The Alloy of Law reviews are pouring in, but sadly the biggest news is the passing of Anne McCaffrey. We have lost one of the greats. Her craft will be continued by the current crop of talented fantasy authors, and you can check out interviews with a few current greats like R.A. Salvatore, Patrick Rothfuss, Lev Grossman, Terry Brooks and Daniel Abraham below. Also, Brandon Sanderson talks about writing the Infinity Blade novella. Cool stuff.
Fantasy Book News
Tags: 2011, Blogosphere, Fantasy, November
Ray Harryhausen’s death earlier this week has me thinking a lot about Greco-Roman mythology, and it occurred to me that there’s not a whole lot of fantasy fiction based in mythic Greece. It seems odd, to me: You’ve got this amazing body of literature featuring heroes, sorceresses, gods and goddesses and monsters galore, but hardly anyone uses it as the basis for epic or heroic fantasy fiction.
The Greek gods and monsters get some play among urban fantasy authors like Rick Riordan, but they’re practically non-existent if you’re looking for something in a quasi-period setting. To be fair, authors like Robert E. Howard borrowed from the Greeks and Romans just as readily as he did from the Egyptians, Celts and pseudo-historical mystic authors like Ignatius L. Donnelly and Madame Blavatsky, but I’m hard pressed to recall a story written by him in a truly Mediterranean milieu.
What’s even weirder to me is that for many of us, the Greek myths are our first exposure to fantasy. I read tons of the stuff when I was a kid. For a monster-mad little boy, these fables were a goldmine: Minotaur, medusa, hydras! How can such an elemental part of our shared cultural heritage not be more prominently represented in fantasy fiction?
What about the great epics? Homer’s The Odyssey is a monster-filled epic just waiting to be plundered by an enterprising fantasy author, to say nothing of the military adventure story that is The Iliad. Why disregard these in favor of – say – legends of Charlemagne’s Paladins or King Arthur’s Knights, both of which have inspired their fair share of (admittedly excellent) fantasy fiction?
I can imagine it: Tales of wandering hoplites, scheming philosophers and sorcerers, and the pitiless machinations of the gods… monsters lurking inside ancient Etruscan tombs… the clang of spears against shields… journeys into dark labyrinths and to the very shores of the River Styx. There’s just so much there, and hardly anyone is doing anything with it. I call that an opportunity. Were my own fiction-writing skills up to par, I’d write it. Instead, I have to hope that one of you writers – our own modern-day Homers – will take it upon yourself.
Ink-stained Spartans! What is your profession! (WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!)
Suvudu » Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, Comics, and Games
Tags: Fantasy, Fiction, GrecoRoman, Where’s