Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Genre / Medium / Mood / Length part 1/2

It's Wednesday again...

This post is going to be about one approach of looking at and classifying fictions, be they non-interactive fictions such as literature written stories, movies and TV shows, or interactive fictions such as computer games or RPG campaigns.

There are three primary label tag types that one must assign to a fiction, and one secondary tag type that is sometimes somewhat useful, making for a total of four.

These four are Genre, Medium and Mood, with Length being the one usually of less importance.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

2011/04 Best reads 2/2 The Dawn Palace by Helen M. Hoover

It's Wednesday again...

In this blog entry, I'm going to talk about the other best read of April 2011, "The Dawn Palace: The Story of Medea" by YA science fiction author Helen M. Hoover. The first novel was le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea".

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

2011/04 Best reads 1/2 A Wizard of Earthsea by le Guin

It's Wednesday again...

In this kind of blog entry I'll write about the best novel or novels I've read or re-read in a past month, usually the month immediately previous, although sometimes I'll go back some months or a year or two, to highlight something really good that for whatever reason I haven't wanted to re-read. Or if it is a really long work, like the May's Pliocene Exile or Turtledove's Tosev timeline series.

In any month I might write one, two, three or zero such entries (often zero, I'd expect). If it's a series novel, just one long story told in multiple volumes, it'll get one entry although it may be longer.

This first is about the 1968 YA fantasy, "A Wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula K. le Guin. The second April 2011 entry, to be posted later, is about "The Dawn Palace: The Story of Medea" by Helen M. Hoover.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


It's Wednesday again...

In this blog entry, Jo Walton talks a bit about "incluing", a word she invented when she was in her teens, used for the (subtle and non-intrusive) way in which a fantasy or science fiction writer can convey important information to the reader about the world in which the story takes place.

She also provides a new and brilliant term, STP, from chemistry. It stands for "Standard temperature and pressure".

STP is about what's assumed to be normal. In chemistry, it is assumed that the experiment (or synthesis, or analysis) is conducted under "normal conditions", meaning a temperature not far from room temperature (20 degrees Celcius), and a pressure that's not far from 100'000 pascal. It's implicit, taken for granted. It's how it is unless stated otherwise.

When writing fantasy or science fiction, it is useful for the writer to think about what the STP for his world is, or what the STP is for particular in-world cultures (or for subcultures, or even for abnormal individuals) within that setting. What's considered normal? What's considered usual? What do they expect? What would surprise them?

The List(tm) of things you know cannot happen

It's Wednesday again...

Back in the early summer of 1987 (or possibly 86, when I was 9, but I have reason to bet on 1987), something happened to me. Up until some point before that, I had been stuck with just three television channels, Denmark's Radio (DR, now called DR1) and the two Swedish public service channels, but then the first competitor to DR arrived, Kanal 2, which could only be watched if you had a special decoder box (a little "research" suggests to me that Kanal 2 could only be received in the Greater Copenhagen area; it wasn't nation-wide as I had assumed).

And at one point, once a week for a very few weeks, Kanal 2 would show a Japanese anime film in the afternoon.

The novelty factor was extreme. I was like: "Wow!!"

I was like: "This is so super cool!"