Bits, Pieces and Links

A few things that have been keeping me amused recently:

A webcomic aimed at a pretty specific audience: My Elves Are Different. Possibly incomprehensible if you don’t spend unhealthy amounts of time paddling about in the virtual pond of sf and fantasy blogs, websites and discussion boards. Funny, if you do.

I finally got around to reading City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s good stuff, a bit like someone put China Mieville, Alasdair Gray, M John Harrison and Mervyn Peake in a blender and asked the resulting soup to write a book. If that sounds like your kind of thing, give it a try.

I’ve always thought there’s a shortage of films about Vikings and Native Americans fighting each other. Seriously, I have, ever since I was a child and found out they’d met each other. Come to think of it, maybe that’s part of the reason why the humans and Kyrinin carry on the way they do in Winterbirth: the author giving his childhood self something he always wanted to see? Anyway, a new movie on that very subject is about to appear. I’ve no idea whether it’s any good or not, but the trailer provides a few moments of entertainment and a belated dose of childhood wish fulfilment.

And last, but not least, the first great fantasy written in the (Old) English language. I’ve been listening to Beowulf on CD, and it’s great. Ancient, in its bones, but potent and atmospheric. Never mind your modern heroic fantasy, this is the unrefined, undiluted, unpolluted original. It was always meant to be heard, rather than read, so audio’s its natural habitat. There’s a film in the offing too (a motion capture effort, rather than live action). I know it doesn’t do to get one’s hopes up, but hell: Neil Gaiman’s got a writing credit and Ray Winstone’s playing Beowulf. How bad can it be?

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