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!

Here’s a link to our stacks.
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Thoughtful Thursday: Back to school! (giveaway)

It's that time of year again.

Children groan and parents cheer as another year of school begins!

In fact, at this very moment, as I'm writing this post, I'm trying to get the last of my kids off to school for the day before I leave for work.

Maybe if he went to Hogwarts, he'd be more enthusiastic about his education. They certainly had a better school lunch!

Did you ever fantasize about being a student at a fictional school? Which speculative fiction institution would you like to attend? Or is there a school you'd hope to be expelled from if you were a student there?

As always, one random commenter with a US address wins a book or audiobook from our stacks. Read More

GIVEAWAY: Liar’s Island by Tim Pratt

Our friends at Tor and Paizo have provided a copy of Tim Pratt's Liar's Island (PATHFINDER TALES), which was released today, to give away to one of our readers in the U.S. or Canada. If you'd like a chance to win, simply submit the form below.

Here's what Tor says about Liar's Island:

In the tradition of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (if one were a talking magical sword), Liar's Island follows the story of the charming Rodrick and his talking blade of magical ice named Hrym. They are accomplished con artists and occasional adventurers — as long as it means easy money. When they are called to the court of the exotic southern island, Jalmeray, they become pawns in a dangerous game of political intrigue. The... Read More

The Expanded Universe: Romani Power in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Part Two (giveaway!)

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 Jessica Reidy. Reidy attended Florida State University for her MFA in Fiction and holds a B.A. from Hollins University. Her work is Pushcart-nominated and her poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction have appeared in Narrative Magazine as Short Story of the WeekThe Los Angeles ReviewThe Missouri Review, and other journals. She’s Managing Editor for  Read More

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

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

5 Questions for Ernest Cline (and 2 free copies of Armada!)

Ernest Cline has been one of the hottest writers to hit the SF scene since his 2011 debut Ready Player One, a loving tribute to 1980s pop culture within a dystopian future world, became a runaway bestseller. The movie rights were quickly snapped up and the legendary Steven Spielberg has been tapped to do the film adaptation. It’s hard to get off to a more explosive start, and Ernie has finally produced a long-awaited second book, Armada, which was just released in July and is an action-packed story inspired by The Last Starfighter, Ender’s Game, and Star Wars. Ernie was kind enough to take some time out from his packed book promotion tour for Armada to answer ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Tom Doyle wonders about secret mages (and gives away a book!)

Tom Doyle blends historical fiction and urban fantasy in his AMERICAN CRAFT series. I loved his first bookAmerican Craftsmen and can't wait to read his newest offering, The Left-Hand Way. Tom's here today to talk about secret mages and to give away a copy of The Left-Hand Way to one commenter.

My AMERICAN CRAFT series is about the adventures and intrigues of modern-day magician-soldiers, or craftsmen. While their abilities are clearly supernatural, they are also things that could go largely unnoticed by non-practitioners: a favorable alteration in the local weather, a bit of edge in combat skills, a vision of a possible future. For the backstory of the craftspeople, I’ve imagined that their ancestors have been secretly intervening in world events since prehistoric times.

Thus, during the past ... 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 July 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

Marion talks to Chris Willrich, and gives away a book

Chris Willrich is a novel and short story writer. His most recent book, The Chart of Tomorrows, completes the GAUNT AND BONE fantasy trilogy (here are my reviews). Recently, Chris took time to talk to me about writing, poetry, and being a librarian.

I've got a copy of The Chart of Tomorrows to send to one commenter with a U.S. address.

Marion Deeds: The GAUNT AND BONE series started, with The Scroll of Years, in a land very much like our China. In The Silk Map you introduced a nomadic people similar to the Mongols, who use hot-air balloons. In The Chart of Tomorrows, we have magic based on Scandinavian folklore… and even a bit of Celtic influence, I think. Do you just love folklore? I guess the mor... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this cover!

 

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

Please help us rename the cover of this book.

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

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

We love this game!

 

  Read More

Jana Chats with Melissa de la Cruz (and gives away a book!)

Today, Melissa de la Cruz stops by Fantasy Literature to celebrate the paperback release of Vampires of Manhattan, the first book in her newest series, THE NEW BLUE BLOODS COVEN. She talks about John Milton, vampires and angels, and a martini recipe which sounds divine. And we’re giving away a copy of Vampires in Manhattan to one U.S.-based commenter!

Jana Nyman: In both your BLUE BLOODS and THE NEW BLUE BLOODS COVEN series, there are no vampires as they’re recognized throughout history — they’re actually fallen angels who spread a “Conspiracy” of misinformation to keep humans ignorant of the centuries-old war being fought right under their noses. Was this a deliberate effort on your part to stand apart from the other paranormal fantasy novels in the market, or a consequence of th... Read More

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 www.micahdeanhicks.com

... 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