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The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 4 “The Anarchist”

The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 4 “The Anarchist”

I’ve talked about buying the expensive way (completists, and those who must have what they want), and the easy way (just collect what you love). But there’s also a way to collect the CHEAPEST way….and that’s the anarchic way, or – Buy What Nobody Wants For a long long time costume jewelry made out of Bakelite was considered “junk.” Just about every garage ... Read More »

The story so far: From the New World

International stream: Crunchyroll (North & South America, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden; subtitles in English, Spanish, or Portuguese) The only thing some of you will need to know about From the New World is that it’s an adaptation of a work which in 2008 won the Japan SF Prize, which is given out by the Science Fiction Writers o... Read More »

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 8 in series)

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 8 in series)

Where Do I Look?: How to find short fiction markets Welcome back. This is the eighth in my (mostly) weekly series of posts on how to market and sell short fiction. This series is written in a specific sequence, with each post building on earlier ones, so if you haven’t already, please read my earlier posts here. Last week, in part 7, I explained why you should “start at top” when... Read More »

Chuck Palahniuk | startribune.com

Karmic Demons and the Power of Compassion: Buddhist Philosophy in Modern Myth

I would put forward that the next thing is going to be a story, because right now, people really don’t have a big story, a big software. . . . They don’t have a big meta-narrative story; they don’t have a big story like Christianity was a big story. So right now, we need a really big story. And that story doesn’t have to be in conflict or in reaction to the current story, b... Read More »

Forgotten Books

Forgotten Books

The quest for that forgotten title or author’s name begins here, where the only clue is a quote, a character, or plot…or less. Read More »

AI is Religion Not Science

AI is Religion Not Science

A few weeks ago, I posted an explanation of why it’s highly unlikely that that anybody will anytime soon replicate the human brain on a digital computer. In that post, I explained that a single human brain is an analog computer that’s enormously more complex than any digital computer or combination of digital computers. In this post, I’ll explain why AI is essentially a set of re... Read More »

A Blog Horde Interview with C.E. Martin

Welcome to the Amazing Stories BLOG HORDE INTERVIEWS! The ASM Blog Horde is a diverse and wonderful species. I have the privilege of talking with all of them, and I get to share those chats with you. In this long-running series, you will have the opportunity to peek inside the minds of the ASM bloggers to to see just what makes them tick. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have enjoyed prepa... Read More »

NOT QUITE SWORD & SORCERY: EARLY FANTASY

NOT QUITE SWORD & SORCERY: EARLY FANTASY

Robert E. Howard may have invented Sword & Sorcery with the first King Kull tale, but he was not the only author working with the raw materials of heroic fantasy. We have already mentioned C. L. Moore and her Jirel of Joiry stories, which were published at the same time as Conan. There were other authors who penned stories that bordered on S&S but were not quite for one reason or another. ... Read More »

Oz Don’t Look Like That!

With the release of the new movie OZ: The Great and Powerful this weekend, the world created by L. Frank Baum back in 1900 is getting a fresh look. Revisiting a classic is always a good thing, but with The Wizard of Oz, this can also be a dangerous undertaking. The problem is, of course, the classic MGM film version of the novel. Released in 1939 The Wizard of Oz starred Judy Garland and very quic... Read More »

fanhistorica by Linda Michaels

The Clubhouse: Save your stuff!

I had hoped to bring you a little photo journal of some of the fans I knew in Detroit and Ann Arbor in the ’70s and ’80s, but alas, such limited pictures as I had were lost in moving, and there is a shocking lack of material relating to Michigan fandom online. I promise to get to the end of my ConFusion report soon, but this is instead a call for those of you who have fannish materials... Read More »

How to Host a Big Bang Theory Party

How to Host a Big Bang Theory Party

When the tv show the Big Bang Theory first appeared, I wasn’t sure I liked it.  I mean, weren’t people laughing at the nerdy scientists as often (or more often) than they laughed with them? Well, I learned to love the show because I think it’s generally fair, even if it plays to extremes stereotypes regularly.  I’m an astronomer in a physics and astronomy department, and I ... Read More »

Better Than Oprah

Several years ago I interviewed an author whose book had been turned into a movie. The book had been a selection of Oprah Winfrey’s “Book Club” and he freely admitted that that selection had changed his life. It was like winning the lottery, he said. Her imprimatur made his book a “must read” for many people and turned him into a brand name author. I do not expect the... Read More »

Fantasy as History

Author’s Note – it has been said that we should ‘write what we know’ and, in that spirit, for my first outing here at Amazing Stories I have decided to crib a little from my recent review of Steven Erikson’s ‘Forge of Darkness’, originally published at Fantasy Book Review in early February. Erikson and Tolkien Reading the work of Steven Erikson has often been compared with reading history. S... Read More »

I Got Them Old Kon-Going Blues Again, Momma.

