Boing Boing 

Razorhurst: blood-drenched gang warfare and ghosts in Gilded Age Sydney

Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst is a young adult novel that’s full of the violence and glamor of the real-world Razorwars that drenched Sydney’s Surry Hills ghetto in the run up to World War II, an historical novel that skilfully weaves in a ghost story that puts the action of gang-warfare exactly where it belongs: in the relationship between the living and the dead.

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Database of diverse fantasy and science fiction

All Our Worlds is "a database of diverse fantastic fiction, listing 753 (and counting) works of fantasy and science fiction "that demonstrate diversity in sexuality/gender, race, disability, and other aspects." (via Metafilter)

2014's best science fiction and fantasy


Locus magazine has published its annual recommended reading list, which signposts the best in science fiction and fantasy from the previous year.

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Yuri Shwedoff's captivating postapocalyptic fantasyscapes

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Artist Yuri Shwedoff from the Russian Federation creates disturbingly beautiful postapocalyptic illustrations with familiar elements.

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Monstrous Regiment: the finest Discworld novel?

Monstrous Regiment, a book about gender, war, identity, strategy and tactics, can be enjoyed without reading any of the other marvellous books in the Discworld series.

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Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Doctor Who scarves and skirts


Etsy seller Rooby Lane makes great, nerdy textiles, sporting designs from sf/f TV and movies, like the Lord of the Rings and Marauders' Map map scarves and the Tardis skirt. (via Geeky Merch)

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Stross's Merchant Princes books in omnibus editions


Charlie Stross's "Merchant Princes" series-- a sly, action-packed romp that blends heroic fantasy, military science fiction, economics, politics, and alternate worlds -- originally published as six mass-market paperbacks, is now available in three handy trade-paperbacks.

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Interview with Elfquest's Wendy and Richard Pini

In my spare time, when I'm not protecting wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation or guest-blogging for Animal Planet and here at Boing Boing, I'm also the co-host of a podcast called The Elfquest Show, about one of America's longest-running fantasy series, with my fellow uber-geek Ryan Browne.

I was lucky enough to sit down with series' creators Wendy and Richard Pini to record this interview for the show. We talked about the events of the latest Elfquest story arc called The Final Quest, the difference in fan reactions today versus 36 years ago when the series premiered, and a lot of other juicy tidbits.

If you're an existing Elfquest fan, or are just curious about the series, give it a listen.

Boing Boing will remember that The Final Quest story arc of this epic, long-running fantasy series launched right here a couple of years ago.

The series is now several issues in and is published both in print and digitally by Dark Horse Comics.

Hand-illuminated edition of The Silmarillion


Benjamin Harff produced a hand-illuminated edition of Tolkien's The Silmarillion (a famously dense set of myths and background for Middle Earth) as a final project at art school; in this interview, he explains his motivation and his process.

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Game of Thrones sword-covered high-heels


Shoe painter/modder Nixxi Rose made these Game of Thrones-themed shoes styled to look like the Iron Throne, covered in tiny swords. If you fancy making your own, here's her tutorial on the process. (via Geeky Merch)

Interview with fantasy writer Tim Powers about being a "secret historian"

Mitch writes, "I interviewed fantasy novelist Tim Powers about how he writes. We talked about working through story problems, using YouTube as a secret weapon, why he avoids social media, and his obsessively detailed outlines and research notes. 'In order to build a building, you put up so much scaffolding that the scaffolding outweighs the building.'"

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Last Unicorn heading to Broadway


Peter Beagle's beloved novel is in development as a touring musical with Josh Duhamel and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.

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Steven Brust's "Hawk" - a new Vlad Taltos book!

Hawk, the 14th book in Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series, is a moving, funny and tantalizing end-game glimpse of the assassin, reluctant revolutionary and epic wisecracker. Cory Doctorow explains why he’s been reading this generation-spanning series of Hungarian mythology, revolutionary politics, and gastronomy for more than 30 years.

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Revisiting the first Tiptree Award anthology

It's Banned Books Week, and what better way to celebrate than with a review of the first James Tiptree Award Anthology, published in 2004 by the committee who award the Tiptree each year for excellence in science fiction and fantasy that celebrates, explores and expands gender roles?

Lastly, I’d also like to give special “related to short-fiction” mention to the inclusion of “Everything But the Signature is Me” by Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr.—the letter that was written after the person behind the Tiptree persona came to light. It’s friendly, jovial, and almost polished to a shine in its style of conversational discourse; it makes the whole situation of masks, gender, and outing seem gentle or trivial. Read in context with the biography of Sheldon and with other primary materials about how strongly she felt about her gender, her sexuality, and her experience with occupying the persona of a man, though… It’s an interesting counterpoint to all of that, a fascinating way of looking at how one person frames their difficult and complex relationships to the world as a gendered subject. And, more significantly, how that frame can differ depending on audience and intimacy. It’s an interesting piece, one I’d recommend giving a look alongside further reading about the enigmatic Sheldon/Tiptree.

