OUR 2000th POST!
Welcome to The Fantasy Hive’s 2000th Post!
That’s right! Since the site’s start in September 2017, we have shared 2000 post’s worth of reviews, interviews, stories, wizardly advice, writing tips, recommendations, SPFBO reviews, buddy reads…
We’ve come up with more features than you can shake a stick at. Hosted three Women in SFFs, taken part in four Wyrd and Wonders, and judged three SPFBOs.
We are incredible proud of our site; what started with the Fantasy Five under Laura, we welcomed many new contributors along the way as we sadly said goodbye to plenty of others. We’ve been a close knit community happily shouting out about fantasy and sharing our love for the genre (and its close associates).
To celebrate this milestone, we’ll be holding a give-away on our twitter page, so be sure to head over to check out the details. But we’ll also be taking a look back here over our favourite posts from the last five and a half years of fantasy, together.
(Assistant Editor/Instagram Empress)
During our first year of Women in SFF we interviewed many fantastic female authors, one of which was Devin Madson who made me laugh so much when she described her book using only Aussie slang. I laughed so hard when I first read it. It’s definitely one of my most memorable posts on the Hive.
Pitch We Ride the Storm using only Aussie slang. Please.
A sheila with a bunch of drongo rellies is devo when her plans are cactus and cracks the shits. ‘Ken oath!
A bloke oughta chuck a u-ie but is a total galah and gets rooted. Ends up mad as a cut snake.
Another sheila has Buckley’s chance, but she’s cunning as a dunny rat and knocks back kicking the bucket.
It totally goes off! No wuckas!
I really enjoyed researching and compiling this list of wonderful indie presses, and it definitely feels like one of the most important pieces I’ve done
So what’s so special about small presses? It might help to think of them like the indie record labels, Flying Nun, Postcard, Factory, Rough Trade and so on, who went up against the big major labels during the 70s and 80s. The small presses take the risks that the Big Five don’t. They put out the more diverse, more experimental, more weird stuff that helps literature progress forward even if it doesn’t sell as well as the big names. And like the indie labels, there is a strong DIY ethic – most of the small presses are a handful of passionate individuals putting these books out there because they love them, often seeing little to no financial reward for the incredible work they do. Small presses are frequently at the vanguard of changes in the publishing industry.
I love the women’s feature so much, and the wrap up is a great pointer to why I love it so much! Though it’s a little bit like asking for your favourite finger… [Editor: Julia hates it when I make her pick a favourite something. Sorry for all the many many times I’ve made you do this Julia <3]
We’ve made it to the final week of Women in SFF 2021!
It’s been an incredible month, packed full of content. We’ve been completely floored by the incredible response from the community; we can’t tell you how much we love seeing all your responses to our photo challenge prompts, or how properly excited we get to see blog posts inspired by them!
(Top Reviewer, Unseen Academic and Pontificator)
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in SPFBO as a judge through the fantasy hive. The beauty of spfbo is the freedom given to each team to make its own decisions and decide on the methods to find their finalist. That meant we could enjoy a great team based approach – a kind of buddy read – and use SPREADSHEETs. Along the way we got discover and promote some great books which deserves their moment in the spotlight!
All the entrants in the competition deserve credit not just for completing a novel length book – but for being prepared to subject themselves to the very public and potentially bruising scrutiny of the SPFBO competition. In each posting we’ll list the books alphabetically by title rather than by ranking. We hope to explain what made us want to read on, or what put us off. You may find the things that discouraged some of us actually pique your interest. After all, reading is subjective and the meaning and value of any book is fashioned anew with every fresh reader/book combination.
(Editor-in-Chief 2020-present )
I’m finding it so difficult to pick a favourite, there is so much about this site I’m ridiculously proud of. There’s so much that has made me laugh over the years. There are posts that have brought me closer to my friends, like any time Nils and I buddy read something together. There’s also, quite frankly, such a lot of stuff on this site!! I’m going to go for our most recent year-end awards. Every year, we put together a most-anticipated post at the start of the year, and an awards post at the end of the year. I particularly love these as it’s an opportunity for us to get together and discuss the books we’re most looking forward to and to go back over the ones we loved throughout the year.
As we reach the end of another year, it’s time to look back at the books we’ve read in 2022. Here at the Hive, we just love celebrating awesome fantasy fiction, so please sit back and enjoy the following awards – and be sure to check out each of the awesome winners!
We know that this time of year there are loads of these kinds of posts: “My Top 20” and “Our Favourite Books”, and it can be disheartening for authors to miss out on these lists. As we did last year, we invited all our contributors to nominate books for each category, and then we voted on our favourites. We’ll be including all the nominations in a small attempt to highlight more book from this fantastic year of fantasy and science-fiction.
(Co-Founder and Original Fantasy Five Member)
I love this. For me as a naturalist and environmental scientist I revel in the settings of fantasy, and scifi. Great to read the thoughts of others on such settings. And most of exciting of all to me is how a hella lot of it we find in our own realm. Which is, let’s face it, where most bookish inspiration comes from. Crazy deep sea hot vents to glacial blue which can be found no where else as a colour. Magical!
