By Sarah Chorn | Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 12:29 am
I’ve mentioned a few times that my big brother is the reason I got into genre. He is also the entire reason I write this column.
My brother Rob is disabled in numerous ways. Reading, for him, has always been a way to relate to the world, feel like he’s less alone, and help me understand his perspective. Rob is a hell of a guy, but due to severe seizures a few years ago, he can’t read anymore, which breaks my heart. He was the one who collected books and showed me what a wealth of information and experiences are in books. Books have helped me understand him more than I ever imagined I could.
I had a conversation on the phone with Rob to talk to him about what the genre means to him, and why he thinks that disabilities are important in speculative fiction. It was really enlightening to talk openly about disabilities in the genre with the person who got me into the genre in the first place. It was also really neat to see how disabilities are represented in the genre from a disabled person’s point of view.
By Sarah Chorn | Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 12:29 am
Even if you haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, you’ve probably heard the name Tyrion Lannister thrown around a bit. Tyrion is, dare I say it, one of the most memorable, compelling characters in current epic fantasy. In fact, he is so compelling that I’ve had to make a stipulation on my Special Needs in Strange Worlds guest posts: Please do not talk about Tyrion Lannister. He is a fantastic character, but if I let everyone talk about him, that’s the only person anyone will ever talk about. (Full disclosure: I have also had to make that rule about Miles Vorkosigan, but I haven’t read those books yet so I’m not really qualified to talk about him.)
Speculative Fiction is a genre that has a tendency to overcompensate for disabilities. Some common examples are the blind person who is also a seer. There’s the guy with an injured leg that just happens to have superhuman strength or an abnormal level of loyalty; and the character everyone thinks is insane but actually sees the truth of all things. These are just a few of the common tropes dealing with disability that I run across frequently in my books. While I understand the need for authors to have an “in” regarding some of these abilities, or give their readers a reason for them to exist, it often makes me wonder if these disabilities even matter in the grander scope, as they are so overshadowed by the character’s incredible, implausible abilities. Read the rest of this entry
George R.R. Martin has posted the table of contents for the upcoming anthology he co-edited with Gardner Dozois, Old Venus. This is a follow up to another upcoming anthology, Old Mars. Martin says “Gardner and I wish to categorically deny the rumor that we are now working on OLD URANUS”. Hiyo!
Amazon has announced that they are launching a new imprint called Jet City Comics to publish original comics. Their flagship titles include adaptations of works by George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey, and the authors of the bestselling Foreworld Saga (Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo).
When George R.R. Martin recently visited Conan to talk about the Death-Prone Characters in Game of Thrones, they took him backstage where they grilled him about surprising plot details coming up in season 4.
George R.R. Martin has posted the table of contents for his the upcoming anthology he co-edited with Gardner Dozois. It’s called Rogues and is their latest of “big cross-genre anthologies”:
This one was an enormous amount of fun. We’re got something for everyone in ROGUES — SF, mystery, historical fiction, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, comedy, tragedy, crime stories, mainstream. And rogues, cads, scalawags, con men, thieves, and scoundrels of all descriptions. If you love Harry Flashman and Cugel the Clever, as I do, this is the book for you.
If there’s any bloody justice, some of these stories will contend for awards.
By JoshVogt | Thursday, March 28th, 2013 at 10:00 am
What is it about dogs that hold such a special place in our hearts? Is it their undying loyalty? Their unceasingly wagging tails? The feral gleam in their adorable puppy eyes when they leap for the throats of our mortal enemies?
Probably a mix of all that, in varying degrees.
Whatever the reason, dogs cling close to our heels even in realms of fantasy and wonder, popping up alongside urban fantasies and epic fantasies alike. There’s something about a person–be they wizard, warrior, angel, demon, or otherwise–who has a faithful canine companion that makes them instantly more personable and sympathetic. After all, if the dog likes the guy well enough, they can’t be all that bad, can they? The opposite is often true, as one of the defining aspects of villainy is the mindless kicking of puppies or drowning sacks of them in the nearest river, is it not?
Let’s give the dogs their day, then, and look at a few examples of fantasy series where these four-legged friends join in the endless adventures of speculative fiction.
George R.R. Martin has posted the table of contents for the upcoming anthology Old Mars he co-edited with Gardner Dozois. It’s just been delivered to the publisher (Bantam), so not much more is known…but here’s what we do know about the anthology gleaned from George’s post:
OLD MARS is a new anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories about Old Mars (not the real post-Mariner Mars, but the one we all loved as kids, with the canals and the dead cities and the various flavors of Martian).
The anthology will feature fifteen original, never-before-published short stories and novelettes, story notes and author intros by Gardner Dozois, and an introduction by George R.R. Martin.
If ever there was a success story coming out of the field of literary science fiction and fantasy, it has to be the story of George R.R. Martin. These days, Martin is famous because of HBO’s adaptation of his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, an ongoing, multivolume series of epic fantasy novels depicting the struggle for control over the fictional continent of Westeros. But long before the drama unfolded in House Lannister, Martin was involved in many other worthwhile projects.
Viewers chomping at the bit for the new season of Game of Thrones to begin will enjoy this “illuminating special that revisits the stunning events of Season 1, introduces the major players, and presents a tantalizing peek at Season 2.”
HBO has released the “Power And Grace” Trailer for Season 2 of Game Of Thrones, which premieres April 1st. I’m one of the very few who hasn’t seen Season 1, so it’s difficult for me to tell if this is something fans are looking forward to.
Are you a fan? Does this trailer stoke your interest? Rate it on a scale of 1 – 10.