Still sick linkdump

I’m still sick with a rather nasty cold I caught on the plane. Taking my Mom to the cemetery yesterday to visit my grandparents’ graves probably wasn’t the best of ideas, especially as both set of grandparents are buried on cemeteries on opposite ends of the city. I probably should have canceled, because I was feeling so bad, but I had promised my Mom to take her to the cemeteries, so I didn’t.

Anyway, expect light blogging today and tomorrow, since I have an interpreting job tomorrow (which is why I really can’t afford to be ill).

And now for some links:

The World Fantasy Award winners for 2011 have been announced. The best novel award goes to Nnedi Okorafor for Who Fears Death, while the two short fiction awards go to texts from Neil Gaiman’s and Al Sarrantonio’s anthology Stories: All New Tales. I thoroughly enjoyed Stories and while I haven’t read Who Fears Death yet, it was almost unanimously praised. Besides, considering that Nnedi Okorafor lost out against an IMO dull and cliched World War II time travel novel at the Hugos and Nebulas, it’s great to see her take this prize.

At the Atlantic, Joe Fassler wonders how zombies and superheroes conquered highbrow (his words, not mine) fiction.

There’s a great post by Sherwood Smith and a great discussion about what writers owe readers over at the Book View Café.

Lynn Viehl at Paperback Writer has a great post about setting and how a character’s home should match the character.

Here is a nice post about characterisation and building characters by Shanna Swendson.

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5 Responses to Still sick linkdump

  1. Marie-Thérèse says:

    I did read ‘Who Fears Death’ earlier this year and I have to admit I thought it was pretty bad. While the opening was fine (the heroine’s mother’s story was heartbreaking and vividly told), the book just dragged terribly, the world-building made no sense to me, and, while I hate to use the term here of all places*, the heroine was the world’s biggest Mary-Sue (she even has a super-special, magically regenerated clitoris!). I really, really did not like the book and would not recommend it. I haven’t read most of what was up for the award (although, seriously, how is this a “world” award if only books in English seem to be eligible? Most of the best fantasy I read is in Finnish and Japanese) but surely there had to be something better than this.

    *Because I very much agree with your reservations about the term “Mary-Sue” being used to restrict the role of female protagonists.

    • Cora says:

      The World Fantasy Award at least occasionally honours non-Anglo-American fiction. Haruki Murakami won a few years ago for Kafka on the Shore and Patrick Süskind won for The Perfume in the 1980s. And this year’s nominees included Lauren Beukes who is South-African and Karen Lord who is from Barbados. The overwhelming majority of the nominees and winners are still British or American, but it’s still better than the Hugos and Nebulas which couldn’t even manage a single Japanese nominee let alone a winner when Worldcon was held in Japan a while back. But otherwise I agree that the “World” in World Fantasy Award, World Fantasy Con, or World Con is about as international as the “World” in Baseball World Series, i.e. it’s not very international if only Americans, Canadians and maybe Brits and Australians are playing.

      Also many thanks for the alternate view on Who Fears Death, because up to now the praise for the book had been almost unanimous. I suppose that part of the reason is that African based speculative fiction is so rare (though Lauren Beukes also writes African based spec fic and N.K. Jemisin’s series is African inspired secondary world fantasy) that many people liked it simply because it was finally something different.

  2. Marie-Thérèse says:

    Oh, I forgot! Gute Besserung!

  3. Pingback: We are all pornographers now | Cora Buhlert

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