Friday Five: Need More Snappy Titles

This has been a long week, and a short one. We’ve somehow gone from the near-dead of winter to gorgeous summer sunshine. I’ve had mild food poisoning and ridiculously good donuts. I’ve seen cats occupy cardboard castles and puke up hairballs the size of cigarette.

All this moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Except for the video of the cat in the castle. Now let’s talk some fantasy news my good people.

1. So I’ve seen a lot of interesting stuff from black people talking about their work, their place, their hurts and joys in fantasy. I enjoyed reading Namina Forna’s piece in the Guardian and this piece by DJ Bodden on Facebook, both talking about how their experiences have shaped their work. There’s also these two pieces that I think worth reading – “The World Is Paying Attention”: 6 African Writers on BSFA Awards Shortlist – Open Country Mag and 6 of the Best Black Indie SFF Writers You Should Be Reading | Book Riot.

2. It’s also been Aromantic Week and the world’s kindest Evil Overlady Lynn O’Connacht has been sharing her recs for that on twitter.

3. Couple of interesting blog posts around – I enjoyed this look at Conan and am looking forwards to getting into MD Presley’s series on World Building at the Fantasy Hive here.

4. A personal point that I’ve been mulling after the Grimdark post is how people talked about it being more realistic and less realistic. People talking about the reality of fantasy fiction isn’t new; Eddings talked about it in the Rivan Codex. He also represented just the sort of fantasy that people pushed back as unrealistic. The obvious answer?

What people see as realistic varies from person to person. Sometimes it varies wildly. How can it be otherwise when the same rough type of event can happen so many ways and we only get to experience and know about a slice of them? I’m not terribly sure how much I value realism in fantasy these days anyway, but it does seem to be most arguments about it – not just the “no girls with swords plz” ones – basically boil down to “my expectations are different to yours”. And I think that “my expectations are different to yours” is a more fruitful start to a conversation as a rule than “this is unrealistic”.

5. Finally, there was this post by Kacen Callander on how authors are expected to do a great deal on social media with no obvious sign of how it makes a difference. I don’t have a huge amount to say about it. She’s lived it, I haven’t. If there are authors with different experiences, it’s for them to say, not me. So I present this to read.

And that’s it for this time. Have a great weekend all.

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