A Game of Tropes: Roles and Reality in George RR Martin’s Epic Fantasy by Tim Bayley

Anyone who’s taken more than a passing interest in Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire will be aware that George RR Martin bases much of his fantasy on elements of history. It’s rather the approach I’ve taken in a certain project of my own, but it struck me that there’s also something more particular that Mr Martin is doing in his epic series.

*
What I’m referring to is that George is not just basing fantasy on history and the harsher reality thereof. Because it seems to me that he’s also, in his characteristic uncompromising style, expressing how treasured unrealistic fantasy tropes might actually be realised in a historical setting. I’m particularly talking Tolkien-derivative characters, and tropes common to lower grade fiction and role-playing games which – whether we love them still or just remember them fondly – George RR Martin is subjecting to what Alan Moore might call an ‘affectionate character assassination’. Read the rest of this entry »

Heroes Reborn! Latest from Tim Kring / NBC’s returning series…

We loved Heroes when it first came out. We were sad to see it go though hadn’t realised until after the fact because, well, Season 3 just lost us. We probably weren’t the only ones. We’re probably not the only ones to be rather excited to see that it’s coming back for a fresh start with Heroes Reborn this September!

Ahead of then we’ll be updating this page with the latest as it comes – for now here’s the recently released ‘The Extraordinary Among Us’ preview trailer… Enjoy!

Heroes is set to return on the 24th September, 8pm EST.

CA - Heroes Reborn banner

 

 

Index of Articles…

Welcome to CARABAS if you haven’t been here before or welcome back if you have! Just compiling all the articles since we kicked off nearly a year ago but a few changes to the coding means it’s a work in progress… Still right now there’s some awesome stuff to check through – that’s if you haven’t already!

More to come…

 

SIGNATURE ARTICLES / PAGES

Interviews: A Pint / Coffee with… Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction 6 Months of Book publishing links Intro’s & info…
JIM BUTCHER!
Part 1 – In which we talk of Gentlemen, Mandalorian combat fashion, Otherworldly maternal figures, far-future deities, and the young lady you get to meet at the end…
The Fantastical & the Speculative: Links to New Books Publishing Jan-Jun 15!
“Not Geek: Just Awesome”
CA - Jim Butcher
KARRIE FRANSMAN!
Part 2 – In which we look at warrior bears, the most secret of secret bases, a wizard that makes Gandalf look like a lightweight, an anthropomorphized aspect of nightmare, and quite possibly the most awesome adversaries of all time…
New Books – Genre Round-ups… Key Pages:
CPP - Karrie Fransman
Steampunk Titles – Jan-Jun 15 (and associated fantastical anachronisms)
LONDON EVENTS – Our guide to upcoming awesomeness in the big city!
Coming soon – A Coffee with LEAH MOORE!
Part 3 – In which we examine demons of fire and shadow, out-of-place police boxes, a thing from outer space, a floating city and freaky modern day fairy tale inventions…
Urban Fantasy Titles – Jan-Jun 15 (and choice associated fictions)
DISCOVER… Soon to be released, our guide to the fantastical groups, websites, bands, authors and other creatives in the big city!
CPP - Leah Moore
Part 4 – In which we dabble with coherent blades of energy, Hollywood monsters of Chinese folklore, the worst witch (for her enemies), god-like automatons, and the space craft that makes the rest look like the cardboard boxes you pretended to fly to space in as kids…
Part 5 – In which we indulge ourselves with warped halflings, perhaps the greatest lesser known post-apocalyptic setting, demonic currency, space opera super-ordinance, and they amongst whom ‘There can be only one’
Part 6 – In which we explore a gloriously dystopian LA, the most sublime of the sublime of weapons in space opera, Gray Hulks, heroic child-proxies, and quantum-locked Assassins…

 

FANTASTICAL FICTION – BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS!

Book Recommends by Month Graphic Novel Recommends by Month Book Extracts / Previews Graphic Novel Previews
January 15 New Book Recommends! January 15 New Graphic Novel Recommends! DAVE VS THE MONSTERS: EMERGENCE – John Birmingham IN GOD WE TRUST – Winshluss
February 15 New Book Recommends! February 15 New Graphic Novel Recommends! SKY PIRATES – Liesel Schwarz LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: RIVER OF GHOSTS – Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill
March 15 New Book Recommends! March 15 New Graphic Novel Recommends! BLOOD RED CITY – Justin Richards THE SPECTATORS – Victor Hussenot
April 15 New Book Recommends! April 15 New Graphic Novel Recommends! RADIANT STATE – Peter Higgins VACANCY – Jen Lee
May 15 New Book Recommends! May 15 New Graphic Novel Recommends! THE SUMMONER – Taran Matharu THE HUNTER – Joe Sparrow
June 15 New Book Recommends – Imminent… June 15 New Graphic Novel Recommends – Imminent… MARKED – Sue Tingey DEATH OF THE ARTIST – Karrie Fransman
BETE – Adam Roberts
FOUL TIDES TURNING – Stephen Hunt

