pippin: (Default)
[personal profile] pippin
Since we've had a couple posts advertising communities ::

Pimp out your favourite or neglected genre-related communities in this post! Books, manga, games, TV, webcomics, whatever; as long as it's genre, link 'em here.

(And don't forget [site community profile] dw_community_promo!)
sanssommeil: (Everything comes alive)
[personal profile] sanssommeil
Some friends of mine created a community dedicated to Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. It can be found at [community profile] swordoftruth. They've also created a community for fans of the Dragonlance books. It's called [community profile] dragonlance and, weeks ago, a community for fans of the Dresden Files at [community profile] dresdenfiles. Go on, have a field day! :)
starlady: (abhorsen key)
[personal profile] starlady
[community profile] thebainherald is a community for news, discussion, sharing, links and fannish content related to the works of the Australian science fiction and fantasy author Garth Nix.

At the moment, it's just yours truly and a few other people puttering around, so if you're hopelessly enthralled by interested in Garth Nix's writing, please do join! I can guarantee that it will never take over your reading list, and I very much hope that it does become a reliable source of small doses of awesome, whether on the part of Nix or of his fans.

werebeasts

Dec. 2nd, 2009 08:55 pm
pippin: (Default)
[personal profile] pippin
Werewolves and other werebeasts and transforming animals and humans -- what are your thoughts? Where does your suspension of disbelief start wavering? Do you prefer magical or genetic transformations?

Does a large mass difference bother you? Do you stay awake at night wondering how a woman with a menstrual cycle could safely and regularly become an animal with an oestrus cycle? Do placental mammals turning into birds or marsupials make you go "err" at the story? Do you get annoyed when the animal forms have human intelligence/morals, or even abilities like telepathy?

...Is this something you've never thought about because you're not weird like me?

What are your favourite stories with werebeasts?
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
[personal profile] hatman
Came across a couple of interesting series lately. Thought I'd share.

1. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy

At first, it just seemed like standard fantasy fare. There's magic. There's a powerful villain running an evil empire. A lowly peasant with unsuspected powers who will clearly play a key role in overthrowing him.

Sanderson's previous book, Elantris, was kind of like that. Long, meaty, interesting, but nothing that special.

But the Mistborn trilogy is bigger than that. There's a whole new system of magic (with whole new facets revealed from book to book). What seem to be casual, unimportant details are gradually revealed to be indicators of vast underlying secrets. There are new twists, new ways of looking at the same characters. Everyone turns out to have been completely wrong in some way, even the gods (who don't appear until the third book). And yet it's perfectly clear that all of it was planned by the author from the very beginning.

At times, it does seem a little heavy-handed that way, especially towards the end. Revelations and exposition can be tricky. "... and I just realized that little thing from way back in the beginning was actually a sign that..." Still, that's a small thing. Overall, it's well written, with a good amount of depth and complexity.

Which is promising, because Sanderson is the writer entrusted with fleshing out the outline Robert Jordan left for the final books in the Wheel of Time series.

2. Dance of the Gods by Mayer Alan Brenner

I'm only just starting this. I'm not entirely certain how good it's going to be. But it's cool so far. A number of characters, each with a distinct voice and narrative style. Different locations. Different problems. A swashbuckling desert adventurer is tracked down and whisked off (on the back of a giant bird) to see an old and powerful friend. The next chapter introduces us to a hard-boiled private detective who works his way through a kidnapping case in a city with such complex, chaotic, and unstable politics that just about the only thing you can count on is an insurance company - and that only because they're backed by one or more gods (and you don't want to meet the claims agents). The adventurer's friend turns out to be a wizard who, despite all precautions, has found himself trapped in a mysterious teleporting castle (and the only means of escape would seem to be finding and freeing the castle's owner, who is likely a local deity, from a magical trap of his own). Then we jump back to the city (a different part of it), where we meet a multifacted character who is introduced as a doctor but turns out to be superhumanly competent in a number of fields (and who has a very dry and amusing take on life), and we learn a little more about the city as he moves through the chaos.

... And that's just the beginning of the first book.

The series was originally published in the late 80s and early 90s, but didn't do too well. According to the author, it did develop a small cult following. He believes the book was simply too far ahead of its time, as the genre has developed since then and styles have changed. So he posted the books free online at his website. They're available in a number of formats, including chapter-by-chapter podcast read by the author. It's an experiment to see if the books have a modern-day audience (and, if so, to figure out what happens next).

I came across it while browsing the books from MobileRead, which has a vast catalog of free Kindle-friendly books.
starlady: (through the trapdoor)
[personal profile] starlady
Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides.

Elizabeth Bear, By the Mountain Bound.

Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

(All links go back to the reviews at my journal. I generally don't spoil.) Anyone else read these? What did you think? In particular, I'd love someone to explain to me just what the heck people love about Tim Powers, as I more or less can't stand his books. (I should mention that On Stranger Tides was recently optioned for the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.)

foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)
[personal profile] foxfirefey
[personal profile] jimhines is seeking your submissions for a 2009 roundup of humorous science fiction and fantasy! (Also posted to [community profile] science_fiction.)

Mermaids

Oct. 30th, 2009 02:00 pm
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
More about non-human characters in fantasy, because it's my current fixation.

I've been thinking a lot about mammalian mermaids, especially since finding these two pieces of art of manatee mermaids. You cannot google for this sort of thing easily, because it turns up results about the theory that manatees breastfeeding their young were the source for the myth of the mermaid, and every single one has the same joke about how the sailors must have been mighty drunk.

