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Archive for July, 2011

I’ve been going through a bit of a rut on my writing, lately, but I wouldn’t call it writer’s block so much as a breather.  No better time to reflect about being a young writer in Canada (I made that promise on the “About” page, didn’t I?), since, well, it’s not like I’m writing anything else.

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Below the cut, please find my cohesive visual response to Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker.  It was heavily inspired by Kyra’s visual review of The Book of Words on Ferretbrain.  It’s also done entirely in pencil, and is a bit rougher than other comics on this blog, but I really didn’t want to redraw it in pen.  Obviously, spoilers abound.  This is also fairly light-hearted, and I don’t mean to offend Cherie Priest or her fans with its contents (and if she sees this, then: Sorry!).

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While the Gods Laugh

 

Just thought I’d save you the trouble of reading them.

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I’ve spent a good deal of time on this blog discussing the possible forms and functions of fantasy, what it does, why we read it, and all the rest.  And I’ll continue to do so.  After all, I started writing articles here because, for some unfathomable reason, I actually missed writing papers in university.  I’m strange that way.  In the end though, there’s a major caveat to all my musings on the topic:

Sometimes, people just want to write about dragons.  And sometimes, people just want to read about them.

Trying for a “grand theory” behind fantasy is a lost cause, really.  Humans are fundamentally irrational.  We like some things.  We dislike others.  We all have different reasons.  Sometimes, we don’t have any reasons at all.

My reasons for reading fantasy and writing it have a deep connection to my experience as an immigrant in Canada.  I even wrote a piece about it all, once, but the end result was far too personal for me to comfortably put up here (and contained some genuine anger as well, which doesn’t really fit with the atmosphere on One Last Sketch).  Suffice to say, the reasons I read and enjoyed fantasy, and came to write primarily fantasy, aren’t the same as the reasons most of my friends do.  From various discussions across the net in the past seven months, it’s clear other people have very different connections to imaginative literature that they’re trying to work out as well.

Sure, we might write fantasy to explore history.  Or embark on some philosophical experiment.  Or try and explore the emptiness of modern life.

But sometimes, we just want to write an adventure in lands unknown.  Sometimes, we just want to read a bit of fluff where people smack swords against each other.

Sometimes, we just want to write about dragons.

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In Canadian fantasy, I look to Charles de Lint and Guy Gavriel Kay as “the big two”, both producing an immense amount of often beautiful and highly influential work in decidedly different modes. Charles de Lint takes the low fantasy route: faerie in Ottawa, urban fantasy, magic realism, concerned with relatively small-scale events and individual characters.  Guy Gavriel Kay is decidedly “high fantasy”: expansive narratives steeped in myth, language, history, often using archetypal figures, a cast of thousands, and sometimes using grandiose language to convey a very large story.  I don’t prefer either mode, both authors are just fabulous by me.  However, I’ve read more Kay, and a recent read of The Fionavar Tapestry and its semi-sequel Ysabel has put me in a talking-about-Guy-Gavriel-Kay mood.  So, let’s talk about Guy Gavriel Kay, shall we?

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