Matt Wallace: Grapes, Malt, & Hops: Blended Fantasy [Guest Post and Giveaway]

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I’m returning to my Book Blogger roots for one of my favorite writers in the history of my reading life!

Matt Wallace’s latest book, the epic (in all forms) Savage Legion, is out July 21st and my little site is one of the stops on the book tour. Take a second to pop on over to Amazon or Bookshop to preorder your copy and then dive right into his guest post about two of our shared most-favorite things in the world: worldbuilding and booze!


Warriors drink ale. Nobles drink wine. That’s the way it always was and for twenty-plus years I never questioned it.

I read my first stabby magic novel (or epic fantasy, or swords and sorcery, or whatever the hell you want to call it) when I was eleven, and I never looked back. Throughout my formative years, I read whatever was on the fantasy shelf of…

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Why Write About Fandom Racism At A Time Like This?

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The short answer?

We live in a racist world and that world doesn’t stop existing when someone crosses over some kind of threshold to fandom.

The long answer?

In fact, because fandom communities are insular and twist themselves in circles to avoid engaging meaningfully with things that disturb the peace that they’ve surrounded themselves in –

The racism that folks have as baggage lugged around offline? Gets stuffed full of more racism and carted around to other fandoms.


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Tabletop RPG Community Boycotts Zak Smith

Pop Culture Uncovered

In the past, I’ve written about the OSR as well as those discussing “edgelords” in tabletop role-playing games. In my articles, I glossed over controversial individuals and the problems surrounding them; I neither want to give them the attention they seek nor did I feel like attracting their “followers.”

Things changed this week when one of these individuals went from merely considered aggressive online to being accused of abuse and sexual assault.

The individual in question is Zak Smith, aka Zak Sabbath or Zak S, a game designer, author, artist, and pornographic actor.

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Zak Smith runs the “Playing D&D with Pornstars” blog and worked on Lamentations of the Flame Princess (alongside controversial designer James Raggi). He’s won multiple ENnies for his writing and art and been a contributor on everything from Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition to the Vampire: the Masquerade mobile game.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: PickMe POC

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When I used to be on Tumblr, I’d get a lot of messages and reblogs from people who made it a point to let other people know that I didn’t speak for all POC.

I was never arguing that I did, of course, but it was imperative to these other people of color to let me and white people in fandom know that they were here, they weren’t white, and that they thought I was full of shit about fandom racism.

Which is their right as people on the internet, let’s be real here.

But it’s interesting:

I, a queer Black person with most of a lifetime in fandom and an entire academic career focusing on media criticism and representation, couldn’t possibly speak for every single person in fandom when I talked about racism I witnessed in fandom… but they could speak over me in order to let other people…

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Superbat Big Bang 2019

So I entered my first fanfic Big Bang (as a writer) and wow! Had I known the amount of sheer guts and coffee I would have to run through to see this thing done, I might have reconsidered.

Looking back now, I feel creeping dread and the lingering certainty that this is a madness I will probably be attempting again next year. Because the thing is, the Bang isn’t just about writing, it’s also surprisingly about community. It’s about long night up sweating through sprints with fellow caffiene addicts and night-owls. It’s about venting, bitching, haranguing characters and having yourself a good ol feels-oriented tantrum from time to time. It’s about trying new narrative styles and pushing yourself that much further to the finish line.

It’s about friends. It’s about us, and fandom and fandom family.

Anyway, before I get any more longwinded about this incredible process (that I am still processing, by the way), on to the fic!

I and my co-writer Spacewolfcub worked with artist Ms.3 to bring you

Title: Supplicant

Fandom(s): DCEU, MCU, Gotham, Smallville

Author(s): Holdt & Spacewolfcub

Artist: Ms.3

Length: 51k

Summary:

Only he can pull Bruce out of the darkness…

The training and scars of Nanda Parbat run deep— Bruce has always fought the demons that make him want to stalk the night and rend pain unto the deserving. After a decade of trying to stay afloat, using BDSM as both punishment and moral compass, he turns to The Agency. Through them, he finds Mistress Ivy, whose Services help him keep ahead of the encroaching darkness… until he finds his lifeline gone without warning when Ivy’s extreme methods and poison play are revealed and she is exiled.

