was a Teen Age Genetic Engineer,” and several others simply not suitable for publication. She picked fourteen of the twenty-eight I offered her. When people ask me if there’s an underlying theme to Filter House, I want to tell them: “Stuff Timmi liked.” Of course there’s more to it than that. When I told her about the Tiptree she said, “I knew the stories needed to be in a book for people to see what you were doing with them. And I was right.”

You know how when a cat leaps down from a table top or window ledge and lands not quite as gracefully as one might expect, they give you this look as if to say, “I meant to do that!” I have felt much like that cat for some time now. I have been criticized, for instance, for calling my genetically engineered human workers “maggies” in the story of the same title, because the double gee made their name a cognate for the “n word.” Well, duh!

Eileen: You didn’t mean to do that?

Nisi: Oh, yes I did! I mean to do a lot of what I do. Most of it. Trust me.

Eileen: Well, whether you did or not, I think you should be allowed to take full credit for your subconscious. Every writer should. Sometimes it’s best not to examine too closely where your backbrain is taking you, at least until after you’ve gotten there. A writer has to exert control at some point, of course. When I get to the end of the line, I usually leap out and see if I’ve arrived anywhere I want to be. Sometimes I haven’t, but I can see where I want to get to better than I could before I set out.

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This June In Fantasy Magazine

June articles include an appreciation of Superman by E.C. Myers, reviews of both “Land of the Lost” and “Transformers”, an interview with the creators of the Lord of the Rings game, an article on Star Trek and slash fiction, convention reports, a piece on the writing workshop Clarion West, the top ten differences between television shows TrueBlood and Twilight, a look at zombie fiction mashups, and much, much more.

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Fantasy Magazine‘s May Madness Micro-Fiction Contest

Rules of the Reader Poll: Everyone may participate, readers and contest participants, alike. Each poller chooses his or her top three micro-shorts, listed below. The stories are in no particular order.

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Book Review: Keeper of Light and Dust

The plot is tight and suspenseful; the style is simple and not detracting; the characters are realistically drawn and motivated; the dojo setting is vivid; the overall reading experience compelled me to keep reading. Minor characters can be flat at times—for instance, Nick’s company partner Flash is a stereotypical (but loveable) computer geek who saves the day. I thought the major themes, conflicting love and the ethics of chi manipulation, traditional but polished.

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More Than A Wizard: L. Frank Baum

In writing, Baum tried to remove both the violence and emphasis on morality characteristic of children’s literature of his time, an endeavor other writers would later join him in. Even as a child, Baum had criticized fairy tales for their violent, often horrifying nature. He also removed romance, believing that it did not interest young children. He believed deeply in the power of children’s literature…