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fantasy

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

The Nebula Award Nominees (That You Can Read Free Online)

The Nebula Award Nominees are out this week, and as usual we have tried to provide you with links to where you can read at least some of them for free online. So far as we were able to quickly Google. This turns out to be a lot! Congratulations to the twice nominated Alaya Dawn Johnson, to our friends at Apex magazine for earning a nomination for Rachel Swirsky “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” and to Pacific Rim. We really hope you win Best Dramatic Presentation, because we love you.

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Essay

Witches, Wise Women, and Widows: A Cultural Look at Viking RPG The Banner Saga

There was a storm warning in Reykjavík the night I started playing The Banner Saga. As my computer booted and my tea steeped, I made the rounds in my apartment, securing the latches of my windows — double-paned, of course, to keep the cold out. Bare birch branches writhed eerily outside, and the sky, which had danced pink and green four nights prior, was coal gray. It was a good night for a Viking story.

I glanced at my watch as I launched the game. I had to start playing, but I was eager for my partner to come home. Most Icelanders I’ve met have a strong affinity for their heritage, but my partner is a cultural paladin. Our shelves are crammed with epic poetry, archaeological resources, and dictionaries of dead languages. When my mom came to visit last summer, my partner had a story (or a song) for every mountain and waterfall we drove past. There’s a single-handed battle axe resting against her bedside table. Y’know, just in case.

I didn’t want her to play the game with me. I wanted her to snark.

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There And Back Again

A Biopic On Hobbit Author J.R.R. Tolkien Is Officially In The Works

While we anxiously await the second installment to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, a new report says Fox Searchlight is putting a film into production which will focus on the famous author who started us down this path long ago – J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Mutatis Mutandis

The X-Men of Your Wildest Fantasies

Neil Gaiman gave us the X-Men in the Elizabethan era, but Nate Hallinan has taken them to another plane entirely: the setting of medieval fantasy. I mean really: where else are you going to find an elvish Nightcrawler and a dwarvish Wolverine? I just have one problem, that’s that Hallinan lacks a fantasy interpretation Rogue, a character whose name is also a Dungeons & Dragons class, for heaven’s sake.

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May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Selina Kyle and Whedon Win at the 39th Annual Saturn Awards

The 39th Saturn Awards were yesterday and it appears that Joss Whedon will be keeping his title as sci-fi, fantasy, and horror royalty.  Whedon won Best Director for Marvel’s The Avengers, beating out Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan, Peter Jackson, William Friedkin, and Rian Johnson. Meanwhile, The Avengers won best science fiction film and Cabin in the Woods won in the best Horror/ Thriller category.  The Avengers just kept winning, with actor Clark Gregg winning best supporting actor for his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson. The Dark Knight Rises picked up only one win, Best Supporting Actress, for Anne Hathaway‘s much-loved turn as Catwoman. The odds were also in Jennifer Lawrence’s favor, and she won Best Actress for her work in the first installment in The Hunger Games series.

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Olden Lore

Is “Historical Accuracy” a Good Defense of Patriarchal Societies in Fantasy Fiction?

Are you aware that human history is full of examples of sexist, patriarchal societies where women were discriminated against? I’m sure you are, as a reader of The Mary Sue. I’m pretty sure you are as a person alive in the 21st Century, too. Yet so many of the historically inspired fantasy worlds we love are remarkably intent on reminding us of this.

When I raise this issue with someone, I often get some variation of this in reply. Sexism in (to pick the most obvious example) medieval fantasy is okay or even desirable, the thinking goes, because in the real European Middle Ages sexism was the status quo. There’s no denying that, but fantasy is called fantasy because it’s a fantasy. There were no dragons in the real Middle Ages either, but we don’t have a problem including them.

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: President Lincoln Riding A Velociraptor

Sequel to Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter? No, awesome photo series from Andrew Becraft. See which other “great leaders” he sat atop “terrible lizards” on The Brothers Brick. (via io9

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Monsters Head To University

Monsters University, the sequel to Monsters Inc., has a brand-new, super-realistic website for the school. Marketing Done Right 101. (via TDW Geek

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And All Was Right With the World

Newest Humble Bundle Offers Books! Half by Women! Pay What You Want! OMG Excited!

If you’re not an avid video gamer, you might not be familiar with the Humble Indie Bundle, or you might not have had an avid video gamer friend accost you and demand that you immediately take what’s offered by the habitual organizer and offerer of DRM-free indie developed games on a pay-what-you-want system where funds go directly to the game makers and game-related charities.

This summer, the Humble Bundle branched out a bit, offering a bundle entirely of nerdy musical artists like MC Frontalot, They Might Be Giants, and Jonathan Coulton. Now the Bundle tackles another frontier: books. Here’s how it works:

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Fans Do Cool Things

Check Out This High Fantasy Take on The Avengers

Fanart never ceases to amaze us. The time and the talent poured into depictions of often fictional characters, the results of which have the power to even outdo the PR teams and artists who are actually employed to promote the thing in the first place. It’s what we love about fandom: the power that fans have to take one thing they love and mix it with so many other things. Like these super intense illustrations by deviantartist theDurrian, which takes characters from The Avengers and infuses them with “high/dark/epic fantasy.”

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