The Quirks of Playing in Two Sandboxes: Erin Lindsey on Pseudonyms [GUEST POST]

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I remember very distinctly the first couple of times I mentioned to another author that I had just sold a second series to Ace/Roc. There were looks. Not looks of envy – oh no. It was more of a have-you-gone-completely-barkers thing. Which, it turns out, was not an unreasonable question. The thing is, I have a full-time day job. A busy one, which requires a lot of “overtime” and international...

Dystopia vs. Utopia by Gavin Smith (Guest Post)

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As Gavin has his latest SF novel, The Age of Scorpio, released in paperback, he provides us with a Guest Post that looks at the ever-present argument in SF:  Dystopia vs. Utopia? So somewhat irritatingly editors expect you to pitch for publishing deals rather than just respecting your obvious (sub)genius and giving you money to go away and write stuff. A little while ago I was doing such a pitch and...

Rules and Ornaments in Secondary World Fantasy by Robert Jackson Bennett [Guest Post]

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When I sat down to write City of Stairs – my first secondary world novel – I realized I felt I’d written secondary worlds before. My first novel, Mr. Shivers, ostensibly takes place in our own world, as the characters pursue a murderer across the Dustbowl at the height of the Great Depression. There were obviously some parameters to the story that were set in stone: I could not, say, stick...

There is No Genre, Only Story by Kameron Hurley (MIRROR EMPIRE Blog Tour)

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So Robert J. Bennett wrote a post recently about the expectations we bring to stories based on what genre they are marketed as. Far beyond the old “magic and dragons” vs. “science and spaceships” debate, Bennett posits that genre categories have become so narrow that saying something is “epic fantasy” doesn’t just imply magic and mythical creatures, but gives readers expectations that...

Climate Fiction by Claude Nougat

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Climate Fiction: A Brand New Genre Promised to a Big Future Cli-fi has achieved a record of sorts: even though it has been around only since 2008, when the term was first coined by climate activist Dan Bloom, it has already become the subject of academic research. At the University of Copenhagen, a PhD student, Gregers Andersen, has explored global warming in fiction and philosophy in a widely-publicized...

What Makes Urban Fantasy by Gail Z. Martin

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If you want to get down to bare bones, what defines “urban fantasy” is the setting. By definition, it’s….urban. Often set in a big city, sometimes in a small town, the story also takes place here and now, as opposed to a long time ago and far away. But beyond that, how binding are the tropes? What leeway do authors have to stretch the boundaries of the subgenre? And are tattoos...

Why Urban Fantasy Might Sound Like Science Fiction by Tom Doyle

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Why do some readers think that my fantasy novel sounds like science fiction? Though my debut novel from Tor, American Craftsmen, is a combination of several subgenres, its overall genre is fantasy. Yet something about the narrative style and the tropes I use reminds people of science fiction, or at least of near-future techno-thrillers. The primary reason that I consider my story to be fantasy is...

Where writers don’t get their ideas – an article by A J Dalton.

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Where writers don’t get their ideas -          an article by A J Dalton (www.ajdalton.eu), Gollancz author of Empire of the Saviours, Gateway of the Saviours, and Tithe of the Saviours. All writers get their ideas from the ideas well at the end of Smith Street. It’s sometimes a bit foggy down there, but if you look hard enough you’ll find it. That’s not true of course (just go check...

Would you like Steampunk or Dystopia with that? by Jaleigh Johnson

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Ever since THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY was released, one of my favorite things is seeing how people (readers, reviewers, bloggers, etc.) classify the book to others. Popular early descriptors were that it was slightly dystopian or dystopia geared to a younger audience. This was enlightening and fascinating to me because, I must confess, I had never thought of the book as being at all dystopian. To me,...

Finding Inspiration for a SF Novel by Jay Posey

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I remember reading science-fiction books when I was a kid (and as an adult) and being amazed at the onslaught of ideas that seemed to pour off the page.  Whether it was Douglas Adams talking about Improbability Drives and passing through all points in space at once, or William Gibson’s vision of cyberspace, or any number of short stories from authors whose names have disappeared from my memory even...
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