Magical Words Link Roundup 1-23-2017

A J Hartley says, “I want to … focus on a troubling element I’ve seen in a lot of recent storytelling: the disastrous pursuit of surprise.”

T.S. Eliot once said, “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal.” So, let’s steal some ideas.

Not coming to a theater near you, ever, however: the following books. That’s in spite of the fact that they’re popular and beloved. Are they just cursed?

Azoth Khem Publishing has several anthology opportunities coming up.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Christianity have been used in countless stories across mediums for good reason; they’re just really fun to play around with.

Jason Sanford says, “All I really need to know I learned from science fiction and fantasy stories.”

BookBub Blog offers 16 things romance readers are tired of hearing.

Exhausted with waiting for the next George R R Martin or Scott Lynch fantasy blockbuster? Maybe these books will ease the wait.

If you’ve already backed the Lawless Lands Kickstarter (and if you haven’t, could you please? We really want this thing to fund!) here are some western titles to tide you over until the book comes out.


Party Talk!

Happy Friday, people! Pour yourself a beverage and join the party – at the moment, we’re all discussing the question “If the director asked your opinion on casting the movie of your book(s), who would you choose to play which parts?”

Tamsin Silver
Since the Rogue Mage Anthologies just came out, I’ll cast my team in Mettilwynd (some of these folks are foreign actors, but look them up!) –
Adult Chopra: Nishi Munshi
Adult Miku: Zhu Zhu
Gamon: Prin Suparat
Katara: Nazneen Contractor
Liran: Daniel Radcliffe or Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Arcadia: Adrianne Palicki (or Kristanna Loken) – both would have to dye their hair strawberry blonde or wear a wig, but other than that, spot on!
For Mark of the Necromancer fans…
Sabrina: Yvonne Strahovski
Alex: Ian Somerhalder
Lucifer: Tom Hiddleston

Diana Pharaoh Francis
Goodness. This is never easy. I figured it out for my Horngate books, so I’m going to go with my Diamond City Magic books. First, Price. I’d like to see him played by Aidan Turner, with his brother played by Toby Stephens. Riley is a little tougher. I think I’d like to see her played by Kristen Bell, with Taylor played by Jessica Chastain, and Emily Blunt as Cass. I’d put James Spader as Riley’s Dad, and Zach McGowan as Dalton.

Faith Hunter
I have no freaking idea. No one is tall enough for Jane Yellowrock. No one is French enough for Leo.

Gail Martin
Well, Tris in my mind always looked like a 19 year-old Justin Hayward, and Jared always looked like Jim Morrison. For Jonmarc, maybe Matt Cohen or James Marsden. For Deadly Curiosities, Cassidy would be a young, strawberry blond Nicole Kidman (around the time of Far and Away), Teag would be a young Keanu Reeves (pre-Matrix) and Sorren would be a young Ryan Gosling. For the Ascendant Kingdoms, probably Jake Gyllenhaal for Blaine and Chris Pine for Piran. For Iron & Blood, probably Jensen Ackles as Jake Desmet, Ryan Gosling as Rick Brand, a 30 year-old Hugh Jackman as Mitch Storm and maybe Jared Padalecki as Jacob Drangosavich.

John Hartness
Black Knight Chronicles – Jimmy – DJ Qualls
Greg – Jonah Hill (when he was still fat)
Sabrina – Erica Durance

Melissa Gilbert
I got nothing on this this one.

Edmund Schubert
I would get Taylor Swift to play every single character in every single story 1) because it would be funny as hell to see, and 2) because, Taylor Swift is seriously, you know, damn…

Misty Massey
For a long time, I wanted Claudia Black to play Kestrel, the pirate. I still adore her, but she’s aged out since the book hit shelves. More recently, I thought Kandyse McClure (from Battlestar Galactica) would be a great choice. I also wanted James Marsters to play McAvery, but again, pretty much aging out. At the moment, I think I’d like Scott Eastwood.

For the weird western I’m writing, the main character is absolutely Christian Kane. Fortunately it’ll be a while before he can age out, because the character’s a bit older than Kane is now. So maybe I’ll be lucky!

Magical Words Link Roundup 1-19-2017

More than 2,000 artists, writers, and readers gathered at the steps of the New York Public Library on January 15 in the name of defending free expression and the free press.

According to Micheal Moorcock, “If you’re going to do a piece of work in three days, you have to have everything properly prepared.”

What do you think Shakespeare would post to Twitter? Who would be his biggest fans in today’s literary world?

When we talk about queer character representation, there’s letters of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum that get left behind, for whatever reason.

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a science fiction novel’s description of light-speed travel or told a friend that the Death Star wouldn’t really have made a sound when it blew up in space, then you’ll appreciate these hard science fiction novels.

Terminator and Avatar director James Cameron has signed a deal with AMC to produce a six-episode documentary series, titled James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.

Once we realized our phones were great for smartening up, we assumed everything else would work better with computers in them. We were wrong.

