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Jen Miller

Reading The Sword of Shannara: Chapters 16-20

The Sword of ShannaraJen Miller and Phil Ilten have been reading The Sword of Shannara together and sharing their thoughts by writing back and forth.  If you're just joining us, get your own copy of the book, and read our discussions of chapters 1-5 here, chapters 6-10 here, and chapters 11-15 here.  Then join our conversation and let us know what you think!


Dear Jen--

I’m not entirely certain why, but I enjoyed these chapters more than the previous chapters. Many of the issues that we have been discussing in these letters were still present, but for some reason I felt the story just flowed better. Maybe it’s because I totally called that the Sword of Shannara was in the gnome’s sack of loot, which made me feel good about myself. But I think this was the first set of chapters where I felt the book was significantly different from LotR, and creative in its own right.

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Stupid is as stupid does...

Falling Skies...and for a bunch of allegedly smart people, the folks in Fallings Skies are pretty stupid.  This new TV series on TNT takes place six months after an alien invasion, and it focuses on a group of resistance fighters from Boston who call themselves the Second Massachusetts.  Like the movie District 9, Falling Skies glosses over the details of the first contact with the aliens and instead tells the story of what happens after the initial meeting--in this case, a meeting that nearly wiped out the human race.  I found this set-up really thought-provoking in District 9, and I think it has a lot of potential here, too.  It also makes me wonder: is this show just following District 9's lead, or does this mark some sort of larger trend to focus on the aftermath, rather than the alien invasion itself?  Furthermore, does this reflect something particular about our own society?

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Our Fantastic Week Ahead: July 11

A Dance With DragonsCan you feel it?  The excitement?  The anticipation?  The sense of thousands, if not millions, of fantasy fans holding their breath, waiting for the next installment in their favorite series?

The release of the final Harry Potter movie would be enough in and of itself to cause quite a stir, but this week also marks the release of the long-awaited next installment in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series--A Dance with Dragons.  Needless to say, it's going to be quite a week!

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Fantastically Fun Fridays: July 8, 2011

Happy Friday everyone! 

In case you're not already familiar with it, The Interstitial Arts Foundation is an organization that supports art that falls and flourishes in-between the cracks of genre.  Many of the authors involved with this foundation write works that can be called fantasy, or that bump up against fantasy.  It's a wonderful organization, and it sponsors a number of exciting projects that support their mission of promoting interstitial art.

One of these projects is Interfictions 0, an online anthology of essays on interstitial texts.  Each month they publish a new essay--this month's essay on King Arthur is written by our own Kat Howard, and you should definitely check it out!

Here are some of the other fun things we found lying around the internet this week:

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We have a winner!

Thank you all very much to all who participated in our "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever" week--either as those who nominated contestants, those who commented on our choices, and perhaps most importantly, those of you who took the time to vote!

After a week of careful deliberation, we have a winner....

...drumroll please....

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