“Our Villains, Ourselves: On SF, Villainy, and… Margaret Atwood?”

SF Canada Member Greg Bechtel’s semi-autobiographical essay on Margaret Atwood, Sad/Rabid Puppies, and villainy appears in Issue 5 of the grad student journal The Word Hoard. The essay examines SF writers’ sense of ourselves as noble “outsiders” to mainstream culture and literature, and how our aggrieved frustration with this perceived outsider-ness–while not entirely imaginary–may also reveal something about us as both SF writers and an SF community. In it, he argues that our choice of imaginary villains (and how we respond to them), may reveal more about us than we might like to admit, and that it may be productive–even necessary–to recognize the ways that even our “real world” villains are often largely imaginary.

You can download the .pdf of Greg’s essay at this link.

To download and read other articles or the entirety of this issue of The Word Hoard, visit the website here.

Greg is currently busy reviewing submissions for Tesseracts Twenty-One with co-editor Rhonda Parrish. You can find his website at http://gregbechtel.ca/.

Interview with Sherry D. Ramsey

Sherry-sm-cropAn interview with SF Canada member and Nova Scotia author Sherry D. Ramsey, “Author Spotlight – Sherry D. Ramsey, Builder of Worlds,” is currently online at Nine Day Wonder. Sherry answers questions about her new novel, One’s Aspect to the Sun, as well as world-building, science in science fiction, and the role of associations like SF Canada and their benefits for writers, among other things. http://www.ninedaywonder.com/2013/author-spotlight-sherry-d-ramsey-builder-of-worlds

Fair Folk in Knob’s End

Fairfolk_in_Knobs_EndI’m often asked where the inspiration for my novels come from, and for the most part I don’t have a clear-cut answer. I’m a voracious reader, a pop culture junkie and a self-confessed nerd. I also have a deep love of horror/sci-fi/action movies and am fascinated with ancient history and world mythology, and I tend to absorb and store away juicy tidbits, images, and phrases from all these sources to drive and influence future writing. I will also freely admit that I tend to be drawn to the dark side—I love my vampires, ghosts, demons and even the occasional hit man.

So how did a fun, quirky tale about a teenage girl and her involvement with the Tylwyth Teg come about? Like most things it came from a variety of influences and interest; my (admittedly) fanatic devotion to Torchwood (British sci-fi cult fav TV show), my desires to travel through historic Great Britain and the draw of the unique history/culture/folklore of the often disparaged and overlooked Wales.

In this pursuit to find my own story with a Welsh mythological background I dove headfirst into reading about the Druids, the folk traditions of pre-Christain/ pre- Roman Britain, the enduring Authruian tales, Tristan and Isolde, and the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, historical accounts, archeological studies, you name it. In the process my curiosity became a passion. I feel in love with the stories, the language, the physical beauty of the land, and the gumption of the Welsh people in hanging on to their distinct identity.

Thus Fair Folk in Knob’s End (the Daughters of Annwn) was born. The first novel in this planned series was released this month by Featherweight Press, and I’d love for you to take the journey with me to this magical land.

Website: www.lizstrange.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LizStrangeVamp

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Liz-Strange-Fan-Page/112390728847718

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3360700.Liz_Strange

Amazon profile: http://www.amazon.com/Liz-Strange/e/B0032GCOO4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1363962324&sr=8-1

Goodreads giveaway link: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/48258-fair-folk-in-knob-s-end