Posts tagged with "Elitist University"

Fantasy 301

Posted: August 30, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University, University of Fantasy
Fantasy 301

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.
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Fantasy 202

Posted: August 30, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University, University of Fantasy
Fantasy 202

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!
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Fantasy 201

Posted: August 30, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University, University of Fantasy
Fantasy 201

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.
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Fantasy 102

Posted: August 30, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University, University of Fantasy
Fantasy 102

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:

Steam Punk
Urban Fantasy

So, in an effort to introduce you all to a wider variety of Fantasy, here are six more picks.
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Fantasy 101

Posted: August 30, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University, University of Fantasy
Fantasy 101

Instructors:
Nick Dianatkhah, PhD in Being Attractive.
Steve Diamond, PhD in Being Awesome.

Office hours:
By appointment only.

Course Info:
What you can expect from this course is a selection of recommendations from your instructors to give you a doorway into the fantasy genre.
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Science Fiction 101

Posted: August 28, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University, University of Science Fiction
Science Fiction 101

Science Fiction 101

Instructors: Shawn Boyles, Steve Diamond, & Nick Dianatkhah

Course Info: What you can expect from this course is a selection of recommendations from your instructors to give you a doorway into the science fiction genre.
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Elitist Classics–Part 3

Posted: August 27, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University
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.
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Elitist Classics–Part 2

Posted: August 27, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University
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.
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Elitist Classics–Part 1

Posted: August 27, 2018 in None Tags: Elitist University
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.
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Blog-Off Entry Commentary: Defining Character

Blog-Off Entry Commentary: Defining Character

Character is the third-most important aspect of a story. Hah! Bet you never expected to hear something like that come out of my mouth. Great character is not the most important piece of a story? Blasphemy! The fact of the matter is that the ability to string words together in a manner coherent enough that someone will actually want to pick up the result and read it is arguably the most important piece of the storybook puzzle. Fortunately, it is also one of those things that you can get better at with practice at reading and writing. So, not difficult, just time consuming. Second on that list of importance is likely the hook: that piece of “zing” (as John Brown says) that grabs a reader’s attention and gives you a little temporal real estate to work with. Those are pretty much one-offs, though. You find ’em, you stick ’em into the beginning of your story, and then you’re done with ’em. What is it then that comes next, if not for character? What else will capture a reader’s mind or heart in such a way that they will not only keep reading that particular story, but will also keep them coming back to you for more story again and again? There is no other answer. It can only be character. And yet, for how vitally important character is to a story, it seems I find stories time and again that fail to get it right. So I thought I’d make a few notes and write a thing or two about it in connection with the SPFBO in hopes that it might help someone along their path to being a great author. (We’re all just charitable like that here at EBR, and this has nothing to do with the fact that we only want to spend our time reading amazing stories. Okay. Maybe that last part, just a teensy bit.)
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