As for the first half of this anthology: judging by my reactions, I’d say that the judges for this award and the editors of this volume are correct in noting that the pieces they’ve chosen are designed to provoke thought and conversation more than to be comfortable and easy to take in. I appreciate stories that give me a complex response, and stories that are trying to do hard work with narrative and gender. I do find myself often struck by a desire for them to go further, do more—but there’s room for all the types of stories on the narrative spectrum.

Short Fiction Spotlight: The James Tiptree Award Anthology (Part 1) [Brit Mandelo/Tor.com]

Patrick Rothfuss narrates "The Slow Regard of Silent Things"

The Slow Regard of Silent Things being his next novel, a fantasy title due out at the end of October.

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What's right with Hermione

14-year-old Naomi Horn says the heroine of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series remains a depressingly rare example of a fictional female respected for her education and intelligence. In Hermione’s world, being smart is what makes her important.

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Seconds, by Bryan Lee "Scott Pilgrim" O'Malley

What do you do for a followup after a triumph like the Scott Pilgrim series? If you’re Bryan Lee O’Malley, you do Seconds, a graphic novel that’s three notches less self-consciously clever, and six notches more heartfelt, smart, and sweet. Cory Doctorow reviews Seconds.

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Smart critical essays on the women of Terry Pratchett


This long-running series of essays by Australian fantasy author Tansy Rayner Roberts combine real affection for Pratchett's marvellous Discworld books with sharp critical insights on the portrayal of women in fantasy; historically, one of the more problematic genres for the portrayal of women.

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Nerdy shirts, skirts and dresses from Frockasaurus


Etsy's Frockasaurus makes great, pop-culture-inspired clothes for men and women, such as the Men's Star Trek Book shirt and Men's Batman Comics shirt; Hobbit Cover skirt; Legend of Zelda dress; and the Lord of the Rings skirt.

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Confronting Lovecraft's racism


Award-winning horror writer David Nickle has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to have a frank and serious discussion of HP Lovecraft's undeniable racism; people want to hand-wave it as being a product of Lovecraft's times, but it is inseparable from Lovecraft's fiction.

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Glimpses: amazing audiobook of one of the all-time-great rock-n-roll novels

Cory Doctorow rates Lewis Shiner’s haunting Glimpses as one of the all-time great rock-n-roll novels, right up there with George RR Martin’s stupendous Armageddon Rag. It’s now available as an audiobook, and he’s delighted.

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Sword and Laser bookclub kicks off The Name of the Wind

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use offer code SWORD.

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The Dummies' Guide To Cosplay Photography in 2014

Andy Ihnatko’s golden rule about photographing cosplayers: You must never do anything that makes the cosplayer wish you hadn’t taken that photo. Read the rest

Lev Grossman's The Magician's Land

Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land concludes his genre-bending, brilliant, acerbic rethinking of the entire high fantasy genre, and does so with enormous style and skill. It’s easy to take cheap shots at the thrice-brewed tea of Tolkien, but Grossman’s moves are subtle, filled with understanding and affection, and offer no mercy to cherished illusions.

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How Harry Potter shaped a generation

Seven years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Caroline Siede looks back on the book series that defined a generation.

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Book Club: A Storm of Swords Daenerys V and Tyrion VII

With the completion of Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ivan and Red dig back into the Boars, Gore, And Swords book club, where they cover the chapters of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series that correspond to the previous television season. No book spoilers past the TV show!

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Boars, Gore, And Swords book club: Strong Belwas’s Bowels

With the completion of Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ivan and Red dig back into the Boars, Gore, And Swords book club, where they cover the chapters of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series that correspond to the previous television season. No book spoilers past the TV show!

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Mary Robinette Kowal and Jane Austen: separated at birth by a time-traveller


(Left: Mary Robinette Kowal. Right: Jane Austen, photo by TV West Country/Katie Rowlett)

Mary Robinette Kowal writes regency novels like Shades of Milk and Honey that blend magic with the milieu of Jane Austen.

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Who deserves the starring role in the film adaptation of The Martian?

In episode 183 of the Sword and Laser, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt ponder on Matt Damon’s role in The Martian, why we love to hate villains, and the role of philosophy and ideology in Octavia Butler’s Dawn. Brought to you by Squarespace. Use offer code SWORD for a free trial and 10% off!

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Terry Pratchett can't attend Discworld convention


For the first time in his long and storied career, Terry Pratchett has canceled a UK appearance, due to his failing health.

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