Writing

The Machinations of Lesser Gods

The New Gods dominate Nova Babylonia, but in their shadows skulk a host of lesser powers. Tutelary deities, minor spirits, demons and other creatures, they squabble among themselves to sweep up what little the New Gods leave them. Following the cataclysmic events of Babylon Blues, these lesser powers have a chance to step into the […]

Ingredients of Action Horror

Action horror. A fiction contradiction if there ever was one. Action stories are about agency: the character’s ability to act on the environment, to overcome all odds, to destroy all foes in his path. Horror relies heavily on a lack of agency: the inability to directly confront the horror, and with it, the despair that […]

The Fight Scene is the Last Scene

Action scenes are the most memorable aspects of any fiction. Fast-paced and intense, they sear themselves into the audience’s memories. Battles between the hero and the lesser mooks punctuate the plot, while the final showdown between the hero and the villain serves as the climax of the story. And that is what action in storytelling […]

Chasing Tropes

People enjoy the exotic, but not too exotic. People enjoy the familiar, but not too familiar. Reconciling these twin desires is the overriding concern of the modern-day fiction writer. A story where everything is formulaic, from characters to plots to setting, is predictable and boring. A story where everything is exotic and unfamiliar is disorienting, […]

A Pulp Perspective on Urban Fantasy

What is urban fantasy? A fantasy story set in a city. A simple definition. With that, you could have a story of jinni and magi in late 19th century Istanbul, an occult detective solving supernatural crimes in 1920s New York, a half-elf mercenary working a corporate contract against a clan of dragons in the Hong […]

Pulp on Pulp is Available for Preorder!

Last year, Misha Burnett and I put together a call for submissions for an anthology of essays on pulp fiction. Titled Pulp on Pulp, it collects tips, tricks and advice on the art of writing pulp fiction from some of the up and coming names in the growing PulpRev movement. Pulp on Pulp was meant […]

Speak with the Weight of Three Thousand Years

While watching the Chinese animated film Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification, a thought struck me: The Chinese language is uniquely suited for epic fantasy. An epic is set in a time before living memory, celebrating the accomplishments of heroes, whose dealings with gods and demons and spirits profoundly shape the mortal world for succeeding generations. […]

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