The Hugo season of science fiction & fantasy is on, so what better way to start than by reviewing something that isn’t a finalist, that I actually enjoyed, and that none of you have even heard about?Continue reading “Review: The Long Long Long Long rescue, by Robert Zoltan.”
The Spring issue of the All-New Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense is out now!
The big star of the spring issue, of course, is the brand-new Tarzan story Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She, by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Michael Tierney. Based on a fragment […]
There’s a piece of forgotten literary history there (the Tarzan story) and just the cover of the magazine is probably worth the price, but I also have a story there, “The Elephant Idol,” so you might want to check it out. And by might I mean should. How many times have you read a story with a blind protagonist and not a single visual reference or visual descriptions in the entire text?
For those interested in background, creative work, the initial inspiration for the story was a not-so-subtle scene situation from the video game Thief (Gold,) the map The Song of the Caverns, to be precise, which is about the thieving protagonist getting into an opera house through a cavern (and I was aware that Cirsova’s editor is a great Thief fan, so this was
a great way to subconsciously manipulate him into buying it something I guessed he might enjoy.)
I know not exactly from where, although I believe it came as I was thinking about what makes a first-person narration truly tick or not and about the descriptive excesses of some modern writing, but I got the fancy idea of writing a story with a blind protagonist, almost as a challenge. It was a risky and experimental move because I chose to write it in third-person, with a free yet at the same time limited narrator tied to the character’s senses, but I believe it worked well in the end. That’s something for the readers to decide, though.
I honestly had no idea of where the story would lead from there, and at first my idea was to make it somewhat humorous, but as usually happens in my writing, it evolved into horror as everything is thrown into The Warp, which is probably for the better and it also gave me the option to play around with the peculiar situation of a character whose handicap, at least at first, actually helps him because it shields him from what is going on around him.
I have realized that I have managed to accumulate a reasonable number of short stories/novelettes, some of them unsent to potential publishers or awards, others sent but rejected (although usually with an “almost a winner” note appended, so there’s that.) And I have also realized that since I follow a setting-less style of writing (or at least a setting that is hidden from the reader and unexplained) I can just string them together. And that’s probably what I will do.
Two months ago I reviewed the first issue of Cirsova. For those who don’t know about it, Cirsova is a magazine that specializes in fantasy inspired by the golden era of fantasy and science fiction (the distinction was blurry sometimes.) It also looks back to the pulps and tries to regain that spirit of weirdness and wonder that eludes contemporary fiction. The second issue is already here, and I can tell one thing right away: This second issue is even better.
I really liked the first issue, but I thought it still could be improved. It had a great variety of stories, though, so all kinds of readers could find something for them.
On the other hand, while I quickly realized which ones were my favorites stories, I can’t say the same about this second issue. But not because they aren’t any good, but because not only have the best one got better, the “average” has also improved.
The essay “Rescuing Women” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch appears in the upcoming Summer Issue of Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.
“Apparently, women working in science fiction today need a hand up. For the past few years, women writers who got their start after the year 2000 have complained that they need to use […]
In this post about the Orlando mass murderer, Cirsova and PC Bushi had this conversation:
I didn’t say anything then, but they are both basically correct.
tl;dr version: 9/10, buy the damn book.
Recommended for: People who enjoy good and strong writing, those who want to go back to the real roots of fantasy, pulp fans, and people who like to think about what they read. For fans of R.E. Howard, Burroughs, and Jack Vance this should be a no-brainer.
Not recommended for: Spineless cowards, soviet agents of International Communism, people who enjoy being laughed at, and lovers of YA fantasy fodder.
First of all, thanks to Cirsova for a free review copy of its first issue.
The pulps are fantasy’s father, or at least a similarly important family member. Unfortunately, for most people there is a huge cultural gap between the origins of that genre and what they actually consume now. As Jeffro Johnson wrote in his blog:
[…]the general view of science fiction history is that it just somehow jumps from Jules Verne and H. G. Wells straight on to Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein.