Giveaway!

Unless a Giveaway says otherwise, we can only send books to US addresses. If you’ve won a book, please contact Marion to let her know which book you’ve won and your US mailing address. If you don’t see a winner mentioned in the comment section, please let Marion know that she forgot to pick one. Good Luck!

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Thoughtful Thursday: Max Gladstone talks about writing fight scenes (and gives away a book)

Max Gladstone writes the CRAFT SEQUENCE which we love not only for its unique characters, world and plot, but for its awesome cover art. The most recent CRAFT book, Last First Snow, was released last week. I haven't had a chance to read it yet (can't wait!), but I'm assuming it's got some amazing fight scenes in it because that's what Max is here to talk about today: Writing fight scenes!

One commenter with a US or Candian address will win their very own copy (including awesome cover!) of Last First Snow.

Fantasy writers and readers spend a lot of time talking about action. We want cool fight scenes! But what do we mean when we say that?

Fights are tricky. We think we know what a “good fight scene” looks like, most of the time, because we know what a good fight scene looks lik... Read More

Jana Chats with Scott Hawkins (and gives away a book she loves)

Today Scott Hawkins stops by Fantasy Literature to talk shop. We discuss writing, language, literary influences, and summer cocktails. One lucky U.S.-based commenter will win a copy of Hawkins’ debut novel, The Library at Mount Char, which I absolutely loved.

Jana Nyman: What drew you from computer sciences to writing fiction?

Scott Hawkins: It was the other way around. I more or less always wanted to be a writer, at least from the time I was twelve or so, but I knew the odds of success weren’t good. I hoped I’d have whatever it took to keep going, and the luck to get published eventually, but I didn’t think it was smart to bet on it. In a lot of Read More

The Expanded Universe: Exploration Blues

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 Carolyn Ives Gilman, who is a Nebula and Hugo Award–nominated writer and real-life historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Her novels include Halfway Human and the two-volume novel Isles of the Forsaken and Ison of the Isles. Her short fiction appears in many Best of the Year collections and has been translated into seven languages. In her latest work, Dark Orbit... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Our annual Limerick Contest!

It's time for our annual Fantasy Limerick contest!

Your task is to create a limerick that has something to do with speculative fiction. It could be about a character, a series, an author, or whatever fits the theme. Here are the rules for creating a good limerick (quoting from this source). A limerick:

is five lines long
is based on the rhythm "da-da-DAH" (anapest meter)
has two different rhymes
Lines 1, 2, and 5 have three of those da-da-DAH "feet," and rhyme with each other.
Lines 3 and 4 have two, and rhyme with each other.
You can break the meter rules if there's a good reason. You may

drop the first "da" in a line, changing that foot to da-DAH
add an extra "da" or two at the end of a line IF it's used for an extended rhyme, such as cannibal and Hannibal


The best limericks are fun... Read More

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

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in June 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

Kat Chats with Xe Sands (and gives away something)

Xe Sands (pronounced EK-see) is one of my favorite audiobook narrators. She performs in many genres, but I’m mostly familiar with her SFF titles such as Juliet Blackwell’s books, Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance, and Kelly Meding’s DREG CITY series. I’ve read several online interviews with Xe in which I learned all sorts of interesting Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in June 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Terry chats with Dan Wells (and gives away a copy of The Devil’s Only Friend)

This week Dan Wells, author of The Devil's Only Friend, the first novel in the second JOHN CLEAVER trilogy, stops by to answer some questions about demons, mortuary science, and writing for young adults — or, as he calls it, writing. It’s a terrific book (as were all three entries in the first trilogy, here are my reviews), and Dan has some interesting things to say about it. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Devil's Only Friend to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Terry Weyna: What persuaded you to return to John Wayne Cleaver’s story of demon-hunting now, several years after you completed the first trilogy about Cleaver, written The Hollow City, and completed t... Read More

The Expanded Universe: Elite Groups in SFF

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I’ll be featuring essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers, talking about anything SFF related that interests us. My guest today is Micah Dean Hicks, who is a Calvino Prize-winning author of fabulist fiction. His collection of Southern fairy tales, Electricity and Other Dreams, was recently published by New American Press and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. You can follow him on Twitter at @micahdeanhicks or at his website  Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The Game of Groans 2015

It's time for our second annual GAME OF GROANS contest! This is Fantasy Literature's version of the Bad Hemingway, Faux Faulkner, and Bulwer-Lytton fiction contests.

Your task is to write an atrocious example of original fantasy fiction. Something that really makes us groan! It could be several paragraphs long, or only a couple of sentences.

To inspire you, we offer the winning entry from last year's GAME OF GROANS contest. This little gem was written by E.J. Jones:
The Sleeper: A Retelling of “Sleeping Beauty”

 

He... Read More

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

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in May 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

Bill chats with K.M. McKinley (and gives away a copy of The Iron Ship)

This week K.M. McKinley, author of The Iron Ship, stops by to answer some questions about her fascinating debut novel set in a quasi-industrial world and centered on a quintet of siblings. It’s a book you’ll want to pick up, so read on to learn how it came about. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Iron Ship to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Bill Capossere: One of the aspects I liked quite a bit about The Iron Ship was that we were presented with a world with a clear sense of a future via industrial/technological mom... Read More

The Expanded Universe: Tricksters in Fairy Tales

Huehuecoyotl, the Aztec trickster god

“They seek him here, they seek him there..."

