Making History: The Relevance of Fiction to Recollection of the Past – by Guest Author Camilla Hansen

Making History: The Relevance of Fiction to Recollection of the Past – by Guest Author Camilla Hansen

 

Winston Churchill once said, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

Granted, he was referring to actions that would be remembered over a long period of time and not the literal writing of history books, but that doesn’t make the statement any less relevant for those who wish to approach it in the more literal sense. Many make the fallacious assumption that history books contain objective accounts of what happened in the past and forget to factor in that history books, like any other piece of writing, are subjected to editing and need to meet certain criteria in order to be published. This leaves little room for nuances or reflection on the truthfulness of what is written, and because these events occurred in the past, readers of history books have no means of double-checking the facts they’re being taught. History books, therefore, might as well just have been fiction. There are many books that play with this fluid relationship between fact and fiction – there’s an entire literary genre called historical fiction – and in different ways seek to enrich their readers’ understanding of an era or a historical event. One such book is Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao whose unconventional, multi-layered narrative style and believable character enables readers of different backgrounds to understand the slice of Dominican history that was the Trujillo regime.  Read more

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To Boldly Go: Science-Fiction as a Medium to Discuss the Implications of Biologically Modifying Infants

To Boldly Go: Science-Fiction as a Medium to Discuss the Implications of Biologically Modifying Infants

… no matter how far we travel or how fast we get there, the most profound discoveries are not necessarily beyond that next star. They’re within us, woven into the threads that bind us, all of us, to each other.

– Captain Jonathan Archer, Star Trek: Enterprise

Science Fiction, along with Fantasy and Horror, has long been considered an unliterary genre of fiction. A genre of made-up inventions and pretend situations. A genre for nerds. And while this is certainly enough to satisfy my reading requirements, those who require morals and meaning from their fiction may be surprised by the depth this underappreciated genre has to offer. Star Trek, perhaps the most science-fictiony franchise to ever go to warp, has been challenging social norms and presenting an accepting and progressive front to the known universe since its inception. Its detachment from our current reality allows it to address difficult issues with a distance that means people don’t feel victimised for having a different opinion. People are far more open to new ideas and ways of thinking when they feel unthreatened. Star Trek is certainly not the only member of this genre to address current social and ethical issues. Becky Chambers’s novel The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and Seth MacFarlane’s television series The Orville are two recent works that both subtly and overtly address current issues. One of these issues is the biological and physiological modification of both foetuses and newborn infants. A heavy topic made less-daunting through Science Fiction.

kiss
wasduk.com/2013/11/25/anniversary-star-treks-interracial-kiss/

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Bob Dylan the Beatnik – by Guest Author Christoffer Minnet

Bob Dylan the Beatnik – by Guest Author Christoffer Minnet

The Beat Generation is an odd literary period. For while it spans the entire generation of youth after the second World War, it is limited to three main authors: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. I do not believe that it can be said so simply, though. These three characters cannot, despite being very unique people, define an entire generation. I believe that it lies, not only in who they were and what they did, but in their legacy. For the beat period was not very long. According to Klein “the primary period of beat productivity [was from] 1951-1960” (137). No, these three people, along with their small network, alone could not have influenced an entire generation as they are credited with, but through the people they influenced they had a lasting effect on American culture. I will now show how they have influenced Bob Dylan and through him “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” (Nobelprize.org). Read more

Dungeons & Dragons Homebrew: The Library of Forgotten Shards

Dungeons & Dragons Homebrew: The Library of Forgotten Shards

I have recently undertaken the role of Dungeon Master for a group of friends. They have never played D&D before and I have never DM’d before. It should be interesting. We all have a mutual love of books so I have decided to create a campaign inside The Library of Forgotten Shards – a world that is greatly influenced by Magic: The Gathering. Welcome to my world …  Read more

My Favourite (Unfinished) Fantasy Series

My Favourite (Unfinished) Fantasy Series

As I’m sure some of you are aware, my favourite genre is Fantasy. I particularly love series because it gives you the chance to explore the unusual worlds and become emotionally connected to the characters. Here are my favourite ongoing fantasy series, I’ll let you know why I think they are particularly fantastic.

