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book02

A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects by Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente’s A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects is a book of poetry and short stories that feature women as the prime characters. The topics encompass new takes on familiar fairytales and myths, material dealing with modern-day situations, in addition to new stories set in that nebulous, rather European “land of long, long ago.”

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that this book’s myriad tales focused on women. And not just the young and gorgeous women who normally play starring roles in fantasy either…

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Excerpt from The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

WE SCALE THE ROUGH BRICKS OF THE BUILDING’S FACADE. Their crumbling edges soften under our claw-like fingers; they jut out of the flat, adenoid face of the wall to provide easy footholds. We could’ve used fire escapes, we could’ve climbed up, up, past the indifferent faces of the walls, their windows cataracted with shutters; we could’ve bounded up in the joyful cacophony of corrugated metal and barely audible whispers of the falling rust shaken loose by our ascent. We could’ve flown.

But instead we hug the wall, press our cheeks against the warm bricks; the filigree of age and weather covering their surface imprints on our skin, steely-gray like the thunderous skies above us. We rest, clinging to the wall, our fingertips nestled in snug depressions in the brick, like they were made especially for that, clinging. We are almost all the way to the steep roof red with shingles shaped like fish scales.

We look into the lone window lit with a warm glow, the only one with open shutters and smells of sage, lamb, and chlorine wafting outside. We look at the long bench decorated with alembics and retorts and colored powders and bunches of dried herbs and bowls of watery sheep’s eyes from the butcher’s shop down the alleyway. We look at the girl.

Read the rest @ Fantasy

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Puppet Strings: Michael Greenhut

Watermark is actually a small drop in a very large pond, pardon the pun. Years ago, I wrote a novel called The Memory Graveyard and planned several more, all of which I still hope to publish one day. It was a pretty involved epic with quite a few character arcs and backstories. One of the supporting characters was Etinaye, who eventually became the protagonist of Watermark. So, I pretty much had her story down in my head, and some of it in words, before I told this part of it…

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The Jeremiads: Why the Geek Hierarchy Has to Go

A few years ago, Lore Sjöberg, famous internet humorist, put into flowchart form what has been subconsciously understood among geek culture for as long as I’ve been a geek. There is an implicit hierarchy of respect among the geek tribes. Producers of paid, commercial content sit at the top of the cultural hierarchy and command respect far and wide. Furries, child gamers, and fan fiction writers rank at the bottom, with some combination of all of the above being the ultimate untouchable caste, and don’t command respect from much of anyone. Somewhere in the middle are fans of various geek hobbies, the consumers of commercial content produced at the top of the pyramid.

The flowchart is amusing, and was generally meant in good fun. It strikes us as funny because it is true, if not often said. Most everyone with which I have shared it has examined the chart and, regardless of where they feel they themselves fit in, agree with the structure. The chart simply describes that those above feel that they themselves are “less geeky” than those below. “Less geeky,” but by whose terms, exactly?

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Free tickets to Ray Bradbury-inspired play!

Any Fantasy Magazine readers around Toronto interested in an evening of fantastic live theatre? Our sister magazine, Weird Tales, is proud to be a media sponsor of the new play “Without Whom,” inspired by the life of the great 20th-century author Ray Bradbury and his late wife Marguerite. Written by playwright R.J. Downes and onstage […]

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Excerpt from Seaborn by Chris Howard

The water followed her home from the library, water in the air slipping over her skin as if afraid to touch her without permission. The sound of water played in her ears–a child’s laughter splashing, a creek burbling a mile down Atlantic Avenue–and the soft rain skipped in her footprints.

Headlights broke over the hill behind her, and the wet air reacted. The water snapped flat and reflective on every surface until the car passed.

The hiss of automobile tires faded into the whisper of rain and, in the distance, she watched a spray of pinpoint lights, shiny and heavy like mercury on the leaves that folded over the road.

The car was gone and the water spoke to her, words that seeped and dribbled into her head. I will clothe you in mirror, my lady, shield you in ice, become the crown you already wear…

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Blog For A Beer: Favorite Female Writers

It’s Fantasy Friday, that means another installment of Blog For A Beer! Every week we offer up a bloggy prompt and invite you to discuss and debate the topic. The comments will close at 11:59PM Pacific time Saturday and, if we have at least 10 participants, we’ll award $10 in beer (or sundae, if you’re […]

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Excerpt from Personal Demons by Stacia Kane

“…a nice change from the usual tales of vampires and werewolves running around shrieking about mates and soulmates. It is also a fun-filled read that I find so enjoyable from the first page to last.” —Mrs Giggles “…an exciting new addition to the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre. It’s action packed, humorous and suspenseful.” —Spotlight Review […]

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Excerpt from “Clockwork Heart” by Dru Pagliassotti

“…a fascinating, fast-paced and delightful novel in Clockwork Heart. The setting is intriguing and unique, melding the best of steampunk with the wonders of high fantasy, and is peopled with a rich blend of characters from all walks of life…Pagliasotti has brought forth a terrific novel, one that embodies a bold new direction in the […]

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A shout-out for the annual drive for Strange Horizons!

It’s that time of year again: Strange Horizons‘ annual fund drive is on! As you know, Strange Horizons is a weekly online magazine of and about speculative fiction. It’s been going for nearly eight years now, staffed entirely by volunteers wbut paying professional rates to contributors, and is dependent on donations from its readers to […]