Oct 24, 2012

Some links with a bit of crunch

Okay so today I resolved to start another story.  More or less to keep the practice up.  I am reworking an old folktale Iron Hans by the Grimms (or at least recorded by them).  I’d never heard of it before.  It’s ostensibly about little boys growing up to  be a good man etc.  I will be subverting it a little.  At the moment I think its probably going to morph into a novella or at least a long short story.

But along the way I got way laid by a migraine and some crunchy discussions that might be worthy of you reading. Both have  a feminist slant to them. The first is by Tansy called :

Cheesecake Fantasy and Other Good Causes

October 24th, 2012

Fantasy, as a genre, is often embarrassing. I like to tell myself that it’s not as bad as it used to be, in the days when Gor novels were sold unironically, and almost every book cover had some kind of gross, bizarre representation of the “female” form in chainmail/fur bikinis, regardless of the contents of the book itself. (Worse of course was when the books did reflect the art, but for every awful sexist fantasy novel you could almost guarantee the cover would be twice as bad) [read on]

The next is some commentary on the The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23 by Pornokitch:


New Releases: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23

This year's edition of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror contains some good stories, with tales by Joan Aiken, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Mark Samuels, Alison Littlewood, Paul Kane, Gemma Files and many others.

If you're looking for a book of good horror stories, there you go. This book does what it says on the tin. I'd read a few of these in their original publications, and it is good to see them all in one place. And for a good price. Etc.

Where the book gets a little more controversial (and therefore fun to review), is in its introduction. Editor Stephen Jones begins the book with a lengthy summary of the year in horror. For the most part, this is pretty dry. It is, after all, a survey, and the poor man has a lot to get through. Still, there's some cool stuff in here: auction prices for Universal Movie posters, for example, and a shout out to Stories of the Apocalypse (woo!). 

However, there are also some more provocative inclusions. Since I don't have my own Mammoth Book in which to respond, I figured I'd crack out a review instead.

After some deliberation, my issues with Mr. Jones' introduction fall into two broad categories:

1) He's using a professional platform to air personal grievances. Don't get me wrong, if I had something like Best New Horror at my fingertips, I'd be tempted to sneak in the occasional "hi mom" as well. But this isn't the place to settle old scores.

2) I disagree with his interpretation of events. Mr. Jones has the right to his opinion - he just can't let it colour what is set up as an authoritative review of the year in horror.  

2b) I've also got a big problem with his opinion.

[Read on]

And with that I bid you good night.

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