You’ll recall me mentioning I went to this year’s Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford recently. The speaker was Terri Windling and she was reflecting on Tolkien’s Long Shadow.
Click through to the Pembroke MCR page for photographs and options on listening to the lecture yourself, via podcast or video, and there’s also a video of the Q&A.
It will be well worth your time, believe me!
You may also recall me mentioning that Terri explained a few things about the directions my fantasy writing is currently taking. She talks of her wish for less codified, more mysterious magic as well as a shift, even a loss, in fantasy fiction’s relationships with landscape.
As those of you who’ve read my various River Kingdom short stories will know, the magic there is very far from codified in any way the wizards of Hadrumal would recognise. At the moment, I’m shaping a novel set in this same milieu and I’m finding various people’s relationships with their particular landscape are coming through to shape events.
So I’ll get back to clearing the decks of a few other things, so I can get back to that. Meantime, you can go and enjoy Terri’s talk for yourselves.
I’ve been out and about online this week, expressing a few thoughts.
Discussing the women of The Aldabreshin Compass for the Bristol Books Blog Since noble women in the Aldabreshin Archipelago are all about glamorous frocks and fabulous jewellery, how exactly is that an image of female empowerment?
Contributing to Sarah Ash’s ‘Nobody Knew She Was There’ blog series, I look at shelf-life-and-death for the 21st Century Author
As well as her guest post here Gail Z Martin has written a very interesting piece for Barnes & Noble on “All Kinds of Strong”. Not yet another post about strong female characters but considering the many and varied forms that strength of character can take, irrespective of gender.
Martha Wells flags up five books with unusual methods of travel over at Tor.com It’s long past time writers were bolder in thinking outside this particular box.
Fantasy Cafe’s Women SF&F Month is well worth browsing through. A post that particularly caught my eye this week looks at Tomboy Princesses.
Lastly but by no means least, and while not directly related to writing, assuredly relevant to challenging historical assumptions, the National Gallery in London has a new exhibition featuring people of African and Asian heritage in 19th and early 20th century Britain.