Discussions

King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

The Odd Hopefulness of Grimdark

In today’s social-media-saturated world, a lot of what we see are the highlights of people’s lives, and it’s easy to feel inadequate when confronted with the reality of one’s own life in comparison to...
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Five female authors smashing grimdark fantasy right now

Back in the late nineties, author J.V. Jones released A Cavern of Black Ice, book one of the Sword of Shadows series. She is said to be one of the early writers of gritty...
"The First Law Trilogy", artwork by Darya Kuznetsova

Is the First Law Trilogy the Anti-Lord of the Rings?

A question that often comes up in the various fantasy forums I frequent is, ‘What is the anti-Lord of the Rings?’ This is an odd query because it implies there’s automatically an antithesis the...

Barbarians or Philosophers? What Psychology Has to Say about Grimdark Fans and Their Dark Obsession

We grimdark readers and writers are often written-off as the dark creatures hiding in the caves of fantasyland, eager to feast upon depictions of horrible gore, morally reprehensible characters, and pointless violence.  Why would...
Age of Conan

The Mud, the Blood and the Years: Why “Grimdark” is the New “Sword and Sorcery”

“Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer…” –Robert E. Howard It was born in 1929, named in 1961, and died sometime in the early 80s....
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson

How Thomas Covenant Changed Fantasy

Stephen Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever is an epic fantasy trilogy first published in 1977. Its titular main character, Thomas Covenant, is from a 20th century town in our world. He’s...
Understanding Dystopian Fiction

Understanding Dystopian Fiction in the Age of Political Correctness

Recently, Blade Runner 2049, as did the original film, has come under fire from some media outlets as being misogynistic, depicting women as unequal to their on-screen, male counterparts. These outlets aren’t entirely wrong....
SPFBO

The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off and the Evolution of Publishing

Chances are you’ve heard of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (or SPFBO) at some point in the last two years, a contest where 300 self-published authors submit their novels to ten blogging sites who review...

The Marketing Genius of Kickstarter

Kickstarter is likely the current best pound for pound marketing platform for creatives on the planet. It presents cleanly, is easy to set up and use no matter which country you’re in, and it...
Game of Thrones: The Show vs the Books

Game of Thrones: The Show vs the Books

Warning: spoiler alert. With the seventh season of Game of Thrones nearly finished, and now well beyond the source material, the show is a distinctly different beast from the books. For the first couple...