30 March 2020

Roundtable Roundup: Jan. - Mar. 2020

Hello friends! As you may already know, I'm an editor and contributor over at Speculative Chic, a genre webzine that celebrates science fiction, fantasy, and horror -- and our angle is "Ladies Speculating on Speculative Things."

Every month I herd stories and opinions from our contributors on a specially chosen topic, and assemble it into the Roundtable column. Here's our next Roundtable Roundup, covering the first third of 2020!

January 2020 - Worlds to Live By
It’s a new year and a new decade, and for our January Roundtable, we’re talking new worlds in a post that celebrates the brilliance and care that goes into worldbuilding, often considered a genre qualifier when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. So we asked our contributors, “What fictional world do you want to live in?”and to give examples of works that do worldbuilding well.  Pack your bags, grab your multiversal passport, and let the journey begin!
We have SO MANY good choices (and lovely images) of memorable places. I went straight to the video game world to talk about the locales in the Dark Souls franchise as well as Bloodborne (both helmed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and produced by FromSoftware). These games are known for their lands populated with grotesques, but even so, they are unmistakably gorgeous. Read more here.

February 2020 -  Ships Ahoy!
[...] Romance crops up in all sorts of stories, and the speculative genre is no exception. We asked our contributors to share with us their favorite romantic couples, and we opened it up to both firmly established pairings as well as headcanons (because much of fan shipping is all about pairing couples who didn’t get their time to shine in the original work). So…who are our favorite duos? Whose love for each other makes our hearts beat faster?
My contribution channels the 80s and 90s -- the formative films that shaped what I understood romance to be. I chose Princess Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride and Molly and Sam from Ghost. Read more here.

March 2020 - The Saddest in Spec
[...] One of the key components of a traditional epic is tragedy; and in all good storytelling, there must be stakes and the threat of danger to motivate characters and propel the plot forward. When the people we love fail, or when there is loss of any kind, we feel it. So we ask you to pull up a chair, grab the tissues (just in case), and revisit the saddest moments in speculative fiction.
It was really interesting to see what our contributors found to be tragic -- we have really obvious or very famous choices, and others that are a little more quiet, devestating upon introspection. I went a bit more on-the-nose, choosing Atreyu and Artax in the Swamps of Sadness in The Neverending Story and the Nina - Shou Tucker - Barry the Chopper arc in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 version). Read more here.

I'll see you again with another Roundtable Roundup soon!

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