Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Heliotrope e-zine launched

A new magazine called Heliotrope was launched last week, featuring short fiction, poetry, reviews and essays of the science fiction and fantasy persuasion. They have compiled an impressive line-up of contributors for the debut issue and not only is it intelligent, but it looks great too. And if you can't get your hands on a hard copy, you can download the whole thing as a pdf from their website.

Overlook's R. Scott Bakker has contributed an essay titled "The Skeptical Fantasist: In Defense of an Oxymoron." An excerpt is below, and you can read the entire article here, just click on the page for the pdf.

I think it's safe to assume that whenever "fantasy" as a generic term, appears within publications such as The Skeptical Inquirer, it connotes something negative. Fantasy, after all, is the bane of the skeptic. It is belief in the fantastic, measured by the yardstick of science, that is the target of relentless critique by the champions of science education. So you might saya that my question answers itself, that it's like asking what priests should make of pornography. What should skeptics make of fantasy fiction? Not much.

But as obvious as this may seem, I want to argue the contrary. I want to argue that the world needs more skeptical fantasists. Many more.
And remember it's not too late to enter the contest to win signed galleys of R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing Trilogy. The contest is running until the end of August, so check out the details here and send in your entry.

--John Mark

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