The Wonderful World of Fictional Settings

At BookBrowse, we don't just review books, we go 'beyond the book' to explore interesting aspects relating to each book we feature. Here is a recent "Beyond the Book" feature for Enon by Paul Harding:

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Quercus Publishing Branches Out by Poornima Apte

If Steig Larsson was one of your essential beach reads a few summers ago, you have the guys at Quercus Publishing to thank. Since exploring what's new in books is one of our favorite things to do at BookBrowse, our ears perked up when we discovered that this nimble UK publishing company is now making waves stateside.

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Mythic Fantasy: A Mirror World

At BookBrowse, we don't just review books, we go 'beyond the book' to explore interesting aspects relating to each book we feature. Here is a recent "Beyond the Book" feature for The World of The End by Ofir Touché Gafla

30,000 year old cave hyena found in Chauvet CaveMythic expression is humanity's first language. These myths, or to use a more contemporary synonym, metanarratives, are the stories that give purpose and meaning to a people, a way of understanding the seemingly random occurrences in the lives of individuals and communities. Whether these are expressed in clay statues, paintings on cave walls, or mutually intelligible symbols such as words, each is a vision of the world and of the place of humanity within it.

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Five Things You Might Not Know About Neil Gaiman

  1. Sandman #1Before he began to write novels that would earn him public recognition, Gaiman wrote comic books and graphic novels. The Sandman graphic novels (1989-1996), initially published by D C Comics and later by Vertigo, were particularly popular with a total of 75 issues. The Sandman is about an all-powerful being called Dream, also named Morpheus. He is one of seven god-like siblings who have always existed, and who exert their influence on our world. The series follows Morpheus, who has been the prisoner of a group of wizards for 70 years. Once he escapes, he must find several powerful objects that will allow him to exact revenge upon his enemies. Along the way he must also face up to his mistakes, and find a way to reclaim his kingdom of dreams. Norman Mailer once described The Sandman as "a comic strip for intellectuals." Among its many awards it was included in Entertainment Weekly's list of 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008, and issue 19 won a World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction in 1999 (the only graphic novel to have ever won the award). It is also one of a very few graphic novels to have been on The New York Times bestseller list.

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A Short History of Chechnya

Chechnya has been much in the news this past week due to the two alleged Boston bombers being ethnic Chechens. On the assumption that many of us will be a little rusty with the goings on of this small country in the Caucuses, below is BookBrowse's "beyond the book" article written for Masha Gessen's The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (2012).

Though it seems that the Tsarnaev brothers had not lived in Chechnya, although the older brother is thought to have visited last year, an understanding of the history of Chechnya is relevant as it explains why hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chechens currently live in countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan, as did the Tsarnaev family before coming to the USA.

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What is Metafiction?

Metafiction is an elastic concept covering a wide range of fiction but in essence boils down to stories in which the book blurs the line between reality and fiction by drawing attention to itself in some shape or form. To boil it down even further, you could say that it is fiction about fiction.

William H. Gass is attributed with establishing the term metafiction in a 1970 essay titled "Philosophy and the Form of Fiction". Commenting on American fiction of the 1960s, he pointed out that a new description was needed for the emerging genre of experimental texts that openly broke with the tradition of literary realism still dominant in post-WWII American literature.

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How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny