Friday, December 30, 2011

A Look Back: Our Favorites in 2011

Just as Kat Howard took a look back at her favorite works of fantasy published during 2011, we're going to take time on this last weekday of the year to look back at some of our favorite posts here at Fantasy Matters during 2011.  We'd encourage you to reminisce about the year with us, and if there are favorites of yours that we don't list, please post them in the comments!

We have really enjoyed many of the conversations that have happened as a result of some of our posts.  We love that Mark Schelske was inspired by Jen Miller and Phil Ilten's conversation about The Sword of Shannara; we were excited by the debates that happened during our "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever" week; and we were intrigued by the questions about genre that were raised during our discussion of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife.

We were very honored to feature interviews and guest posts from some of our favorite authors, including Pat Rothfuss, Helen Oyeyemi, Lev Grossman, and Delia Sherman.

We've been excited by weeks that focus on a theme, including "Banned Books Week" that included Ferrett Steinmetz's thoughts on A Clockwork Orange; a week focusing on the work of N.K. Jemisin, which included a guest post from her about cosmobuilding and an essay by Linn Marie Tonstad about the theology of the Inheritance trilogy; and "All Hallows" week, which included essays from Maria Dahvana Headley and Joe Hill about their favorite scary stories.

We've appreciated essays on how fantasy and science fiction are relevant to nearly all aspects of life, including Monica Byrne's post about fantasy and faith, Nathan Ilten's article about Harry Potter and the Occupy movement, and Heather Whitney's series on how fantasy shapes law and society.

We've enjoyed looking at fantasy and science fiction in a wide variety of media, including video games, such as Dan Lammert's review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the coverage of the "Cute and Creepy" art exhibition at Florida State University.

We've been excited by quite a few wonderful books, both new and old, including Neil Gaiman's American Gods, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, and Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.

And finally, we've been intrigued by some of the essays written on big-picture issues--Jen Miller's analysis of who should hold the title of "the American Tolkien," Kristin Engerer's essay on magic and technology, and Madeline Barnicle's survey of uses of math in science fiction and fantasy.

We hope that you have had a wonderful year here with us at Fantasy Matters, and we look forward to seeing what 2012 brings!