On Fighting China Miéville

“I like to think there are some people who I would have taken quicker. But, you know, I’m certainly not going to quibble.”     Referring to Could They Beat Up China...

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Jagannath: Stories: One of the best books of 2012

Jagannath: Stories by Karin Tidbeck Strange. Disturbing. Unimaginable, but imagined. Weird. Karin Tidbeck’s first collection of short stories, Jagannath: Stories, can be so...

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Green Lantern: Dark Days by Robert Venditti

Green Lantern Vol. 4: Dark Days (The New 52) by Robert Venditti Venditti has one of the most difficult jobs a writer can get in writing monthly comics: Taking over a title that has...

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T-shirts and bookmarks!

Get a T-shirt and bookmarks when you donate to FanLit. This soft white t-shirt features our dragon logo which was painted by author Janny Wurts. Underneath are the words...

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Recent Posts

GIVEAWAY! Ten copies of City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

We are excited to announce a super Giveaway!

Fantasy Literature is working with Penguin Random House to give ten lucky winners with a US mailing address a copy of Robert Jackson Bennett’s newest fantasy novel, City of Blades, which will be released to the public in January.

2014’s City of Stars generated lots of buzz, making the short list of the Locus Awards among other honors. We loved it!

Now, Bennett returns to the world of Shara and Sigrud with a sequel set in another of the god-built cities. This time the city is Voortyashtan, the city built by the god of war, and the emissary sent there is General Turyin Mulaghesh:

A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of w... Read More

The Expanded Universe: Casual Othering and Literature of the Fantastic, Part 2

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. My guest today is Gabrielle Bellot. Gabrielle Bellot grew up in the Commonwealth of Dominica. She has contributed work to GuernicaAutostraddle, Prairie Schooner’s  Read More

Edge: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

[In our Edge of the Universe column, we review mainstream authors that incorporate elements of speculative fiction into their “literary” work. However you want to label them, we hope you’ll enjoy discussing these books with us.]

Et quacumque viam dederit fortuna sequamur
- And whatever route fortune gives, we shall follow

This IS your great-great-great-grandfather's adventure story, so reader beware. There's a lot of walking, a lot of exposition, and quite frankly, not a lot of action. But keep in mind... this is an original. Our modern day sensibilities expect high action out of our adventure stories: monsters, critters, thrill-a-minute. But in a much different time when society was in a much different state, Journey to the Center of the... Read More

The Fifth Head of Cerberus: Three novellas about identity, memory, and colonization

The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

I don’t think I’m the only reader drawn to Gene Wolfe’s books — hoping to understand all the symbolism, subtleties, oblique details, unreliable narrators, and offstage events — and finding myself frustrated and confused, feeling like it’s my lack of sophistication and careful reading ability to blame. Wolfe is most famous for his amazing 4-volume THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN dying earth masterpiece, which has a 1-volume coda called The Urth of the New Sun, along with two companion series, THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN and THE BOOK OF THE SHORT SUN. Collectively they are known as THE SOLAR CYCLE, and these books tend to split readers into two camps: either dedicated Wolfe fans who find his works richer, deeper, and more subtle than anything... Read More

The Rim of the Morning: Great old school cosmic horror

The Rim of the Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by William Sloane

We're re-running this post to include Sandy's recent review (below Jason's previous review).

New York Review Books Classics has just packaged two novels by renowned author, editor and teacher William Sloane into a single offering, The Rim of the Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror. Sloane is not an author I’d previously known, probably due to the fact that these stories are two of only three novels that he ever published. Stephen King contributes a short but impeccable introduction, providing a tight analysis of the stories and windows into Sloane’s background and style. Sloane wrote and edited primarily supernatural mystery/scifi, but is known in literary worlds as a writing tea... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers (giveaway)

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in September 2015. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title

Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters: Gradually, my suspension of disbelief eroded away

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum

I’m giving this book a lower rating than I expected to. Usually a 2.5-star rating from me means I found serious structural, character or writing problems with the book, and that’s not the case here. My low rating of Amanda Downum’s Dreams of Shreds and Tatters reflects the gap between my expectations and my experience. The writer did do a few things that jarred me out of the book, though, and I am going to discuss those.

First of all, I’d like to talk about what I liked. I loved the idea here, of a group of artists under the sway of a magician, searching for a portal to a mysterious city in another realm. I liked moments in the writing; when she wants to, Downum can unleash a passage of weird, lush prose that is captivating and beautiful. For the most part, I l... Read More

The Lady of Blossholme: A rousing historical novel with traces of the fantastic

The Lady of Blossholme by H. Rider Haggard

The Lady of Blossholme was Henry Rider Haggard's 34th piece of fiction, out of an eventual 58 titles. It is a novel that he wrote (or, to be technically accurate, dictated) in the year 1907, although it would not see publication until the tail end of 1909, and is one of the author's more straightforward historical adventures, with hardly any fantasy elements to speak of.

The story takes place in England during the reign of Henry VIII, in the year 1536. This was the period when King Henry was rebelling against Pope Clement VII, and when many Englishmen in the north, and many clergymen, were consequently rebelling against Henry, in the so-called Pilgrimage of Grace. To raise needed funds for this rebellion against the king, the Spanish abbot Clement Maldon murders Cicely Foterell's father a... Read More

Red Seas Under Red Skies: You had me at pirates

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

This review contains spoilers for the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora.

In Red Seas Under Red Skies, Scott Lynch revisits the lives of our favourite gentlemen and bastards, Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, some two years after the first book left them destitute and heartbroken. Locke and Jean are on track for the biggest score of their career. They are going to become incredibly wealthy. They are going to die in some far off place as comfortable and rich men. They are going to make it big — that’s the plan, anyway. Having read the first book in THE GENTLEMAN BASTARD series it was no surprise that, once again, things didn’t go to plan for the Gentleman Bastards.

You aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, ... Read More

WWWednesday: October 7, 2015

On this date in 1714, residents of the Netherlands city of Alkmaar took to the street in a full-blown riot. What caused their outrage? The city fathers had attempted to levy a tax on beer. Don’t mess with the beer, people.

Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John -- @ Palacco Vecchio, various attributions.


Sir Terry Pratchett’s estate announced a $1 million Australian endowment for the University of South Australia. The scholarship will be awarded every two years. It will pay two years’ worth of expenses for the student, and provides $100,000 to that student for an additional year of study at the UniSA or at ... Read More