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Friday, September 7, 2012
Curated Fantasy Books was founded by a knowledgeable enthusiast with a lifelong love of good books. The website is dedicated to providing readers with the best Fantasy reading, selected by an expert Curator and organized by specific category. To offer a bit more on what Curated Fantasy Books has to offer, here is Fantasy Curator Cat Rambo with a few words she would like to share:
When I was first approached about working on the Curated Fantasy Books site, it was both exciting and daunting. While I’ve been reading fantasy works for a number of decades and published a number of fantasy short stories and collections, I knew I’d need to do a lot of research.
The first step was coming up with the categories. After some amount of back and forth, we arrived at these: epic, urban, Arthurian, steampunk, dark fantasy, superhero, literary, historical, and anthologies. I had to argue a bit for the superhero category, but it’s one that’s near and dear to my heart, and I was able to find plenty of titles in that vein to back the notion up, including several of my all-time favorite books, such as Minister Faust’s amazing From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain.
Some surprised me. I knew there were plenty of Arthurian fantasies, but I had no idea how many until I started looking. Nor did I realize how far they ranged in time – from early history up to several centuries in the future. I’d thought about international fantasy as well, but in the end, I ended up sorting those into the different categories – which meant I was satisfied that we had a good representation of writing from outside America and Great Britain.
One of my guideposts in making selections were the award lists from the past. I looked at the lists of winners from the World Fantasy Awards, the Hugos and the Nebulas. With the latter two I had the additional task of winnowing out the fantasy from the SF. Over the course of going through those, my own “to-read” list swelled enormously – it’s going to take me a decade to wade through all the titles that looked appealing.
My spreadsheet grew, and grew, and grew as I worked. I kept finding old favorites and new delights. I asked every fantasy reader I knew what they’d recommend, and that led to lively Facebook conversations that only added to the list. One of the genres where suggestions from others were particularly useful was steampunk, and I was able to include not just current examples of the genres but some of the works that most influenced it, such as Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Michael Moorcock’s The Warlord of the Air. I even found some gems I hadn’t known about, such as Edward S. Ellis’ The Steam Man of the Prairies.
I’m pleased with how Curated Fantasy Books turned out. For a reader new to fantasy, the website should prove an excellent guide to reading in the genre, while for longtime fans, there should be new and interesting finds among the longtime favorites.
Cat Rambo, Fantasy Curator
ABOUT CAT RAMBO:
Cat loves to write short stories, with over a hundred short stories published including appearances in Asimov's Sci-Fi Magazine, Weird Tales, Clarkesworld, and Tor.com. Her stories have been published in two collections: Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Midnight and The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories, with a third, Near and Far, on the way this fall via Hydra House. She has a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame, and separate MA’s from both Johns Hopkins and Indiana University.
12:01 AM | Posted by Robert | | Edit Post