Documents of Tabat: A Brief Treatise on Magical Energy and The Practice of Eating Beasts

What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for this purpose. I'll release them at the end of April in e-book form; careful readers will find clues to some aspects of Beasts of Tabat in them. -Cat

What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for this purpose. I’ll release them at the end of April in e-book form; careful readers will find clues to some aspects of Beasts of Tabat in them. -Cat


A Brief Treatise on Magical Energy and
The Practice of Eating Beasts,
Being A Primer for Elementary Students
of the College of Mages
by Sebastiano Silvercloth
(private publication of the College of Mages)

To understand the basic principle behind this practice, one need look no further than the custom of keeping Oracular Pigs, common among larger merchant households. Since such Beasts are capable of seeing only matters in its own physical future, they must be kept in places where their warnings of fire, attack, or other household disasters will involve the household, such as outside but near the kitchen, or beside outlying buildings of importance.

When the time comes that the Pigs foretells its own death (or shows signs of concealing such a prophecy), it is slaughtered and prepared for a feast in which the entire household takes part. The pig is consumed in the belief that its oracular powers may be acquired; some gamblers swear by a diet of such flesh.

Absorption of magic energy through ingestion of the flesh that held it is at the heart of many magical rituals. In truth, the roast pork and other meats are of little use to the consumers in the manner they desire. Luck is not a transferable quality. But it does advantage them in other ways: such consumption is known to increase life span dramatically, to prevent some illnesses, and cure others. The longevity of many of those able to afford the practice is augmented, while those with flatter purses lead richer lives.

Some Beasts and animals are much richer in magical energy than others, depending on their race’s characteristics. Almost every by-product and physical bit of a Dragon, for example, is highly valuable in that regard. The wings, which are typically removed from captive Dragons, are dried, while the meat is powdered and used as an ingredient in the alchemical cooking for which the Chefs of Tabat are famed. The leather is employed in the construction of aerial apparati and some armors, though the cost of such is prohibitive enough to keep them from the ordinary soldier’s wardrobe.

Dryads are similarly prized, for once they have taken on their ultimate form of a rooted tree, the wood of their bodies becomes steeped in magic over the course of season after season, and yields great quantities of energy when treated and burned in special furnaces. Such fuel supplies much of the energy that drives the city and gives its citizen the rich life we enjoy, and the trade boats are always on the look-out for Dryad groves, in order to collect the substantial bounty the city pays for their trunks.

For the most part, though, the effect created by partaking of a Beast or magical animal’s body is slight. Both Fairy blood and honey are faintly hallucinogenic in nature, but one would have to ingest vast quantities, such as the blood of two or three dozen Fairies (depending on the ingestor’s body weight and susceptibility to the drug) to experience anything appreciable. Still, the creation of dishes incorporating such substances have become an art for which Tabat is famed throughout the world. This reminds us that such knowledge may well be turned to practical purpose without suffering scorn. While pure Magicians pursue abstract knowledge, others help keep the College and city functioning through their willingness to put aside such lofty pursuits.

#sfwapro

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Documents of Tabat: Ducal Correspondance

What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for this purpose. I'll release them at the end of April in e-book form; careful readers will find clues to some aspects of Beasts of Tabat in them. -Cat

What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for this purpose. I hope you enjoy this most recent installment. -Cat

Addressed to Alberic, 23rd Duke of Tabat, Commander of its Navies and Armies, and Peace-Keeper in the fourth month of winter of Year 299 of Tabat’s Rule

We trust that this letter finds His Grace well. Because we are so keenly aware of the interest the Duke finds in our works, we have set aside a costly resource in the form of a skilled scribe, in order to furnish the daily reports His Grace requires, although the number of them may be better reduced to fit within our budget.

“Translation: give us more money and fewer demands,” Alberic, 10th Duke of Tabat snorted.

Our foremost researcher, Master Mage Faustino, has prepared quarters for the Manticore we spoke of. In this endeavor, he is assisted by the College’s own Sphinx, who has taken the Manticore under her figurative wing, and who evidences great interest in each and every proceeding having to do with her newly found friend.

