Amazon Guest Blogs

I’ve been invited to contribute to the Amazon.com blog on a weekly basis for the next three weeks. I’ll be talking about writing and the mysterious events it often conjures, plus background on Age of Misrule.

You can find the first one here: The Invisible Hand of the Gods of Writing

And the second one here: Mysterious Britain.

The third: Real-World Roots of Fantasy.

Thanks to Jeff Vandermeer for the invite.

Yes But No But…

In a response to my post about RPGs killing fantasy, Jeff Vandermeer asks, ‘Isn’t it just about characters and plot?’

Well, yes and no. Novelists will always have the upper hand over games. The characters will be richer, the plots more complex and intriguing, and there will…or rather, should…be some level of meaning and subtext that makes the whole experience worthwhile.

The point is, if the area they’re writing in is so degraded by over-familiarity, characters and plot aren’t enough to provide that sense of ‘otherness’ that fantasy readers require. But Jeff is already working in a completely different area of fantasy.

On a slightly different tack, M John Harrison quite rightly expresses no interest in that obsessive level of world-building detail that gamers demand. Which is interesting, because in his excellent ‘Viriconium’ tales from a few years back, he created a fully-realised world with a few brush-strokes. What some people don’t realise is that books are a collaboration between writer and reader – both bring something to a story, and both help realise the world through the power of their imaginations.