The Agency has a reputation to uphold, secretive as they are. For years, they’ve offered him a chance at salvation—for a price. It is no different now and Bruce grasps desperately at their offer. Can the Service Provider known as Mr. S, the so-called “SuperDom,” help him rein in the Bat?

Only he can bring Clark into the light…

When you’ve been on the run for as long as Clark, you know the look of a drowning man. The Agency asked him to consider this new client, one whose need tempts Clark beyond the well-established boundaries he’s set for himself. Can the Bat inspire him to explore his own needs and desires outside of the perfect image of Mr. S he’s spent years hiding behind?

[Read Supplicant on AO3]

Also, theres a fanmix .  😉

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In Fandom, All Villains Aren’t Treated Equally

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In Fandom, All Villains Aren't Treated Equally

From Hannibal Lecter eating the rude across the northeastern United States to Loki’s attempts to subjugate the human race and Kylo Ren’s patricide and misogyny, fandom just loves to look at villains who have committed atrocities and decide that they’re in fact complex characters who just need a redemption arc to set them on the right track (because they have a good reason for what they did/the heroes of the series are in fact the real villain) …

But only if they’re white dudes.

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TV Brew: Black Lightning – Season One Review

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Black Lightning has now finished the first season and has earned a name for itself. I dare to say this is one of the best superhero shows on television, even competing with the Netflix Marvel series.

There is far too much to talk about as we impatiently wait for the second season, but we’re going to try and discuss some of those opinions here. Instead of listening to this colonizer, though, I thought I’d bring in some better perspectives.

First, a big welcome to vidder, writer, and cybernetic ASA assassin, Holdt.

Holdt: Good to be back, man. The past few episodes leading up to the finale have been #SoLit I don’t even know where to start. I get way too excited talking about this show to be talking to myself.

Our special guest is author, poet, and metahuman experiment, Danielle Grace.

Danielle: Wassup, Lono! It’s…

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TV Brew: The Magicians Season 3 Review

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((WARNING: The following contains some spoilers, so if you haven’t finished the season STOP READING NOW!))

Syfy’s The Magicians has completed its third season, and us hedge witches and Brakebills students are already itching for more. How will our heroes be restored to their previous selves? Who will take down the evil alliance of the Library and the McAllisters? How will the beast from Blackspire be defeated?

This season was a rollercoaster of emotions, and I’m still not sure I’ve recovered from the tears and cheers. Season 3 has felt like a lifetime, literally in the case of one episode, and we’ve watched the best (and worst) of our favorite characters.

I could probably rattle on forever about the show, but instead, I’ll try and refine this recap to those points that stuck with me, both positive and negative.

What Was Our Goal?

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I think one thing that…

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TV Brew: The Women of Black Lightning

It was great being able to talk with you and discuss this fascinating show! Thanks for bringing me in to share thoughts, and I hope we can do it again.

Pop Culture Uncovered

We promised we’d be back with more after thattwo-partarticleon the relevance ofBlack Lightning. To celebrateWomen’s History Month, we’re going to give a focus on the main female characters of the show.

Holdt: Yeah and it’s a good thing too because we have a lot of ground to cover since the pilot. Lady Eve alone could fill an article, but we don’t have time for all that!

So let’s get down to basics, and fair warning – there will be some spoilers!

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Holdt: I’d like to start with my girl Anissa, who’s unquestionably a fighter for civil rights – for both metas and normies – and she’s proud of her principles. She’s willing to adapt as well, which we get to see in her change of heart over vigilantism, citizen’s responsibilities and community solidarity.

Brook: Anissa is probably the…

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Black Lightning: The Growing Relevance of PoC Shows (Part I)

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Pop culture is living in a tumultuous social and political time lately. With everything from white supremacists marching in the streets to unashamed bigotry in the highest offices, there is a need to resist these racist movements.

Even before recent events, we had some of that in the form of Luke Cage. The third in Netflix’s Marvel series was unabashed in its “blackness,” as it presented African-American culture and confronted their issues.

This comic icon brought to life was enriched with the music, culture, and lifestyle of Harlem and New York City. Not to mention, the obvious allegories regarding gentrification and police brutality made Luke Cage one of the most relevant shows of 2016.

Of course, that was a mere month before the General Election, and the series was made long before anyone knew what was coming.

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Hollywood and pop culture have been in overdrive recently, pushing hard…

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