“Gibbledy gibbledy gibbledy. They can never get straight to the point.”

Theories regarding the wellspring of the Manticore’s unwonted aptitude differ. Some credit the raising by the Beast Trainer (who is unfortunately no longer available, having perished in a recent training accident, and say that he perhaps bathed the egg in the light of certain salubrious stars, or introduced fluids designed to increase its intelligence while it was still an embryo, via the mechanism of a slender needle inserted through into the shell, such as Master Mage Faustino has recently attempted, perhaps with better results sealing the gap than he has experienced.

Still others credit the breeding, saying this is no true Manticore, but rather one adulterated with the blood of a more intelligent creature or a sport, such as Nature gifts us with from time to time. They propose various ways to investigate his parentage, whether through costly time mirrors or expensive rituals allowing the ghosts of his forebears to be questioned. Of course, we are extremely lucky here at the College of Mages of being the only establishment capable.

“Would it were not so! If they had rivals, I’d patronize them at ten times the cost just to be rid of these sniveling, timorous, mealy-mouthed and never certain, doddering old fools!”

Mage Rehallow (“That conservative old fart!”) continues to worry that its combination of mental faculties, magical potential, and brute force represent the vanguard of a new race of intelligent magical creatures that will undertake the overthrow of Humanity. (“The man’s been rowing that leaky rowboat of an idea since before I was born! At one point, he thought earth elementals were undermining the city and funding a revolution with plundered gems!”)

As always, (“There they go again!”) we have checked the signs and portents, using what we have learned of reading the future (“Reading my peach-colored rear!”) in order to reassure his Grace of the future happiness of his realm. (“Oh, this should be good.”) However, portents are cloudy and ominous at this time — events are in such turmoil that nothing can be predicted with accuracy. (“For once they’re right.”)

We urge his Grace to pay attention to ensuring that he and his surroundings are magically cleansed each hour (“More incense and muttering.”), that he adheres to the purifying diet prescribed by Magus Rehallow, (“Old fool!)” in order to avoid repetition of last week’s distressing events, and that each night where he lies down to take his repose, he focuses on the patterns, or mandalas, we have furnished or else take three drop of our prescribed elixir in a small glass of tepid — not hot! — milk.

On a final, lighter note, your Grace may recall the Fairy Champion Quickblade, who defended the Duke’s Honor in the last Spring Wars. He requests a boon of you, that you endow the College with a fund to ensure the hive is always supplied with sugar.

Master Mage Faustino, Diligent Scholar of the Fence of Illumination

“Feces of Illumination, them and their mysterious names! What’s the next letter then? Indeed? That one next, then.”

***

To Master Mage Faustino, Diligent Scholar of the Fence of Illumination

His Grace bids me tell you that under no accounts must any experiments be undertaken that in any way jeopardize the Manticore –- if this slows down the investigatory efforts, then so be it.

As to the matter of the bill for the feed for the creature, it is His Grace’s understanding that the Circus known as the Moon’s Accomplice should be paying for that creature – it is an expense that they were already due to incur, and they are being paid well for the loss of their creature’s time, as well as being housed in prime territory within the Inner Walls of Tabat and allow to take in monies from the crowds there. Accordingly the Duke wishes to decline responsibility for this bill, but remains ready to pay the bills for the circus already agreed upon.

It is his understanding that the profits from the ship Saffron Bloom are to be split and that the ship is due to harbor soon. Is there any word of its arrival?

As to the Fairy, have it drowned in honey and sent to the Ducal Table for enjoyment. His Grace has had enough of insolent Beasts.

Scribe Hasten, for Alberic, 10th Duke of Tabat, Commander of its Navies and Armies, and Peace Keeper for the General Good

#sfwapro

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Free on the Kindle 3/30/2015-4/3/2015

Cover of Narrative of a Beast's Life

.If you enjoy this story, try the larger work, Beasts of Tabat, the first in a fantasy quartet.

