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Jen Miller

Tarantino's Got the Right Idea; Or, Why Fantasy Matters

Quentin TarantinoLast week, I was reading about Quentin Tarantino's latest project--a film called Django Unchained, which, according to a commenter over at Hollywood Elsewhere, tells the story of a freed slave named Django who works with a bounty hunter to find and free his wife.  What is interesting about this movie to me is the form that it's going to take--something that has the action and adventure of a "spaghetti Western," but that takes place in the time and space of the Civil War and that Tarantino would call a "Southern." 


Our Fantastic Week Ahead: June 6

We have a great week in store for you here at Fantasy Matters!

The WitcherFor those of you who are video game fans, don't think we've forgotten about you--with the recent release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, S. Miller takes a look back at the strengths and weaknesses of the original Witcher.


Fantastically Fun Fridays: June 3, 2011

Here at Fantasy Matters, we post content Monday through Friday, taking the weekends off to do important things like hang out with friends, catch up on our reading and gaming, and, you know, laundry.  Sure, you guys don't have to interact with us in person, so clean clothes might seem unncessary, but we all have day jobs that we'd like to keep, thank you very much.  While we know that you will desperately miss us, we are taking a page out of the Fug Girls' playbook and leaving you with some of the fun things related to fantastic genres that we found on the web this week, so that you have something to tide you over until Monday.  Enjoy!


How do you unsee someone?

This past semester, I got to teach a course on modern fantasy literature at Valparaiso University.  It was probably the greatest class I've ever taught, not just because I loved what I was teaching, but because I had some of the best students I've ever had.  They were all really excited about the course material, and that made them that much more engaged in the readings, the assignments, and the class discussions.The City and The City

One discussion that was a particular highlight of the class was a student-led discussion of China Miéville's The City and The City.  Hilary Madinger and Christine Albain came up with an extremely well-conceived exercise to get the class to understand the mechanics of one of the central ideas of Miéville's novel--unseeing.  [Warning: spoilers after the jump]


Reading The Sword of Shannara: Chapters 1-5

Jen Miller and her brother, Philip Ilten, grew up with their parents reading lots of science fiction and fantasy to them as bedtime stories.  With this feature, they resume this family tradition of reading fantasy together with Terry Brooks' The Sword of ShannaraThey invite you to get a copy of your own and read along, too!

Dear Phil--The Sword of Shannara

Hooray!  We’re reading The Sword of Shannara together!  I’m going to be honest--I’m more excited about the idea of reading a book with you than the actual book that we’re reading.  I’ve been putting off starting the novel because I’ve gotten this impression of it as this overdone, tired cliche.  I realize that this isn’t fair, especially since I’m thinking of the novel through the lens of everything that has been written since then instead of thinking of it as the groundbreaking work that it was (helped to make fantasy commercially successful, first paperback fantasy on the NYT bestseller list, etc.).  Things are what they are, however, and it seems that it’s a) good to be upfront about my prejudices and b) interesting to see if you’re coming from a place that is at all the same.  So, what about you?  What are your thoughts going into this book?



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