A journey through the Old Forest looks totally different from my day-to-day existence. Yet this passage from Tolkien is a pretty apt description of what I found life to be like in 2020, and continues to be like in 2021---a description that resonates more deeply with me than the Groundhog Day metaphor.
Vengeance is a common theme in fantasy fiction, and it is striking how well certain FF authors tell the truth about what a messy business it is. Are there parallels one could draw to life in America today? I think so. We live in a society where social media offers a robust and pervasive platform for condemning evil people but no framework for forgiving them even when they repent.
It's quite simple, really: A public pension, encouragement to keep going, and assurance that not all the stories worth telling have been told.
In the fictional world I've been building for my novel, there are semi-spiritual beings called syven (a Siberian term for "helping spirits" or familiars) that can be bound to a person's tattoo and later summoned in need. Here's how I imagine they look.
Susanna Clarke's 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' is no mere fantasy mixed with historical realism. Each page seeps with clever wit, raising poignant questions about our modern relationship with the Otherworldly.
A famous poet and an English critic read 'The Lord of the Rings' and had surprisingly similar things to say about the function of imagination.
In my spare time I write fiction, and I like to listen to medieval and/or fantasy-inspired ambient music while doing so. Here are a few songs and playlists that get me going.
Insights from three critically-acclaimed authors of fantasy fiction about the intricacies of world building. World building is cool and fun, but it's anything but easy. It takes you to the heart of culture and human nature.
Some paintings that have inspired me over the past few weeks as I scribble away in my spare time.
In 'Steal Like an Artist,' Austin Kleon encourages artists of all stripes to curate a collection of whatever captures their imagination, whether pictures, movies, books, quotes, etc.---things that resonate powerfully with your personal artistic tastes. In that spirit, I recently added something to my collection that I think other writers of fiction might appreciate, and in particular writers of fantasy fiction.