From March 30 through April 3, 2015, my novelette, “Narrative of a Beast’s Life,” is free on the Kindle. It deals with the existence of a kidnapped and enslaved centaur and originally appeared in the print magazine Realms of Fantasy and in my collection, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight, which is also free this week. If you download and enjoy either of them, I hope you’ll consider picking up my new novel, Beasts of Tabat, into which this story fits.

If you’re interested in finding other Tabat stories, the ones currently available are Events at Fort Plentitude, Sugar, Love Ressurrected, How Dogs Came to the New Continent, and I’ll Gnaw Your Bones, the Manticore Said.

Coming up this month on Beneath Ceaseless Skies is a brand new novelette, “Primaflora’s Journey,” which also fits into the overall story.

Check back on Monday, April 6 and April 13, for more free fiction!

#sfwapro

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Where I’ll Be: Cat’s Norwescon 38 Schedule (2015)

Caren Gussoff and Cat Rambo at Emerald City ComicCon., Seattle, 2014.

Caren Gussoff and I, working the Clarion West booth at Emerald City ComicCon.

Here’s where I’ll be this year at Norwescon. For most of the panels, the title seems self-explanatory. I suspect that “Worth the Dues?” will be about SFWA.

Diversity in Spec Fic Publishing
Fri 2:00pm-3:00pm – Cascade 3&4
Dennis R. Upkins (M), Cat Rambo, Luna Lindsey, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Mir Plemmons

Short Stories: At the Cutting Edge of SF
Fri 3:00pm-4:00pm – Cascade 5
Cat Rambo (M), Alex C. Renwick, Jeremy Zimmerman

Broad Universe Rapidfire Reading
Fri 4:00pm-6:00pm
Lots of fabulous writers! Stop by and get chocolate

Saturday 9 am – SFWA Meeting
If you’re a member, please check the SFWA discussion boards for the details.

Any part of the day after the meeting when I’m not in a panel, I will probably be in the Author’s Alley sharing Caren Gussoff’s table. I’ll have some special promotional material to hand out, so make sure you stop by and say hello!

Autograph Session 1
Sat 2:00pm-3:00pm – Grand 2

First Page Idol
Sat 3:00pm-4:00pm – Cascade 9
Phoebe Kitanidis (M), Susan DeFreitas, Kate Jonez, Cat Rambo, Tod McCoy, Patrick Swenson

Reading: Cat Rambo
Sat 6:30pm-7:00pm – Cascade 1
Cat Rambo

Worth the Dues?
Sun 11:00am-12:00pm – Cascade 7&8
Cat Rambo (M), Annie Bellet, Pat MacEwen, Peter Dennis Pautz, Jennifer Brozek

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What SFWA Offers Me

Cat Rambo and Connie Willis

Here I am with one of my personal heroes, Connie Willis. In Chez Rambo, we have a frequent saying: What would Connie do? And I note that she’s a SFWA member.

One of the questions that’s come up repeatedly as a result of the recent vote to admit indie and small press published members: why join at all?

I joined as soon as I was qualified because Ann Crispin told me to, and she was a smart lady. And here’s a list of the things SFWA has provided me. I am a professional writer. I make a modest amount off writing and teaching, and have a spouse who takes care of a lot of the bills plus the health care. My hope is to continue to grow my writing income. With that in mind, here’s what I get for my dues.

What SFWA offers me:

