Friday, June 16, 2017

Fantasy Links 6/16/17

Here's a short post for today.

A list of fantasy and science fiction books coming out in the next few months:  http://www.locusmag.com/Resources/ForthcomingBooks.html

An article about ghost writing for a living:  https://www.blackgate.com/2017/06/14/more-thoughts-on-ghostwriting-for-a-living/

An article about the fantasy drinking places we’d like to visit:  https://theportalist.com/fantasy-bars-we-want-to-patronize

An article about collaboration and dreaming:  https://mythicscribes.com/writing-life/collaborative-dreaming/

An article about the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale:  http://www.tor.com/2017/06/15/enchantment-death-and-footwear-the-twelve-dancing-princesses/
Magical Words has several links to interesting articles on writing and such:  http://magicalwords.net

Thursday, June 01, 2017

June Explanation

This is my apology and explanation about what happened to the blog during May. First, please don’t give up on the blog. Keeping a blog needs to be done in a timely and consistent manner, Which I haven’t done especially during May. My only excuse is life events. I’m the sole caretaker for my elderly parents who are in their 90s. Early in May, my father caught the flu. He ended up in the hospital for 3 days and was sent home using a catheter for a few days. Recovery takes a long time for an older person at this age. I spent all of May staying home taking care of things, but had no time for personal or fun stuff. :( My father is much better now. I hope to do a better job with the blog in June barring any more life interruptions. Thank you for hearing me out.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fantasy Links 4/28/17

A writing article about depicting internal conflicts from Mythcreants:  http://mythcreants.com/blog/depicting-internal-conflicts/#more-18260

An article on worldbuilding about siege and siegecraft:  http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/sieges-and-siegecraft-part-two-defenders

An article about the new “American Gods” tv show and the importance of reading the novel first:  http://io9.gizmodo.com/why-you-should-read-the-american-gods-novel-before-watc-1794638929

For those readers and watchers that love anime, here’s an article about anime coming out in the spring:  http://www.tor.com/2017/04/28/spring-2017-anime-preview-can-we-stop-adding-re-to-anime-titles-now/

Lastly, for fun this week an article about to name your nerdy cats:  https://theportalist.com/cat-names-for-your-nerdy-feline

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fantasy Links 4/21/17

Hello,

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Life events as usual interfere. Here are some links to keep you going. Thank you.

An article for writers about poisons. http://www.harpervoyagerbooks.com/hvsciencefair-poison/

Here’s an article about worldbuilding and choosing a weapon for your characters. http://mythcreants.com/blog/choosing-a-weapon-for-your-hero/#more-18217

Here’s an article for readers of Brandon Sanderson and his Cosmere books. http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/introducing-cruising-the-cosmere

Mythic Scribes has a writing article about Foreshadowing. https://mythicscribes.com/writing-techniques/foreshadowing/

The Mad Genius blog has several entries of interest this week.  https://madgeniusclub.com/

Finally, Magical Words has several links posted this week of interest for readers and writers:  http://www.magicalwords.net/

Friday, March 31, 2017

Fantasy Links 3/31/17

Happy End of March! And Happy Friday! Here are some links to interesting articles to end the month. Enjoy.

For some fun and women in fiction here’s an article about favorite all women super teams:  http://www.tor.com/2017/03/31/your-favorite-all-female-super-teams/#more-261622



For those who like books with strong women warriors here’s an article about twelve books with such warriors:  https://theportalist.com/12-fantasy-books-with-powerful-female-warriors

Here’s an article by Ed McDonald on writing and publishing grimdark fantasy when you’re not George R.R. Martin :  https://edmcdonaldwriting.com/2017/01/25/you-are-not-george-rr-martin-how-to-get-published-in-the-grimdark-era-of-fantasy/

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fionavar Tapestry Revisited


Recently I decided to reread the Fionavar Tapestry books by Guy Gavriel Kay. It has been at least twenty years since I read them, but they have remained strong in my memory all that time. Rereading them has not altered my perception. Kay’s blending of memorable characters, mythic themes and a sense of hope still resonates with me. Some people might argue that the books are a poor imitation of Tolkien, however I think they are a powerful statement of hope in time of war in a story with some grimly, dark scenes like some modern fantasy books taking prominent positions now.

