fantasy

Fantastic Transmissions E006 – Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien

Episode 6 of Fantastic Transmissions is about Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien. Ham is one of Tolkien’s forays into fable and comedy, a little-read work with big ideas. I discuss some of the linguistics jokes and historical references in the work, and then talk more broadly about Tolkien’s own opinions on language, nationality, and identity.

Podbean: https://bookshelfstudios.podbean.com/e/episode-006-farmer-giles-of-ham/

iTunes:

Google Play:

The intro music is sampled from Clyde Borly and His Percussions, off the album “Music in Five Dimensions.” The rest of the music in the podcast was created by Blue Dot Sessions. Their work can be found on the Free Music Archive under a Non-Commercial Attribution License. You can also find all their tracks at http://www.sessions.blue.

Links and references can be found at the bottom of the post!

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Fantastic Transmissions E001 – It’s A Good Life by Jerome Bixby

Episode 1 of Fantastic Transmissions is about Jerome Bixby’s 1953 short story, It’s A Good Life. It’s A Good Life is the story of a young boy with horrific psychic powers who holds an entire town under his sway. We examine how Bixby’s style complements his narrative, compare the story to its Twilight Zone adaptation, and talk about the themes of totalitarianism and narcissism.

Podbean: https://bookshelfstudios.podbean.com/e/episode-001-its-a-good-life-by-jerome-bixby/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fantastic-transmissions/id1341102133#

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Dwv7eiu7klgkfhdae5cnhjtbeai?t=Episode_001_-_Its_a_Good_Life_by_Jerome_Bixby-Fantastic_Transmissions

The intro music is sampled from Clyde Borly and His Percussions, off the album “Music in Five Dimensions.” The rest of the musc in the podcast was created by Blue Dot Sessions. Their work can be found on the Free Music Archive under a Non-Commercial Attribution License. You can also find all their tracks at http://www.sessions.blue. Audio from episode 73 of The Twilight Zone is the property of CBS.

Fantastic Transmissions is a non-commercial project.

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The Others as Shoggoths: Lovecraft & Martin

As much as GRRM likes to draw on traditional high fantasy tropes, A Song of Ice and Fire is very much a sword-and-sorcery world, akin to something written by Robert E Howard. Howard himself was a contemporary and collaborator with H.P. Lovecraft himself, the father of eldritch weirdness. A lot of people have pointed out the many Lovecraftian elements to the world of ice and fire – from Leng to the Five Forts to Asshai to Toad Isle to the Seastone Chair to Battle Isle to the mazemakers to the squishers.

But there’s one big element that needs to be addressed: the Others.

One common theory is that the Others are, essentially “misunderstood snow elves.” They’re a race whose goals and aims run contrary to human life…but they aren’t necessarily evil. This is a popular theory. Some think there’ll be a pact with the Others, that humans need to resolve their Other-ing of a different race. That to end with a big battle would be disingenuous to the messages of ASOIAF, about hard peace etc.

I disagree. And I promise I’ll explain! But first,

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Beginnings Suck: A Look Back At Drafts

Beginnings are the worst.

I just finished up the latest (fourth? fifth?) draft of my fantasy novel. It’s starting to look like a book now. Like something that someone could actually read and enjoy. So I thought it would be fun to look back at all the various ways I’ve started this story.

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son of january by leonid afremov

Hot Link Sunday

 

Welcome….

To Hot Link Sunday.  A new weekly feature where both Michael and Mikell contribute what they believe are the best things to read from the previous week!  So dive on into these fresh hot links and let us know what you think!

Michael’s ASOIAF Highlights of the Week:

Hey all! I’m a mod on the /r/asoiaf subreddit, so I see a lot of good stuff come through the new queue. Here’s the highlights from the past week (and beyond. Since this is the first edition, I’m including some stuff that really should be in the highlights reel on merit alone).

First off…I’d be remiss to leave out the Best of 2015 awards for /r/asoiaf! The subreddit voted on 10 different categories with a look back at all of 2015. There’s some great stuff in there, whether it’s JoeMagician’s “A Cold Death in the Snow” theory or the insufferably memetic “Dany + Drogo = Tyrion” theory (seriously).

Sticking with reddit, on Jan 25 user jdylopa posted an insightful look into Arya’s story arc entitled “When people call Arya ‘No One,’ they miss the point of her arc.” I gotta say, I agree with jdylopa – Arya hasn’t lost her Stark-ness. Far from it.

Next up on reddit, we have a summary post from YezenIRL explaining his massive blog post series “The Weirwood Leviathan.” There are ASOIAF fans and there are ASOIAF fans, and YezenIRL is the latter. Is the writeup nutty in places? Absolutely. Does it make occasional, chilling sense? You betcha.

Moving beyond reddit, let’s also move beyond the limit of 1 week to give a shout-out to BryndenBFish’s Complete Notablog ASOIAF Resource. Here’s what this lunatic did – he went through the entire history of GRRM’s blog and compiled every comment and post that pertained to ASOIAF. Then he sorted them. It’s immensely useful and took immense effort, so check it out!

For those looking to re-read ASOIAF, look no further than the new “A FEAST WITH DRAGONS” combined reading order for Book 4 and 5. There are some great combined orders that already exist (see All Leather Must be Boiled), but this one’s got some great new tweaks and was made by a team of hardworking nerds in the internet factory!

Finally, everyone should go check out tumblr user PoorQuentyn’s “A Defense of Tyrion’s ADWD Storyline,” which just wrapped up this week but has been going for months. It’s a wonderfully-written, incisive, and altogether critical analysis of what’s going on in Tyrion’s chapters in book 5.

AND COMING NEXT WEEK…

 

VK will begin his contribution to the Hot Link Sunday Feature.  He’s been hard at work at his other two jobs so that has kept him away from the site recently but don’t you fret his return is on the horizon!!  His focus will mainly go into technology and gaming news, along with any opinion pieces he sees.