Forgive me, Janis Joplin, for destroying that wonderful album title of yours. But it is true: the urge to get up and go to a con is growing in me. Fortunately, I can do something about this, and so can many others who suffer from the same affliction. One of the recurring features in my fanzine Askance is a listing of Regional Science Fiction (and related subjects) Conventions and Events. By “... Read More »

Ora Pro Nobis. The Zombies Are Coming

Ora Pro Nobis. The Zombies Are Coming

Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world on February 11th by announcing his abdication. In related news on your Amazing Stories channel, the zombie apocalypse is coming. Even Snooki agrees! “One day, I know that the world is going to end with zombies.” Read More »

American Gothic: Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates

As I mentioned in my post Stephen King: A Beginner’s Guide I became interested in the work of Joyce Carol Oates because of her association with King. As early as Danse Macabre (1981) King was writing admiringly about Oates’ work. The compliment was returned when Oates introduced King’s speaking engagement at Princeton in 1997. Bellefleur is the first book I have read by Joyce Carol Oates. Sh... Read More »

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (via Wikipedia)

Crossroads: Riding into Space – Westerns and Speculative Fiction

March is here, and that means it is time to move into a new Crossroads series. For some reason, March always brings to mind melting snow, spring’s inexorable creep across the plains, cold mountains withstanding the coming warmth. In other words, March puts me in a western frame of mind. Which is why this month, I’m going to be exploring the relationship between westerns and speculative... Read More »

Does Your Family Know What Time It Is? (It’s Regular Adventure Show Time)

With a 7 year old daughter, a 13 year old daughter, a 40-something year old wife and myself in the house, it is often difficult to find something we can all watch on TV together- despite the fact we all love SFF. Generally, what ends up happening is mom gets the upstairs TV to herself to rewatch Game of Thrones, while the kids and I retreat underground to the Dadcave and fight over the TV there. T... Read More »

From the In Box

PSFS Announces March 8 Talk – Jay Smith Angry Robot Signs Rachel Neumeier Suvudu Starts Character Cage Match Northwest Writers Honor Octavia Butler Read More »

Gazing at Alien Skies

Gazing at Alien Skies

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to look at an alien sky? The sky of a planet whose atmosphere has a different chemical composition to that on Earth, resulting in entirely different cloud formations, weather patterns, opacity, refraction, luminosity, color schemes? A planet circling a different sun, perhaps a star at a different stage of evolution from our old yellowish Sol, and whose ... Read More »

The Fuzzy Line Between Science Fiction and Fantasy

Pull the blinds and turn off the phone, it’s time to head to the Game Room and lock in on some hardcore meta-gaming action.  In the Game Room we will explore the world of gaming in all its many incarnations, while lingering over that corner of the meta-verse where games and literature converge.  Bust out your opinion and your favorite snack, it’s game time.   As I sit in the Game Room looking at s... Read More »

Sequential Wednesdays #3 – Death: The Most Important Story Ever Told

Sequential Wednesdays #3 – Death: The Most Important Story Ever Told

Let’s talk about death. As we meander our way through one subplot to the next, it’s something we typically don’t discuss much.  Death is the ignored truth waiting for all of us at some point, it’s lovingly inevitable and deeply invested in each one of us.  For many, myself included, the existence of Death is a beautiful frame to view life; not in the sense of living every d... Read More »

Are Modern Twists on Classics the Future?

As with every hit TV show there becomes a trend of similar shows appearing on our screens. And fairy tales set in the modern world seem the latest trend. Last year we welcomed Grimm and Once Upon a Time. I only got round to watching the first episode of Grimm, but as often with a new season it was a show that I bumped to the ‘to watch at some point’ pile while I focused on the rest tha... Read More »

What Genre Are You Writing … And Marketing?

Our multiplex world of discerning consumers is getting used to having what they consume laid out clearly and categorized. Literature is no different. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, when Aristotle proclaimed in his Poetics that poetry could be categorized into many “species”, critics have endeavored to label art to help the “commoner” interpret it. Defining Genre The word “genre” comes from ... Read More »

Characters: Song of Ice & Fire’s Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister has become a household name. Anyone who knows someone with an HBO subscription has heard of him. George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire has been making waves throughout the fantasy community for over a decade. Tyrion has become the face of it, along with Jon Snow and Dany. What makes Tyrion such a compelling character are his differences from what’s considered standard by traditi... Read More »

Gaming: It’s All About the Story

Gaming: It’s All About the Story

I’m excited; the sun is out, spring is here and March brings a slew of video games to various different consoles including Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider, both of which I’m dying to play. Tomb Raider … ah Lara’s adventures have always held a special place in my heart, mainly because it was one of the first games I played on PC, back in the day. Similarly, I had a deep love for the Bioshock game... Read More »

Edgar Allan Poe – Part 2

Few poems have been quoted, misquoted and satirized as much as Poe’s The Raven, and in truth it’s style and gothic theme are easy to satirize.   Poe’s most ardent wish was to be known as a poet and indeed The Raven brought him the literary success that no other of his writings had.  The Raven is written on a theme that Poe used over and over again in his work – loss and grief. Poe’s other poems, o... Read More »

Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

My final (for now) look into SF detectives brings me to the classic SF novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Most people know of this novel as the basis of Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner. Upon reading the novel, however, you quickly learn how little the two works have to do with each other. Sometime before the events of Electric Sheep, the world is devastated b... Read More »

cultographies: evil dead

We Accept You, One of Us: The Cultographies Series

Thanks to the mainstreaming of genre it’s no longer disreputable in many parts of academia to declare an interest in and love of genre. While too much interest in genre might once have marked a dead-end career path, genre studies are increasingly simply another option for engaging with art, ideas, and culture. It’s a good thing, too. A generation (maybe two) of academics have their roo... Read More »

Old Friends, and Why We Love Them

Dragon Battle Book Sculpture by wetcanvas. First sentences are important. Introductions are important. Not gonna lie, I’ve been writing in my head for weeks trying to figure out the perfect start to this blog, and failing miserably, I finally just decided to jump in with a line from George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords, which I’ve been rereading recently: Old stories are like old friends, she u... Read More »

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