Author Archives: Cat

About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.

The New Rude Masters of Fantasy & Science Fiction – and Romance

We’re closing the doors on 2019 and with that, I’ve finally finished up this essay, which I’ve been working on for over a year and which keeps having to be updated as new scuffles are played out. I have many thoughts on the modern publishing scene, many of them related to class/race/gender/disability issues, but I will focus on a particular question because right now we’re seeing a lot of this getting played out in the Romance Writers Association debacle, where author Courtney Milan was officially censured, suspended from membership for a year, and banned for life from RWA leadership after two other members complained that she had repeatedly/intentionally engaged in conduct injurious to the RWA through comments on social media. As part of the resulting furor, which seems to me just a flaming trainwreck and shining example of how an organization shouldn’t handle something like this that has included moments like Chuck Tingle disavowing knowing RWA President Damon Suede, authors of color (and queer authors) are once again being called rude for speaking out. So let’s begin.
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End of 2019 $5 Sale

Happy holidays, no matter what form you celebrate them in! Here at Chez Rambo, we mix a lot of traditions, all focused on friendship, food, and lots of lights, the last symbolizing our determination to keep shining brightly in 2020.

To celebrate, here’s the special end of the holidays sale, starting NOW and going through midnight of January 1, 2020. After that the coupon code will no longer be valid, alas. Stock up now!

Every on-demand class in the Rambo Academy is on sale for $5. Here’s the list of classes! The coupon code to use is HOLIDAYDAZE. If there’s any trouble, drop me an e-mail. That coupon is good on every on-demand class, so even if you stocked up on them last year, you’ll find some new to 2019.
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Some Favorite F&SF Reads of 2019

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes many of my favorites. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. The success of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy has led to quite a few other “college for mages” books. This was … Continue reading

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Free Fiction: Stories Newly Enrolled in Kindle Unlimited

If you’re into short stories and have Kindle Unlimited, I made all of these free: Women of Zalanthas are all stories based in the game I used to write for, Armageddon MUD. The game’s still going strong, and you can … Continue reading

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Announcing Rambo Academy Bundles

The most recent newsletter just went out but I wanted to underscore an addition that may help you finish off some holiday shopping. This offer is good through January 1, 2020. Want to get some gift shopping done in the … Continue reading

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How to Dunk Your Reader in the Details (Figuratively)

I’m finishing up converting the workshop I did at Surrey International Writers Conference a month or so ago, Dunking Your Readers in the Details, as an on-demand class. That class was in turn based on an hourlong online writing class I did for Greg Wilson’s Twitch channel a few months ago.

The class has been fun to put together. Over the course of being taught multiple times, it’s evolved to a point where it presents a dozen tools for writing more immersive worlds, and includes several exercises to allow you to test out the different techniques and see what works for you.

Curious about it? Here’s the section on prioritizing the senses.
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Cat Rambo Award Eligibility for 2019

It’s that time of year again when I urge my students and mentees not to be shy about spreading word of the great stuff they’ve done over the course of the year. I’ve blogged before about how important it is … Continue reading

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Round-up of Awards Posts by F&SF Writers, Editors, and Publishers for 2019

Once again I have created this post for consolidating fantasy and science fiction award eligibility round-ups. Here are the rules. I prefer to link to, in order of preference: Your blog post listing what you published that is eligible Your … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Alanna McFall Reveals How Fanfiction Helped Me Write My Novel

I still remember the moment I learned what fanfiction was.

I was in seventh grade and deep deep deep in an obsession with the Harry Potter novels. I was speaking to a ninth grade girl in the same school play as me and she mentioned that she loved Harry Potter as well, and all the extra stories she had found.

Extra stories? Had JK Rowling written something about Harry Potter that I hadn’t gotten my hands on yet? Where could I find these stories? This girl corrected me: no, these were written by other people, but they were about all sorts of things not in the books. People were writing these stories and all I had to do was look for them and I would have no end of Harry Potter, long before the next book came out. This revelation rocked my world. Who else knew about this concept? What was out there for me?
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Why You Can’t Teach Writing

How do you learn to write? You learn by observing and doing, by reading good fiction and making attempts at your own. The truth is that writing is primarily self-taught, that the axiom that you must write a million words is on the mark, and that the first truth is this: To learn to write, you must be writing.

With my students who are writing and thinking about writing, I would have to actively give them bad advice like Play videogames rather than write. Don’t read anything. Only write when you’re in the mood. for them not to get better.
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