First, I turned up at Lynne M Thomas’ Confessions of a Curator blog. Lynne is a big comics reader like I am and so I wrote her a piece based on some ideas that have been churning around in my head lately, as to whether I write epic fantasy, and whether you can have epic fantasy that doesn’t travel anywhere… and I decided that Batman and the near-destruction of Gotham City has a lot to teach epic fantasy about how to do exactly this:
“Everything happens in cities. Some of the best sieges, invasions, tragic love stories and disasters have occurred in urban environments, going right back to the Trojan War. The only reason that fantasy writers generally get hung up about all that mountain trekking is because of being imprinted with Tolkien at an early age. And I’m not saying that wading through all the bracken with your questing party of dwarves is an invalid approach…
But CITIES. Where you can have your crazy magical invasions, your prophets of doom, your dark lords and battles and deadly, world-coming-to-an-end high stakes, and still be able to order dumplings at 2 in the morning.”
Then, over at Karen Healey’s place, she asked me to write about Classics Nerdery in honour of the heroine of her novel Guardian of the Dead, and funnily enough that was something I was perfectly capable of rolling out!
I also bounced with merriment at Karen’s intro to the piece, because I love pretty much everything about her blogging voice.
“We all have favourite historical characters, right? You hear about them in some book, or see a great TV show or movie and start getting interested in the real person, and somehow they take hold of your brain, and you start shipping them with other historical characters, and maybe there’s fanfic, and you have Opinions about, for instance, that person who killed them, or divorced them, or whatever.”
NOT an official part of this blog tour, I also turned up at Cheryl Morgan’s blog this week, finally answering a question she asked me to write about some time ago, on the topic of Is Australian Fantasy Dominated By Women?. It has pie charts (courtesy of the awesome Tsana) and everything – I couldn’t organise a pie chart in a pie factory! I hesitated over how to write this one because I know some people are quite sensitive over the issue, and because I don’t think it’s a good idea to fuel any arguments along the lines of ‘well sexism is over then, so make me a sandwich.’ But stats are fascinating, always. And people will make of it what they will.
“The truth is that as long as Australia has had an active professional science fiction and fantasy publishing industry, female authors and readers have been a massive part of its success. While Australia has also had successful male authors in science fiction and in fantasy, we have never lacked for female role models; living proof that a) fantasy by women can sell in high numbers and b) fantasy doesn’t necessarily become less epic because of a female byline.”
If you live in the Sydney area and you love SF/Fantasy, come along to the Aurealis Awards this Saturday! I’m excited to be going again, rocking my Success Frock, and hanging out with friends, meeting new people in the industry, and so on. The M.C. is Kate Forsyth, it’s in a gorgeous little theatre, and you can still buy tickets!