Fantasy

Blogs about fantasy

Robert Heinlein in 1976

Robert Anson Heinlein was born on July 7, 1907 in Butler, Missouri. He was one of the greatest science fiction writers, one of the first writers to publish his works in publications more prestigious than pulp magazines, which at the time didn’t enjoy a great consideration. He was also at the center of several controversies, especially for the ideas contained in “Starship Troopers”.

He had the tendencty to develop some ideas quite to the extreme but in different novels there are different ideas so for example “Starship Troopers” was blamed for militarism or even fascism while “Stranger in a Strange Land” became a point of reference for hippies.

Sometimes Robert Heinlein preached the ideas contained in his works but when he focused on the story the results were really great. His wife Virginia founded the Heinlein Society in 1997 to take care of the author’s enormous legacy. Without him science fiction would be very different.

Master of the House of Darts by Aliette de Bodard

The novel “Master of the House of Darts” by Aliette de Bodard was published for the first time in 2011. It’s the third in the “Obsidian And Blood” series and follows “Harbinger of the Storm”.

Emperor Tizoc’s coronation war turned out to be a failure with the capture of just a few prisoners to be sacrificed during the great ceremonies to be held to celebrate that event. As if that wasn’t enough, one of the prisoners died suddenly and the cause seems to be of magic origin.

The High Priest of the Dead Acatl already carried out a number of investigations into crimes connected to magic and the intervention of a deity but the situation is really delicate. Tizoc became emperor in unique circumstances and if he can’t secure the favor of the gods the prospects for the future are of grave instability.

Roger Joseph Zelazny was born on May 13, 1937 in Euclid, Ohio, USA. Initially, his career as a writer was part time writing short fiction and only in 1965 a cut version of his novel “.. . And Call Me Conrad ” was published in “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction”. In 1966 the novel was published as an integral version as a book with the title “This Immortal”. The novel won the Hugo Award.

In 1965 Roger Zelazny also published the novella “He Who Shapes”, winner of the Nebula Award, which was expanded into the novel “The Dream Master” in 1966. In 1967 Roger Zelazny published the novel “Lord of Light”, who won the Hugo Award.

In 1970 Roger Zelazny published the first book of his fantasy cycle of the Chronicles of Amber “Nine Princes in Amber”. The first five books, published in the 1970s, describe the adventures of Prince Corwin of Amber and are for this reason also called the Corwin series.

Roger Zelazny died on June 14, 1995 because of a cancer that also caused him kidney failure. Some works were published posthumously such as “Psycoshop” in 1998, a novel started by Alfred Bester.

Robert Bloch in 1976

Robert Albert Bloch was born on April 5, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

In 1934, Bloch published the story “Lilies” on the semi-professional magazine “Marvel Tales”. After a few months, he started publishing his stories on “Weird Tales” as well. His first stories were strongly influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, so much that a part of them was set in the fictional universe of the so-called “Cthulhu Mythos”. Lovecraft’s death deeply marked Bloch, who gradually shifted his efforts toward different stories and also into science fiction.

In the ’50s, the Robert Bloch’s activity continued both in the literary field and in radio and was further expanded when he started working for television productions. The skills he had acquired in moving from one genre to another was seen in 1959, when he won the Hugo Award for the best science fiction short story with “That Hell-Bound Train” and he published the thriller / horror novel “Psycho”, which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The novel gave him great fame among the general public following its adaptation into the famous movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Robert Bloch died on September 23, 1994. He left a legacy of dozens of novels, screenplays and short stories of various genres. During his life he received many important awards that show the importance of this author in the field of literature, cinema and television.

Steven Spielberg in 2016 (Photo Georges Biard)

Steven Allan Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. In decades of activity he directed a lot of successful movies, from “Duel” to the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park series including amny others from blockbusters to movies with profound themes.