 

GIG REVIEWS

Our pal Mark K from the Indie Music Meet-up – and some others besides – have done a blinding job at getting the reviews Carabas-wards to the point that they just needed a section here unto themselves!

LOLA COLT + BLEECH Purson 2 BLACK MOTH + PUFFER MEATBODIES + ARROWS OF LOVE
Lola 4 PURSON CA - Black Moth Twitter PENNY FOR THE WORKHOUSE + THE GYRO + THE FIX
DELOOZE ROBERT PLANT & THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS EVI VINE + THE NEVERISTS CPP - Penny for the Workhouse
Delooze 2 GARY NUMAN & GANG OF FOUR CPP - Evi Vine PALMA VIOLETS + FAT WHITE FAMILY + SLAVES + WYTCHES
JANE’S ADDICTION ANNA CALVI & THE HERITAGE ORCHESTRA GEMMA HAYES (Olympic Studios) LE - Palma Violets + King Nun
RINGO DEATHSTARR + LOLA COLT Anna Calvi 13-DEC-2014. by James McGalliard (3066) FIRES + ADAM BARNES + APOSTLE THOMAS FAWN SPOTS + THE BODIES
THE ABJECTS + LOVE L.U.V. + LUPO XFM WINTER WONDERLAND Fires 5 COURTNEY BARNETT
GR The Abjects GEMMA HAYES (Hackney Oslo) HONEYBLOOD + OUR GIRL + BLOODY KNEES THE WHO

 

 

Author Profile – Paul Cornell

CPP - Paul Cornell www.paulcornell.com
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Podcast – The Cornell Collective (Chat on Dr Who and SF / Comics generally)
Wikipedia page
See Paul’s website for even more social media links

 

Paul Cornell on Carabas (search)

 

Paul Cornell has had work produced and published since 1990 in all mediums, TV, Books and Comics. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast Profile: The Pharos Project

CPP - The Pharos Project www.thepharosproject.libsyn.com
On Facebook (Group)
On Twitter: @PharosProject
THE sweary Doctor Who, Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror podcast!

Read the rest of this entry »

Cockaigne Weekly 23rd January 2015 (including catch up)

WS - Article digest...

A busy start to the year so a tad behind, but we don’t want you to miss out so here’s some of the brilliant stuff that’s come out online over the last few weeks (Fri-Thu) on all the good stuff: TV / Film, Music, Books, Short Fiction and Comics… All in order of date after which we note the site in question.
Check them out and know there’s plenty of other stuff beyond our highlights to enjoy on these great sites as well!

Read the rest of this entry »

Arabic Science Fiction: From Imagination to Innovation – an evening with Sindbad Sci-Fi

A hundred of us were gathered in the Science Museum’s Directors Suite for this year’s Arab Science Fiction event put together and hosted by Sindbad Sci-Fi: From Imagination to Innovation (part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Nour Festival). It’s a fantastic venue, with double tiered bookcases rising the two storeys of the room, and just the right tone for the forthcoming discussion. CA - SSF
The panel is chaired by journalist and broadcaster and science fiction fan Samira Ahmed who introduces the panellists in turn, each having a spot to introduce themselves and their work.

First up is Saudi Arabia’s Yasser (“The Jedi from Jeddah”) Bhajatt, an engineer by profession who, on a global scale, investigated the relation between a country’s science fiction scene / output and its level of scientific development. Read the rest of this entry »

TV Recommends: Saturday 27th Sep to Friday 3rd Oct

In these days of downloads and Netflix it’s easy to miss out on some of the good stuff on the regular box, especially when you have to weed through so many freeview / cable channels. So here’s a weekly recommend of the fantastical and thought provoking for your consideration…

We take as read that we all know we can check the movie channels if we’ve got them (so not included) and that after 12 on a school night the chances are no one’s quite so fussed. To avoid repetition we’ve put the more regular daily showings on Pick TV, the Horror Channel, Watch and SyFy at the bottom.

