Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The SFF Masterworks Reading Project

You all know me by now. Nary a day goes by without a post here on The Speculative Scotsman. Be it a review, an opinion piece, snarky commentary on some tasty news tidbit or something else entirely, most days, there's something on the site to help keep your eye muscles amused. It's no trouble, really. I even rather enjoy it.

So little effort goes into the day-to-day upkeep of TSS, in fact, that a few months ago I ganged up with a few other bloggers to launch Scrying the Fantastic. We were going to collate the release details of every book in the genre, from every publisher with an interest in our literature of choice, every month. Big ideas for the win! Of course, at the end of the day, we were just a few bloggers with limited time and few real resources to throw at a project which, to be perfectly frank, needed some form of support to survive.

Thus, to many a quivering lower lip, Scrying the Fantastic slipped off into the great speculative goodnight. The Justice League of Bloggers hung up their alter egos once and for all and disbanded - and I was left with so much free time on my hands that I had to find something to fill it, didn't I?

(You're all getting the sarcasm here, right?)

Enter the SFF Masterworks Reading Project. I've linked to it once before, but consider this your official notice: the SFF Masterworks Reading Project officially exists. You should hop on over and subscribe to the RSS feed. I mean, world leaders are already queuing up to say nice things about. Only last weekend, newly elected British Prime Minister David Cameron went on record with what follows when asked his opinion on the site:

"I think in any organisation it's right to set out what you stand for, what you're fighting for... so that people can see that the modern compassionate [SFF Masterworks Reading Project] is in it for everybody - not just the rich."

High praise from a gigantic snake dressed in human clothing, eh?


Right, that's what I was saying: the SFF Masterworks Reading Project. Ladies and gentlemen, it's on. Bloggers from hither and thither - including myself, Larry from the OF Blog of the Fallen, the Yeti what stomps, Neth, Gav, Amanda and a whole host of other speculative sorts - have come together to achieve the impossible: to read, discuss and review, between us, every last one of the hundreds of Fantasy and SF Masterworks.

It just so happens that my first review for the ambitious project chronicles my first experience of the ubiquitous George R. R. Martin's fiction - the first of my many, many #bookfails. Today, if you check out the site, you'll see my thoughts on the 13th Fantasy Masterwork: Fevre Dream. I'll say this much: vampires be damned, it's a blinder of a book.

So. Come on over to the SFF Masterworks blog and find out which of your favourite bloggers are going to be playing in this vast sandbox of classic genre fiction. Chuckle at our snappy little minibios. Read a few reviews. Then go buy some books, sure in the knowledge that not only has the world at large acknowledged their greatness, but... you know... we have too. And I think that's important. Really, I do. Are these 30 year-old masterworks even relevant in this day and age? The genre seems to be gaining momentum by the hour; have we left the classics behind?

And what makes a masterwork a masterwork anyway?

All that, and I'm sure there's plenty more to come. It's an exciting time, and for myself, I'm incredibly proud to be a part of such a prestigious gang of bloggers. What in God's name they've done, inviting me to be a part of it, I'm sure they'll only come to realise in time, but for now, I'm chuffed to bits and looking forward to getting stuck into my second masterwork.

Now seriously: get on to the SFF Masterworks blog and say hey.

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