Hollywood has been struggling lately with the reality that many projects in film and TV remain predominantly white and male, both in front of the camera and behind it. Yet the industry is clearly attempting to make inroads, offering diversity writing programs for novice writers that are amongst the most sought-after and competitive routes to breaking into the business.

Tim Powers, the author of ‘The Anubis Gates’ ‘Last Call’ and ‘Declare’, talks hanging out with Philip K. Dick and the allure of conspiracy.

Blue Curtains

Magical Words Link Roundup 1-18-2017

When we fall in love with a novel, we sometimes believe we come to know its author just by reading the book.

She’s fabulous. Her hair is done. Her makeup is flawless; her coat, luxurious. She’s single. She’s thin or she’s fat or she’s muscular or she’s old or she’s young but she’s never ever cute or soft or scared of you.

Want to read a story by one of our fantastic Lawless Lands authors? Here is Crystal Holloway and the Forgotten Passage by Seanan McGuire.

Who knew Charleston SC was the epicenter of dangerous magic and malicious supernatural activity?

For those interested in breaking into genre television writing, an agent is paramount.

For reasons beyond me, talking to the public seems to be beyond the skill set of a surprisingly high number of convention runners.”

When talking about the evolution of gender and sexuality people automatically skip to the homosexual part and to the presentation of non-biological genders/genders that lay outside of the “traditional”.

Mark Hamill is an American treasure.

Craving more feuding families, bloodshed, and, of course, dragons?

Slow Writer FTWA meme

Magical Words Link Roundup 1-17-2017

Join North Carolina authors John Hartness and Jake Bible who will be reading from their work and sharing their unique takes on writing fantasy/horror/dark fiction in “An Evening of Fantastical Insanitytonight in Asheville NC.

Michiko Kakutani, the chief book critic for The New York Times, interviewed President Obama about literature at the White House. Here are excerpts from the conversation, which have been edited and condensed.

The instability of the weather makes for a great metaphor in fantasy stories about characters learning to harness their own emotions and inborn magical powers.

How do you know if your book is going to sell? You don’t.

Angela Ackerman asks, “But how often do we think about a character’s morality?”

If you’ve ever thought that the publishing industry is tough to figure out, you’re not alone.

Wendy Sparrow talks about writing what you’d rather not know.

Money taints everything, why not writing too?

The Dragon’s Blade Writer’s Journeys features Mark Lawrence.

Fantasy Faction offers part three of their series on gender and stereotyping in fantasy fiction.


The Dream

Today is Martin Luther King Day, our annual observance of the birthday of the amazing civil rights leader who led a wave of social change for our country. Then, the change was for the better. Today we’re facing a new wave of change, one that terrifies many of us. There has been talk of interning people over their religious beliefs, and of taking away access to healthcare. It’s frightening, and it’s the kind of talk that might convince many to put their heads, down, keep quiet and hope to not be noticed. But the thing about us here at MW…we’re writers. We’re the people who don’t keep quiet, who share the words and tell the truth. We’re the trees by the river who refuse to move. It’s up to us to stand with our neighbors, no matter the color of their skin, the accent of their voice or the clothing on their bodies. So today, I want to share Dr King’s speech. Read it. Absorb what he is saying. His words are just as important today as they were 54 years ago.

I Have a Dream
delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “inalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Party Talk!

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m feeling… okay, honestly, I’m feeling apprehensive, verging on frightened. So for just a moment, we’re going to pretend like Congress isn’t actively attempting to kill people I care about and have a quick party. Pour yourself a drink, and join the conversation. We asked the authors. “If you were stuck on an island, what three items would you make the situation bearable?”

Faith Hunter
Ibuprofen, a brand new lighter, and hair dye. That’s for Pain, Fire, and Lookin’ Gooood.

Diana Pharaoh Francis
I suppose that depends on how long I was going to be there. For sure, writing implements. If there’s no electricity to charge the computer, then piles of pens and paper. The second thing would have to be heavily loaded kindle. Oh hell, there’s better be electricity. Maybe I could make a charger out of coconuts, bananas and clam shells a la the professor on Gilligan’s Island. And then I think I’d have to have a decent bed. I’m going to assume food is already there. But you know about assuming and so if I’m going to an island, I’m going to find me a magic bag to carry all the things.

Gail Martin
Sunscreen, my Kindle (with an everlasting charge and wifi to order more books) a magically refilling glass of pina colada

John Hartness
A) A fuckton of toilet paper
B) I assume an airplane/teleporter is out, so a copy of the collected Belgariad by David Eddings
C) A Leatherman SuperTool

Melissa Gilbert
How long am I on the island? If it’s a vacation, I’d bring a book, a laptop, and a swimsuit. If I’m stranded, I’d bring rum and giraffe in a bikini.

Tamsin Silver
Does this island have electricity?
If so, my computer, my dog, and my big research book on the Lincoln County War by Frederick Nolan.
If not, a no-power-needed typewriter, paper, and my dog.

Misty Massey
My iPod and my Kindle (with everlasting charges – hey, it’s a fantasy island!), and shampoo. I can’t stand my hair to be dirty.