*** Special heads up this week: The Horror Channel is reshowing Two of the best Doctor Who episodes from the classic run – Tom Baker in the Robots of Death and The Talons of Weng Chiang! See Special Recommend article here for more ***

Enjoy and if we’re missing anything let us know!

 

Saturday Channel Programme More…
1.00pm
Film 4
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
SFF
The 100 jpg 

Under the Dome

6.30pm
ITV 4
The 100
S1, E12
8.30pm
BBC1
Doctor Who
The Caretaker (6 of 12)
9.00pm
E4
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Adaptation
9.00pm
5*
Under the Dome
S2, 5/13
10.00pm
5*
The Walking Dead (Double Bill)
S4, 15&16/16
10.00pm
Watch
The Strain
S1, E2
10.35pm
ITV
Shaun of the Dead
Comedy Horror
11.30pm
London Live
Spaced
S1, E4 (Comedy Awesomeness), repeated at 2.00am
11.35pm
ITV 4
Scarface
Crime Thriller
Sunday Channel Programme More…
5.00pm
E4
The 100
S1, e12
Mummy TotDEKarate_kid_ver2

 

6.50pm
ITV2
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Fantasy
7.15pm
Film 4
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Comic adaptation
7.50pm
BBC 3
Doctor Who
Repeat of yesterday’s…
8.00pm
E4
The Karate Kid
No Karate, but there is a kid, definitely kung fu, and also Jackie Chan
11.00pm
Watch
Babylon 5: The Gathering
SFF
11.55pm
BBC 2
The Children
Horror
12.30am
BBC4
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Documentary, Music – for all the Bowie fans out there…
Monday Channel Programme More…
6.40pm
Film 4
Star Trek: Generations
SFF
Rush Hour 2 

The Terminator

9.00pm
E4
The 100
S1, E13 (last in series)
9.00pm
5*
Rush Hour 2
(We’re just here for the Jackie Chan bits)
10.00pm
C5
Under the Dome
S2, E6
10.55pm
C5
The Terminator
He did say that he would be back
11.00pm
Watch
Being Human USA
S2, E12
11.40pm
Film 4
28 Weeks Later
Zombies, zombies, zombies…
1.35am
Film 4
The Warlords
Chinese historical war drama avec Jet Li and Andy Lau
Tuesday Channel Programme More…
6.40pm
Film 4
Star Trek: First Contact
SFF
Star Trek First Contact 

The Blues Brothers

9.00pm
Film 4
The Woman in Black
Chiller
9.00pm
TCM
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
(Repeated at 1.20am) Horror
10.00pm
ITV4
The Blues Brothers
Nuff said
11.20pm
TCM
John Carpenter’s Vampires
Horror
Wednesday Channel Programme More…
8.00pm
E4
X-Men: The Last Stand
Comic adaptation
X-Men The Last Stand
9.00pm
Watch
Grimm
S3, E22
10.00pm
Watch
The Strain
S1, E3 (repeated at 12.00pm)
Thursday Channel Programme More…
9.00pm
Sky 1
Forever
News series about an immortal medical examiner. Doctor – check. Older man – check. Supernatural – check. Ca-ching.
The StrainSpaced Promo
9.00pm
5*
War of the Worlds
SFF
10.00pm
Watch
The Strain
S1, E3
10.45pm
London Live
Black Books
S3, E7 (TBC)
10.55pm
TCM
Rollerball
Classic SF
11.15pm
London Live
Spaced
S1, E5 (TBC)
Friday Channel Programme More…
7.05pm
Film 4
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Comic adaptation
Grimm
7.50pm
ITV 2
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Fantasy
9.00pm
E4
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Adaptation

 

If you like your Stargate you’ll find Pick has Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: SG1 on weekdays at 7 and 8pm, with a bigger SFF night on Tuesday with those shows followed by Sinbad and Revolution.

SyFy is currently showing on weeknights from 6/7pm: Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed by Continuum and, from Thursday, Defiance (check your guide for more as the timings change).

Also on Syfy there’s a Saturday multi-episode omnibus of Buffy from 11am.

You can catch highlights from the original run of Doctor Who on the Horror Channel at 7.50pm, this week with the Pertwee-era Death to the Daleks, and then a magnificent double-whammy of Tom Baker in The Robots of Death and The Talons of Weng Chiang. Both highly recommended viewing – see Special Recommends article here for more.

Watch are showing selections with a slightly changeable schedule of the new series Season 6 and then Season 1 at 11.00pm from Tuesday to Thursday and 11.55pm on Friday.

