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Kevin Arms Author Archive

Email: kdarms76@gmail.com   Website: A Call to Arms  
Facebook: Kevin Arms   Twitter: @kdarms

Kevin Arms holds a bachelor of art's degree in Anthropology and a master of art's degree in Library and Information Sciences with a focus on special and archival librarianship. Currently he is the Access Services Librarian for a small college in central Florida, and in his off time is an avid reader and writer of fantasy fiction, Kevin is working on his first novel in dark fantasy which he hopes to complete by the end of 2014. Kevin is currently reading Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire.


In Memoriam: Eugie Foster

Fantasy and Science Fiction author Eugie Foster (b. 1971) left us on September 27, 2014 at the age of 42 as a result of respiratory failure. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Foster at JordanCon in 2012, and her works left a lasting impact on me.

vintage family

Historical Context for Genealogy Research: What Your Ancestor’s Surroundings Say About Them

When conducting genealogical research on your family, understanding the life and times of your ancestors is more than just who they were and when they were born and died. Situating your ancestors in history, both local and national, can help clue you in to more about their daily lives and about some of the decisions they may have faced during their time. In addition, knowing about the historical context that these men and women faced can provide vital clues that can help you unearth more information about them than by just conducting random searches.
What is historical context? Historical context is the elements that permeate the lives of every living person; the local history of where they were born, the events that may have shaped their lives, and the living conditions that often can provide some measure of explanation about who they were as people. For example, if you know in advance that the local county courthouse burned down and that many records were destroyed, you will know that you will have to find other avenues to locate records and documents that you might need.

vintage family

Introduction to Genealogy for Librarians and Patrons

In recent years, the popularity of TV shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?” has brought genealogy back into the spotlight, but many people (including librarians!) have no idea where to begin. While there are many fantastic books out there on the subject of genealogy research, many individuals just don’t have the time to read and digest all of this information.

Book covers from the Mordant's Need series

Epic Fantasy Spotlight: Mordant’s Need

No other two-volume set of books has ever held more power over me than Mordant’s Need (The Mirror of Her Dreams; A Man Rides Through). I had never been a huge fan of fantasy before I read these two books.

Cover of The Dragonslayer's Sword

Face Down on Dry Land: An Interview with Resa Nelson

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Resa Nelson about her writing, how she became a writer, and what is coming up in her immediate future in terms of books. For those of you not familiar with her, you can read more about her here. The following is an excerpt from the interview, you can read the full interview here on my website.

cover of Elven Blood book

Andre Norton: Librarian, Writer, and Fantasy Grande Dame

Andre Norton (born Alice Mary Norton) is something of a legend in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. The first woman to be named Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy; the first woman to be named to the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) as Grand Master; and the first woman inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame among the likes of amazing writers like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Anne McCaffrey; Norton is the author of over 300 published titles. Many modern fantasy and science fiction authors can trace their influence back to Norton, such as Mercedes Lackey, Charles de Lint, Tanya Huff, and even C.J. Cherryh. Not only was Norton a prolific writer, an inspiration and mentor, she was also a librarian.

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Enter The Dragonslayer – A Look at Resa Nelson

I recently came across a new author (via twitter) that I wanted to share with my readers, whether they are looking for a new book series or developing a collection of Fantasy Fiction for their library.

image of Seanan McGuire

Thirteen Questions with Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire, Bestselling author of the Newsflesh Trilogy (as Mira Grant) and the October Daye series as well as the first person to be nominated five times for a Hugo award in a single year, recently discussed with me some of her views on public libraries, electronic books and writing

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Women of Fantasy Fiction, Part 4: Seanan McGuire, Eugie Foster, and Mary Robinette Kowa

Having recently returned from JordanCon 2013 in Roswell, Georgia, I came home with two of these three authors on my mind. This is the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Seanan McGuire, a five-time Hugo Nominee, and the first woman to be nominated five times in a single year, but I had previously met Eugie Foster at JordanCon 2012. Mary Robinette Kowal, also a previous panelist at JordanCon 2012, has long been on my mind as a fantastic writer of fantasy and science fiction for her series The Glamorist Histories (the most recent, Without a Summer, made my Best Bets and Most Popular Picks list!) and seeing her name again during the Tor/Forge Book preview brought it all back to me.

trees in fog

Women of Fantasy Fiction – Part Three: J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, and Laurell K. Hamilton

So far in our discussion of women writers of fantasy fiction, we’ve met Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as Ursula LeGuin and C.J. Cherryh. This week, we are visiting an old favorite, a new favorite and one that some hard-core fantasy readers might question my sanity over. J.K. Rowling and Laurell K. Hamilton are definitely expected in any discussion of current fantasy fiction. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is a standard in the genre, and best-selling author Laurell K. Hamilton is burning up the book charts with her now twenty-three-strong Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. You won’t find Nora Roberts’ works in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of your library though, because Roberts is first and foremost a romance novelist. Trust me when I say that it is worth straying a few aisles over to find her works in a section you might not normally visit.

image from JordanCon

Live from JordanCon: What’s New From Tor Books For 2013

The weekend of April 19 – 21, 2013 marked the 5th Annual JordanCon gathering in Roswell, Georgia, and I was fortunate enough to be present for the festivities celebrating not only the life of the late Robert Jordan, but also the conclusion of The Wheel of Time series, which for many fans, has been a decades long experience that concluded on January 8, 2013 with the publication of A Memory of Light.

fantasy landscape

Women of Fantasy Fiction, Part 2: Ursula K. LeGuin and C.J. Cherryh

Continuing our theme on the women who write and influence fantasy fiction, this week we will be looking at authors Ursula K. LeGuin and C.J. Cherryh (pronounced “cherry,” the h is silent). Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929 – ), the daughter of noted Anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and the writer Theodora Krober, is the author of seven books of poetry, twenty-two novels, over one hundred short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children and four volumes of translation. She is best known for the six books in the Books of Earthsea series among fantasy fans, though she also received critical acclaim for her major work in science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness. C.J. Cherryh, another prominent science fiction/fantasy author, has written over sixty books as well as short story compilations. In fantasy fiction, she is best known for her Fortress series (Fortress in the Eye of Time, Fortress of Eagles, Fortress of Owls, Fortress of Dragons, Fortress of Ice), but is also the author of the Ealdwood Stories, The Russian Stories and Heroes in Hell as well as numerous short fiction pieces.

forest path

The Women of Fantasy Fiction Part 1: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Women have long played an important role in the creation and expanding of the fantasy fiction genre. So, in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2013)I’m embarking on a four-part series about the women who make up the fantasy genre, some of their books that have made a lasting impression on readers and the ones I suggest should be part of every public library fantasy collection.

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Our World With Magic – Modern/Contemporary Fantasy

In our ongoing discussion about the enormous variety of fantasy sub-genres, we have at long last reached Modern/Contemporary Fantasy. Contemporary Fantasy has much overlap with other sub-genres that we have discussed thus far, including Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tale Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. Contemporary Fantasy is defined as a fantasy story that takes place in the modern world in the modern era (or what was considered modern at the time it was released, such as C.S. Lewis)


Dark Fantasy/Horror – Stories To Keep You Up at Night

What is it about the unknown that terrifies, yet enraptures, readers of Dark Fantasy/Horror? I count myself among them. Some of my first favorite books were stories of supernatural fantasy, and to this day I can’t pass up a good horror story. This week, we’ll be taking a look at some Dark Fantasy authors, most notably Anne Rice, Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz and Clive Barker, whose collected works are enough to keep you up late into the night with every lamp and light blazing.