literary criticism

A critical issue in fantasy?

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I have been dancing around the idea of reflexive authorship in the fantasy genre, calling for conscious, empathic work. This rarely happens in isolation, and I would argue that strong critical voices are vital, perhaps necessary, to fostering that reflexivity in the genre.

If fantasy is to maintain any sort of standing as a subversive literature, there must be critical foundations to build and break. We must demand, as readers and writers, for critical voices, to foster our own reflexivity, and advance the conversation. There is no point becoming involved in a circular conversation—the best you can do is recite the known lines in unison. You must shift the conversation, intercept it, subvert it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sleight of Hand

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My first work of non-fiction Sleight of Hand: Chaos, Authorship & Humanity is due to be published this coming Friday, July 25th. It is a work of literary criticism about Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen.

The cover and blurb are below.

The book is available for pre-order on Smashwords now and will be available on other platforms from Friday.

SLEIGHT FINAL3lens

Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen represents a landmark in fantasy literature. The ten-volume series is a post-modern journey through the mind and soul of the characters and the author himself.
The series is replete with thematic and symbolic explorations and genre tropes. Sleight of Hand explores a selection of the central themes appearing in the series, and is one of the first works to analyse those themes across the entire Malazan Book of the Fallen.
In exploring the journey of the author and his characters, Sleight of Hand becomes an exploration of the journey of a reader and anybody with a tale to tell, as they seek their humanity.