Fafnir 3–4/2017

Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research 3–4/2017

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Aino-Kaisa Koistinen & Jyrki Korpua:
Editorial 3–4/2017

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Irma Hirsjärvi & Urpo Kovala
Preface: Two Paths to Fantasy Studies

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Tanja Välisalo
Engaging with film characters: Empirical study on the reception of characters in The Hobbit films

Abstract: Characters are important for the audience reception of films, but little empirical research on actual audiences has been conducted on the topic of character reception. Are characters important for all audiences, and if not, what are the possible reasons and implications? How do audiences construct their engagement with characters? I argue that in addition to elements in Murray Smith’s classic model, structure of sympathy, other elements should be included when studying character engagement. This article presents an empirical study on the reception of characters using the Nordic responses (4,879 total) drawn from the global audience survey on The Hobbit fantasy film trilogy (Jackson, An Unexpected Journey; The Desolation of Smaug; The Battle of the Five Armies). Based on the data, this study identifies two additional elements of character engagement. Firstly, aided by Anne Jerslev’s model of emotions attached to fictional universes, the making of fictional characters is recognized as an essential element of character engagement, something audiences are drawn to. The second element is formed by connections outside the story, such as other works of fiction, conventions of the fantasy genre, and discussions and debates about the films. Including these contextual elements results in a more comprehensive understanding of emotional engagement with characters.

Keywords: characters, engagement, The Hobbit, audience reception

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Martin Barker
Thinking and theorising disappointment: A report from the World Hobbit Project

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Esko Suoranta
Conference Report: 100 Years of Estrangement at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, 9–13 August, 2017

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Geoffrey C. Bowker
Preface: My Time with Science Fiction

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Katherine Tucker
Violence, Politics, and Religion: Cosmic War in Game of Thrones

Abstract: Religious violence and religious politics are highly intertwined concepts whose coexistence presents a danger to the current American political and religious systems. The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and the accompanying television show, Game of Thrones, provide a case study with which to view this relationship between religion, politics, and violence, and then apply the findings to America’s political landscape. The storylines of Stannis Baratheon, Daenerys Targaryen, and the Faith Militant illustrate the notion of cosmic war and serve as an exploration of potential impending violence from the mixture of religion and politics in modern America.

Keywords: Game of Thrones, religion, violence, politics.

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Matthew Larnach
“Exhaust my wagon horses today, you won’t eat tomorrow”: Exploring David Eddings’ application of military logistics in The Belgariad

Abstract: In The Belgariad, David Eddings devotes an extraordinary amount of attention to the subject of military logistics. References abound to supplies, and their importance to soldiers in the field, and Eddings clearly intends to base his invented universe upon sound logistical foundations. But could these logistical systems, so elaborately described by Eddings, function in practice? To answer this question this paper applies logistical modelling methodologies to two scenarios that feature prominently in The Belgariad. These models study the logistical structures Eddings describes, determining whether they could have feasibly supported and sustained the vast armies that feature in his universe. It discovers that Eddings’ employment of logistical concepts, whilst admirable, is highly inconsistent in practice. However, by further examining the wider scholarly material fantasy authors interested in the topic might draw upon, it concludes that the field provides fantasy authors with a highly fragmented and confusing picture of the operation of logistical systems within medieval contexts.

Keywords: David Eddings, The Belgariad, logistics, military, medieval

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Ingvil Hellstrand, Line Henriksen, Aino-Kaisa Koistinen, Donna McCormack, & Sara Orning
Welcome to the Monster Network

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Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay
Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy: Interview with Sephora W Hosein

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Päivi Väätänen
A Book Review: Gender Identity and Sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction

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Call for Papers Fafnir 1/2018

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