Magical Words Link Roundup 6-21-2017

We’re so conditioned to believe that white is the default that we write ourselves out of the worlds that we create.

You are a character in a fantasy novel. Congratulations: you have been invited to a feast.

Experience your favorite fantasy worlds through some of the most fearsome, devious, and brutal antagonists in fantasy.

Wonder Woman is a superhero of many talents: She’s got incredible strength and speed, and she seems to be both indestructible and immortal. But her most underrated skill of all is her ability to speak countless languages.

This amazing conversation between A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin and Stephen King is from a conversation they had at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the summer of 2016, and a year later it’s still a fascinating look at the authors’ respective creative processes.

When writing at speed and getting involved […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 6-20-2017

If you’re in Georgia District 6 or SC District 5, don’t forget to go out and vote in today’s special election.

The key to crafting a captivating historical fantasy is to submerge the reader’s senses.

You might chortle at the thought, but a surprising number of words we use every day slipped into the English language through children’s books.

There are thousands of podcasts about any conceivable topic, which makes it that much more intimidating to get started if you’re a podcast newbie. So here are 13 podcasts that you might like, based on 13 books that are at the top of best-seller charts right now.

George Orwell said, “Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.” The idea behind this statement, as far as this advice went, was that prose should simply be the vehicle by which you convey character and story—it should be as unassuming and […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 6-19-2017

While some dads were busy tossing the ball around with their kids, these literary fathers instilled a love of literature into their children — a love so deep, in fact, that they followed in their father’s footsteps to become writers themselves.

Monsters fascinate. There’s something in the shadows that you don’t understand, can’t quite make out the shape of—something that can eat you. Something that can steal your children, spoil your crops, or worst of all turn you into a monster yourself, so that you’ll no longer be welcome in the warm places where we tell stories about monsters.

When it comes to teenage mystery stories, there are few tried and true combos quite like small-town America and shadowy supernatural forces.

Astrophysicist and “science communicator” Neil deGrasse Tyson is a national treasure. This is especially true in these dark, anti-science times, where it often feels like we are teetering on […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 6-15-2017

“In Good Faith: Messy Conversations About Race in Black & White” is a non profit dialogue between a white man and a black woman from different backgrounds who share a common goal of building and promoting racial understanding.

Climate change is a defining topic of near-future science fiction much like technology was the defining topic in the days of cyberpunk. Except that, really, climate fiction is bigger than cyberpunk.

Arrakis wasn’t the first desert planet of science fiction—at the very least, Altair IV as seen on Forbidden Planet has it beat, and I’m sure there’s some pulpy goodness even earlier that involves desert planet adventures. But Arrakis and its direct descendant Tatooine are definitely the most iconic desert worlds of our genre.

The Lord of the Rings is not usually portrayed as a love story. But that epic of magic and monsters and fraternal friendship contains many slivers of romance.


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Magical Words Link Roundup 6-14-2017

Steve Wetherell explains the Hermione Factor, and why he’s bored with the Strong Female Character.

Aquaman will be arriving in theaters late next year and during the buildup, there is sure to be plenty of people who say the same thing: “Aquaman is lame.” The jokes have been out there forever. The costume’s color scheme is too bright and, well, too orange, for anybody to be intimidated by it. And well, the whole “talks to fish” thing has been the butt of many jokes. It is difficult for those who have not fully versed themselves in the comics to truly appreciate this character.

Trump blocked Stephen King on Twitter, so J.K. Rowling stepped in to save the day.

Tracy K Smith has been named the Poet Laureate. Here’s a taste of her work.

In any society, even in times of stability, there’s bound to be a generation gap—but […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 6-13-2017

When your spouse goes missing or business partner turns up dead, you call a private eye, but when you’ve got zombies at the door, or a demon on your trail, you’ve better call an occult detective. Here are seven great consulting wizards, half-elf investigators, and demon-blooded detectives from the worlds of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Here are 11 rules of good writing that Iain M. Banks left as his legacy.

Writings from the 18th and 19th centuries frequently dramatize the potentially horrifying consequences of reading in bed.

Dystopian fiction goes back a ways, but John Christopher’s Tripods Trilogy was arguably the first example of that later, and now very familiar, subgenre, the young-adult dystopian series, and it anticipates all sorts of details and plot points from subsequent, better-known works.

Take high school. It’s weird, confusing, complicated, and frustrating. It’s a time of growth and change, when teens start […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 6-12-2017

If you missed ConCarolinas (what were you thinking???), you can enjoy a little bit of the fun by listening to the Authors and Dragons Live Podcast that was recorded on Saturday night of the con.

And hey, speaking of podcasts, here are a few more you might want to add to the playlist.

Regardless of genre, it seems, time travel is often treated like magic. So why does it feel easier to think of time travel stories as science fiction?

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Adam West helped save Batman and changed what was possible with DC Comics’ Dark Knight Detective.

In 2018, NASA will send a probe to one of the locations in the solar system that it never has before: the sun. In a series of orbits, the spacecraft will come closer to our star than any space vehicle before it could possibly withstand, and […]

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