  • The Grievance Committee. I’ve benefited from mentioning its name in the past when trying to shake payment from a magazine publisher, for example.
  • The Emergency Medical Fund, which I personally haven’t had occasion to use, but am happy to know exists.
    Similarly, the Legal Fund.
  • The SFWA suite at conventions, both for food and drink as well as for the chance to hang with other members and enjoy their conversation. I was delighted to have a chance to sit for an hour and talk with Jacqueline Lichtenburg and Jean Lorrah at Worldcon, for example.
  • Knowledge resources on the website, such as the document on formatting manuscripts or Myrtle the Manuscript.
  • Knowledge resources in the Bulletin, such as recent pieces on what conventions might be useful to me, how teaching and writing intersect, and how to write (and publish) serial fiction.
  • A chance to participate in book festivals and other events, such as the Baltimore Book Festival or the ALA.
  • The PNW SFWA Reading series, at which I’ve been both reader and frequent attendant.
  • Opportunities to publicize books through the SFWA web site, Youtube stream, and Twitter stream.
  • A sense of tradition, of belonging to an institution founded by and which has included (and continues to include) so many of my early influences and heroes in its ranks.
  • The Nebulas and the East Coast Mill and Swill.
  • Free fiction! Both the Nebula Voter packet and what gets uploaded to the boards.
  • New friends who are writers, and plenty of them. I’ve deepened earlier friendships with others and even seen some of my students enter SFWA, which delights me.
  • A opportunity for meaningful, interesting, and informative volunteer work. I’ve served on the Nebula Short Fiction and Norton juries, worked with the Copyright Committee, written for the Bulletin and the SFWA blog, sat at the SFWA table at conventions, helped moderate the discussion boards, and now serve on the SFWA Board. All of that has been rewarding and engaging.

Speaking of that last item, that’s another big plus for me of SFWA: a community that I see evolving on the discussion boards on a daily basis. I see members doing all of the following:

  • Celebrating each other’s victories and small joys
  • Promoting each other and organizational efforts
  • Teaming up on promotional efforts
  • Sharing knowledge, encouragement, and advice
  • Grieving when a member dies and supporting other members through illness or loss
  • Being silly together at some moments and serious at others
  • Discussing the issues affecting writers, the industry, and SFWA overall

So there’s my two cents worth. To my mind and as someone who’s been writing professionally (fiction and freelance) for a decade, SFWA offers me quite a bit. People are welcome to quote this post elsewhere as long as they include attribution.

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Guest Post from Everett Maroon: Becoming a Writer

coffeeEveryone always wants to know the writer’s writing origins, when for many of us we can’t recall the first time we scratched out a story. Was it a moment of inspiration, they want to know, a story we’d run across that needed our personal improvement? Or maybe we had somehow leaped over childhood development itself and landed in the middle of our search for identity only to discover that damn it, we were writers.

I don’t remember when I thought of myself as a writer, even if I know I bundled up in the front room of my parents house because it was cold enough to see my breath, and I banged away on a towering Royal typewriter, feeling every carriage return as small progress. But my writing genesis is far less interesting to me than its trajectory. I had no idea, making up tales about natural disasters and families and sea monsters, that I’d come to have certain inalienable opinions about my work thirty-plus years later. I write with purpose beyond that of simply selling my work—which don’t get me wrong, is a great goal, fellow authors—I write because there were books I needed in my youth and early adulthood that didn’t exist. I write to fill in at least a few of the gaps. I write for myself, of course, and sometimes I’m writing for one other person who will read the thing and send me a Facebook message saying they’d never seen themselves in a story before mine. I am so lucky to get the opportunity to write for even a few others who will find it resonant.

A professor friend of mine who is rather brilliant in many regards was almost boastful with me last week by declaring that she simply doesn’t read novels. The novel is a product of The Enlightenment, she said, all about a kind of egotism between a luxuriating individual (presumably because they have the time to read) and a narrative that centers their being through the protagonist or movement of the plot. It’s the very act of finding oneself in the text that she found so distasteful. But I ask, when do Americans not seek themselves in their lives? We are told to “find” careers that we love, we buy our sofas with our own comfort in mind, we make friends based on common interests and with the expectation that they will understand us. While it is useful to inquire into our relationship to literature, why only do this to literature and not everything in culture? And why is the best move to act like literature isn’t there?

