Orconomics: A Satire by J. Zachary Pike
 

Orconomics: A Satire

Review

 
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
 

Practical Magic

Review

 
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
 

The Man in the High Castle

Review

 

Browsing all articles in Writing.

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Three: Magic Warfare

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Three: Magic Warfare 

Fallout taught fans that war…war never changes. Military historians, however, argue otherwise. Case in point: the stirrup. Before firearms dominated the battlefield, it’s generally agreed that the stirrup was the most important innovation in warfare for a couple centuries. Fans of the Rohirrim will recognize why: cavalry is fast and maneuverable, and the stirrup allows […]

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Writing A Successful Query Letter

Writing A Successful Query Letter 

If you’ve heard about query letters, no doubt you’ve heard how annoying, infuriatingly difficult, and soul-sucking they are to write. And every word of that is true. Writing my query was a brutal process, but if you want to get an agent; there’s no getting around it. It’s commonly assumed a query is a novel’s […]

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Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Writing a Good Game into a Good Book

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Writing a Good Game into a Good Book 

Humanity has played games for as long as we’ve been able to make up rules and keep score. As we’ve developed as a species, we’ve created thousands of games, and gaming isn’t just something we do out of boredom. In many ways, games are a survival mechanism, a way to recharge our brains and spirits. […]

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Is This Normal Around Here?

Is This Normal Around Here? 

So you get home to your enchanted castle, hand your coat to the golem butler who waits by the door, tut sadly at Markus; the caretaker who’s trying to fill a light globe and letting all the fairies escape, then you head to the kitchen where your goblin chef has an entire pig roasting on […]

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Exploring Vvardenfell: How Morrowind Created an Immersive Secondary World

Exploring Vvardenfell: How Morrowind Created an Immersive Secondary World 

Back in 2012, I was sitting with a group of fantasy writers at the PNWA conference in Seattle. Everyone had begun rolling off their favorite authors, and soon there were choruses of ah, yes and mmm. I just sat there silently with a glass of ice water. Most of my writing career had been a conscious detour around […]

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The Writer’s Plague

The Writer’s Plague 

If you are a booklover who didn’t die before 1997, I would wager you have difficulty finding a decent story among the piles of…muck. In the past twenty years, authors—henceforth known as the Infected—have emerged, plague-ridden, with what we will collectively call the writing bug. While I try to remain optimistic, I cannot say this […]

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Self-Published Fantasy: How the SPFBO is Revitalising SFF

Self-Published Fantasy: How the SPFBO is Revitalising SFF 

With the exciting kick-off of the THIRD Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (#SPFBO) already underway, I thought I’d share some thoughts about the complexities of self-publishing and how Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO initiative is shaking up not only the medium, but also the genre itself. (An older, less awesome version of this article can be found here.) Self-published […]

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Plot Twists That Defy Genre Expectations

Plot Twists That Defy Genre Expectations 

Most of us love a good plot twist. We’re always trying to predict where a narrative is headed, but we’re usually thrilled when it takes an unexpected turn, surprises us, and makes us re-evaluate the assumptions we’ve made about the characters and the story. However, some of these sudden turns knock the wind out of us more than others, because […]

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Sieges and Siegecraft – Part Two: Defenders

Sieges and Siegecraft – Part Two: Defenders 

Shore up the defences, man the walls and get those supplies inside! Last time, we looked at siegecraft from the attackers’ side; this time, we’re on the defensive. There are a number of reasons why someone would choose to defend a specific location: to protect property or the lives of inhabitants; to secure a strategic […]

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Books Do Not Sell Without Covers

Books Do Not Sell Without Covers 

The secret to book selling is not so secret anymore. The answer lies in the unspoken pact between an author and reader, which agrees a great cover equals excellent writing. Honestly, we know the premise is false—great stories exist inside shoddy covers and vice versa—but the expectation remains. In fact, I know readers who have […]

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Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Creating Texts for Secondary Worlds

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Creating Texts for Secondary Worlds 

The stories of H. P. Lovecraft are filled with references to all kinds of bizarre, ancient books, some fictional, some real: Abdul Alhazred’s Necronomicon, the Pnakotic Manuscripts, Trithemius’ Poligraphia, Giambattista Porta’s De Furtivis Literarum Notis, and Kluber’s Kryptographik, just to name a few. These are a mix of grimoires, obscure histories, and cryptographic works, but […]

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Sieges and Siegecraft – Part One: Attackers

Sieges and Siegecraft – Part One: Attackers 

Throughout the bloody pages of innumerable fantasy books there are countless examples of the siege in fiction. From epic wars that last for years to brutal assaults that are swift and decisive, sieges are a classic element in many stories. They can provide some of the most dramatic and memorable events of the book, opening […]

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