Literature

Thoughts on Jirel of Joiry

Mention the words ‘Strong Female Character’ and immediately a visage of a tigress fills your head. She is powerful and fearless, unbeatable in combat, sexually alluring, takes no nonsense from anyone, and can best any man in any masculine pursuit. It’s a trope solidified over decades of repetition on the silver screen and the printed […]

Space Opera is about Opera

  Tor launched #SpaceOperaWeek to promote and discusse space opera. In 24 hours, the Pulp Revolution launched a memetic revolution and claimed the hashtag for its own. Now, practically every hashtag and Internet discussion about #SpaceOperaWeek is dominated by the PulpRev folks. This stunning success exposes a hard truth: Tor has no idea what space […]

The Ethics of Piracy in the Digital Age

Ebooks, digital downloads, torrents and the Internet have fundamentally altered the nature of commercial transactions, but definitions of ‘piracy’ remains stuck in the 17th century, in the heyday of pirates at sea. Maritime piracy is clearly evil. Maritime merchant shipping transfers goods from a supplier to a buyer. The supplier expects payment and the buyer […]

Tired Tropes: The Potato Protagonist

If a potato has more personality than the protagonist of a story, the writer is doing it wrong. The best stories are driven by their characters. The best characters aren’t two-dimensional constructs of excessive verbiage, but a reflection and amplification of the myriad facets of humanity. Characters must resonate with readers, acting, talking and thinking […]

The Truth of Your Vision, The Truth of the World

Fiction writing is about truth. The truth of your vision and the truth of the world. The best stories marry these truths into a seamless, dazzling, inspiring whole. The truth of your vision is at once simple and complicated. It is the story you want to tell. It is the aesthetics of the story world, […]

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