Release the Wyrd West!

Hey gang! Just letting you all know that the third book in the Wyrd West, The Vigil, is alive! It’s about twice the length of the first one, so the series is a full novel’s read now.  And now that there’s three, Amazon has even given me my own series page! Remember you can Pay […]

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Quest for Fire

#30days30authors #amwritingfantasy Excellent article by Cindy Tomamichel reminding those of us who write fantasy or historical fiction that central heating and range stoves just weren’t a thing for our ancestors, and making fire wasn’t as easy as flipping a switch.

Reading is easy. We sit in a comfortable chair, perhaps by a warm heater with cat on lap/dog at feet and a hot drink. That’s often why we read, to share vicariously the bad times and good with characters while we are cosy. But what about the characters? They are the ones on a quest for some hidden relic, pursued by demons or orcs. Often just as they stop for a rest, the wolves start howling and lightening signals a storm. As Sam Gamgee said, ‘I hope we are not in one of those stories, Mr. Frodo.’ But a reader share the hard times, and it is up to the writer to make those hard times so realistic the reader shivers in sympathy as the snow piles deeper and the distance from home and safety grows ever further.

Fire making is of prime importance in a fantasy, historical or even apocalyptic setting. Assuming no one has fire magic (and here we glance meaningfully at Gandalf) or a handy laser or box of matches, it is up to the author to decide on how primitive things need to be.

Read the full article at Cindytomichel.com.

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What is Grimdark Fiction?

By C.T. Philips

Grimdark is in the eye of the beholder.

On a more simpler term, grimdark is a term which was initially bandied about by the gaming community of science-fiction and fantasy as an insult for books which were “trying too hard to be taken seriously.”

The term originally comes from the over-the-top hardcore dystopian science-fiction/fantasy setting Warhammer 40K. However, something (black) magical happened when a lot of fans who enjoyed the titles so referred started to use it as a positive descriptor of the fantasy they like. Grimdark, to the horror of grimdark hipsters everywhere, became mainstream.

Read the full article at the United Federation of Charles.

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What is Science Fantasy?

I’m delighted to announce that an except from Showdown will be featured in July’s issue of SciFan Magazine, and the entirety of my Toy Soldier story, Survivor, will be featured in the August issue!  And yes guys, you can get these in PRINT!

SciFan Magazine is a publication devoted to “science fantasy” as a genre.  So what is science fantasy?  They explain on their website in the following article.  And don’t forget to check out the footnotes, because they provide some extremely useful information!

I would say that quite a lot of what I write is probably “science fantasy,” including the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga, and even my work for Tales of the Stellar Deep.  Other science fantasy authors include but are not limited to: Jack Vance, L. Sprague de Camp, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton, Terry Brooks, S.M. Sterling, and Anne McCaffrey.

“Science fantasy is a mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy. It also sometimes incorporates elements of horror fiction.” [1]

Science Fantasy (SciFan) is a genre that is often ignored. Not too many people are familiar with the genre, but it was originally coined in the late 1930’s by John W. Campbell, Jr. in his magazine that was (ironically) entitled Unknown.

 The Science Fiction genre is often defined as the improbable made possible, whereas the Fantasy genre is commonly defined as the impossible made probable. So then, what is Science Fantasy (SciFan)?

Read the full article at SciFan Magazine.

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