Saturday, 27 November 2010

bite me: the week in bite-sized chunks

Amazon: Tad Williams and Christopher Paolini have been in conversation on Amazon this week. This is mainly news to me because Paolini is no longer the self-published 16-year-old first-time writer who penned Eragon and is now an actual grown up. This makes me feel old. I loved this conversation because it’s two SFF writers eking out each others’ opinions on Fantasy writing and what it means to them. Here’s a snippet of Paolini’s thoughts on why SFF resonates so keenly with readers today and why it will continue to as long as humans don’t spontaneously mutate:
‘Fantasy is the oldest form of literature; the very first stories that humans told while crouched around campfires were stories about gods and monsters and tragic mistakes and heroic feats. Even now, those topics still resonate with us on a primal level, which is one reason I think fantasy will remain popular with readers as long as humans are still human.’

Del Ray: Every Friday Del Ray Spectra post 50 pages of one of their titles up on their home site, Suvudu. This week it’s the turn of Terry Brooks’ Urban Fantasy Running With The Demon, which is a departure from his usual elves and swords Fantasy (warning: ‘elves and swords Fantasy’ does not accurately represent of all of Brooks’ work to date). Anyway, I’m not sure how much credence could possibly come from a geek who uses this word, but this is amazingly cool of Del Ray to give these tasters, and on a Friday too (the perfect day for tasters). They started this on 15th October and the excerpt for every title they’ve done this for is still available. They also welcome comments and requests for specific titles so it’s well worth an interactive look, especially if you’ve been considering purchasing Star Wars fiction as it’s good to be sure it’s worthwhile.

The Black Library: A straight-to-DVD film of Warhammer 40k is being released on Monday 29th November, the aptly named Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 movie. The first film stemming from over twenty years of material, SFX magazine have given it 2.5 stars for being a ‘difficult film to love’.

Voyager: back from their holidays and encouraging readers to bookmark their author Peter V. Brett’s blog and showcasing some truly lovely, minimalist reissuing of Megan Lindholm’s backlist using Jackie Morris’ beautiful artwork to match alter-ego Robin Hobb’s covers. Since returning from holiday, Assistant Editor Amy McCulloch has sent me a Hobb book to review for their blog, The Dragon Keeper, Book One of The Rain Wild Chronicles. This is despite the fact that the reviews so far that I’ve put up here have been negative in parts (and lacking in parts), indicating that they put their readers first above their own wellbeing. At first glance, on a purely visual level, Morris’ artwork alone is enticing, although the metallic covers bizarrely put me in mind of the silver pogs I used to collect at primary school (seriously, what are pogs?).

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