Given this line of thought, I've been wondering, with which marine mammal is it best to cross a human to get an interesting mermaid? Seals? Spotted-skin, predatory mermaids with puppy-dog eyes. Dolphin? Curved-spine, greyish mermaids who frolick in the seas, do tricks for fun, and apparently bludgeon other animals to death for fun (disclaimer: Cracked.com hates dolphins with fervor).

Whale mermaid? I'm having difficulty picturing this one, actually. Manatee mermaid? As seen above, an herbivorous mermaid who flourishes in fresh water, has a healthy layer of blubber, and whose hands might be hidden beneath paddling flippers. Not exactly the Little Mermaid. Walrus mermaid? That might be pretty awesome. Otter mermaid? Hey, it's still technically a marine mammal, but then, so is a polar bear.

In non-mammal mermaids, this artist has a whole gallery full of mermaids based on the fish in her fish tank. Very detailed and intriguing, and highly recommended. I've also seen octopus mermaids, which are sometimes called sea-witches, or cecaelia.
foxfirefey: Feet placed sole to sole and colored like green moss. (moss feet)
[personal profile] foxfirefey
So, John Scalzi has a feature on his blog called "The Big Idea". It's a great way to get really tantalizing previews of books you might want to read--and is heavily skewed toward SF/F genre books, too, although it isn't exclusive. A whole site dedicated to the concept is in the works, too.

The latest Big Idea by Nicole Peter has a lot of interesting things to say about urban fantasy, to wit:
In a time of chaos and uncertainty, is it any wonder that urban fantasy, the genre of the contemporary fairy tale, is on the rise? After all, urban fantasy offers a vision of the world in which traditional evils...are often times merely misunderstood. Meanwhile, traditional heroes...are often revealed to be sanctimonious, narrow-minded, and murderous zealots. The binaries neatly dividing good and evil are blurred in this genre, and the underlying message in many urban fantasies seems to be that the individual must make his or her own choices: that we must rely on our own experiences and intellect in a world that wants to brand outsiders as evil, to force ideological dichotomies on reality, and to make soldiers of us all.


Are you an urban fantasy fan (disregarding urban fantasy that you don't like and mainly considering that which you do, if any)? If so, what draws you to the genre? If not, what repels you?
sky: (dgm - yay food)
[personal profile] sky
Hi, I'm new to the community :)

So I've just finished reading everything that's out so far of [livejournal.com profile] otterdance's amazing Nightrunner series, and having absolutely fallen in love with the characters and world (although I see from previous entries that not everyone agrees with me :D;; but to each their own, right?) I've been hoping to find something with a similar feel to it to tide me over until White Road comes out next year. I particularly enjoy the strong, lovable characters, the running-about-being-ninja-y and the political intrigue/high-society schmoozing aspects of the series; romance, slashy or otherwise, is a nice bonus but not the main attraction for me. Also, I find it hard to get into books where there's a lot of character death.

So does anyone have any good suggestions? Thanks in advance for giving it a moment of thought!
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
What books or book series do you know that have non-human protagonists? I know POV characters are almost always human (or very like human), for maximum reader identification, but what about major supporting characters? I remember reading Moorcock's Swords trilogy, where the hero was a member of the long-lived elf-like species. I know there are quite a few books with elf protagonists but they're often not that different from humans.

Urban fantasy of course has a lot of werewolves, vampires and the like, but seems to have less of the people who were born not human, as opposed to humans who were turned into something else. I have a few books on my reading list that have non-human protagonists, but the majority still seem to cast non-humans in minor or antagonist roles. There are a few series I've heard of that flip the perspective and use traditional antagonist species like goblins or orks as protagonists, although I haven't read any of them (yet).

What books have you read with major inhuman characters? Which did you like best, and least? Which species of inhuman would you most want people to write more of? I gotta vote for dwarves.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
I know there are a fair number of published fantasy authors who have blogs on LJ. I just discovered that [personal profile] rosemary_edghill is on DW. Do you know of any others?

Also, who are your favourite fantasy authors to follow on LJ? I currently follow [livejournal.com profile] grrm and [livejournal.com profile] tammy212 as [syndicated profile] grrm_feed and [syndicated profile] tamora_pierce_feed.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
I was thinking... How do you define fantasy? What do you think makes a novel a fantasy book, rather than science fiction, or some other genre? Aside from obvious tropes and markers (dragons + monarchy + quest to save the world), I mean. Is it the presence of magic? Is it a setting that has the semblance of human past, however flimsy? Any setting that's not contemporary or historical, and lacks obvious science fiction markers, like advanced technology, space-faring or other forms of futurism?

I'm asking because I'm curious, but also because I'm working (on and off) on a story that I'm not sure if I could define as fantasy or not. It has no magic, the mythology is no more real or cohesive than human mythologies, all the characters are human. Yet it takes place in a world that is more or less obviously not Earth, and makes no mention of Earth or of human civilization as we know it. Ostensibly, it and our world are mutually exclusive. It's also lacking in any of the traditional fantasy plots; more of a family drama than anything else.

currents

May. 2nd, 2009 12:18 am
pippin: (Default)
[personal profile] pippin
Whatcha reading at the moment? Would you recommend it to others?

After taking a break to read 42 volumes of Dragon Ball I've gone back to The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, an anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I've read less than half of its contents, but so far I've been more disappointed than pleased. Hopefully the quality will pick up...

party go

Apr. 14th, 2009 04:20 pm
pippin: (Default)
[personal profile] pippin
Hi and welcome to [community profile] fantasy!

Why don't we start off with introductions and favourite books and authors?

I am going to be disgustingly unoriginal and say I love the Discworld series to death. I also crush on Lieber's Lankhmar stories pretty hard.
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