WWWednesday: April 2, 2014

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsLists and Awards

I’ve only got one award on this week’s menu: the Hans Christian Andersen award for children’s fiction, which Wiki tells me is the “Nobel prize” of kid’s books. Thanks, crowdsourced reference work.

To make up for the lack of awards, I can provide a veritable cornucopia of reading lists. First, here’s Buzzfeed’s recommendations for new books based on the series you loved as a kid. This is a fantastic idea, except that I loved Harry Potter but found Lev Grossman’s The Magicians to be about as self-consciously clever and narcissistic as a teenager’s diary entry (although I’m in the minority). Huffington Post has deployed a similar strategy for finding more women writers, by making connections between writers you know, and those you should explore.

Then here are ten fantasy books worth reading in April. Given that I’m hip deep in classic African literature (Ngugi’s Weep Not, Child, this week), this list makes me teary-eyed with unrequited booklust.

Articles and Such

First, in honor of Game of Thrones coming back on, here’s an article about literary incest from Oedipus to the Lannisters. My conclusion from reading this? Of all the cultural taboos that make me feel icky (cannibalism, murder, bestiality), incest might make me feel the ickiest. Martin’s greatest feat has been to convince me to care about Ol’ Kingslayer anyway.

In the more huh-well-that’s-a-good-way-to-waste-time vein, here are some graphs that chart the rations of TV shows over time, enabling us to detect when seasons totally tanked. And here’s a quiz that will tell you what fantasy city you belong in. I can personally vouch for its accuracy, because it told me to live in Neverland. The internet has peered into my soul.

And here’s something that shouldn’t be as entertaining as it is: You can look up a word in English and see it translated into every European language. On a map. And maps are glorious.

You also need to know what fantasy city you belong in. I got Neverland, and feel as though the internet has peered into my soul.

Publishing and Writing

Well, there’s a Patrick Rothfuss novella coming out this year. I gather this is an Event of Some Significance, but…seriously Kvothe and his harp could quit school and go live in a hobbit hole and never be heard from again, and it wouldn’t bother me. As long as I never had to read another paragraph about how smart he was.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

In movie news, the Hollywood gods have held a conference and determined that they should spend their time brutally betraying their fans by turning tiny side stories into three-part epics. Apparently they’re making Harry Potter’s textbooks (literally his textbooks) into multi-part movies.


All the Pretty Things

Actually I only have one pretty thing: These photographs of animals and people, by a Russian artist. I swear to god there’s like nine fantasy novels waiting to be written in here.


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ALIX E. HARROW recently got her MA in History at the University of Vermont, and has circled back to her Old Kentucky Home with her partner Nick Stiner. She spends her time desperately repairing their newly-purchased home, reading fantasy books, throwing a frisbee for their neurotic border collie, and trying to cook authentic Mexican food. She makes a hilariously small amount of money writing high school history curriculum. Alix is dipping her toes into the blogosphere at The Other Side of the Rain, in an attempt to sharpen her writing skills and also not-incidentally talk about the books she loves. Some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Susanna Clarke.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for all these links to check out – and you’re not the only one to not exactly fawn over The Magicians series :-)

  2. And you’re not the only one to be less than smitten by Patrick Rothfuss’ “Hey, look at me!” peddling of the purplest of treacle…

    Regarding incest, have a read of Elizabeth Hand’s Illyria for another perspective. It’s equal parts disturbing and empathetic…

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