“It has a spell put on it by an old fakir,” said the sergeant-major, “a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it.”
A fascinating classic horror story that has definitely withstood the test of time. I don’t usually enjoy short stories but it seems Jacobs knew his craft because he didn’t leave us wanting.
Continue reading The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
Panellists: Foz Meadows, L.M. Myles, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sarah Shemilt, Christi Scarborough
At the end of last year, to mark ten years since the broadcast of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the BBC, Naomi Alderman made a special edition of the Radio 4 programme Front Row, featuring interviews with cast, creator, and critics. Among other things, she asked what the show’s legacy had been, and whether the right lessons — female characters written as well as men, given as much narrative importance as men, and surrounded by other women — had been learned. Following on from her discussion, our panel will ask: who are Buffy’s heirs? (And you can listen to the original programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m7zmq)
Continue reading LonCon3 #18: The Daughters of Buffy
Panellists: Sarah J Maas, Sarah Rees Brennan, Leigh Bardugo, Elisabeth Waters, John Dodd
Some female warriors represent the norm in their fantasy or science fictional societies and are expected to train and fight alongside their men. Others are “exceptions”, who need to battle the prejudice of their colleagues just as much as their enemies. Panelists will discuss female fighters of every kind, taking examples both from real life and fiction. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the characters under discussion? How has representation of female warriors changed over time? How does the author’s treatment of these characters vary by genre if at all?
Continue reading LonCon3 #9: The Exceptional Girl Warrior
Panellists: Martin McGrath, Carrie Vaughn, Roz J. Kaveney (GR), Takayuki Tatsumi, Laurie Penny
One of the defining political issues of our time, societal inequality is showing up on-screen in films like In Time, Elysium and The Dark Knight Rises, and TV shows such as Continuum and Arrow. How successfully do these works engage with the issues they raise? Is the imagery they use at odds with the narratives they follow? And what would radical anti-inequality SF look like?
Why does SF hate poor people? It seems to echo the media’s hate for the poor.
Continue reading Loncon3 #8: Occupy SF – Inequality on Screen
Panellists: Paul Cornell, Robin Hobb, Freda Warrington, Liz Bourke, Sophia McDougall
Urban fantasy is a broad church. To some, it’s the genre of “Wizard of the Pigeons” and “War for the Oaks“; to others, it means Sam Vimes patrolling the streets of Ankh Morpork, or Locke Lamora conning his way through Camorr. Most recently, it has become synonymous with werewolves, vampires and hot detectives. What holds together the urban fantastic? Are different strands of the genre in conversation with each other? And how important is the influence of the stuctures and tone of other genres like crime fiction?
Continue reading LonCon3 #7: The Changing Face of the Urban Fantastic