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Kat Howard

Who We Are and How We Read: Rethinking N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand KingdomsSeveral of us here at Fantasy Matters have read N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and really enjoyed it, and after reading Matt Rasmusson's review of the novel last week, two of our editors were inspired to write down their own thoughts about the novel.  Reading these reviews in conversation with each other is particularly intriguing, as it highlights how a novel can speak to different people in vastly different ways.  If you have read Jemisin's work, we'd love for you to become part of the conversation as well--post your thoughts in the comments!


Adam Miller:

Well, I did it again: I read a novel, then afterwards learned that it was part of an unfinished trilogy. This is my personal hangup, and it’s the reason that I was unwilling to start reading the Harry Potter series until The Deathly Hallows was released and remain unwilling to start the Kingkiller Chronicles. For high-profile novels, it's a relatively easy thing to do, but for newer novels that I’m unfamiliar with it seems to happens from time to time. The issue is that my memory for plots and characters is not stellar, so I generally feel like I have to re-read any prior novels when new installments come out. In this particular situation, it was an especially painful realization because I loved this novel and don’t look forward to waiting for another novel to be released. The good news in this case is that book two (The Broken Kingdoms) has already been released, and I only have a few months to wait for the trilogy to be complete.

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The Fantastic in the Fine Arts: "Sing"

What would you do if you received a red envelope, sealed in gold, containing a CD and a card, upon which was written one word: SING? Would you listen to the music? Would you join in the song?

That envelope is the conceit around which the video for "Sing" by The Dresden Dolls (from their album Yes, Virginia...) is built.

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Exercising your right to vote

If you are anything like I was for most of my reading life, you might have been a bit surprised this week to discover that you could vote for the Hugo awards. Surprise again - you can vote for the Locus awards, too. If you already know that, and know how to vote, then this isn't the post for you. 

But for everyone else, please keep reading. Voting on these awards is important - it means something, not only to the people who are nominated, and who win, but to the shape of the field in general. And it's a very easy thing to do.

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Hugo Week: FEED

FeedZombies are the sort of thing that - their recent appearance in books by Jane Austen aside - tend to work better as a film horror than a written one. Except for continued putrefaction, the shambling undead don't really have much of a story arc. On film, this horror, the horror of disgust and revulsion, works in a way that it almost never does on the page. And on film, there's the added bonus of feeling superior while we watch a bunch of pretty people behave like brainless idiots who have never seen a horror movie, or even played a round of Plants vs. Zombies, and so get turned into brainless idiots of another sort. Media matters - zombies almost never work well in books.

Almost.

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Midweek Fiction: Kelly Link, "Valley of the Girls"

Welcome to a new feature here at Fantasy Matters. There's a lot of wonderful short form speculative fiction being published on the internet, and we wanted to bring some of it to your attention. And who doesn't want to break up the week with an excellent short story?

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