Friday Five: Once I Thought I Had A Mind Edition

And so the trend for late posts and empty round-ups continues. I spent last week being too tired to do anything, which isn’t great for, well, anything. But there are a few things I wanted to share, so let’s get to it.

1. Over at Libri Draconis, Fabienne has commenced a series of interviews with debut authors talking about the experience with an interview of Lavinia Thompson. I think it’s a great idea and one I mean to tout to certain of my friends when I stop being too tired to think of it. It’s also a great read – Fabienne does a great job of digging into the ‘whys’ behind the journey, and Thompson’s answers have persuaded me to get a kindle sample.

2. A tweet thread I’ve been keeping for a rainy day when I can think is this one from Moniza Hossain on finishing books when being someone with ADHD.

3. Let’s highlight some reviews. And by highlight some reviews, I mean catch up with all the reading I didn’t do this week. Note: There’s a lot of The Unbroken reviews around, and I’m keeping clear of that hype, so none of them will be mentioned here, but maybe from the hype you want to take a lookski.

Instead I had a gander at The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer by Under The Radar because that is a 10/10 fantasy title. I enjoyed FanFiAddict’s Top 10 Women in Fantasy (then tried to imagine my own, then failed due to too much choice). Speaking of FanFiAddict, their review of Luke Tarzian’s Vultures has seriously intrigued me. I always enjoy John Mendez’s in depth reviews, although I skimmed this one of Blackwing a little as I still own hopes of reading it myself.

Also intriguing is this interview and review of Yaroslav Barsukov’s Tower of Mud and Straw at Parsecs & Parchments, and I say intriguing not solely because JonBob starts the interview by asking about the author’s cocktail mixing abilities. That’s where I’ve been going wrong in my interviews…

4. One of the things that has absorbed what little attention I had this week as Super Mario 3D World, where I was pressganged into my wife’s attempt to finish it despite being shit. I am now less shit, and we probably won’t be finishing it as the last two levels are unbelievably vicious. Also the amount of replaying it would take to get all the stamps. But as I think back to this week of gaming, something occurs to me, namely:

Mario is probably the single most recognisable fantasy character in the world, but hardly anybody thinks of him as such.

That his abilities and adventures belong in some facet of the Fantasy genre seems very obvious to me. You could make a case it’s all Sci-Fi, but I’d argue with that. It’s clearly at least partly in home in Fantasyland too. But if you visit the Wikipedia entry, does it mention Fantasy once? Nope. Why? My guess would be that it doesn’t fit the popular perception, but that’s just a guess. The interesting question to me is whether the resurging interest in portal fantasy, the popularity of Ready Player One, the emergence of LitRPG and so on doesn’t lead to a big Fantasy hit that takes a lot of cues from the world’s most famous plumber, and what that would do for the genre. For all its expanded, there are many other new territories virtually untapped.

5. I did have a fifth point but I forgot it. So I’ll wrap up by saying despite being many, many reviews behind, I recently got a slew of goodies on Netgalley, including the new John Gwynne and Andrea Stewart’s The Bone Shard Daughter.

Needless to say, I am very excited to not only read them, but also to come up with new and exciting excuses for why I’m reading something else.

Until then, ta ta and have a good weekend all.

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