On Good and Bad Books

One of the most beloved topics of fantasy communities is talking about which books are bad, particularly in relationship to books that everyone else thinks are good. I get it. People need to vent about these things. At the same time, I’ve got something to say. First we’ll talk about sports though. — There’s a […]

Horizontal and Vertical Genres: A Concept

Here’s an idea for looking at genre that recently evolved from a chat among friends. The idea seems so obvious that I tried searching for it in these terms before writing this article, as it seemed impossible people hadn’t already pushed this as a theory. I daresay people have but let’s keep pushing it. We […]

Thoughts on Long Career Authors and Decline

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Batman wasn’t talking about authors. Still, something of the sentiment covers them for me. I’m forcing myself to finish all the Discworlds. Snuff is a painful experience for me, so forcing will be damn accurate. And while it’s true […]

Thoughts on 150 Books

My reading total is in for the year. I hit it, which I should, as I only set it in late October or so once it was clear what I could do. As it was, I still felt a fair bit of pressure to hit it and changed my reading strategy to make sure I […]

Big Lies And Good: Thoughts on the Discworld

Ask fans for memorable Pratchett quotes and you will get this one from The Hogfather very, very quickly: “All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.” REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE […]

Thoughts on Tigana and Memory

One of the problems with rereading as a blogger is when you run out of stuff to post about when you keep reading stuff you’ve already reviewed. I have indeed reviewed Tigana. Hell, I’ve even done long posts about its story structure. Somehow, I still have things to say about this book. Rereading is not […]

Thoughts After Writing Lots of Negative Reviews

Hate week has ended and all that’s left is to think about what I have done. Can’t lie, the dominant thought is that it’s been really nice to have been super blunt for a change. It’s nice too to have made people laugh so much. It’s just easier to make people laugh when you’re ranting. […]

In Defence of Nasty Reviews

This is not a post I anticipated writing, but then I never anticipated getting together five pieces of scathing vitriol and publishing them on the blog. Since I’m doing that, I thought I should talk a little about truly spiteful reviews and their place in criticism and blogging. Let us start by saying I consider […]

Transmissive Authors: A Theory and Thoughts

Think, if you will, of a moment about your favourite sub-genre or artistic movement. Think about the most highly reputed authors within it. Now think about their position within the category. You have probably thought of the genre’s given founders. Tolkien in epic/high Fantasy, Howard in sword & sorcery, Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates […]