There wasn’t a ton of action this week on the prize and list-making front, possibly because the entire commercial world is sliding into that pit of shame and horror that we call Black Thursday. That said, the British Science Fiction Award is now open for nominations, and I recently found the monthly book drop at Geek Exchange, which helpfully lists the important speculative fiction releases for the month. Oh, and here’s an all-time list of the best horror stories ever.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBut there were about a bajillion (that’s a metric gazillion) interesting and awesome articles about the books we all love so much. First up, in honor of the release of the very well-received Catching Fire, I rustled up a few good links on The Hunger Games. First, people are so in love with the new movie that they’re comparing it to The Empire Strikes Back, which is great but Peeta ain’t no young Harrison Ford. There’s also an article at Flavorwire discussing the unusual romantic plot in The Hunger Games, which is interesting even if you happen to think the romantic plot isn’t very unusual (a teenage girl with two equally awesome guys willing to love her unconditionally for no real reason? Be still my beating heart). Finally and most awesomely, I present to you a lingual comparison of Suzanne Collins, Stephanie Meyers, and J.K. Rowling. The most-used phrase in Twilight? “I sighed.” The defense rests, your honor.

Branching out from Katniss, we’ve got the Guardian’s excellent article about the next generation of science fiction Grand Masters—who could step into the smelly old-man shoes of Arthur C. Clarke and Frederick Pohl? Then there’s a short and sweet article from Chloe Smith at Fantasy Faction that deals with the definition of “epic” fantasy and the much older definition of an epic as a story about a vast and changing world. Oh, and I’m also a sucker for analytical articles that take apart a repetitive trope, so here’s one at Kirkus Reviews about the function of portals in SFF. Apparently, fantasy writers use portals to step into the secondary world, while sci-fi authors are just trying to cut down on travel time. And just for fun, here’s a list of the best monsters from children’s literature (which is missing the Other Mother but does include the Black Rabbit of Inle, which is about 1000% more terrifying than a rabbit should be).

In the writing and publishing world, Book View Café recently republished Marion Zimmer Bradley’s 1996 essay on writing short stories, and it’s worth reading if you ever dream of submitting stories to magazines. Similarly, io9 has 8 unstoppable rules for writing short stories, which I’m pretty sure are only unstoppable if you also have time, talent, and ambition.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsAmanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman also did one of those confusing but entertaining ask me anythings on reddit, which probably isn’t confusing if you actually know how reddit works. And there’s going to be a graphic novel about Andre the Giant! Which might not logically be fantasy news, except that he was Fezzik and we love him forever for it.

Lastly and with characteristic indulgence, we’ve got Stuff for Your Eyeballs. First, here’s an absolutely gorgeous etsy shop full of fantastical animal sculptures that look like they came straight from a Valente novel.  Then there’s a photo collection of what literary awards look like, so that your fantasies about your acceptance speech can be more accurate. Then there are some hilariously weird paperback covers, including the single most horrible cover of The Princess Bride humankind has ever seen. To make up for your horror, there’s also Air New Zealand’s super cute commercial where everybody turns into Hobbits. And who would have guessed there were this many Hunger Games parody videos. Seriously.


  • Alix E. Harrow

    ALIX E. HARROW, who retired from our blog in 2014, is a part-time historian with a full-time desk job, a lot of opinions, and excessive library fines. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Strange Horizons,, Apex, and other venues. She won a Hugo Award for her fiction in 2019. Alix and her husband live in Kentucky under the cheerful tyranny of their kids and pets. Find her at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter. Some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Susanna Clarke.

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