Fantasticon 2020

Each year, Dan Grubb and his publishing company, Fantastic Books Publishing, run a Fantasticon event in England. Always a great place for fantasy, sci-fi, gamers, readers of all sorts, and those who simply enjoy a bit of fun. This year, 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic has prevented such events going ahead because of social distancing …

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The Fantastic #Fantasticon 2019!

Fantastic Books Publshing book store Every year an event celebrating science fiction, fantasy, gaming, technology, cosplay and the enjoyment of life comes up. Fantasticon is a convention drawing equal numbers of regulars and newcomers and I’ve attended every year so far. The audience awaits action on the stage. The event is hosted by Dan Grubb, …

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Want An Original Fantasy? Tap Into An Obsession

Image courtesy of pixabay. Looking for your next big story idea? If you're experiencing writer's block, or you just want to come up with something new to write about, one way is to take a cue from a major aspect of culture that’s largely untapped. There are always cultural fads to explore, some of which …

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The Forge: Fire and Ice, by Fantastic Books Publishing: #BookReview.

236 pages Short Stories/Fantasy/Science Fiction Anthologies Before you read this, you need to know that one of the 27 stories published in this anthology was written by me. So, a collection of dark, sometimes very dark, speculative fiction with a touch of black humour sprinkled in. The theme of the anthology is Fire and Ice …

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The Fifth Ascendant, by Joshua Grant: #BookReview.

777 pages Children’s Steampunk/Fantasy and Magic for Children As this is a children’s book, I read it to find out how the author dealt with such a readership, having read other works of his written for adults. This is definitely written for a younger readership. There are elements some adults will find difficult to follow; …

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A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin: #BookReview.

304 pages Children’s/Science Fiction and Fantasy It may seem like an odd time of life to be reading children’s literature. In my defence, I bought this book ‘blind’ as one of a number I ordered after being gifted a book token for my 70th birthday. I’d heard of Ursula Le Guin, had her books recommended, …

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Game Changers of the Apocalypse, by Mark Kirkbride: #BookReview.

Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic Horror 299 pages As far as I can recall, I’ve never read a book in the post-apocalypse genre before, so it’s probable there are recognisable conventions of which I’m unaware. That said, any book should generally be accessible to all readers if possible. This one took some getting into for me. Once I …

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The Darkness Abides, by L. Harcroft: #BookReview.

Fantasy serial It’s difficult to know whether this book is experimental or just badly written. The sentence structure sometimes seems borrowed from the 19th century and there are many errors that should have been spotted in editing. The opening is a strange mix of intriguing detail and oddly expressed action. We’re given no clues as …

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A Night Shift, by Joshua Scribner: #BookReview.

This short piece of dark fantasy puts a different spin on a popular theme, and carries it through with some dark humour. It’s a compact story, told simply but with great effect. We know as much as we need to about the characters and watch as the tension slowly builds to the denouement, which contains …

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The Majat Testing, by Anna Kashina Reviewed.

This fantasy short introduces readers to a new series, The Majat Code, which, on the basis of the writing here, I may very well explore further. For a short piece, this book develops the characters well and presents an imagined world in surprising detail, without boring the reader with unnecessarily lengthy descriptions. The story involves …

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