Donate: scholarship fund for the Alpha teen sf/f writing workshop

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Lara writes, "The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop For Young Writers is running a scholarship drive February 16-23. Make a tax-deductible donation to change a teen writer's life!" Read the rest

Free Kindle e-book: "Imhotep" by Jerry Dubs

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Imhotep, by Jerry Dubs, is free for a limited time as a Kindle e-book. It has 4.3/5 stars with over 500 reviews. It sounds like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but this time the Hank Morgan character winds up in ancient Egypt. Read the rest

Rhianna Pratchett remembers her father, Terry

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The long-dreaded death of Terry Pratchett finally arrived in 2015, years after his inital prognosis predicted it would come. Pratchett spent his last years on Earth working his guts out, leaving behind a literary legacy of enormous breadth and depth. Read the rest

The Paradox: a secret history of magical London worthy of Tim Powers

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In The Oversight, Charlie Fletcher introduced us to a secret history of London and the ancient order that defended it from the creatures of the dark. Now, with The Paradox, a sequel, Fletcher plunges the bedraggled heroes of the Oversight into danger that they may not be able to best.

The final Pratchett: The Shepherd's Crown

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I really tried to make this book last. It's the last Discworld novel, written by Terry Pratchett in the last days of his life, as his death from a tragic, unfair, ghastly early onset Alzheimer's stole up on him. But I couldn't help myself. I read it, read it all. I wept. Then I read it again.

Peter Beagle's Last Unicorn and many rarities available in ebook form (finally!)

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The classic fantasy novel The Last Unicorn is finally available in ebook form; there's a deluxe edition that includes the sequel Two Hearts and an interview with Beagle. Read the rest

Kickstarting an indie film adaptation of China Mieville's "Familiar"

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Jason writes, "An indie film company here in Denver called Mythos is crowdfunding an adaptation of China Mieville's short story 'Familiar' with full cooperation from Mieville himself (he's even contributing to some of the rewards). The Kickstarter campaign ends on November 15." Read the rest

Tolkien's annotated map of Middle-Earth

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A map of Middle-Earth annoted by Tolkien himself has been found tucked in an old copy of Lord of the Rings—and it reveals that Hobbiton is on the same Latitude as the professor's beloved Oxford, England. Read the rest

WHAT IF: Hermione made Harry and Ron do their own goddamned homework?

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Anyone who's paid close attention knows that the series should really be called "Hermoine Granger and the Repeated Rescue of the Lazy, Glory-Hogging Boys," but as usual, Mallory Ortberg (previously) brings it all home with some scathing and witty fanfic: Read the rest

READ: The story of a girl raised by feral librarians

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When the wonderful science fiction writer Ellen Klages (previously) tells a fantastic tale about a shuttered library where seven eternal librarians tend the shelves, it doesn't come out reminiscent of Borges's library, nor Pratchett's -- rather, like all of Klages's work, it becomes a story about human affection and destiny. Read the rest

See Tolkien's unpublished drawings of Middle-earth and his entire literary universe

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"The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien" is a new collection of the drawings, maps, diagrams, and sketches that Tolkien drew to help him navigate Middle-earth, and the entire complex universe he created for his novels. Edited by Tolkien scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, the hardcover book contains nearly 200 images, the majority of which have never been published before.

"The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien" (Amazon)

(via Wired) Read the rest

The Bathrobe Knight: Volume 1

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Originally written as a web serial, this novel about a gamer transported into the world of MMORPGs is hilarious! I read The Bathroom Knight as a novel, and so I can only review it as such. I think it'd have been even more fun as a serial, a format I greatly enjoy.

Charles Dean rapidly sets up a fantastic fantasy world! Darwin, our extremely unique protagonist, really loves to play MMORPGs. So much so, he even plans to spend Christmas immersed! After beating up a burglar who interrupts his holiday fun, Darwin is magically transported into a game, and must quest to save the realm and figure himself out.

I liked Dean's take on gaming. He both shows the fun and camaraderie of gamers, and the terrible aspects of a "trapped-in-a-game, must level-up" mentality. Character development is pretty good for a freshman novel, and while the use of RPG vernacular occasionally baffled me, mostly it was easy to understand. I think Dean has done a fantastic job having fun with a genre, and not taking it seriously, at all.

This is a fun read. I bought it for my Kindle as Dean has apparently spent time, energy and money working with editors. In web serial format the novel is available here free.

The Bathrobe Knight: Volume 1 Read the rest

The Dungeoneers, a playful and hilarious adventure

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A case of mistaken identity lands Durham, a going no-place palace guard, a job with a troop of dwarvish treasure hunters. Seeing his big chance to make something of himself, our hero joins the Dungeoneers.

Durham is a pretty boring guy, but a common spelling mistake sends him, a lowly guard who rarely needs a vocabulary, on an adventure in place of the Keeper of the Vault! Added to a crack team of dwavish treasure seekers, Durham would be completely out of his element, if he had one. Seeing his opportunity to finally be the hero, Durham is positive he'll make something of himself. No one else shares his optimism. The gang of dwarves he is sent to aid see him as a bad luck charm, the only human woman around thinks he is comic relief, and he doesn't know a damn thing about recovering treasure.

This indie fantasy is a lot of fun. The novel has some light editing errors and isn't perfect, but author Jeffrey Russell has written a fantastic example of the fantasy quest/adventure. I'll be hoping for more!

The Dungeoneers by Jeffrey Russell via amazon Read the rest

Enchantress, book one in James Maxwell's Evermen series

James Maxwell's Enchantress is an engaging, dense fantasy that drew me right in.

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“Wire Cutters,” a wonderful short film on the rough lives of off-world robot miners

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“A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.”

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Final Pratchett novel is out: The Shepherd's Crown

Well, The Shephed's Crowd (a Tiffany Aching book) is out in the UK, anyway -- (idiotically) the US release will be Sept 1. Read the rest

Hand-cut silhouettes from Tolkien, Rowling, GRRM

Jack Tuckwell is a UK sculptor who sells on Etsy as Alarm Eighteen, in a store that features silhouettes cut out of pages from fantasy novels like The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones: Bag End, Barad-dûr, Harry Potter vols 1-7. Read the rest

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