Tag: Fantasy

Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/2/19: Savage Queens

Lost kingdoms and hidden cities are a staple of pulp adventure fiction — and SFF! — as are their rulers, which, most of the time, are gorgeous, powerful, scantily clad women. Often they serve as foils for the male adventurers and, occasionally, romantic interests. The magazine cover above illustrates Phorenice, the ruler of Atlantis. With …

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Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd was a Welsh Christmas and New Year tradition in which a group of male singers carried a hobbyhorse — a horse’s skull mounted on a pole, cloaked and decorated — to houses around the village, with singing and refreshments. Happy New Year!

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/26/18: Santa’s Bad Elves

  There are the cheery, upbeat elves who help Santa in his workshop, then there are those other kind. The ones no one talks about. Both came from the same roots, yet one creature was sanitized, the other morphed into Krampus and the servants of Krampus. Here are some names for them. Santa’s Bad Elves …

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Santa Horror

Since the 18th century, when images of Santa Claus began to be disseminated through newspapers, books, and periodicals, his appearance has changed quite a bit. Often those earlier depictions are a tad grotesque, as much for what was considered appealing at the time as the skill of the artist and the means of reproduction. When …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/19/18: Santa’s Elves

Hard as it is to believe, Santa Claus did not always have elves for sidekicks. That tradition came from 19th century Scandinavia and drew on the deeper pagan roots of Northern Europe. Elves, pooka, fairies, and the like were all part of a greater folklore of diminuitive, humanlike creatures that lived alongside humans, often in …

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The Hermitess

She searches… but for what? This picture has enough stylistic similarities to Rapunzel and Speak no Evil that I suspect they’re all by the same artist (whose name I could not find, alas). Three morally ambiguous ladies.

Speak no Evil

When the Princess spoke kindly, pearls and roses would drop from her lips. But when she cursed, fowl serpents emerged. As she was a lover of salty language, the palace was soon full of snakes. But the Princess didn’t mind. She also had a yen for snakeskin.

Every Heart a Doorway [Review]

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire Tor Books, 2016 Every Heart a Doorway is a book that spans genres. It’s part YA, part horror, part old-timey Portal fantasy, and part magical boarding school fantasy, with a dollop of LGBTQ. It’s disturbing, in ways both unintentional and obvious. It won a Nebula award, yet could …

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The Lady and the Dragon, Part V

Women-as-dragon, as a concept, has been around since ancient times. In Greek myth creatures like Scylla, Echidna, and Medusa had monstrous or dragon-like aspects, as did Grendel’s mom from Beowulf. Norse myth spoke of the dragon Nidhogg that gnawed at the roots of the World Tree Yggdrasil. And of course, there’s Lilith and Tanit/Inanana/Ishtar. They …

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The Lady and the Dragon, Part IV

Portrayals of women with dragons continued to rise throughout the 1970s, boosted by the rising genre of adult comics, forerunners to today’s graphic novels.  The French magazine Metal Hurlant (Howling Metal) showcased many of these new artists like Caza, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Moebius, who later went on to design book covers and movie and TV …

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