Older women in fantasy novels

I’m planning a sequel to my current fantasy novel, and its going to have a more diverse cast. Older women will definitely feature. Here are some of the things I’m thinking and worrying about.

You might think from the title of this post that I’m about to take you on an intellectual exploration of the roles and representation of older women in the fantasy genre. Or you might know me and expect nothing of the sort.

I don’t study literature, but I read, look, and think, and occasionally I have enough thoughts about a topic that I want to share them.

Or I realise it’s 5:30pm and I’m supposed to write a blog post tonight, and I have no idea what I’m going to write about.

Let’s agree I have no good reason to write about this topic, but that I’m going to do it anyway.

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Dragons from Micah with love**

Micah Chaim Thomas (Writer. Artist. Difficult to explain.) honoured me with some dragon art loosely inspired by my fantasy novel in progress.

** Yes, I added the “love” part, but giving a person a dragon is a form of love, so I don’t apologise.

The talented and enigmatic Micah Chaim Thomas (@micah_chaim on Twitter) recently deemed me worthy of receiving dragons from him. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to deserve this honour (since I don’t have a dog).

The first challenge was to explain the dragons in my book without having to share my first draft prose. (Yes, I know I’m on the tenth draft, but I rewrote so much that most of the scenes aren’t.)

Big, scaly, wings, claws. They’re not evil, but they’re not fond of humans. And they have oppressive minds. You meet a dragon and you want to worship it.

Somewhere in the middle of explaining I got an effusive “yes!”.

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The horror of Year One by Nora Roberts

Sebastian and Rain read Year One by Nora Roberts and were horrified to discover she managed to make the end of the world boring.

Sebastian: You forced us to read Year One by Nora Roberts. What do you have to say for yourself?

Rain: I’m so sorry! I honestly thought it was going to be good. She’s so famous, the description was enticing, and it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with 770 reviews.

Sebastian: I want to explain why it was so bad but I don’t know where to start.

Rain: You could start with the writing.

Sebastian: You thought the writing was bad? Then it must have been dreadful.

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Popular fantasy novels I plan to read

A dozen popular fantasy novels that I plan to read and my rationale for deciding to read them. Sometimes I had good reasons, sometimes not so much.

Last post I promised to talk about the popular fantasy novels that are next on my to-be-read list.

I’m setting out read a string of fantasy novels (perhaps venturing into sci-fi) that have been very popular, because who doesn’t want to read great books. Oh, and hopefully to learn stuff.

Few fantasy novels have as many reviews as the mega-popular general novels I’ve read recently–I was aiming at books with over 10,000 reviews on Amazon–so this time I’m going for books with over 500 reviews.

Okay, Harry Potter and the ASoIaF books (Game of Thrones and its sequels) have a lot more reviews, but I already read those (give or take).

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More mega-popular books I enjoyed reading

A summary of my foray into mega-popular books and what I learned from them.

Some time ago I set out to cleanse my palate by reading a collection of extremely successful books.

Books I read

From my original list I successfully read (links to my reviews):

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner (11,198 reviews). Awful.
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (57,762 reviews). Compelling.
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (14,300 reviews). Delightful.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (43,944 reviews). Depressing.
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (2,876 reviews). Entertaining.

Books I didn’t read

I failed to complete¬†All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (27,246 reviews). Yes, it was a beautiful and poignant book about war and humanity and all that, it just didn’t interest me very much.

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