Feeds:
Posts
Comments

The Book Smugglers unveiled the cover art for my short story “Mrs. Yaga” today. You can view it in all its glory here, and also read about the artist, the story itself, and why the editors snatched it out of the slush pile.

“Mrs. Yaga” will be published for free on The Book Smugglers November 4th, but there’s also an ebook up for sale packed with goodies that you can pre-order on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Kobo and Google Play.

If you really can’t wait that long to read it–well, you can get it right now by ordering directly from the publisher.

We watched Dracula Untold, then tried to salvage the utterly ruined evening by recording a podcast wherein I mispronounce “caricature”, Marie talks about bad anime shows, and Cory is confused.

Our verdict on the film? Go read The Stress of her Regard by Tim Powers instead!

 

Download the Podcast (27 MB, right-click to save)

Marie’s blog

We spent the last few weeks experiencing what Canadian cinema has to offer. This was the result:

Download the Podcast (30 MB, right-click to save)

Marie’s blog

Films discussed:

Ticket to Heaven

Porky’s

Quest for Fire

The Bear

Dance Me Outside

Rock and Rule

Heavy Metal

Maelstrom

A Dangerous Method

Take this Waltz

Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster

Men with Brooms

Paschendaele

Margaret’s Museum

Anne of Green Gables

Incendies

Rock Paper Dice Enter

Carts of Darkness

The Trotsky

The Clarion Effect?

I was absolutely delighted to hear an upcoming story of mine mentioned on Episode 31 of the Rocket Talk podcast, especially since I listen to Rocket Talk regularly. The last time I got this excited while listening to a podcast was when Tom & Veronica mentioned my Visual Guide to Boneshaker on the Sword & Laser. Anyway, in this episode, Justin Landon (of Staffer’s Book Review) interviewed the Book Smugglers about reviews, publishing and other things.

At one point Landon mentions something he calls “the Clarion Effect”—he claims that science fiction and fantasy stories published in professional venues tend to follow similar structures and display similar voices thanks to the enormous influence of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop on both writers and editors. This is the first time I’ve heard “the Clarion Effect” used this way; usually when a similar phrase pops up it’s in relation to the networking opportunities available for Clarion attendees i.e. meeting future editors and other writers, leading to a (arguably) disproportionate amount of Clarion graduates populating the highest-paying markets.

Of course, that also might be because the Clarion selection process is so rigorous that only the most talented writers who can afford the tuition and Greyhound ticket make it to the workshop in the first place.

I’ve never attended Clarion, so I can’t vouch for the networking or instructional benefits of going there. But I am curious about Landon’s “Clarion Effect”—have any of you noticed a sameness to voices and story structures in sff magazines, particularly American ones? Do you think a workshop can have such a large ripple effect in Anglophone fantastic literature? And do you think this is helpful or not-so-helpful effect to the current state of the field?

(I will note that in this context Landon was praising the Book Smugglers for avoiding the “Clarion Effect” and not automatically choosing big-name authors out of their slush pile—which was fortunate for me! So I’m probably more sympathetic to his argument than I should be.)

Bulfinch's Mythology

The first volume of Bulfinch’s Mythology is a massively important book. After its publication in 1855, The Age of Fable, or Stories of Gods and Heroes became the standard text on classical mythology in the English-speaking world until the mid-twentieth century. After that, it’s still the book most responsible for introducing people to these stories. Thomas Bulfinch’s retellings spread feelers out into wider literature, countless authors drew (and still draw) inspiration from it.

Not that Bulfinch intended his work that way; his own introduction sets out his goal as creating a more easy-going alternative to a classical dictionary. His Mythology wasn’t meant so much as a window into pre-Christian beliefs, but as a means for someone without the benefit of a classical education to understand the allusions of later writers. That is, he wasn’t initially setting out to instil appreciation for classical literature, but giving readers tools to better understand and enjoy poetry written in modern English. He still ended up doing the former, which is why Bulfinch’s Mythology was (and is) such an incredibly popular book.

Continue Reading »

The Book Smugglers announced their upcoming short fiction offerings today, which includes my story “Mrs. Yaga.”

This was the first market I sent that story to, so I was pretty shocked (and pleased!) by the acceptance. The story will also be available as an ebook, and there will be commissioned artwork for the tale.

More details to follow as the publication date approaches.

Fantasy Cataclysms

Continent-shifting cataclysms have been a mainstay in fantasy literature since the 1920s, epic fantasy in particular. It’s a curious thread. After all, human history is such a miniscule portion of geological time that while we’ve seen coastlines shifts or islands rise and sink, we haven’t seen significant alterations of any one landmass since the Stone Age. Continental drift will, by necessity, rarely affect a story or the characters except in the broadest sense. Yet massive geological shifts stay simmering in the foundational works of the modern fantasy genre. Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age, while ostensibly set in our prehistory, has a significantly different-looking map of what would become Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Continue Reading »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 192 other followers