On Getting Current in Heroic Fantasy, Part I

Monday, October 5th, 2009 | Posted by Don Lee

return1I read an interesting post the other day by a thoughtful blogster whose name I cannot now remember and whose post I cannot locate again, who professed his surprise at all the fans of Conan (and Sword & Sorcery in general) who were returning to the fold now, after falling away in the 1980s, after the last Big S&S Boom.

I confess myself one of those folk. I don’t know what happened. Life, I guess. There weren’t any more new books – or if there were, I didn’t see them – and so I drifted on to other things. (I should add that I got my degree in English Lit after that time, and those bastards had no use for genre fiction of any kind, much less the kind of stuff I’d been cutting my teeth on since I learned how to read – e.g. Zelazny, Howard, Fritz Leiber, et. al. Plus I tumbled onto so many other writers — e.g. the Beats, Bukowski, Henry Miller, and *then* Poetry, in which I immersed myself for several years. But I digress…)

I’ve been delighted though in the past month or so to see all the new material being produced along sword & sorcery lines (new to me at least). A whole slew of beautiful anthologies: LORDS OF SWORDS, SAGES & SWORDS, RETURN OF THE SWORD, RAGE OF THE BEHEMOTH. It is a wonderful thing. I am reading them all simultaneously and will discuss them here, and at my blog.

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Query the Query Shark

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 | Posted by John ONeill

What do editors do when we’re not reading and rejecting manuscripts?query-shark

We stop by The Query Shark, of course. Got a novel you’re ready to submit to the tender mercies of the Manhattan Publishing Machine? The Query Shark will show you the many, many mistakes you can make in your cover letter – and why your cover letter can make all the difference.

Trust me, you don’t have time to make all these mistakes yourself. It’s far better to learn from other people’s mistakes first.


Plotting Attacks

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 | Posted by Soyka

The subject of plot seems to be a popular bailiwick in web discourse. A few weeks ago, I posted a discussion about Lev Grossman’s contention that the reading public’s “thirst” for plot in a reaction to abstruse “modernism” is fueling young adult book sales. Now, over at Strange Horizons, Matthew Cheney provides a primer of historical literary criticism in reacting to the contention of my fellow Charlottesvillian, John Grishman. that plot and literature are somehow mutually exclusive realms.  I guess John never heard of Charles Dickens much less, as Cheney contends, Aristotle.

The plot thickens…


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