31 October 2007

fantasy communities

So, across the blogosphere and other places has sprung a debate about the existence, or lack thereof, of a fantasy community in the UK. It kicked off in Nick Cirkovic's myspace blog here, (not to be confused with his other blog elsewhere) and after he posted his comments on the BFS forums a fascinating set of arguments have popped up. Mark Chadbourn has waded in with his feelings about the need for splitting the BFS as he feels it's predom horror and not serving fantasy as well as it could. This, of course, has garnered the same sort of responses as the last time it was raised on the boards...

The essence of the main points seems to be a desire for places that concentrate solely on fantasy, and not fantasy & horror, or fantasy & SF or all three. Which is fair enough, I've been carping for years about wanting fantasy magazines and anthologies and the like... although I'm always confused about the difference between horror and dark fantasy, myself, surely they're the same thing?

So, fantasy communities then... as the interweb is the new place for building communities, are there any just-fantasy places for a bod to hang out or get news and wotnot from? UKSFnews covers all three genres, as does Ansible and Locus.

Forums: apart from the BFS one, we've got SFFworld - which covers all three genres, as does the Chronicle Network. I know there are horror forums around, but are there fantasy forums around? Other than the ones specifically connected to author sites, that is. If there are, I don't currently know about them but a prolonged google might reveal otherwise. (And if you know of any, please post them somewhere on the BFS forum so's I can have a looksie, ta!)

And another thing that crops up, like it did the last time on the boards, is that the definition of fantasy is erring towards epic fantasy again. I like epic fantasy, but concentrating on the epic side (ie. Gemmell/Martin/Jordan/Brooks etc.) is abandoning a lot of other sub genres and personally my preferences are stronger towards contemporary and comic fantasy than epic and would I want a place/community that was just epic fantasy? Nope. Would I like a fantasy community that's as strong as the SF one? Oh hell yeah.

24 October 2007

fcon blog carnival

Ah yes, the Fantasycon Blog Carnival!
Roll up, roll up, ladies, gentlemen and those who have yet to decide... here's who thought what in the blogosphere...

Ah the awards... such a glittering event... Tim Lebbon was a shaking wreck, Mark Morris has been waiting 20 years for it and Ellen Datlow via her emissary, was very happy about her award too...

Chaz Brenchley has issued banquet connected grounds for committal... and GoH Stephen Jones agrees that, as usual, it was barely edible... (but you'll need to check out the 'appearances' page on his site as can't get a direct link!)

Meanwhile, the small press peeps were having an interesting time of it... oh the book boxes, or lack thereof... Chris Teague almost didn't get his but they were hiding being PS... Screaming Dreams were there in their first official capacity and will be doing a longer report in the next Estronomicon and Murky Depths fell asleep twice during the raffle...

Mark Samuels managed a feat that most Fconnies don't (unless it involves the fabled curry hunt) and got away from the bar to see the outside world... yes, apparently there is a world outside the Britannia Hotel - he has the photos to prove it. Dave Price also discovered the outside world.

Martin Sketchley had a short piece to say about the doom and gloom in all the panels about publishing

Gary Greenwood actually managed to do some work at the con!

And Allyson Bird teases us about Dracula, the hawthorn bush and jaffa cakes...

And that's it on Fcon for this year!

23 October 2007


Have I mentioned that Chaz Brenchley's River of the World is utterly lush? (As we used to say back when I occasionally went to school...) RotW is the sequel to Bridge of Dreams, (both of which are published by Ace Books, over the pond) and what a sequel it is. Chaz has this wonderful knack with language and a gift for creating vibrant cultures in his books which leaves the average reader utterly spellbound.

But what of the story? River of the World continues the story of Issel, the water seller turned mage & resistance fighter; and Jendre, the general's daughter who married a short lived sultan; and what happened when their two worlds collide...
It is, as you might have guessed, beautifully told, with action and emotional wrenches aplenty - the only flaw being that Jendre's story is wound up too fast at the end - or perhaps it's because what you really want to happen to the bridge doesn't, frustrating one of Jendre's main motivations throughout both books.

I hear tell that Chaz has sold a short story involving a couple of the chaps from Bod & RotW (yay!) - now any chance we can get a story about Armina and her lot? Pretty please...