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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Event: Fantasy Faction's Grim Gathering 2014 & A Fairly Tragic Hair Catastrophe

Fantasy Faction's Grim Gathering 2014

I'm sorry to say, I felt very down before this event. I was still miserable about the certainty I'd created in my mind about how foolish I must have seemed yesterday, and the more I thought about FF's grim gathering this evening the more nervous, unhappy and (di)stressed I became. Something very hurtful was said to me which in an ideal world I could brush off, but I respect that person highly so instead to broke me to pieces. I'm really sick of talking about my highly fragile emotional well being on this blog because there are SO MANY OTHER worse things happening out there, but the sad thing is, it puts a lens on how I experience events such as this, and also it's becoming more and more widely known that the thing that damage those suffering from depression the most is that nobody EVER talk about it, and so those who suffer from the depression do the same. I turned up at High Street Kensington miserable.

But man, how this event made that feeling disappear! As with Fantasy In The Court, my sister and I arrived early so we could have a good browse, and as before it took a good little while to decide what we wanted. Waterstones did this awesomely generous 20% off offer which made me feel better about buying yet more books that I may/may not/probably won't finish by Christmas. I did that Over-Thinking thing again where I was quiet for a such a while that suddenly talking to the person next to me felt like it would be weird, and then I felt disgusted at being a pathetic coward at something so simple, but clearly not enough to make me talk so... (But the people I met there were really lovely so it was alright in the end.)

The panel with the four authors - Peter V. Brett, Joe Abercrombie, Myke Cole and Mark Lawrence - was just fantas-tic (sorry. Had to do it.) The authors, having all different experiences and varying opinions were really entertaining and enlightening to listen talk together.

The topics covered really were fascinating and gave me looots of fantasy food for thought. Here are a few (I tried to be casual and not weird, taking notes in the front row, but I couldn't help it - I'd forget!);

  1. The whole grim dark thing - about whether the trend of grim and gritty fantasy realism will continue. Mr Mark and Mr Joe said not necessarily; Mr Myke and Mr Peter said... yeah, pretty much. (I am summarising HUGELY here.) Myke Cole said something along the lines of it being seen as progressive and he mentioned 'bad things happening to good people', which is nothing I've notice in almost every one of the this-decade fantasy books I've read.
  2. Whether there is such a thing as 'too dark' - the general gist from the authors was 'not really'. Many spoke about the fact that readers approach a book with varying opinions, beliefs, and experiences, and thus have their own boundary line, and that perhaps there is no such things as 'too dark' in fantasy, only where a reader expectation meets the work of fiction. There was something that Peter V. Brett said that made me laugh - about how some people say, 'You can do what you want to humans - but if you hurt an animal, I'm never reading your books again!' And it's so true! I have met people who are desensitised to human torture but animal torture? UH OH. Bad move.
  3. Another topic was best and worst feedback, which I was surprised to hear come up because in my mind it seemed like, well for a writer - a really personal question!! Which is why I'm not going to recap the responses, but it was really moving to listen to what was said.

[ and the rest will be typed up tomorrow, because sleep is calling me. ]

Fantasy writing gear :3

Grim Gathering Haul

Ashana Lian .

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