15 August, 2013

Things of Assorted Varieties

Life continues. I'll soon be moving to work abroad and beginning a new job. Professor Tiddlebottoms had kittens I'll have to find homes for. Etc etc.

Relevant to this blog, the fourth book in The Dying War will be coming out soon. It's basically done, but the editing process has led me to want to run it by more beta readers before releasing it. This will be my first late release, but fortunately I don't have rabid enough fans for anyone to care.

I also just finished writing the fifth book in the series. It was the kind of book I could only write after the first four moved enough story elements into position, so the payoff was satisfying. I'm past the halfway point of this experiment, in my own writing if not release or editing.

The fantasy overview is finally done, long after the friend I wrote it for had read the rough drafts. I'm not sure I'll replace it with anything, but I'm glad at least several other people enjoyed it.

Having said that, this blog will now go back into inactivity mode.

10 August, 2013

Fantasy Overview: Classic Fantasy

The eighth and final part of my fantasy overview.

I've mostly focused on authors who have relatively recent careers, but I wanted to at least mention the reading possibilities for older writers you may have missed.

JRR Tolkien
If you somehow haven't read Tolkien, remedy that.

Eric Eddison
Read The Worm Ouroboros as a good parallel to Tolkien and consider how what we consider standards of the fantasy genre are just one take on an older formula.

Ursula le Guin
Her books are frequently shelved with children's books only because they don't have high sex and violence content. This is thoughtful fantasy that takes a turn for the philosophical at times and comes from a distinctly non-dualistic worldview. If you haven't read her work as an adult, definitely consider it.

George McDonald
Though he wrote more than fantasy, his Phantastes is interesting for fans of the genre. It is like a transitional form between fairy tales and modern fantasy.

Jack Vance
One of the forerunners of modern fantasy. George RR Martin cites him as an influence and you can see the similarities in the mixed whimsy and brutality of the Lyonesse trilogy. His Cugel trilogy also brought antiheroes to fantasy and was a major source for Dungeons & Dragons.

RA Lafferty
He wrote fiction of many types, always requiring thought to interpret. If this is to your taste, definitely read his fantasy.