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Author Archives: Casey Blair
Last week, Argentina’s largest literary prize, sponsored by the government through the National Arts Fund, announced that it would only accept science fiction, fantasy and horror entries this year. All hell broke loose immediately. In some cases, there were people … Continue reading
Guest Post: Michael R. Underwood on Five Tips for Cultural Worldbuilding Without Building a World Bible
Worldbuilding can be an intimidating part of writing science fiction/fantasy, whether it’s an epic fantasy or a distant far-future space opera. There are many ways focusing on worldbuilding first can go awry, chief among them the possibility that worldbuilding becomes … Continue reading
In my prohibition-era, urban fantasy novelette, Water of Life, investigator Sean Joye searches the Southern Illinois hill country for Caleb, a missing moonshiner. His trek, beyond a flooded river and through a forest bristling with ice and fae ill intent, leads him … Continue reading
It all started innocently enough about five or so years ago. A fellow author sent me a link to an article about the Book View Café, and we figured: why don’t we do something like this? By this stage many of … Continue reading
A pop quiz for speculative fiction writers. Think about your current work-in-progress. Maybe it’s a short story, a novel, or a play. Now, thinking about your protagonist or main character, answer the following questions: What are your character’s greatest fears … Continue reading
Rian Johnson’s superb Knives Out has stabbed its way into our hearts and minds. It’s not often that a screenplay so expertly crafted makes this kind of a splash. So, let’s use Knives Out to learn about MICE—a handy approach to story focus and structure, incredibly useful for writers and re-writers. And as we go, we’ll use MICE to examine some aspects of Knives Out’s intriguing construction.
“But ser,” broke in one of the deckpaws. “The greatest jewel in the world is said to be guarded by the fearsome kraken, as tall as the queen’s castle with tentacles longer than ten vessels nose to tail!” “Which is … Continue reading
Guest Post: Mystery Cults and the Secret World of the Occult in Urban Fantasy by Laurence Raphael Brothers
The premise of magic-done-only-in-secret is not exactly an original conceit, and indeed it has become so familiar over not just years but generations of fantasy literature that it is hardly something to be questioned when it appears. It’s a convenient explanation for how magic can possibly exist in our familiar and ostensibly non-magical world.
Still, the idea of a very widely-kept secret to which thousands of people are privy may seem rather implausible. Surely someone would let the information slip? But as it happens, there are quite a few historical examples of widely-held secrets that were kept so well we aren’t sure what the truth of them was anymore.
So, love’s great, right? All types. It’s a fascinating quirk of brain chemistry that leaves us caring about each other so much we’ll sacrifice resources and fight against oppression for someone else’s wellbeing. Spending time with people you love is, … Continue reading