Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Links of the Week

It’s Friday! Time for me to share my favorite links from this week. Prepare to smile, gasp, or clap. Ok, just kidding about that gasping and clapping bit, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

  • Giveaway: Author Bradley P. Beaulieu is so excited about his new book, The Straits of Galabesh, coming out that he is having a big giveaway featuring Nooks, Kindles, signed books and more. The deadline is April 3, 2012.
  • What’s fantasy fiction without swords? Swordplay is so cool, even Jedi have to get in on the action. Mande Matthews has posted a few video clips of awesome sword fights, from a Con demonstration to the background behind the epic battle behind Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts in Princess Bride. Fun stuff.
  • Is John Carter a Christ figure? Redeemer Christ figures often appear in many works of fiction and in an article posted this week, Forrest Wickman writes about how that applies to John Carter. I find it interesting that Christian themes can be found throughout much of Edgar Rice Burrough’s work.
  • Giveaway: is giving away a copy of Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper. I suggest you hurry as I couldn’t find a deadline listed.
  • Geek news alert: Scientists have discovered a new species of horned dinosaurs and apparently, they’re among the littlest ones found. All the same, I wouldn’t want one chasing me, even if it were only three feet long.
  • Freebie: Matt Forbeck is a writer with vision. His goal is to write 12 novels in 2012. I know! Is that crazy or what? Regardless, I have to respect his ambition — and the fact that he is on target so far. To celebrate, Matt is giving away a copy of his first short story ebook, Goblintown Justice. Also, I want to offer my congratulations to Matt. His latest Kickstarter project was funded at 426%!! For those of you who don’t know what this means, Matt has received more than enough pledges to cover the cost of producing his current series of novels. Good work, Matt!
  • Ever heard of the New York Jedi Club? Here’s your chance to read up. The article’s title cracked me up: ‘They come in geeks and go out Jedi warriors’: Inside the strange world of the New York Jedi Club. Nonetheless, I myself wouldn’t mind visiting just to see them in action. You never know, they just might let me hold one of those really cool lightsabers.
  • What’s a party without food? How about Star Wars themed party food? In case you’re feeling ambitious, here are instructions on how to make your own (impressive) Death Star cake. For other (easier) Star Wars party foods, check here. The R2D2 carved out of cheddar is kind of cute and who wouldn’t smile at seeing Vader Pataters or Carbonite Jello? But the Yodamole and Trooper Scoopers is kind of scary.
  • If you’re looking for more giveaways, I posted a list of Tor/Forge SFF book giveaways yesterday. If you missed them, check here.

To wrap it up, I want to send a little love over to Kevin Hanrahan. This has nothing to do with SFF, but hang with me here a bit. Kevin — a writer, soldier and dog advocate — is the author of Paws on the Ground, a novel about U.S. soldiers and the dogs that protect them in the treacherous terrain of Afghanistan. I haven’t read Kevin’s writing, but something about his project caught my eye.

You see, Kevin has 20 years of Army service, including three combat tours, company commander in Iraq, and Deputy Provost Marshal for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. While there, he was instrumental in spearheading the efforts toward inserting military service dogs into conflict zones. He also lobbied the Army to adopt an explosives-detection dog program. I think he knows what he’s talking about.

If you want to find out more about Kevin and his work, head on over to his web site or his blog. I’m sure he’ll be glad you did.

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