Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week in Review (Mar.24-)

A nice, mixed bag this week. There were a lot of great articles posted this past week. Enjoy!

Jezebel: “Racist Hunger Games fans are disappointed” by Dodai Stewart [Article]

Frankly, I’m stunned there are people like this out there still. Especially people willing to air their racism in public! One fan of the series said the casting of a black actor for a character described in the books as having “dark brown skin” “ruined” the movie?! Unbelievable!

A Dribble of Ink: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins [Review]

Related to the above post, but on the fiction side. As can be expected from Aidan, this is a great, in-depth review of the mega-selling YA novel.

A Dribble of Ink: “We All Love a Good Show” by Robert Jackson Bennett [Article]

Another good post from ADoI, but earlier in the week. I’m a big fan of Bennett’s novels and writing-style, and I thought this was a great article. [Also, while I’m at it, I really like ADoI’s new design.] If I could just carve out enough time to read The Troupe…

Fantasy Literature: “Marion Chats with Jon Courtenay-Grimwood” [Interview]

Rather self-explanatory what this is, but I loved Jon’s previous novel, The Fallen Blade, and am just waiting for the right time to read and review The Outcast Blade (the sequel). Want more from Jon? Check out his interview for Civilian Reader.

John Scalzi’s The Big Idea: “Alternative Histories” by Anne Lyle [Article]

“What if European explorers hadn’t succeeded in conquering the New World? What if they, not the Native Americans, were the ones facing an enemy they didn’t understand, an enemy they were ill-equipped to fight? That, in a nutshell, is the Big Idea behind The Alchemist of Souls, the first volume in my fantasy trilogy Night’s Masque. The roots lie farther back, however.” Really interesting article. Also made me even more eager to get to The Alchemist of Souls…

Bastard Books: Interview with Tim Marquitz

Tim Marquitz has been on my radar for a little while, now, but given how many other books I have and have received, I just haven’t managed to read anything just yet. After reading this interview, though, my interest has been piqued. Nicely done.

The Speculative Scotsman: “Becoming a New Type of Reader” by Amanda Rutter [Article]

Which type of reader are you? I’ve been many of these types. A nice article, and it’s always nice to see Amanda back on the blogosphere.

Bookworm Blues: “Author Interview – Alex Bledsoe”

As I wrote in the comments on the interview, I’ve never seen an Alex Bledsoe book on any shelf in any bookstore I’ve been in… Why?! Is he just selling out immediately, or are there just not enough people ordering his novels in? A literary mystery!

Oh, and it’s an interesting interview.

Foreign Affairs: Game of Thrones as History” by Kelly DeVries & “Game of Thrones as Theory” by Charli Carpenter [Articles]

These two articles were an interesting surprise, and I stumbled across them only while checking for to see if there was a new FA issue…

DeVries, a medieval military historian, opens his article with a paragraph guaranteed to make some fantasy fans irritated, so just be aware before clicking through to the article that he isn’t as up on the modern Fantasy genre as he is on Military History. Moving on. The author examines the assertion that Martin’s world is a realistic and accurate representation of Medieval Europe, and comes to the conclusion that it actually isn’t very realistic, and that this is actually a very good thing: “As a historian of the period, I can assure you that the real Middle Ages were very boring – and if Martin’s epic were truly historically accurate, it would be very boring too.”

For those with a little understanding of International Relations theory, I’d also recommend Carpenter’s piece, which tries to look at the novel and HBO series through a Realist lens – while the two media “are laced with Hobbesian metaphors, Machiavellian intrigues, and Carr-like calculations of power”, the author nevertheless finds that “the deeper message is that realism alone is unsatisfying and unsuccessful”.

I should warn you that there are a few spoilers in these two articles.


On Civilian Reader this week, things have been very busy as well. Along with the two comics reviews (#1 & #2), I’ve reviewed Stuart Woods’s Capital Crimes, James Swallow’s Garro: Legion of One, V.M. Zito’s The Return Man and James Lovegrove’s Age of Anansi. If you liked the Age of Anansi review, then have a read of this week’s interview with Lovegrove.

Next week is shaping up quite nicely, too: already lined up are interviews with both Helen Lowe (Monday) and Lyndsay Faye (Wednesday), reviews of Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Void Stalker (Tuesday – it was awesome) and Faye’s Gods of Gotham (Thursday or Friday). I’m also aiming to get a few more graphic novel reviews up there, a couple of bumper comics round-ups, and hopefully an audio-book review (Graham McNeill’s Eye of Vengeance). So a good, strong start to April.

Feel free to share more interesting links in the comments, if you think there are any that I’ve missed that readers will find interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for mention FanLit!

    I enjoyed Sarah's interview with Alex Bledsoe. He's a favorite of mine.