The trilogy takes place on the world of Fionavar, the first of all worlds created by the Weaver, the main god who weaves all creation at the loom. On Fionavar are many lesser gods such as Ceinwen the huntress, Dana the moon goddess and Mornir the sky god. The are not supposed to intervene in human affairs, but sometimes do. Many are responsible for the Andain-half human, half god children who can work either for or against humans. The dark, evil lord who needs to be defeated is called Rakoth Maugrim. He has been imprisoned for a thousand years, chained under a volcano. When he breaks free, the struggle for Fionavar and the universe begins.

The Summer Tree begins the trilogy with five Canadian college students transported by a wizard to the world of Fionavar. Once there, they find themselves caught up in the growing troubles of the world. There is an unending drought in Brennin, the main nation that takes the lead in the story. The kingdom has an elderly king whose two sons are questionable heirs. One is in exile and the younger son Diarmuid tends to be wild and unpredictable. Jennifer, Paul, Kevin, Kim and David begin to find different roles in the story. Kim finds herself being trained as a seer by Ysanne. Jennifer cements her friendship with the mage Loren Silver Cloak and his source Matt. Paul and Kevin are adopted into prince Diarmuid’s band. David is separated from his friends, lost among the nomadic Dalrei. Kay weaves various mythologies together to create vivid images and uneasy resolutions for the characters in the book.

In the second book, The Wandering Fire, things change for everyone. Mr. Kay introduces new elements into the story adding Arthurian characters to the epic fantasy and enhancing the story with a new theme. The students return to Fionavar facing an endless winter created by Rakoth Maugrim. They return with the Warrior who is King Arthur. He has been condemned to relive his life over and over until a final battle as punishment for killing the children to try to circumvent his fate. It is discovered that Jennifer is Guenevere and their tragic story begins to play out again on Fionavar. Two groups break off to go on separate quests. One group goes to an island to stop a traitor mage. The other group travels to the temple of the goddess to seek an end of the winter. Some events are resolved while new ones emerge making this a strong middle book.

The final book, The Darkest Road, finds all the characters must come together for the final battle to save Fionavar. Mr. Kay emphasizes the importance of the theme of the choice given by free will over fate or destiny. This theme is demonstrated through different characters. Jennifer’s son Darien must decide whether to serve Evil or Good on his own without any advice from anyone. The author uses the Wild Hunt as the random thread of the tapestry. Finn is the character who leaves his loving family to lead the Hunt, which kills indiscriminately. A young Dalrei boy, Tabor, rides a winged unicorn. Every time he rides her, he becomes more distant from his family and world, seeing to fade away. The Arthurian characters strive to break their endless cycle while the remaining students from Canada play their roles to the bittersweet end with their own decisions. The trilogy comes to a satisfying, poignant conclusion.


Rereading the Fionavar Tapestry brought back my emotions and memories from the first time I read these books. The author’s blending of Arthurian characters, mythic themes and epic fantasy tropes make the books a powerful, memorable reading experience. I gained a new perspective from the rereading and the twenty years of life experience that helped change my perspective. Readers will experience sad moments that bring tears and happy ones that give hope. The books are worth seeking out and reading.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fantasy Links 3/13/17

Sorry I’m late with this week’s blog post. Here are some links to interesting articles.
 
A video of a panel of five authors discussing the evolution of modern day fantasy:  http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/03/5-amazing-authors-discuss-evolution-modern-fantasy/

A writing article about five tips to writing a layered character:  http://mythcreants.com/blog/five-tips-for-creating-a-layered-character/