Magical Words Link Roundup 2-23-2017

Lucienne Diver is interviewed about her story in Trials! And here’s a Faith Hunter snippet to tempt you…

V E Schwab talks about writing fantasy that lights up the world.

What do Ranting Dragon, A Dribble Of Ink, Staffer’s Book Review, SF Signal and Fantasy Review Barn have in common? They were all fantastic SFF blogs that have shut down over the course of the past few years.

You may not know who astronauts Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly are by just their names, but they may change the future of spaceflight.

There’s a lot of bellyaching going on about how liberal Hollywood is — which is weird, since that sort of mentality doesn’t seem to translate to films. Because for as progressive as we like to imagine Tinsel Town is, the movies they put out show us a different, more depressing story.

During a quarterly call with investors on Wednesday, Elon Musk said the factory that makes his all-electric Tesla vehicles will be far more important than the cars themselves, thanks to cutting-edge increases in automation and manufacturing technology.

Gail Martin talks about the differences between hoodoo and voodoo.

There’s a reason Syfy’s thrilling series The Expanse has collectively won our space geek hearts.

There are reasons some novels remain trunked even after a writer finally scores success.

Trolls…what were these ancient elemental beings that were bound to the land only to fight and fall against the civilizing press of humanity? Why have they fascinated so many?

Novelist and puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal hosted a Reddit AMA.

On Tuesday, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America released its nominees for the 2016 Nebula Awards. Not everyone is pleased with the lineup.

And John Scalzi has some thoughts about that.

Jake Bible: When Worlds Collide

Hey folks, today we’re welcoming our friend and special guest, Jake Bible, who has a brand new book coming out! Sit back and relax with a cup of coffee while Jake tells you all about Stone Cold Bastards.

An idea hit me one evening. That’s not unusual. I get most of my ideas in the evening right before switching the light off and going to sleep. This is why the Notes feature on my iPhone is invaluable.
The idea started as a title: Stone Cold Bastards.
I just absolutely loved that title. The trick was, I needed a premise to go with it. While titles sell books, it helps to have an actual story inside the book. Readers like that.
What possible story could I write that worked for a title like Stone Cold Bastards?
By the morning, my brain had worked it out. Wasn’t hard. It’s in the name.
With a title like Stone Cold Bastards, I needed the novel to be less of a gothic-themed story and more of a punch things in the face story. You don’t mess with bastards without getting punched in the face. That’s a simple fact of life.
I wanted to go gritty and pulpy. I wanted it to have a ’70s action flick feel, but also hold true to the ancient nature of the subject. Most of the gargoyle fiction out in the world is definitely geared towards paranormal romance. Apparently, gargoyles are sexy. Maybe not brooding vampire sexy, but still damn sexy. I wanted to avoid the sexy. Grit and pulp, grit and pulp.
How about a band of misfit gargoyles helping humanity survive as the world is besieged by a demon apocalypse? Yeah. That’ll work.
So, I moved forward. I found a great publisher for the idea (shout out to Bell Bridge Books) and got to work. I did a ton of research into gargoyles and found out a lot I didn’t know. Gargoyles have a cool history.
But, during all of my research, and subsequent search for image ideas for the cover, I kept seeing references to the 1990’s cartoon called Gargoyles.
Yeah, sure, I’d noticed the cartoon when it was out back in the mid-90s. Hard not to when entertainment was still a fairly limited thing in the late 20th century. No Netflix or streaming back then and cable networks hadn’t gone berserk with 500 derivative channels yet. So, a syndicated cartoon with gray-blue gargoyles was not going to be ignored.
Yet I never watched it. Not because I didn’t watch cartoons in my twenties. I did. Animaniacs was a religion for me at one point in my life. No, it was simply that a cartoon about gargoyles didn’t interest me then. Never saw an episode.
However, quite a few people not only saw an episode or two, but watched the entire series from start to finish. And, now that I’m adding to the fictional lexicon of gargoyle lore, I am hearing a lot about that series.
This is where worlds collide.
It turns out, I have a main character in my novel named Elisa. Which also happens to be the name of one of the main characters in the animated series. This is 100% a coincidence. I had no clue. None. Yet it happened. What are the odds? How is it that I suddenly decide to write a gargoyle novel and end up giving one of my main characters the same name as a main character in what could be argued is the last time gargoyles were prominently featured in a fictional landscape (let’s ignore the film I, Frankenstein, shall we)?
Honestly, I want to know those odds. It’s crazy!
First reaction? Oh, crap. I’ll be seen as ripping off a Disney cartoon.
Second reaction? Huh, there are a lot of fans of that series. Fans that are now adults. Adults with an appetite for more gargoyles.
Third reaction? Embrace the coincidence. Tell the story of the coincidence. Realize that when worlds do collide, it isn’t a bad thing.
Needless to say, yet I shall say it, I’m going with reactions 2 and 3. Nothing I can do about 1. Sometimes when worlds collide, you have to stand back and let it happen.
Now, after all these years, and after the novel is already written and being published, maybe I should go check out that cartoon. From what I’m hearing, it may actually be worth my time. Plus, I’m solidly in the gargoyle world. People are going to ask me about the cartoon. I better do my research. Only fair to know what’s come before.
Which brings us back to my latest book, Stone Cold Bastards.
Title to concept to novel to coincidence.
Worlds collide in the strangest ways.

