Friday Five: Sky Blue Skies and Oceans Edition

Hi all, and welcome to another little round up of cool stuff from this corner of South London. I nipped out to the shops at lunchtime (The American is ill, and as such, I wanted to make sure I could give her a good breakfast) and on the way back, I was stunned at just how blue the sky was. It’d have done for any summer’s day. Which made me happy and maudlin all at once; sometimes being reminded of what’s fading is worse than it being gone altogether.

Still, whatever’s there, there’s usually something to make you happy. So let’s see if I can dig something up for you to read, shall we?

1. It’s not a Friday Five without some reviews, so here are some reviews.

Blaise at Under The Radar has a great review of Ricardo Pinto’s The Masters

My friends are starting to rave about Tade Thompson’s Far From The Light of Heaven, and Mr Doom is first to market with his review

The only thing better than one review is multiple reviews, and Adri Joy at Nerds of a Feather has us covered with these mini-reviews of In The Watchful City, Flowers for the Sea, and The Bony Way

A review I’d meant to include last week was Zezee With Book’s take on Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown, which sounds delightfully silly and non-silly at the same time

Last but never least, Jodie at Witty & Sarcastic Bookclub has an atmospheric horror recommendation with The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

2. Blog of the week. Or in this case, patreon with free essays provided of the week. I’ve been incredibly impressed by everything I’ve read at Film Crit Hulk, a writer whose work I should have followed far more assiduously after finding The Emperor Only Has Groove so long ago. Wait, what’s that, a whole section on Legend of Korra? If this post is late, you now know why. There’s also this awesome essay on Interiority.

3. Random cool shizzle time.

I enjoyed this article on exhuming a genre’s bones – in this case Urban Fantasy – by Matthew Claxton, and agreed with a lot of it

This article by Aidan Moher on pitching freelance articles might be useful to some

Dan Jones has a long and thoughtful essay on the themes behind Pullman’s Northern Lights series

Finally, and not at all fantasy, but who doesn’t love to see the very talented enjoying the hell out of what they do very well? If you agree, this cello performance is great

4. A question for you all.

How do you feel about characters thinking “this wouldn’t happen in a story” or “this isn’t as easy in the stories” or variations there of? Because I have to say I’m feeling slightly torn these days. On the one hand, yeah, people do say that. On the other hand, nothing draws attention quicker to things that feel unrealistic in a book than an author talking about it.

And on another hand – why not be proud of writing something that challenges reality and what it could be a little?

5. Finally, how about some fantasy art?

That’s it for today, have great weekends people.

6 thoughts on “Friday Five: Sky Blue Skies and Oceans Edition

  1. I’m torn about the use of “this isn’t like in the stories” as a sentiment within a book – sometimes it’s sort of quaint, and sometimes it jerks me out of my reading. I think it depends on the character, mostly. If it’s a character that is introduced to us as loving stories and then finds themself in a similar situation, I sort of understand it – but don’t enjoy the overuse of it. Overall it’s a bit of a strange sentence to read in a book, and in some ways it feels like an echo of Samwise Gamgee talking about “the great stories” and whether their adventures will be told one day, but sort of the opposite – if that makes any sense…?

    On another note – loving all the links, I stayed up way too long reading those essay on JJ Abrams, urban fantasy, and His Dark Materials. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the point about it working better with a character who enjoys stories – it feels more natural. And I think the loving stories thing reminds me of something that sometimes irks me about it – a sense of an author sneering “my story isn’t like other stories”.

      And glad you enjoyed the links

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “sometimes being reminded of what’s fading is worse than it being gone altogether.” << So true
    Thanks for the shout out.
    I plan to read Year of the Witching next, so I'll check out the review you linked.

    Liked by 1 person

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