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A J Dalton On His Latest Project for Academia Lunare

This is an exciting year for Luna author A J Dalton. His book, 'The Sub-genres of British Fantasy Fiction', has been longlisted for the BSFA Awards and he's ready to go again, by diving back into research for Academia Lunare.

A J Dalton's new project for Luna's academic arm will be titled, 'The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy'.

Let's hear from the author himself:

"As long as literature has existed, so has the motif of ‘the dark lord’. However, it was not until the emergence of fantasy and science fiction as distinct literary genres that the dark lord truly became enshrined in popular works. From Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to Tolkien’s Sauron, to Donaldson’s Lord Foul, to Lucas’s Darth Vader, the dark lord was ever present in SFF. Sometimes he was a mad god, evil emperor or evil corporation, but always there was that malign intelligence seeking to thwart the goody-goody Chosen One of the 1980s and 90s. And he had servants in the form of demon armies, alien invaders or intelligent machines, seeking to drag the unwary into the underworld, to conquer us or to make humanity entirely extinct.

Come the new millennium, and the emergence of sub-genres like ‘grimdark fantasy’ and ‘dystopian YA’, we tend to see everything in shades of grey far more. We still have invading hordes, be they zombies or Dothraki, but they are mindless disease-carriers and immigrants-with-a-cause rather than out-and-out followers of Satan. Our sense of evil has perhaps changed. We seem to understand that ‘evil’ is really a matter of perspective. And what has become of ‘the dark lord’ himself? Well, he is now the star of tv series such as ‘Lucifer’ or ‘Dracula’. Has he actually changed from anti-hero into hero? Has he won in some way? Or do we now recognise ourselves in him? Were we really fighting against ourselves all along?

This book considers the early literary origins of the character of Satan and his embodiment within SFF, in order to show how our idea of evil has changed over time, to identify how SFF has shifted since its early days, to suggest the trends which are yet to emerge and, perhaps, to help us better understand ourselves."

Here's to a new project for Academia Lunare!


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