Stone Cold BastardsAuthor Links:

Magical Words Link Roundup 2-21-2017

David B Coe offers you a quick tip on the ups and downs of the writing life.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is pleased to announce the nominees for the 51st Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book.

Do y’all listen to the Authors & Dragons podcast? (And if you said no, what is WRONG with you?) We’re trying to help bring Steve Wetherell, writer of humorous fantasy books and the personality behind the hot and powerful monk Brandon Thighmaster, to ConCarolinas!

Inspiration isn’t barreling down the road to the exact spot you’re standing in. You cannot wait for inspiration to create.

Have you read Trials and Tribulations yet? Faith Hunter offers a snippet from her story Unbidden Bonds.

The Matrix was awesome, the sequels weren’t as great, but Keanu Reeves is willing to give the series a chance again. I just don’t know how I feel about this.

Can writers make fear work in their favor?

After enduring withering criticism since it was revealed in late December that it planned to publish a book by controversial Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, Simon & Schuster said late Monday that it has canceled the book.

Kameron Hurley presents 5 books that will inspire us to get off our keisters and build a better future.

Sometimes writers become so busy worldbuilding they overlook an important aspect that helps to bring all the different elements together, the mesh of society.

Here are 29 pieces of good news that have been choked out by the current madness in Washington.

Party Talk!

Today we’re diving into that most dangerous of places, the writer’s mind. Tell us, writers, what wanders through your head when you’re alone in your car?

Diana Pharoah Francis
Honestly? I’m usually trying to work out thorny plot problems, or coming up with fun scenarios for characters. Occasionally I’ll think about how I would write somebody else’s stuff differently, or what I’d write next in their worlds. Or if I’m reading a book, what I might write going forward for those characters.

John Hartness
My Golden Globe Acceptance Speech. No, I don’t act anymore, and have never had aspirations to do film.

Faith Hunter
Politics. Which I try to *not* think about because it ticks me off so badly.

Misty Massey
Oh, lord, my mind wanders in wild directions when I drive. I might start with something reasonable, like where I’m headed, but soon I’m distracted by what on earth is that guy in the green minivan doing because clearly he learned to drive in Romania, and move on to a better idea for the turning point event of the story I’m working on, which leads to remembering that I need to pick up milk on the way home, until I get where I’m going and it all goes away again.

Melissa Gilbert
The meaning of life, conversations I wish I’d had (or didn’t have), things I want to do, things I haven’t done.

Gail Z Martin
Usually the next section I need to write for the book

Tamsin Silver
Holy shit…I wonder whose car this is! 😉
When I’m on the train I tend to think about storylines or I’m reading history about dead people…for putting into storylines…

Edmund Schubert
I primarily run quadratic equations in my head when I’m alone in the car. I find them very relaxing. I used to think about String Theory, but I developed a severe allergy to string and it started doing a lot of theoretical sneezing.

