Search Results for: neverwhens

Neverwhens, Where Fantasy and History Collide: Tanith Lee’s Cyrion

Cyrion (DAW, 1982, cover by Ken W. Kelly) The Empress of Dreams I hardly need to sing the praises of the late Tanith Lee (1947 – 2015).  A two-time World Fantasy winner, Horror Grandmaster, Hugo nominee, yadda yadda yadda, she rose out of nowhere writing sword & sorcery (generally a male-dominated field) with the Nebula-nominated The Birthgrave, and went on to pen 70 novels, 300 short stories and create a style of lush, dark fantasy perhaps best represented by her…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: “When the Levee Breaks (and the Goddess Wakes), I’ll Have a Place to Stay…”

When the Goddess Wakes (St. Martin’s Press, August 2021). Cover by Lauren Saint-Onge Know, O prince, that between the years when Stag-flation and the Iran Hostage Crisis drank the Carter Administration, and the years of the rise of the stepson of Roger Clinton Sr, there was an Age Undreamed of, when sword & sorcery, high fantasy epics, slender trilogies and stand-alone novels lay spread across bookshelves like paper jewels beneath fluorescent stars. This tongue-in-cheek riff on Robert E. Howard’s famous…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Of Aztecs and Iron Chandeliers – Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Return of the Sorceress

The Return of the Sorceress (Subterranean, June 2021). Cover by Fang Xinyu One of the best things about Moreno-Garcia is that she writes whatever the hell she wants, and it is up to others to categorize it. In an era where authors are often told to “stay in their lane” (be that about what ethnicities or cultures they write about, or what genres the can write in without resorting to pen names), SMG has, in a short span of years,…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Goblins, Giants and Blacktongued Rogues Abide! The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman (Tor Books, May 2021). Cover by Marie Bergeron “Christophe the Insulter” was for years the single funniest performer at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin, with one of the best cons… er…. shows: Pay me to insult your friends in front of an audience. The more you pay, the more I roast them. It was dark, it was brutal, it was wickedly funny and everyone went away feeling good — even the victims. Interestingly,…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Brilliance Gleams Beneath a Black Sun

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press, October 2020). Cover by John Picacio. In the 14 months I have had this column, I’ve looked at “historicity and fantasy” from a variety of angles, one of which has been looking at current — and lauded — works by known authors, and assessing how well they weave the two together. Thus far, I haven’t been very kind. While I loved G. Willow Wilson’s The Bird King as a kind of modern fable, it…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Of Tudor Scum and Georgian-Gallants; an Interview with Peter McLean

My guest this month is Peter McLean, a successful short story writer and contemporary fantasy novelist who has cast his authorially eye on more traditional fantasy, with his War for the Rose Throne, series, the first two volumes of which (Priest of Bones and Priest of Lies) are now available, and currently in development for television by Heyday Productions. For those who may not have read them (and if that’s you, go do that now, we’ll wait) here is the…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: When History Gets in the Way of a Good Story

It’s been a little while since we visited. If you don’t recall, last time, I took to task G. Willow Wilson for writing a lovely tale in The Bird King, that at the same time it has been hailed for providing strong feminist and Muslim characters, did so by perpetuating centuries old stereotypes about the Spanish Inquisition and creating antagonists that literally could never have existed. In short, to tell the tale she wanted, Wilson mangles Iberian history, and doesn’t provide so…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: No One Suspects the Spanish Inquisition (Wasn’t That Bad)

G. Willow-Wilson author photo by Amber French for SyFy.com Since this column began this year, we’ve looked at the visual continuity of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings (and why, ironically, it does a better job of wordlessly telling the sweep of Middle Earth’s history than Tolkien’s millennia-long, cultural stasis does), authenticity (and lack thereof) in The Witcher, and talked about the commonalities and differences of historical fiction and fantasy with several, excellent authors who work in both arenas. Along…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Of Lambs and Lizardmen

The Ring-Sworn Trilogy by Howard Andrew Jones: For the Killing of Kings (Feb 2019), Upon the Flight of the Queen (November 2019) and the forthcoming When the Goddess Wakes (April 2021) A bit of prologue and some full disclosure to the Gentle Reader The purpose of this column has been looking at the challenges of historicity vs. fantasy in the process of world-building; well at least when the fantasy in question is trying to be either realistic or set in…

Read More Read More

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Of Orks and Orkney

One of these men is an author, the other is Odin…there’s more commonality than you might think. Scott Oden  is an American writer best known for his historical novels set in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, and historical fantasy. Oden’s breakthrough novel was 2005’s Men of Bronze, set in late Pharonic Egypt; it was followed in 2006 by Memnon and in 2010 with The Lion of Cairo, which mixed pulp-style action and sorcery with Crusader politics in Fatimid Egypt. His most recent…

Read More Read More