Scientists Have Accidentally Discovered a New Material

By Josh Gabbatiss An international team of physicists has “stumbled upon” an entirely new material, which they have called “Weyl-Kondo semimetal”. The “semimetal” belongs to a category of substances known as “quantum materials”. Quantum materials have various quirky properties, some of which could contribute to future technological innovations like quantum computing – regarded by many […]

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2 Simple, Awesome Pieces of Characterization Advice

By Kelly Robson

I’ll always be grateful to Steven Barnes. At Orycon 2012, he passed on advice that made a huge difference to my writing. Steven said, when we get a story idea, we usually know either the character or the problem. To develop the story, we can ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. If we know the character, ask, “What is the worst thing that can happen to this character—and better yet, how can they do it to themselves?”

  2. If we know the problem, ask, “Who is the worst person to give this problem to?”

And from Kelly Robson herself:

A character should either know who they are or what they’re doing.

Read the full article at Clarkesworld.

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Why Do Elves Have Pointed Ears?

By Morgan Daimler It’s generally assumed in Western culture today that elves, and more widely many types of fairies, have pointed ears and the image has become so ingrained in popular culture as to be a trope. Yet why do we picture elves and fairies with pointed ears, when most descriptions from European folklore^ emphasize […]

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