Posts that have been categorized as: "University of Fantasy"
Elitist Classics: A Princess of Mars
First written as a serial in 1911, A PRINCESS OF MARS by Edgar Rice Burroughs was soon after published in novel form in 1917. While the story is more adventure than science fiction, it was this Mars-based pulp that influenced the men and women who would later fuel the SF renaissance of the mid-Twentieth Century–writers like Ray Bradbury, Carl Sagan, and Arthur C. Clarke.Read the rest of this review »
Elitist Classics: The Martian Chronicles
Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury! He turned 90 on August 22nd (just this past weekend), and what better way than to celebrate one of his classics? A prolific writer of novels, short stories, essays, and other works, Bradbury originally published THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES in 1950. It’s a short story collection about the human colonization of Mars–but it’s not your traditional collection.Read the rest of this review »
Elitist Classics–Part 3
Science Fiction & Steampunk
It seems like we neglect SF a tad on this site. We treat it, generally, like that little kid on the playground that follows you around like a lost puppy. The thing is, SF has some pretty solid roots, and many of the great, early writers of SF also have huge influences in Steampunk.Read the rest of this review »
Elitist Classics: Dracula
Nick & Steve here in a brief intro. Hopefully you, our faithful readers, are enjoying our Elitist Classics Series. One of our new reviewers, Vanessa, thought it would be a solid idea to occasionally write up a brief review of some of the Classics. We loved the idea, so here is the first one…
***Elitist Classics: DRACULA***
Before there was Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton, before vampires that glitter in sunlight, before even Anne Rice or Brian Lumley, there was Count Dracula.Read the rest of this review »
Elitist Classics–Part 2
Horror & Mystery
While Horror and Mystery typically have their own sections in a bookstore, we’ve heard it argued that Horror and Mystery are styles as opposed to genres. To an extent we agree, and certainly we see aspects of both across all the genres. After all, some of the best fiction involves blending genres and styles.
We are big fans of both Horror and Mystery. We are talking about Michael Connelly’s straight up Detective Mysteries, or even Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series that takes a detective-like element and throws it with some serious magic and mythology. We are referring to Brian Lumley’s pure Horror, or Monster Hunter International is an awesome combination of B-movie Horror and Urban Fantasy. The point is, all of these awesome stories come from somewhere. Keep in mind that the following picks are not an all-inclusive list. There are a ton more, and feel free to give your personal favorites a shout-out in the comments.Read the rest of this review »
Elitist Classics–Part 1
Good Fantasy and SF novels (or really any novel for that matter) are not created in a vacuum. Our favorite authors were inspired or influenced by authors whose work came first. Those influences were, in turn, influenced by even more ancient works.
A few weeks back, we were having a discussion with our good friend, and occasional contributor, Rob. Somehow we ended up discussing this very point, and Rob said something like, “Man, a post about these REAL classics would be great.” We decided that it was indeed a great idea, and the hunt for material for these “Elitist Classics” was soon underway.
As it turns out, there were a lot of Classics.
So, in a series of posts that will be added to our University of Fantasy (and SF) canon, here are the “Classics” according to us. This post will figure more on Fantasy. Keep in mind, this isn’t a limited list. There are dozens of older works that could be included here, but we have chosen to limit it just a tad.Read the rest of this review »
This is it, what you’ve all been waiting for. What Steve and I think are the best books of Fantasy right now. The books that once you’ve trained yourself for them, that you should not go without reading. Well, maybe you haven’t been waiting for it because if you’re half as smart as we, reluctantly, give you credit for, than you have probably already guessed the books, or at least the authors.Read the rest of this review »
So, you thought we were done with the University of Fantasy? For shame. We just needed to give all of you readers time to catch up with all the great novels we’d already suggested to you.
Coming up with lists for Fantasy 202 was actually a challenge for us. Novels just didn’t come readily to mind. What ended up helping us was when we were discussing people’s aversion to Horror. You see, people have this mental block when it comes to Horror. They all tend to think that Horror is all blood and gore, or that it is all crappy campy like Scream (Did you know they have another Scream movie in the works? So absurd…). The reality is that that good Horror should be able to scare you with no violence. It should be able to scare you with ideas and suspense. Also, what people need to realize is that Horror is just another face of Fantasy. Urban Fantasy? Could be called Urban Horror. Dark Fantasy? Some of it could be called Horror Fantasy. You get the drift. Horror has made a huge impact on the fantasy genre. So, our lists will have some good classic Horror mixed in with some other fun stuff! Enjoy!Read the rest of this post »
Your elite instructors here at the University of Fantasy are back and offering a new course. Like the 101 section we both, separately, came up with our suggestions for the class reading assignments. As you will see Steve and I ended with very differing approaches, again both viable, to the 201 section. While Steve’s choices are, mainly, the threads of the larger tapestry in the broad fantasy genre, mine are the best examples I could find for three of the big sub-genres in fantasy. One of the main things to keep in mind while reading over our picks is that the 201 and 202 level fantasy is generally as far as the typical reader will go. Why? Well, because our 300 level picks tend to be either very high-minded and/or very mature. Read these novels, and then decide if you trust us enough (which you should) to read the higher picks we will be recommending shortly.Read the rest of this post »
Ready for a little continued education? After making our individual picks for Fantasy 101, we realized there were quite a few novels and sub-genres that we weren’t been able to include. Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, etc. There are tons of novels that can help ease a person into fantasy without getting so…epic. Here are some quick definition links for you:
So, in an effort to introduce you all to a wider variety of Fantasy, here are six more picks.Read the rest of this post »