BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Mellie is Snow White’s supposedly wicked stepmother, but she’s been misunderstood for centuries by the one-sided telling of the fairy tale. Now, she’s out to set the story straight and redeem the reputation of stepparents everywhere, but she’s going about it all wrong. Prince “Dave” Charming, one of the several Princes Charming, tries to help her, and they fall for each other.
PROS: Wonderful world-building and nicely drawn characters.; Wickedly Charming is a fun foray into the paranormal romance genre.
CONS: The limitations of the paranormal romance genre hobble Grayson’s story.
BOTTOM LINE: Grayson brings a sweet touch of reality to one of the most maligned characters in fairy tales.
[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
As 2011 draws to a close, it’s time for our annual roundup of SF/F consumed during the year. For this week’s Mind Meld we turned to our ever expanding coterie of SF Signal irregular for their answers. We asked them this question:
What are your favorite SF/F books/movies/TV shows/comics/etc. that you consumed in 2011?
Here’s what they said…
Jessica Strider works once a week at a major bookstore in Toronto. The other 6 days are spent reading books, taking pictures, acting as a pillow for 2 kitties and cooking. Her in store SFF newsletter, the Sci-Fi Fan Letter, eventually evolved into a blog for author interviews, themed reading lists, book reviews and more. She plans to have a novel published one day.
I’m hoping to still read a few good SF/F books before the year ends, but I’ve had a remarkably good year for books so I’m going to focus on those. Here, in the order I read them, are the books I enjoyed and recommend:
The Fallen Blade – Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Eutopia - David Nickle
The Dragon’s Path – Daniel Abraham
O.4/Human.4 – Mike Lancaster
Trouble and Her Friends – Melissa Scott
Element Zero – James Knapp
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
If you read fantasy fiction, then there’s a very good chance you’ve come across the name Terri Windling. From Bordertown, Silver Birch, Blood Moon and anthologies such as The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror she co-edited with Ellen Datlow, Terri has changed the face of contemporary short fiction.
Now Terri is in need and a special website has been dedicated to raise some money for a good cause. Go visit Magick 4 Terri and you can bid on prozes donated by folks like George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Steven Brust and a host of others.
For those who missed the firstthreeparts: I was finally let in on SF Signal’s little secret: they have a time machine and they allowed me to use it to travel back to those times in the history of science fiction that I thought interesting to report on. In part 1, I traveled to the first World Science Fiction convention in 1939 and interviewed John W. Campbell. In Part 2, I made for 1957 where I managed to wrangle an interview from a rather busy Isaac Asimov. For my third trip I’d revisited a Harlan Ellison reading from 1995. After hearing that reading again, I knew where I needed to go next–
I made an educated guess as to where the 97th World Science Fiction convention would be held. Given that the 97th convention would take place in 2039, it seemed to me there was only one possibility: the Big Apple; New York, New York. It turned out that I was correct, and why not? In addition to being the 97th WorldCon, it was also the 100th anniversary of the 1st WorldCon, a visit to which I’ve already described. Even guessing when it would take place wasn’t difficult: September 1-5, Labor Day weekend.
Finding the hotel in which it took place was a bit more tricky. I figured that once I got to New York, I could hop on the Internet and figure it out but the Internet had changed somewhat, evolved into more of an augmented reality in which (as a quickly learned) special contact lenses were needed to reveal and interact with that reality. It took some practice, but I managed. The most difficult part, of course, was obtaining a membership. There was good reason why I couldn’t attend under my own name, and while it is easy to appear to be a journalist in the past when you know what has happened, it is a much trickier thing to do in the future when the last 28 years are an unknown. So I attended as a fan and my name tag (a virtual tag that one could see along with my various social networking statuses thanks to the AR at the hotel) read: DAVID SELIG.
Welcome back to Roll Perception Plus Awareness, my column here on SF Signal about roleplaying games and their place in a genre reader and writer’s world. This time out, I would like to tackle another of the ur-games of the genre.
If the ur-game for fantasy roleplaying games is Dungeons and Dragons, then the ur-game for science fiction, specifically space opera games, is Traveller. While probably near every reader of genre, and many who don’t read genre has heard of Dungeons and Dragons, I bet that Traveller, even though it was a formative a game in its way, is far less known to you. There are reasons for that, but let’s table that for the moment and just correct that imbalance, shall we?