 

Special TV Recommend: Horror Channel – Dr Who this week

Whether you’re a fan of SF or the good Doctor specifically or a more casual viewer of the age to remember the classic Tom Baker era there’s an absolute treat this week from Tuesday to Friday on the Horror Channel.

Horror shows double episodes of the classic series daily but the two this week are amongst the best stories ever written, and genre mash-ups of (naturally) science fiction and the detective story. Both star the inimitable Tom Baker, to many of us – it hardly needs repeating – THE Doctor, regardless of whether or not we’re old enough to have seen it first time round; but also the dad’s favourite Louise Jameson as Leela: hot, scantily clad (initially at least), barbarian savage, Leela was anything but the bumbling, squealing companion. The Doctor & Leela

And the scripts of both are lauded by Paul Cornell (Writer of comics and Doctor Who amongst others) and co in the Dr Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide as “one of the best ever” and “peerless” respectively – and they’re not wrong.

 

The Robots of Death To begin with we have the Robots of Death – and don’t let the simplistic title persuade you it lacks anything. It’s a murder mystery set in a giant, isolated sand-mining vehicle on a remote planet. It plays against human characteristics of ambition, greed, fear, suspicion and concealed (outright) insanity amongst the characters – but we can’t specify how without giving stuff away. Aside from anything else the design of the titular robots is wonderfully memorable (to this Tom Baker era viewer at the very least!).

Mind with a title like that you wouldn’t have a particularly long game of Cluedo with the options of ‘Robots’ with ‘Robot hands’ in ‘The Sandminer’ – but there are more than enough twists and turns to keep you entertained from start to finish.

 

From the notion of fear and the uncanny valley we move closer to the Valley of Fear in the wonderful Victorian London-based The Talons of Weng Chiang in which Tom Baker (who would actually play the role post-Who) as the Doctor more or less becomes Sherlock Holmes, putting aside his favourite scarf for period costume including a deerstalker hat.

It’s an atmospheric mystery romp which mashes Holmes with the Phantom of the Opera, Jack the Ripper and Chinese myth, all disguising the steampunk / time-travel SF drama which emerges as the Doctor detects the truth of the macabre murders. There’s ‘supernatural’ Chinese underlings, a fantastically freakish ‘wooden dwarf’ and an accident-mutilated ‘god’-villain. It doesn’t get much better than this. The Doctor & Leela ToWC

 

Mind this is Tuesday to Friday – On Sunday / Monday there’s the legendary Terry Nation’s Pertwee-era Death to the Daleks, which (while it seems to have been on rather a lot) is certainly worth a watch if you haven’t caught it already. But while nothing more than the appearance of a Dalek is enough to please the crowds, The Robots of Death and The Talons of Weng Chiang stand amongst the most solid and entertaining stand-alone stories in the show’s history.

 

Rush home from work in good time and / or set your box to ‘Record’ and look forward to a an hour or so a night of SF-mystery goodness on the sofa.

Or behind it.

 

Dr Who - Tom Baker

[You can read our guide to more of this weeks TV highlights here]

 

TV Recommends: Saturday 20th to Friday 26th September…

In these days of downloads and Netflix it’s easy to miss out on some of the good stuff on the regular box, especially when you have to weed through so many freeview / cable channels. So here’s a weekly recommend of the fantastical and thought provoking for your consideration…

We take as read that we all know we can check the movie channels if we’ve got them (so not included) and that after 12 on a school night the chances are no one’s quite so fussed. To avoid needless repetition we’ve put the more regular daily showings on Pick TV, the Horror Channel, Watch and SyFy at the bottom.

Enjoy and if we’re missing anything let us know!

 

Saturday
Channel
Programme
More…
6.35pm
E4
The 100
S1, 11/13
ShawshankRedemptionMoviePoster
7.30pm
BBC1
Doctor Who
5/12 Time Heist
9.00pm
Film 4
Transformers
(In case you like Michael Bay’s interpretation)
9.00pm
5*
Under the Dome
S2, 4/13
10.00pm
5*
The Walking Dead (Double Bill)
S4, 13&14/16
10.40pm
ITV
The Shawshank Redemption
Dark and exhilarating prison drama
Sunday
Channel
Programme
More…
Avatar 

 

 

Fifth_element_poster_(1997)

