Tag Archives: Fantasy

Taking light steps when climbing Gold Mountain

Our tight-knit community of readers gathered to discuss another tight-knit community, the Chinese immigrants and offspring of San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1898, the setting of M. H. Boroson’s debut novel, The Girl with Ghost Eyes.  As a debut novel, it does show the kinds of flaws that are frequently seen in first published works.  Boroson …

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Once a king, always a king, but once a knight is enough

With a good dose of August chasing the Beamers into the chilly embrace of Panera’s, the subject of this month’s book, King Arthur Pendragon (or Arthur Penn to his new NYC constituents), brought out some heated discussion, much along the lines of whether we do need a “once and future king” in these unsettled times.  …

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I, romantic

When it comes to matters of the heart, it appears that those of us with positronic brains are the most level-headed.  New research on the romantic awareness of American adults shows that readers of sf and fantasy are the least likely to submit to a number of romantic illusions (or “myths” as the study authors …

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And she lived, ever after

Coming up on the dark time of the year, with the longest nights, the Beamers took a trip into the darker recesses of fairy tales and folklore with Tanith Lee’s collection of revised tales, Redder Than Blood.  Known for her wide-ranging interests and settings, Ms. Lee was one of the originators of the current fictional …

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The Wizardess of Earthsea

For the Folio Society publication of The Wizard of Earthsea (2015), British novelist David Mitchell, best known for his Cloud Atlas interwoven speculative tale, offered a heartfelt appreciation of Ms. Le Guin’s compelling fantasy creation, the archipelago of Earthsea: Earthsea is a fantasy world, and proud of it, mapped by its creator in 1966–7 on …

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Eight fought adventure

On the cusp of Summer, eight stalwart Beamers grappled with the flashing swords and dark sorceries of Fritz Leiber’s redoubtable pair, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.  Though, as in true Beamer fashion, many doubts about the pair were raised, particularly with regard to their paramours.

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A not-too-perfect Stranger

On a brisk December evening, a hardy band of Beamers gathered for a brisk discussion of A Stranger in Olondria, the debut novel by Sofia Samatar.  A coming-of-age story and a ghost story and a love letter to the printed word all in one, the various flavors intrigued but somehow did not move the Beamers …

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Turnabout is fair and playful reading

For a blustery November that needed a touch of levity, the Beamers were fortunate enough to slide through the centuries with Virginia Woolf’s quasi-biography of her friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West, published as Orlando.  Taking a noble Englishman and turning a him into a her, the novel turns out to be an exuberant stroll along …

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Drawing dragons

On her blog, Ursula Le Guin has announced that Saga Press will be publishing a collected edition of all her Earthsea tales for the 50th anniversary of A Wizard of Earthsea in 2018.  In addition to the already published novels and stories, Ms. Le Guin is adding a retrospective essay and a new story, “The …

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Having faith in good books

[Beamer Jon N. graciously took notes for our July meeting while I was away in Quincy, Massachusetts for Readercon 27.] With Eugene basking in the literary environs of Readercon, we will try  to get by with my take on July’s meeting wherein we discussed the fantasy writings of Ms. Lois McMaster Bujold in The Curse …

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