content by

Joel Cunningham

Jo Walton, Maya Chhabra, and Many More Authors Present the Decameron Project: Free Fiction for the Social-Distancing Era

The world is a scary place right now, but science fiction and fantasy authors and fans are fighting back with the power of stories. Over on Patreon, award-winning author (and contributor) Jo Walton, poet and author Maya Chhabra, and librarian, singer, and SF/F fan Lauren Schiller recently launched the Decameron Project, which aims to provide readers with a new donation-supported short story or novel excerpt every day as long as the world is under threat by the coronavirus.

The project is inspired by its namesake, The Decameron, a 14th-century masterwork by the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio written while Europe was deep in the throes of the Black Death.

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Six Recent SFF Novels That Give No Effs About Genre Distinctions

Science fiction and fantasy exist as strata of various subgenres: hard SF and space opera, epic and urban fantasy, steampunk and cyberpunk, and so on. It’s baked into genre fiction, this omnipresence of tropes and conventions that allow picky readers to know exactly what they’re in for.

But some authors say: screw that noise. Why limit yourself to just one genre when you can toss them all across the floor, grease up your book, and roll it around in the resulting debris, picking up a little of this and a little of that? (You know, metaphorically.)

Here are six recent works of SFF that give absolutely no effs about the genre divide.

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Six Books with Monstrous Heroes

It’s hard to argue that the fantasy genre doesn’t have a tendency to support the idea that the further a creature strays from the human ideal of beauty, the more likely said creature is to bite off your finger to steal your magic ring.

But there are those fantasy novels that flip the script, putting traditionally monstrous races in the role of the protagonist. In these books, the trolls and goblins and dragons get to be, er, people—and even if they sometimes still wind up working the teensiest bit on the side of the baddies, at least we can sympathize with their motivations.

Here are six books that explore the inner lives of members of the genre’s rogues gallery.

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Watch the Entire Opening to the Final Fantasy VII Remake

Fans have been demanding a remake of the iconic Final Fantasy VII since the days of the PlayStation 2, but nothing official ever came together until 2015, when game publisher Square Enix and the original creative team announced the Final Fantasy VII Remake for Playstation 4.

The first footage of the game was released in 2017; a full teaser followed in 2019. And today, Square Enix has revealed the full opening cinematic, which gives us an immersive idea of what we can expect from this next-gen take on a beloved classic.

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A Xenobiologist Finds Herself in a Sticky Situation in the First Look at Christopher Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

While still a teenager, author Christopher Paolini funneled his passion for all things epic (dragons! Quests! Magic! Prophecies! Power-mad villains! Apostrophes!) into Eragon, a book that kicked off one of the bestselling young reader fantasy sagas ever published.

In the nine years since the release of the final volume of the Inheritance Trilogy Cycle, however, Paolini has been fairly quiet, his only work of significant length being last year’s short story collection The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, which gave readers a glimpse of the future that awaits Eragon, Saphira, and the kingdom of Alagaësia.

For his next book, he is looking into our own future: late last year we learned Paolini will return to bookstores in September with a brand new adventure in a genre publicly untried by the author, as he releases his first foray into science fiction, the space opera To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.

Today, Entertainment Weekly gave us an exclusive look at the novel, providing more hints about what we can expect from Paolini’s first work for adults—a book he calls a “love letter to science fiction.”

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