Monday, December 31, 2012

Fantasy Matters in 2012: A Retrospective

Today is the last day of the year.  It is a time for looking backward to what has happened, as well as a time for looking forward to what might be.  It is a time of thoughtfulness, of introspection, and of hope.  And so today, we will look backward to the highlights of Fantasy Matters from 2012, while at the same time, anticipate the new books, movies, and fantastic ideas that we will experience in the year ahead.

But before we do that, I would like to thank everyone who makes this website possible.  Thank you to Kat Howard and Adam Miller, who head up our editorial and technical support.  Thank you to our many contributors, who keep writing amazingly insightful articles about all things fantastic.  And thanks especially to you, our readers, who give us a reason to keep publishing and who contribute to the conversations about fantasy and science fiction that are the heart of what this site is about.

Happy New Year, everyone!  Now, here's a look at some of our favorites from 2012:

We featured some articles that made fascinating connections and posed provocative problems, including my connection of Blade Runner with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Mark Schelske's thoughts about killing a main character in works of fantasy and science fiction, Lindsay Craig's reflections on the importance of being Sean Bean, Heather Whitney's insight into how fantasy and science fiction help us better understand our society today, Jacqueline Porte's discussion of supporting characters in hero movies, and Kat Howard's argument for the importance of research when writing fantasy literature.

We ran several series of articles that enabled us to look at a topic in greater depth, including Adam Throne's detailed look at the deleted scenes from Star Wars I, II, and III; our week of coverage honoring Madeline L'Engle, which included posts by Janni Lee Simner on falling in love with the light and Tiffany Trent on her signed copy of A Wrinkle in Time; Adam Porter's re-reading of all three books in Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy; and Megan Kurashige's quest to find the comics that changed people's lives.

We were very excited to feature guest posts and interviews from some amazing authors, including Saladin Ahmed, Nick Harkaway, Nalo Hopkinson, Ben Loory, and Will Alexander.  We were particularly excited by Genevieve Valentine's guest post about the costumes in The Hunger Games movie.

We saw some wonderful visual art, including the clouds of Berndnaut Smilde, the Yerkes Observatory at the University of Chicago, and the various covers of Guy Gavriel Kay's novel The Summer Tree.  We were also thrilled to talk with Megan Kurashige and Kat Howard about the dance that they created together entitled A Thousand Natural Shocks.

We have been introduced to some fascinating new works through Kat Howard's review of Jim Hines' Libriomancer, Ed Upton's analysis of George R.R. Martin's latest tome, Marcos Faria's survey of the fantasy literature of Brazil, and an excerpt from Jack Zipes' new book, The Irresistible Fairy Tale.

And through it all, we've had an enormous amount of fun, talking about wearing costumes, arguing about which vampires are actually vampires (and which aren't), and hunting for zombies (using Nerf dart guns, of course).

We hope you'll continue to share in the fun in 2013--Happy New Year!

By Jen Miller