Tag Archives: Fantasy

268. Eastern European and Baltic SF/F at LonCon3 w/ Michael Burianyk, Stanislaw Krawczyk, Irena Raseta, Ivaylo Shmilev, and Imants Belogrîvs

24 Apr

Live from LonCon3 (and very late on our podcast feed):  a panel on Eastern European and Baltic sf/f featuring the lovely voices of Michael Burianyk, Stanislaw Krawczyk, Irena Raseta, Ivaylo Shmilev, and Imants Belogrîvs!

The panel description was as follows:

In the Anglophone World, probably the best-known Eastern European science fiction and fantasy writers are Stanislas Lem and Karel Capek, and in recent years Zoran Zivkovic and Andrzej Sapkowski. But this region has produced many fine writers of fantastika. Which other writers should Anglophone readers be aware of? Our panel of writers and readers from Croatia, Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia will discuss current trends, perennial themes, and future hopes.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 268 — Download (MP3)Eastern Europe Map

Show Notes: Continue reading

Book Review: Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library

23 Apr The-Invisible-Library

A seemingly endless Library, with books from across multiple worlds. A library with connections and portals to endless worlds. It can take hours, even days, to get to locations within the library. It is a Library of the first order, in the same tradition as Pratchett’s multidimensional and universe-spanning idea of  L-Space in his Discworld novels. The Librarians are devoted to the love of books, their acquisition and preservation. They travel to alternate worlds in search of rare books, of key books, of special books to add to their collection. This process does not always go well, especially with the rarer finds.

Irene is a junior librarian of the Library. When she is assigned a new assistant (who is clearly more than he appears) and a seemingly simple task to find a book in an alternate London, things start going wrong immediately. Continue reading

My Superpower: Peter Newman (The Vagrant)

23 Apr 23559647

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Peter Newman to talk about how the power of escaping reality relates to The Vagrant.

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As it happens, I have a few superpowers. I instinctively know where to stand in order to get in other people’s way (this is doubly true in Forbidden Planet and other people’s kitchens), I can relate most things to He-Man in three steps or less, and when the universe needs me, I can summon the appetite of ten tigers.

However, none of these things were any use in writing The Vagrant.

Continue reading

Around the Podosphere: Podcasts of Note for 4/20/15

20 Apr

What fantastic podcast shenanigans have we been enjoying lately?  Here are just a few:

On Movies:

On Literature:

On Books:

Book Review: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

17 Apr Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

“A knife is not malicious merely because it is sharp, and a plot is not evil merely because it is effective. All depends on the wielder. The grace of kings is not the same as the morals governing individuals.”

My expectations were high after learning about Ken Liu’s debut novel, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Grace of Kings is both spectacular and significant, an approach to epic fantasy that combines some of the best elements of the established genre with Liu’s unique sentiments and voice. I’ve been trying to avoid reviews before writing this up, but judging from the headlines, I’m not alone in excitement and appreciation.

First in a series dubbed The Dandelion Dynasty, the novel is set in an archipelago called Dara. Following a mythological pre-history, Dara existed for generations as a divided land of seven kingdoms, each with a patron god and its own unique resources and culture. The instability of shifting alliances and waves of conflict represented the price for maintaining the independent nations until one king realized the potential peace, stability, and progress that could be achieved by uniting Dara into one standardized empire. Yet the common people still suffer, and many miss the aspects of local culture now being lost. Rumblings of unrest lead to eventual rebellion following the chaos of a difficult imperial succession. But with the empire dissolved, what will a new Dara look like, and upon whom will each god’s favor befall? Continue reading

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