Fantasy

Dark History: Bran Mak Morn

Robert E. Howard, more than anything, wanted to sell to Adventure Magazine. This publication of the Buttrick Co. was considered by many the best Pulp of all the hundreds of cheap magazines published between the 1920s and 1950s. It featured writers like Talbot Mundy, James Francis Dwyer, Rafael Sabatini, H. Bedford-Jones, Arthur Howden Smith, Arthur […]

The Galapagos Frontier Thesis

The formative American experience was the conquest of the western frontier. Would science fiction and fantasy exist without the frontier model? What does Japan’s parallel conquest of Hokkaido tell us about the legacy of colonial expansion?

Art + Fandom ≠ Fan Art, part II: Images of Galadriel

Well it looks like I put my foot right into it in my previous post! Several people objected to my definition of the term “Fan Art”. They felt that it was not in accordance with how “Fan Art” has historically been defined and used within Fandom, and how it is still defined with regard to the […]

The Top Ten Roleplaying Games of All Time

Pull the blinds and turn off the phone; it’s time to head to the Game Room and lock in on some hardcore meta-gaming action.  In the Game Room we will explore the world of gaming in all its many incarnations, while lingering over that corner of the meta-verse where games and literature converge.  Bust out […]

The History of Fantasy, Part II: Barbarians and Elves and Jesus Figures and D20s

         The nineteenth century closes with two books that will be imitated constantly for the next hundred years or so: Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. To a very real extent you have the spectrum of Fantasy right there: children’s stuff with its own unique self-contained logic and […]

Dress for the Occasion 2: The Decked-out Heroine

Previously I blogged about that favourite trope of SF & Fantasy illustration: The Scantily Clad Female. That topic generated a lot of comments, so let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum and see if it turns out to be as much of a hot-button topic as the previous one was. That opposite trope, […]

Judging A Book By Its Cover (Art)

The old axiom about not judging a book by its cover notwithstanding, I am going to judge the merits of various book covers that wrapped editions of heroic fiction. This is not a scholarly article, nor do I pretend that it is complete, lest someone accuse me of being reductionist. I just want to take […]

Crossroads: Tripping the Noir Fantastic

Last week, we talked about some of the tensions between science fiction and noir. Fantasy, which relies on metaphor even more than science fiction, has an even more challenging time of it. Its traditional themes and techniques are oil to noir’s water, and yet the genre features some of the most compelling noir hybrids in […]

Horrorcast: The Drabblecast

If you love to start your day with photos of catacombs and bone chandeliers, or listen to ectoplasmic psychodramas while doing your grocery shopping, then quality genre-related newsfeeds that bring you the best art, fiction, news and reviews are an essential part of your life. We’ll be doing plenty of that, here at Amazing Stories, […]

Fiction and the Happy Brain

STORY HORDER As a child, I was a story horder. I couldn’t get enough of them. I was very fortunate to have parents who read to me, and looking back, they were saints in this regard. I was voracious.I always wanted more, and I wanted my favorites again and again. The original story of The […]

Art + Fandom ≠ Fan Art: Definitions

Before I get properly rolling with this blog, I thought it might be worth taking a moment to stake out the territory I plan to cover. This website, and these blogs, are all about fandom, and so it might be expected that the art I am posting here will be what goes, these days, under […]

Tarzan, Celebrating the Centennial: A Review

Christmas 2012 was very good. And one of the reasons it was so good was that among the presents that Santa (in this case my son, J. Michael) left under the tree was a hard-cover, coffee table-sized book entitled Tarzan the Centennial Celebration: The Stories, the Movies, the Art. Published by Titan Books, it is […]

NEW! MODERN! CONTEMPORARY! HIP!

I have spent a lot of time in previous posts dwelling in the past. I have been like an old man suddenly lost to the present, the memory of times past reeling behind his eyes while he absently stirs his tea. Well, I think perhaps I should bring this topic into the present and talk about some of the science fiction and fantasy artists working today.

There has been an explosion of fantastic art. In the past fantastic art’s only reason for being was as illustration to fantastic literature. That changed and today fantastic art is it’s own reason for being. You can find fantasy art on posters, tee-shirts, coffee mugs. You can find it on the internet almost as easily as you can find pornography or lolcats.

The Elves of Japan

In Japan, even the elves are different. Fantasy novelist Satoru Sato has won a place in the postwar fantasy canon for his uniquely charming creations, the Korobokkuru.

Smaug the Golden - Sunila Sen Gupta

Hobbit Art – Before the Movie (well, almost)

Kia ora and welcome to my new Visual Arts blog on Amazing Stories! First up, let’s have some Hobbit art. Let me state this outright: I am not going to try to determine who is the “greatest artist” in the fandom. I am not particularly interested in who is the most technically proficient, or the most outrageously inventive. Who gets the biggest fees, the most prestigious projects, has the greatest fan base, or who, by whose definition, is the “most famous”. I like to feature art I like.

There and Back Again, or, How I Got Scared Into Science Fiction

Science Fiction is one of the great loves of my life. I have spent some thirty odd years reading, critiquing, discussing, collecting, watching and dreaming it (I won’t talk about writing it, at least not yet). I cannot now clearly remember my life before SF and most certainly cannot imagine my life without it. If […]

Satan’s Imagination Stations

I was 8 years old, and I had gotten my greedy little hands on a copy of The Hobbit. I read it by nightlight early in the morning before my family awoke. The Lord of the Rings followed shortly after, and I even wrote my grade five book report on the plot structure of the […]