Lightbringer by Brent Weeks

theblackprism

The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks is a adult fantasy series based around politics, war and magic. The Magic system is phenomenal – magicians or drafters work by turning light into a tangible substance. It is fascinating. The series is currently three books long with a fourth being released in October this year. If you’d like to find out more about this series, check out my review of book one, The Black Prism.

Tearling by Erika Johansen

tearqueen

The Tearling series by Erika Johansen is another politics-based adult fantasy. The interesting thing about this series is that it is based on Earth in the distant future but instead of society progressing, it has regressed instead. They don’t even have electricity or steam engines.  I really enjoy this series and cannot wait for the third book to come out later this year. If you’d like to check out my review of book one, The Queen of the Tearling, you can do so here.

Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

nameofthewind

The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss is an adult fantasy series that will ignite your imagination. Kvothe is a legend and he is telling his life story to a scribe. You follow this amazing character through his turbulent childhood and watch him grow into his magic and greatness. There are currently two books released and I do not believe that the third and final book has a release date yet, it has been a long time coming.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

theboneseason

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is a series that straddles the line between YA and adult fantasy. Paige Mahoney is a clairvoyant in a city where it is illegal, Scion London. This series is a story of rebellion and unusual powers. There are currently two books released with book three due to be released next March. It looks as though Shannon has lots more books in store for this series.

Monsters Of Verity by V.E.Schwab

thissavagesong

This Savage Song by V.E.Schwab is book one in her new series Monsters of Verity, I consider this to be a YA series. In a world where evil deeds literally spawn monsters, you sometimes have to make friends with your enemies. I loved the familiar yet new feeling Schwab’s monsters had and really like the emphasis on friendship in this series. You can read my review of This Savage Song here.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six-of-Crows-Cover

The Six of Crows is a YA fantasy duology that features around a heist. It is set in the Grisha world, but I wouldn’t even really consider it a companion series to the Grisha trilogy. It is its own story and is told phenomenally well. The characters are brilliantly shady and you become deeply entangled in their world. The second book is due to be released at the end of this September and I am seriously looking forward to it.

Shades of Magic by V.E.Schwab

Darker

V.E.Schwab’s Shades of Magic is an adult fantasy series with four Londons – Red London, Grey London, White London, and Black London. Only two people can travel between these Londons and we explore what happens when a relic of long-dead Black London comes to light. This series ticks all the right boxes: elemental magic, a bitter magician, and a female thief. I have just finished reading the second book in this series and loved it so much, I cannot wait for the third book next February.

What is your favourite fantasy series? I’m always looking for recommendations whether they be adult, YA or middle grade. Let me know in the comments!

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Jaz

Book Review: The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

Book Review: The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

Ever since she turned sixteen, people have been forgetting Hope. First her teachers, then her friends, and finally her parents. She has to survive in a world where people forget her as soon as they turn away, she can only rely on herself. She becomes a thief and when a job leads down a dark path, she becomes hunted as well.

hope

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Mid-Year Bookish Favourites

Mid-Year Bookish Favourites

I’m pleased to say that so far this year I have read 73 books out of my target of 100 (according to Goodreads that’s 17 books ahead of schedule). I have decided that  it’s time to share with you a list of my favourite reads from various categories and genres. I recommend every book on this list and absolutely insist that you immediately buy and read all of them.

Favourite New Fantasy Series

theblackprism

Brent Weeks is a genius. His Lightbringer series is completely refreshing and individual, the magic system is based on converting, or drafting, light to make tangible things. You can read my full review of the first book, The Black Prism, here. There are currently three books released (all over 700 pages in length) and book four is due to be release on October 25th this year! Excited doesn’t even cover it.

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