I would rather engage the process of reading and writing, of authorship and ideology. My ponderous process of writing has led me through many questions about narrative itself and the late-capitalist products that support narrative, like novels, blogs, Internet free-for-alls of visual productions like House of Cards. I return again and again to the production gaps—whose stories aren’t being told, which communities aren’t heralded in the publishing industry, in Hollywood, in New York City—and I revisit the questions of our newest generation of readers. Yes, stories should destabilize the oversimplified identification with the protagonist. Good writing should push those boundaries, as well as resisting the expectations we have for form, genre, literary merit, and popularity. Great writing should speak to readers who have never before felt spoken to, who have before that latest moment always had to wrap themselves around the writing in order to engage the text.

I thought nothing about any of this when I first sat down in my childhood, even if the kinetic energy of these questions was always at my fingertips. Who I was in my earliest stages of writing was not very interesting. What I try to achieve with my writing today however, fascinates me. I take that as a good sign I am headed in the right direction.

BIO: Everett Maroon is a memoirist, humorist, pop culture commentator, and fiction writer. He has a B.A. in English from Syracuse University and is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association and was a finalist in their 2010 literary contest for memoir. Everett is the author of a memoir, Bumbling into Body Hair, and a young adult novel, The Unintentional Time Traveler, both published by Booktrope Editions. Everett blogs at transplantportation.com.

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Where I’ll Be: Cat’s Emerald City Comicon Schedule 2015

photo of a man in hello kitty armor

Taken at last year’s con, but I don’t know the gentleman’s name, unfortunately.

Hello! Most of the con, I’ll be hanging out at the Wordfire Press booth. Stop by and you can get one of the very first copies of Beasts of Tabat! I am hoping to have some cool stickers to hand out at the same time; we’ll see if the company comes through and delivers in time with my last minute idea. You’ll also see fabulous authors like Kevin J. Anderson, Steven Erikson, Rebecca Moesta, Peter Orullian, Peter Wacks, and Dan Wells.

Fueling Creativity: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors on Ideas
Room: Hall B (WSCC 602-603)
Date: Friday, March 27th
Time: 3:30PM – 4:20PM
Moderator: David Hulton

Guests: Cat Rambo, Greg Bear, Ramez Naam, Jason M. Hough, Myke Cole, Django Wexler
Authors often dread the interview question “where did you get the idea for this book?” because the answer is never simple. There’s rarely a single moment where an entire plot or world comes to mind. This panel is an exploration of why that’s such a difficult question to answer. Our panel of novelists will discuss the many ways they find inspiration for their work. In addition, they’ll talk about the wonderful and often strange ways an idea will find its way into a novel.

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
Room: Hall B (WSCC 602-603)
Date: Sunday, March 29th
Time: 10:30AM – 11:20AM
Moderator: Anna Alexander

Guest(s): Cat Rambo, Jamie Ford, Ramon J. Terrell, Garth Reasby, Sarah Remy
Diversity in entertainment is both vital and challenging. This panel of novelists will cover how to effectively write compelling characters who are different than you and how to deal with critics of who you are versus your work. Panelists include Anna Alexander, Jamie Ford, Cat Rambo, Aaron Duran, J.R. Terrel, Garth Reasby, and Sarah Remy.

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Guest Post from Richard Dansky: The Interesting Thing About Writing For Video Games…

Dansky dinosaurThe second-most interesting thing about writing for video games is that odds are, the bulk of the writing that you’ll be doing will have very little to do with the “main” plot and its showier expressions. Yes, there is dialog to write and there are cut scenes to script and they are shiny and sexy and cool, but the thing is, a player’s only going to run across those lines and those scenes once as they advance through a game’s storyline. On the other hand, if they’re playing, say, a first person shooter, they’re going to encounter the so-called systemic dialog about shooting (and getting shot, and needing to reload, and needing to get the hell out of the way of an incoming grenade) rather more frequently than that. And, that in turn, means that you’re going to be spending a lot of time working on those lines, and generating a lot of them. You’re also going to be writing things like story documents, and character writeups, and team documents, and a dozen other things that aren’t the sexy bits with explosions that everyone thinks of when they think of game writing.

