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Found 4 results

  1. I read Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt years ago, and have re-read it multiple times since. The cover of the one on my bookshelf testifies to the number of times I have read it. The story is haunting, melancholy, and yet inspiring hope. Once I had read it, whenever I used some familiar, day to day object, I always had in the back of my mind the question, "what would a future archeologist think of this?" The story takes place more than a thousand years after the catastrophic collapse of civilization (the book alludes to a plague, but does not go in to details, which are unnecessary to the story anyway). Nascent civilizations are starting to spring up from the tiny groups of survivors. From one such settlement, a group of explorers set out to find a fabled treasure - a trove of books, containing the secrets of the ancients, known as the "road makers." The story is riveting and believable. McDevitt looks at the things we use in our day to day life from the eyes of someone who has absolutely no idea what they used to do. And that is a strange viewpoint that haunts me to this day. It gave me an idea for a story, set in a similar universe - maybe I will write that story here, when I get access to the writers forum.
  2. Following the recent announcement of the 2015 David Gemmell Legend Award winners I thought I'd bring up a topic that's been circulating hotly around the internet for the last few months. Is the fantasy/science fiction genre really dominated by white males? Why? There are of course plenty of arguments both for and against; but the majority of the internet seems to be clamouring for a fairer representation of gender and race in awards such as the DGLAs. These awards - along with many 'recommended' lists by both authors and bloggers - do seem to be dominated by this single demographic. The debate was sparked earlier this year, when the Hugo Awards were surrounded by a controversy that came to be dubbed 'Puppygate'. I don't claim to know all the finer details, but it boils down to the fact that a couple of authors who had been previously nominated for the award believed that the only reason they didn't win was because the voting was stacked in favour of minority authors. They started a campaign, calling themselves the 'Sad Puppies', claiming that the 'true spirit' of the Hugos (i.e. celebrating 'fun and traditional' science fiction) was being taken over by women, LGBTQ and people of colour, and that these people were only getting the votes because of their gender, race or sexual preference. This campaign encouraged people who sympathised with this view to vote only for authors the Sad Puppies told them to, which of course excluded most of the minorities mentioned above. The Gemmell Awards have also been criticised because all but one of this year's shortlisted authors falls into the 'white male' category. I found it interesting that, when reviewing my own reading so far in 2015, 33 of the books I've read were indeed written by (white) men, while 5 were written by (white) women. Although I never actually consider the gender or race of an author before reading a book, I've come to realise that maybe I should; and that maybe I should make more of an effort to balance out the kinds of authors I read, particularly since I also publicise my reviews on my own personal blog (which, looking at my review archive since starting the blog in 2013, does lean heavily and embarrassingly in favour of white male authors). With this in mind, I'm interested to know what people's opinions are about the following: The Hugo Awards/'Sad Puppies' controversy? The Gemmell Award shortlisting? How different genders/races/sexualities influence and/or are represented in your own reading? The SFF genre and how certain authors are 'pushed' on readers (e.g. Amazon recommendations, prominent displays in Waterstones, etc.)? Anything else you may have come across relating to other issues in this genre? There's a really good article here on Fantasy Faction summing up the Hugo stuff, along with several others elsewhere on the site for those who are interested. I look forward to hearing people's thoughts!
  3. Hi I'm a pretty long time member, haven't been on as much lately, usually turn to Goodreads but when I have a special question, I know just where to turn For those who don't know, readers block is when it's hard to read, even when you force yourself, you simply can't retain anything you've just read. I have ADD and I think it's most common for others with ADD. Anyways for passionate readers like myself, this can be like torture. I hear everyone has their own home remedy to cure it, some go back and read their favorite books to help remind them why they fell in love with reading in the first place. What helps me is reading shorter novels.. I actually just read a really good one called "Kill Whitey" by Brian Keene. It was awesome yet only 196 pages lol. By any chance, can anyone recommend some good yet short novels? I love the horror-thriller genre. Some favorite authors of mine are Kevin O'Brien, Tom Piccirrilli, Brian Keene, anything similar would do. thank you
  4. The Eye of Argon

    In one of those internet searches where on thing led to another thing led to a wonderful easter egg (hidden surprise) I found this little gem. There is just so much information about this *ahem* "amazing" short story that has circulated through SF fans for so long that i'm just going to give the link: http://ansible.co.uk/misc/eyeargon-intro.html You can read the story here - preferably out loud in your most dramatic voice possible (without laughing - go on I dare you!) http://ansible.co.uk/misc/eyeargon.html http://ansible.co.uk/writing/argon-timeline.html
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