There has been a proliferation of pulp-inspired semipro short SF magazines over the past few years: Broadswords & Blasters, StoryHack, Astounding Frontiers, Tales From the Magician’s Skull, Cirsova, Skelos . . . am I the only one thinking that what we need isn’t another magazine but an adventure SF-focused annual best-of anthology? Anyway, I’m way behind on introducing myself to the burgeoning sub-field. I’m reading the first issue of Tales From the Magician’s Skull now, but otherwise I’ve only read Cirsova (you can find my reviews of the first three issues here, here, and here) and Skelos.
Contrasting the two is a good reminder that the pulps were diverse, and two magazines drawing inspiration from the pulps can have very different visions. Where Cirsova reflects the optimism of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, at least in the first few issues, is heavy on planetary romance, Skelos reflects the pessimism of Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft and focuses on the darker side of the pulps, going so far as dropping “Dark Fantasy” into the subtitles. The contrast is even reflected in the respective covers of the mags.
I picked up the Mistborn trilogy over the holidays in anticipation of reading Oathbringer. The bad news is that Mistborn isn’t the Cosmere book tied in most closely to Oathbringer (that, apparently, is Warbreaker). The good news is that the Mistborn trilogy is the best thing by Sanderson I’ve ever read, and Mistborn itself (also known as The Final Empire) is a damn fine opening salvo that stands on its own better than The Way of Kings. I also look forward to returning to the later Mistborn books after deciding post-Shadows of Self that I needed to table them until I read the original trilogy.
The Gemmell Awards shortlist has been announced. Voting on the Gemmell Awards is open to the public. Voting on the shortlist opened today and closes on Friday, June 1. The awards will be presented at Edge-Lit 7 on Saturday, July 14.
I read and reviewed a number of works on the shortlist this year.
Brian McClellan is one of my favorite new authors from the past several years, and his Powder Mage trilogy is one of my favorite series from the past several years (you can find my review of book 1 here). McClellan is following up on the Powder Mage trilogy with another series set in the same world that opened with Sins of Empire. Book 2, Wrath of Empire, comes out on May 15. The Powder Mage books are set in a world on the brink of an industrial revolution where “powder mages” wield gunpowder-related magic. It is flintlock fantasy at its finest.
Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.
UPDATE: I got home from work to some mail that was very well timed.
The theme for Top Ten Tuesday this week is a freebie. It has been entirely too long since I’ve done a Wheel of Time post, so I decided to go with the top 10 moments from the series. Easy, right? Wrong! My first draft included 23 moments. And that wasn’t even including Veins of Gold (sorry, not sorry). It wasn’t easy whittling it down to just 10.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
I got seriously burned out on watching speculative fiction movies for a while. I’ve still managed to watch plenty in the recent past. With somewhat mixed results. Today’s offering brings one (good) serious movie and three pulpy offerings, two of which are great fun.
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