Magical Words Link Roundup 2-16-2017

I want someone to write a science fiction novel featuring these people. Because they’re awesome and I need to read about them running the show.

John Joseph Adams’ Nightmare magazine is open to submissions!

Myke Cole wants to talk to you for a moment about fear.

On March 1, the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, Penguin Young Readers, and Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, alongside Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions, are kicking off Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge, an idea contest that encourages U.S. kids and their teachers not to imagine small, but “imaginormous,” and come up with their most inventive story ideas.

Editors are not as evil as you might think.

How can you ever get writers’ block when there’s history? History is the ultimate reality show. It’s the best gossip in the world.

Before a book is published and released to the public, it’s passed through the hands (and eyes) of many people: an author’s friends and family, an agent and, of course, an editor.
These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content.

When the beloved author of one of the world’s most popular book and movie franchises gets on your case, people are going to notice.

Yes, there were black people in the Renaissance.

From the slightly skewed to the utterly bizarre, alternate worlds are a staple of science fiction and fantasy. But as different as these parallel Earths can be, some things remain constant. To whit: there are a disproportionate number of alternate Londons in genre fiction.

For roughly six weeks, Jim C Hines collected data from novelists who had at least one book published prior to 12/31/2016. And now he’s sharing with us.

The book blog tour for Trials and Tribulations, the two Rogue Mage anthologies, begins today!

Tuesday’s Jeopardy game included a category near and dear to all of us – Sci Fi Books. Can you answer all five questions?

Have a taste of the weird west, with Alyssa Wong’s short story, “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay.

Source Code keeps you guessing as to what kind of movie it is until you’re halfway through it, and that is just one of the things that makes it wonderful and heartbreaking.

The Book of Passion, by authors Will Wells and Margherita Tramontano, adds role-playing rules for love and sex to your OGL 3.75 campaign. But they need your help making the project happen!

If you’re coming to Atomacon in November, let’s all go check out the latest steampunk bar, Krazy Owls!

Magical Words Link Roundup 2-15-2017

Fairies might not seem like the first choice when it comes to “most terrifying” creatures in speculative fiction, but consider: vampires and werewolves, while horrifying, are at heart human. Fairies are completely other.

While some science fiction offers terrifying visions of the future, it’s not all foreboding doom and gloom. Some books can be downright hilarious.

The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry, available now, is a must-read for cult movie fans. Want to know what you might not have known about the movie?

Cracked presents five insane historical theories that actually make sense.

English author Philip Pullman has announced he will soon be releasing a trilogy of new novels set in the same universe as his wildly successful His Dark Materials series.

Wil Wheaton says, “For a few weeks (months?) I’ve been doing this silly and fun thing on Monday nights. I pick a random Choose Your Own Adventure book from my collection, and I read it on my Twitch channel, letting the audience make the choices for me.”

10 greatest horror authors…discovered through Horror Novel Reviews.

How can we take the Trump administration seriously when it can’t even spell good?

Magical Words Link Roundup 2-14-2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! And if you didn’t already know, love can be pretty great, but mostly it’s complicated and gross.

At times of global threat, a team of scholars working to protect the planet from existential threats meet to assess the biggest threats facing Earth and what can be done to save civilization from the impending apocalypse.

Science fiction movies have been fascinated with Mars for decades—giving rise to big-screen portrayals of the Red Planet that are often fantastic, insane, and sometimes ridiculously fun. And so, so wrong.

Jaym Gates is gauging interest in a speculative fiction anthology titled Nevertheless, She Persisted.

The BBC takes a look at early space program history, when the shrinks had some bizarre ideas about what would make a great astronaut.

If you think little old ladies are made of sweetness and light, clearly you never watched even one minute of The Golden Girls.

People, people, people…they said very clearly that we were not supposed to attempt a landing at Europa.

Tell your special someone you love them to the Wall and back with these Game of Thrones Valentine’s cards!

A couple decades and a few art movements down the road from steampunk lies the world of decopunk. Drawing from the sleek, streamlined, futuristic aesthetic of the art deco movement, decopunk takes the glitz and glamor of the Roaring ’20s in science-fictional directions.

Librarians are protesting Trump’s executive orders.