Tough Travelling is inspired by the informative and hilarious Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones…
This month, we’re straying from DWJ’s path to enter the Wyrd and Wonder glade, where for today’s prompt they’re looking at Fantasy Landscapes. So we’ve decided to use that as this month’s Tough Travelling focus…
My choice for today’s photo prompt is G D Penman’s Witch of Empire series. They’ve taken what would be familiar landscapes, and turned them into fantasy landscapes; from a Manhattan built by demons, a London cursed into over-expansion until it’s dribbling over the white cliffs of Dover, a hag-haunted Irish marsh, the darkness of a Hong Kong run by vampires… what I love best about all these landscapes was how vivid and easily imagined they were.
(Co-Founder and Original Fantasy Five Member)
That four part fiction we did was a blast. Loved reading all the submissions
[Editor: I’ve chosen specifically Kareem’s own short story We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Gun]
Ah, the intimate high-pitched whine of tinnitus, a thing so private only Bill could hear it. It was his, his alone, no one else’s, and it just wouldn’t fuck off. Some eager scab had fired a beach ball, far away enough to do Bill no real harm, close enough to leave a permanent flatline playing in his head.
Scabs, he thought. Massive, hulking, ugly, lava-throwing, humanoid monsters. Maybe they were men once — who knows? Who fucking cares?
It was Charlie squad’s job to wipe them out, and Bill’s job to keep his squad alive, if a little singed.
They’d come upon a nest of scabs over fifty strong, forcing the squad into a ditch some past eruption had scarred into the Hot Fields. At least thirty Runts, easily as big as a big man. Ten or so Towers — name says it all, really — and a good seven or eight Hoffys, or Hasselhoffs. They were the big boys, the dinosaurs, the fucking monoliths, and named for the huge balls of magma they propelled that resembled a—
“BEACH BALL!” Sam yelled. He pointed it out with the barrel of his M16 as it sailed through the air in a deadly arc aimed right at Bill.
(Co-Founder and Top Contributor/Overachiever)
My favourite post(s) are the Ask the Wizard feature. It embodies what the hive is all about, and what fantasy is to me – it’s fun, full of fantastical mishaps, and more often than not a little fucked up, but always looking out for someone else.
(Co-Founder, Name Provider and Word Wrangler Extraordinaire)
I really gotta go with Mike on this. Ask the Wizard is premium tier content!
[Editor: Ask the Wizard is our longest-running feature, and picking just one is really hard as they are all fantastic. So I’m picking my personal favourite sorry Mike and Alex but you didn’t specify so]
While I have long proved myself to be a connoisseur of the more exotic lovers that my world can provide, there is a simple joy to be found in the hearts of all people when they are confronted with the scantily clad, dancing and flouncing and bouncing and… what was my point… Ah yes. On the one hand you have survival. On the other, the very thing that makes survival worthwhile.
It is of no surprise to me that you have brought such a complex ethical conundrum to my figurative door. For it is well known that when confronted with issues of ethics, witches have a tendency towards hexing those who disagree with them rather than discussing matters like those with something betwixt their ears beyond curds and whey.
My suggestion is this. Make use of the enchanted cloth as necessary, while exposing whatever else it is possible to expose. Indeed, if you have spare face-wraps, I believe that I can send along some rather ingenious diagrams for their attachment to non-facial regions that may enhance your performances.
Fantasy, together,” has always been the Hive’s tagline, and so it’s probably no surprise that some of my best memories are of the buddy reads we used to collaborate on! Hive Reads was a relatively short-lived feature, but I had enormous fun coordinating it while it lasted, and we went on to use a similar format for SPFBO reviews. Comparing opinions on what we read (not to mention seeing the team’s live reactions in the Google doc pre-editing) was engaging and often hilarious; even though we were hundreds of miles away from one another, it really felt like we were all in the same room sharing biscuits and cackling together. Speaking of cackling, I have to give an honorary mention to Ask the Wizard. The Hive’s longest running feature (I think), written by its sharpest and funniest mind Ulesorin the Green (aka G.D. Penman) – if you somehow haven’t come across it yet, go and check it out. Right now!!
Every month, a group of us here at the Hive will set aside our differences and choose a book from our collective backlist to buddy read. Then, when the month is up, we’ll gather our differences once again, and
go head-to-headdiscuss what we’ve just read!
When selecting books for the group read, we tried to pick titles which would widely appeal to both our readers and our contributors. After
much fightinga poll, it turned out that a lot of us already owned the same books, but had just never got around to reading them! While some might be disappointed that this selection is quite ‘mainstream’ (and although we’d love to highlight more obscure and/or diverse titles in future), we’ve opted for the books that most of us already own while we play around with the group read format – and burn down our collective backlists in the process!
We hope you enjoyed our 2000th post!
Thank you so much, all of you, for continuing to support our site and follow along with our antics.
Here’s to another 2000 posts!
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