The legends and the legacies of King Arthur

Original by Évrard d'Espinques

In honour of John Steinbeck’s birthday (27/02/1902-20/12/1962), today’s post is about the ongoing legacy of the Arthurian stories, as well as the men and women who have reimagined and retold Arthurian legends. Steinback’s own retelling was published posthumously in the 1976 novel ‘The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights‘.

-The top ten films about King Arthur

-The BBC discusses the history of the legends and where its past and future lie

-The ten historical and archaeological sites that hint at Arthur’s very real past

-A serialisation of The Once and Future King, performed by well known writer and presenter Brian Sibley, and produced by the BBC

-A posthumous look back at Mary Stewart’s illustrious career including the Merlin Trilogy

 

Chinese New Year special

This week, we bring you a post inspired by Chinese New Year – recommendations for some of the best Asian-inspired fantasy and science fiction around. Some we suspect will be familiar, some will be brand new, and some will take you by surprise. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

-Reviews along with a list of some Wuxia and Oriental fantasy

-Asian inspired (not necessarily set in Asia) fantasy novels

-A discussion by The Guardian of three of the best recent Asian fantasy series

-An exhaustive list of fantasy titles from all over the world, sorted by culture or nation

-Wall Street Journal interviews Cixin Liu, author of China’s newest best-selling science fiction book ‘The Three-Body Problem’

 

Bonus fact: Did you know Chinese New Year festivities actually last for 15 days?

Extraterrestrial Culture

Today’s theme was heralded by the arrival of Extraterrestrial Culture Day last week. While the day itself is native to New Mexico, USA, it does give us a chance to talk – or wonder – about what extraterrestrial culture might be like.

-In an attempt to learn more about alien culture: the 7 longest messages sent into space.

-In counterpoint to the above, a discussion of whether we might be shooting ourselves in the foot by transmitting messages.

-Speaking of alien culture, the last wishes of deceased author of the Culture series, Iain M Banks, were recently released: that the series be continued by his friend Ken MacLeod.

-A summary of some interesting and well-realised aliens and their cultures from the last 70 years.