12.05pm
Watch
Dr Who – classic series
Vengeance on Varos
1.00pm
Film 4
Avatar
Nuff said
2.00pm
5*
The Fifth Element
Luc Besson’s gorgeous quirky SF opera
3.30pm
C4
Star Trek: Insurrection
SF
7.20pm
C5
Rush Hour 2
(We’re just here for the Jackie Chan bits)
8.00pm
BBC3
Doctor Who
Repeat of yesterday’s…
9.00pm
ITV 4
Troy
Action
9.00pm
C5
In Time
SF justified heist movie with Justin Timberlake(?)
11.05pm
Watch
Dr Who – classic series
Vengeance on Varos
11.10pm
C5
Elektra
Comic adaptation
11.15pm
C4
The Sixth Sense
Does anyone not know what the big twist is?
Monday
Channel
Programme
More…
 Wrath of Khan Kirk 

 

 

 

The 100 jpg

6.45pm
Film 4
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
KHAAAAAAAAAANNN!
7.50pm
Horror
Dr Who – classic series
The Deadly Assassin, Ep.s 1&2 – a top old school episode with Gallifreyan politics, murders and virtual reality
9.00pm
Horror
Cyborg 2
Recently included in the worst cyborg movies ever list (I09 we think it was…)
9.00pm
Film 4
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Sequel comic adaptation
9.00pm
E4
The 100
S1, 12/13
10.00pm
C5
Under the Dome
S2, 5/13
11.00pm
C5
Hollow Man
Modern day invisible man thriller (mixed reviews)
11.00pm
Watch
Being Human USA
Supernatural Drama
Tuesday
Channel
Programme
More…
 Dr Who Deadly Assassin
7.00pm
Film 4
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
SF
7.50pm
Horror
Dr Who – classic series
The Deadly Assassin, Ep.s 3&4 – a top old school episode with Gallifreyan politics, murders and virtual reality
11.00pm
Watch
Doctor Who
S6 E7 – A Good Man Goes to War
Wednesday
Channel
Programme
More…
 GrimmSeason1 

 

 

The Strain

6.40pm
Film 4
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
SF
7.50pm
Horror
Dr Who – classic series
The Curse of Fenric Ep.s 1&2 – highly original vampire mythos interpretation  if nothing else…
8.00pm
E4
The Karate Kid
No Karate, but there is a kid, definitely kung fu, and also Jackie Chan
9.00pm
Watch
Grimm
S2, E2
10.00pm
Watch
The Strain
S1, E2
11.00pm
Watch
Doctor Who
S6 E8/13 – Let’s Kill Hitler
11.00pm
ITV 4
Scarface
Crime Thriller
12.00am
Watch
The Strain
Rep. from earlier
Thursday
Channel
Programme
More…
 Spaced Promo
7.50pm
Horror
Dr Who – classic series
The Curse of Fenric Ep.s 3&4 – highly original vampire mythos interpretation  if nothing else…
9.00pm
Film 4
Transporter 3
Action
10.00pm
Watch
The Strain
S1, E2
10.45pm
London Live
Black Books
S3, E6
11.00pm
Watch
Doctor Who
S6 E9/13 – Night Terrors
11.15pm
London Live
Spaced
S1, E4
Friday
Channel
Programme
More…
 Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars 

 

 

Old Boy

6.15pm
Film 4
Transformers
(In case you like Michael Bay’s interpretation)
7.50pm
Horror
Dr Who – classic series
Death to the Daleks, Ep.s 1&2
9.00pm
BBC 4
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Documentary, Music – for all the Bowie fans out there…
9.00pm
5*
War of the Worlds
2005 version
10.50pm
Film 4
28 Days Later
Zombies, zombies, zombies…
11.00pm
Watch
Doctor Who
S6 E10/13 – The Girl Who Waited
12.40pm
Horror
Old Boy
Freaky Korean crime action drama – with the most brutal twist you’ll possibly ever experience. Watch once, perhaps not a second time…

 

If you like your Stargate you’ll find Pick has Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: SG1 on weekdays at 7 and 8pm, with a bigger SFF night on Tuesday with those shows followed by Sinbad and Revolution.

SyFy is currently showing on weeknights from 6/7pm: Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed by Defiance (check your guide for more as the timings change).

Also on Syfy there’s a Saturday multi-episode omnibus of Buffy from 11am, and the same for Defiance on Sunday.

You can catch highlights from the original run of Doctor Who on the Horror Channel at 7.50pm, this week with the Deadly Assassin (with the inimitable Tom Baker), the Curse of Fenric (Sylvester McCoy) and Death to the Daleks (Jon Pertwee), double episodes daily.

Watch are showing selections from both runs of Doctor Who, with an omnibus edition of Vengeance on Varos, and a rather changeable schedule of the new series Season 6 at 11ish on most weekdays.