And that’s perfectly cool. Because those aspects of the gig require just as much craft and care as the more obvious ones, which means developing a whole new set of tools to make sure you get them right. Don’t believe me? Then go play a game where the systemic stuff didn’t get that tender loving care – where they didn’t produce enough variants so you hear the same lines coming from dozens of different enemies who probably shouldn’t be comparing notes with one another – and see if that starts getting annoying after a while. Better yet, find a game with one jarringly out of place systemic line and see if that doesn’t turn into the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard long before you’ve picked up all of the game’s achievements. (Trust me. I was kind of responsible for one of those.)

So, yes. There’s an awful lot of game writing that most people don’t really think about that’s necessary and intricate and hard work, and if you’re good at that you’re worth your weight in gold.

But that’s the second-most interesting thing. The first is that you’re not actually writing the story. Your protagonist is not the hero. And your version of how things are going to happen is going to crumble in the face of an irresistible force: the player.

Because in games, the player is the hero. It’s the player who makes every decision so that their particular journey through the game is unique to them. Even the little stuff – deciding when to reload or change garments or duck instead of sprinting – personalizes their experience in a way that defies the cast-in-stone progression of other narrative forms. Which means that as a game writer, you’re writing the stuff that the player turns into the story through their interaction with it. The wittiest dialog, the coolest cut scene, the most interesting plot twist – they all sit there, inert, until activated by the player’s interaction with them. Then and only then do they become part of that player’s story, a story that inevitably starts with the word “I” (and not “Lara Croft or “Sam Fisher” or “Pac-Man”) when it is told to friends later.

That’s a hard thing to grasp sometimes. The urge is to want to tell our stories, to tweak the timing and hone the experience so that everything’s sparkling and perfect and immutable. But that doesn’t work in a space where players are the reason the whole shebang exists, and while you may want your narrative elements to draw them forward, forcing them to do the same is liable to get some pushback.

And make no mistake, game players do love their story. Look at the uproar over the ending of Mass Effect 3 – that was about player investment in game characters and story,. Look at the love for games as wildly diverse as Gone Home and The Last of Us and Kentucky Route Zero and the utterly insane but brilliant DLC Gearbox put out for Borderlands 2. The writing in all of these games is something players want to experience; they just want to experience it in a way that makes it theirs, something they did instead of something they read or heard or watched.

And this is so much of what makes writing for games fun. It’s seeing that moment when the player inhabits your words, picks them up and makes them their own, that makes the crunches and the meetings and the endless, endless iterations of “Arrgh, he shot me” more than worthwhile.

Which reminds me, there’s a third really interesting thing about writing for video games. But that’s another story entirely.

Bio: Writer, game designer and cad, Richard Dansky was named one of the Top 20 videogame writers in the world in 2009 by Gamasutra. His work includes bestselling games such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction, Far Cry, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3, Outland, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. He has published six novels and the short fiction collection Snowbird Gothic, and is currently hard at work as the developer for the 20th Anniversary Edition of classic tabletop RPG Wraith: The Oblivion. Richard lives in North Carolina with his wife, statistician and blogger Melinda Thielbar, and their amorphously large collections of books and single malt whiskys.

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Documents of Tabat: An Instructive and Useful Listing of the Chal Shops of Tabat

What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for this purpose. I'll release them at the end of April in e-book form; careful readers will find clues to some aspects of Beasts of Tabat in them. -Cat

What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for this purpose. I’ll release them at the end of April in e-book form; careful readers will find clues to some aspects of Beasts of Tabat in them. -Cat


An Instructive and Informative Listing of the Chal Shops of Tabat, being Pamphlet #4 of the second series of “A Visitor’s Guide to Tabat”, Spinner Press, author unknown.

While in Tabat, the visitor will want to try the drink it’s famous for: chal, salty fish and seaweed mixed with strong black tea in what is admittedly an acquired taste. The abundance of such establishments supplies the city dwellers with places to exchange thoughts and news. Many chal houses pride themselves on the antiquity of their brews, which may be years, decades, or in at least one case, centuries old.

