Category: Fantasy

Flaming Heart

My heart burns for you.  

Leatherheart

Toxic, perhaps, and firing on all cylinders.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/10/19: Arabian Nights Tales II

It’s not only the translations of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights that have changed over the years; illustrations of the classic have changed as well. The oil painting Alnaschar’s Fortune, by William Ewart Lockhart, embodies a realistic, dramatic Victorian style, but starting in the 20th century, children’s book illustrators  showed a move towards abstraction …

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Naughty Arabian Nights

Some kinky, Aubrey Beardsley-like  shenanigans are going on in this Arabian Nights illustration by early twentieth century book illustrator Kay Nielson. Not for kids.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/3/19: Arabian Nights Tales I

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights is a treasure trove of literature of the fantastic. I’ve randomized its pseudo-Arabic names and places here, and the titles of the stories themselves also make for an interesting randomization stew. They stick to a simple formula of “Tale of the Something” or “Something of Something” repeating elements such …

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Black Queen VIII

Oliver Ledriot’s sneering Black Queen is all a Faerie villainess should be.

Gender Pronoun Tyranny

Some months ago I decided to write a short story featuring a genderqueer, nonbinary protagonist to see, in part, how it could, and should, be done to make them human and relatable. The SF book above, released in 1992, did it by creating a new pronoun for the titular character: Cry. Cry was the pimp/madam …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/5/19: A Land Fit for Heroes

I did not think too much of Richard K. Morgan’s fantasy novel The Cold Commands, but I do admire the care the author put into his naming systems for the trilogy. Each culture of his universe —  Kiriath, Yhelteth, League, Majak — has its own naming conventions, and all are distinct from each other and …

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The Cold Commands [Review]

The Cold Commands by Richard K. Morgan New York: Del Rey, 2011   The Land Fit for Heroes trilogy by Richard K. Morgan is a very odd and divisive fantasy series. Don’t let the title fool you. It is meant sarcastically. There are no real heroes in this book, or anti-heroes, really. The main characters …

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Heavy on the Symbolism

Dare to touch her, and Death smiles. (Illustration by SF artist Virgil Finlay)