What Did Tolkien Think of Fantasy Fiction?

We all know J.R.R. Tolkien wrote fantasy fiction. He was the brilliant mind behind The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, a creator of intricate and enthralling new worlds, and one of the founding fathers of the genre. You can rarely talk about fantasy fiction without mentioning Tolkien… but I think his skill in writing fantasy was not the only thing that made him the legend he is today.  Continue reading

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Learning a Fantasy Language? Apparently There’s an App for That

I work part time at an institute that runs classes in a whole range of foreign languages. Real-world languages, that is – like French and Arabic and Japanese. On our feedback forms at the end of each course, we ask students to suggest any new languages that they would like us to offer in the following year. One day a colleague came to me, confused, with a feedback form in hand, and asked:

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The ‘Ye Olde’ in Epic Fantasy: 6 More Archaisms and Why Authors Use Them

Last week I listed some English archaic forms often seen in epic fantasy novels: things like “here be dragons” and “unsavoury louts they were” and “prithee”. This week I’m continuing with a few more ‘ye olde’ words fantasy authors like to throw into the mix, as well as having a look at why they do it.

So without further ado, and again with the help of Susan Mandala’s Language in Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Question of Style, here are the remaining 6: Continue reading

Difference for Difference’s Sake

I spent half of the final year of my film degree working as a producer on one short film. For most of this time, I was convinced it was going to be great.

I first heard the story idea in the class pitching session, where a panel of tutors were deciding which six student films would get made that year. The soon-to-be writer-director of this particular film pitched his premise. It really grabbed me. And not just me—the panel were convinced too.  Continue reading