Located at the edge of Salt and the Serpentine, the Dancing Cup hosts students from the nearby College of Mages. Go here to catch a glimpse of them showing off new spells and minor magics, particularly in the open air of the back courtyard. Their house chal is over a hundred years old, but they offer many variants, including cider and other fruit drinks. Open all hours.

Two chal shops near Tabat’s Arena are renowned: the Blade’s Savor and Berto’s. The fierce rivalry between the two often leads to free chal for customers willing to switch allegiance. Both shops frequently sponsor gladiators, many of which can be found drinking in one or the other. Bella Kanto and the majority of the Brides of Steel school can be found in Berto’s. These are the only shops you’ll find open during Tabat’s Games. Open all hours.

The Salty Purse, situated a block from the docks on Trade Way, claims a chal of over 200 years provenance, and serves only that, along with ship’s hardbread, doing a hearty business in the former, if not the latter. Open all hours.

In Tabat’s small theater district, actors and wealthy theatergoers favor the Fuchsia and Heron. The most expensive shop in the city, it subsidizes actors’ tabs and even pays a few to patronize it, ensuring a steady flow of Tabat’s most glittering figures. Open from the last afternoon bell till the last night bell only.

#sfwapro

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Guest Post from J.T. Gill: Cultivating Imagination – 4 Reasons Why Fantasy Makes You Smarter

Find out more about J.T. Gill at http://worldsofhisown.com/

Find out more about J.T. Gill at http://worldsofhisown.com/

Reading makes you smarter. Let’s go ahead and assert that as fact. Research actually indicates that there is a direct correlation between reading and intelligence. For that reason alone, you should be reading fantasy.

Beyond that however, what’s so special about reading fantasy, specifically? And how does it make you smarter?

By experiencing different worlds and living life through the eyes of another, it makes us more imaginative and aware. It brings inspiration and shapes our realities. Think of the intelligence you would gain if you could literally live other people’s lives – the experiences of hundreds of others, accessible for you to see and learn from. Reading fantasy actually affords you that ability. And the mythical and magical elements involved make it that much more fun along the way.

So, here they are. 4 reasons why reading fantasy makes you smarter:

Reading fantasy…

1. Cultivates imagination

Perhaps the biggest thing to be had from reading fantasy is the cultivating of the imagination. The power of the imagination cannot be understated. It opens the door to creativity and passion, as well as innovation and invention. These outcomes result in a world far more interesting than simple black and whites, yes and no’s. They are the keys to unlocking an infinity of as-of-yet undiscovered combinations and results. There is plenty of scientific evidence on why imagination makes you smarter, but try it for yourself! Who knows what you might come up with?

2. Makes you more aware

Those who cannot imagine consequences are doomed to discover them. Reading fantasy allows you to gain an extra perspective on life, which leads to increases in awareness, and greater awareness only leads to intelligence. When you read fantasy, you observe natural cause and effect relationships, even within stories of a fantastic nature. Seeing this cause and effect relationships allows you to become more adept at living with such consequences in mind, and overall, make you a smarter person.

3. Leads to inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but it often comes a lot quicker when you immerse yourself in that area of interest you find yourself pursuing. If you want to be a writer, you need to read a lot and write a lot. If you’re a musician, you need to practice. It is only first through the rigidity of discipline that the fluidity of genius finds its roots. Fix that discipline of reading fantasy to find your genius in inspiration. In his book, On Writing, Stephen King writes, “Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon. Or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.” The fluidity of genius finds its roots.

4. Shapes your reality

Let’s face it: At times, reality can be dull. This is especially true when you have a set routine throughout your week. Fantasy allows you to jump out of that routine and into a completely different world. Who wouldn’t take advantage of this varied range of experiences to be had?

A word of warning here: You don’t want to live completely in a fantasy world either though. Like everything, there’s a balance. Make sure that you stay grounded. Fantasy is fun, interesting, exciting, and many more things, but it’s still fantasy. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll be all right.

So there it is. Reading fantasy not only makes you smarter, but it makes you a better person overall. So get out there, find a book, and take advantage!

Find J.T. Gill at his website or on Twitter as @jt3_gill.

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