This past spring, I taught a class on fairy tales and fairy tale adaptations to undergraduates at the University of Mississippi. We started the semester reading three stories: "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Rumplestiltskin," and "Cagliuso" (Straparola’s Italian counterpart to "Puss in Boots"). I chose these stories first so we could talk about trickster figures because, let’s face it, tricksters are fun.

The archetype of the trickster is older than recorded literature. Jack Zipes’ essay “Fairy as Witch/Witch as Fairy,” in his collection The Irresistible Fairy Tale, posits that stories about both witches and fairies may be descended from myths about pagan goddesses associated with the earth and with the feminine energies of both virginity and procreation. When it comes to... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Happy Birthday to us!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

This week marks our EIGHTH birthday! Yep, we've been hanging out together (well, some of us) since June 2007!

To celebrate, we'd like to invite some characters from speculative fiction to our virtual birthday party. We'd like YOU to choose the guests. Who should we invite, and why? What do you think might happen? Oh, and of course, you're invited, too!

EIGHT commenters from the US or Canada will receive a gift from us: some festive FanLit BOOKMARKS and a delicious FANLIT T-SHIRT (or, if you prefer, a book from our stacks). Make sure to click the little box so you'll get the notification, or check back in about 10 days. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in May 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

The Expanded Universe: Where Music and Fantasy Intersect

Welcome to my first Expanded Universe column where I'll be featuring essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers, talking about anything SFF related that interests us. My guest today is Peter Orullian, author of the VAULT OF HEAVEN series.

One commenter will win a book from our Stacks.

Peter Orullian

I write epic fantasy. I’m also a musician. So, for me, when Kate and I corresponded on possible topics for an article, and she suggested “the intersection of music and fantasy,” I le... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The Nebula and Hugo Awards: You choose the winners!

(MEGA-GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter with a US address will get a copy of each of the nominated books — that’s right, eight volumes!)

Yes, it’s award season again. With the Prometheus Awards short list announced and the Arthur C. Clarke Awards already chosen, the Nebulas and the Hugos are coming up rapidly. The Nebulas will be awarded at the Nebula Weekend in Chicago, Illinois, June 4-7. The Hugo awards will be announced on August 22, at Sasquan, in Spokane, Washington.

The Hugos made t... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover!

It's time again for one of our favorite games!

Please help us rename the horrible cover of this book by Grande Dame Andre Norton.

The author of the new title we like best wins a book from the FanLit Stacks.

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Please send it to Kat.

We love this game!

NEXT WEEK's Thoughtful Thursday column: We'll be giving away all of the Nebula and Hugo nominated novels to one lucky winner! Read More

Jana Chats with Gwenda Bond (and gives away a book, of course!)

Today, Gwenda Bond stops by FanLit to chat about her newest novel, Lois Lane: Fallout, which I thought was both a fantastic story and a refreshing take on some old YA stereotypes. She was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the book and her writing process, and one lucky U.S.-based commenter will win a copy of Lois Lane: Fallout!

Gwenda Bond

Jana Nyman: The narrative of Lois Lane: Fallout is told strictly fro... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in April 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

Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal on the Brave New Worlds Tour

I had the chance to see Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal at Copperfield's Books in Petaluma California on May 7. I have a signed copy of Kowal's Of Noble Family and a signed copy of Brennan's Voyage of the Basilisk to give away to one lucky random commenter with a U.S. address.

Mary Robinette Kowal (left, with egret feather) and Marie Brennan take questions from the audience.

“We dress like this all the time,” Mary Robinette Kowal said in response to a casual question, as she and Marie Brennan sat down at the table in Copperfield’s Books. “Mine’s really comfortable. It’s like a nightgown.”

Marie Brennan lo... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in April 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Started in 2002, Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May. To get your free comics on Saturday, you’ll need to locate a local comic bookstore and, if in doubt, give them a call to see if they are participating. Chances are, if it’s an independent comic book store, they are offering free comics, because FCBD is designed to celebrate comics, to introduce comic books to new readers, to celebrate the unique independent comic book stores that sell them, and to support comic book stores by bringing in new customers in addition to the regular patrons.



If you are new to comics, FCBD is for you just as much as it is for those of us who can’t make it through a single day without reading comics. For me and others like me, it’s a day of celebration. But we also want to reach out to new readers.

So, if you have never been into a comic book store before, pl... Read More

Bill Chats with Ken Liu and gives away a copy of The Grace of Kings

Today Ken Liu stops by to answer a few questions about his newest work The Grace of Kings, the first in a series of “Silkpunk” and an ambitiously structured novel that won me over for its change-of-pace narrative construction and original setting, as well for its somewhat rare focus on social and technological change in a fantasy world. We'll be giving away a copy of The Grace of Kings to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Bill Capossere: In my review, I mentioned how I’d had a hard time at the start with Grace of Kings, due to its narrative structure, which I described as both episodic and also very nearly a kind of linked-short-story form and which at the outset at... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Who’s Your Favorite Frenemy?

Urban Dictionary gives one definition of “frenemy” as “someone who is both friend and enemy, a relationship that is both mutually beneficial or dependent while being competitive and fraught with risk and mistrust.” This made me think of many of my favorite SFF heroes and their various relationships. A “frenemy” may be an old comrade who went over to the other side; it might be a former mentor, or a family member. It might be that dangerous romantic partner our main character just can’t stay away from. A frenemy is always good for cranking up the tension, and provides useful information to our protagonist when it is needed.

"The Deal" by Lowranzy6699 at Deviantart (used with permission)

Who is your favorite “frenemy” in SFF? Tell us who and why in the comments. One random commenter w... Read More