Sam Sykes: Fear, Love, And Fantasy Fiction

This is a guest post by Sam Sykes.  I don’t know how he got in here. Please call 911. * * * What was the first fantasy book you got hooked on? Go ahead. Think back on it. I’ll wait. I see your fingers hovering over the keyboard, trembling like they did the first time you ever touched a high school crush. They’re probably all sweaty, too. Gross, but understandable, because I bet each and every one of you had a thought that you might be embarrassed by what you’re... Read The Rest →

Digging Ditches Or Casting Spells: On Magic In Writing

Here is a modified version of the keynote speech I gave to the very wonderful Surrey International Writer’s Conference this past weekend, should you care to check it out. It’s been slightly rejiggered and reformatted to fit a proper blog post rather than a banquet speech. * * * There’s a war going on. No, no — it’s not the war between self-publishers and the traditionally-published. Not a war between lit fic and genre nerds, not a clash betwixt authors and reviewers and the authors who, ahem, stalk the reviewers.... Read The Rest →

Scariest Video Game: Go!

We asked about books, and then movies. Now it’s time to talk video games. Scary, distuuuuuurbing video games. (insert something something gamergate) (respond with something something fuck gamergate) You’ve played video games. Which ones startled you? Freaked you got? Climbed up on your back like a demon monkey and chattered its infernally primitive heresies into your ear as you played? Drop into the comments, let ‘em fly.

Flash Fiction Challenge: Diseased Horror

Last week: horror as spam. This week: The country’s in EBOLA PANIC, going so far as to elect an Ebola Czar. (Did you know that vending machines kill 13 people a year? I look forward to our new Vending Machine Czar to address this grave concern.) Disease of course freaks people out. And next Friday? Halloween. The time of horror! Which means it’s time for you to freak people out with disease. Write 1000 words of flash fiction. It should be horror. It should feature disease as an axis of that horror.... Read The Rest →

To Canada, I Go

Updates will be a little thin on the ground here until next week or so — because I’m leaving on a jetplane to go to the OTHER end of Canada (I was in Toronto around May). I’ll be in Vancouver for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, with the likes of Mary Robinette Kowal, Diana Gabaldon, Pam van Hylckama, Sarah Wendell, Donald Maass, and Cory Doctorow. I’ll be giving a keynote, and also giving workshops on THEME and CHARACTER. Because theme and character are awesome, that’s why. Oh, and a panel... Read The Rest →

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