Advice

Mechanical Versus Mythical Magic

Corey McCleery, Alexander Hellene, Xavier Lastra, Rawle Nyanzi and Misha Barnett recently opined on the de-mythologicisation of magic in contemporary fantasy. All five pieces are worth a read, but the thesis running through the heart of the conversation is that de-mythologicisation robs the mystery from magic in contemporary fantasy, making it feel empty. Comparing the works of the pulp-era grandmasters and […]

Lessons from the Dungeon Samurai Kickstarter

Having achieved 110.5% of its funding goal, the Kickstarter campaign of Dungeon Samurai was a great success. I am grateful to all backers and everyone who have helped with the campaign, and am now preparing the manuscript for publication. Looking back on the campaign, I’ve 5 lessons to share. 1. The Campaign Begins Before It Begins The […]

Writing Faith in Fiction

It is fashionable in modern SFF to denigrate religion as oppressive and outdated superstition. Priests are corrupt hypocrites, gods are dead or evil or both, religious doctrine is a lie — and the worst offender is always Christianity in fantasy dress. Science fiction goes one step further, portraying technologically advanced societies that have outgrown religion […]

Is There A Place for Morally Ambiguous Characters?

Last week, Rawyle Nyanzi wrote about black and white morality in fiction, and JD Cowan expanded on why readers love them . Characters with clear moral codes make for compelling reading. Armed with an uncompromising view of right and wrong, they act decisively against evil wherever they find it. Yet, fettered by their same uncompromising […]

The Leper and the Knockoff Knife

“Five hundred baht,” the leper announced. Gun stores lined the street across the road from the Old Siam Plaza. Revolvers, pistols, rifles and shotguns peeked out behind reflective sun-bleached glass. Glock, Kel-Tec, Smith & Wesson, Colt, CZ, Remington, Beretta, a smorgasbord of firearms old and new tempted the discerning (and licensed) customer. But not everyone […]

Proper Rest is Absolutely Essential

It’s an old familiar feeling. A heavy leaden weight in my chest, an oily greasy ball suppressing my breath. A weak, wobbling heartbeat that trembles unevenly with every contraction. A constant, low-lying malaise that slows the brain and jams the nerves. Yellow lightning radiating through my chest, radiating a deep, dull ache. Too much stress. […]

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