Magical Words Link Roundup 7-13-2017

One of the realities of publishing that we don’t like to talk about is that a series generally lives or dies by grace of its first publisher.

For millennia lost ships—or, even spookier, ghost ships—have captured the imaginations of seafarers and landlubbers alike. It was inevitable, then, that tales of derelict ships would gain a new kind of resonance in science fiction, where ships can be the size of entire planets, and yet still vanish entirely within the black.

Fantasy tropes can be great—that’s why they become tropes. But sometimes you want to read something you feel like you’ve never read before.

From “Lord of the Rings” to “Game of Thrones,” blockbuster fantasy franchises have long been disproportionately white. Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor is just one of the writers of color changing that by creating rich, diverse literary fantasy ― and the change is coming to prestige TV as […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 7-12-2017

We are part of an amazingly creative generation. Yet, all this creative freedom sometimes has surprising side effects for our mental and spiritual health. Our passion for creating can sometimes shift into anxiety and depression.

“How do you do inventory if you can’t close the library because you’re letting kids take books out for the summer?” The criticism in the other school librarian’s voice was not even trying to veil itself behind a smile.

Genre SF authors often depict futuristic swearing, blasphemy and other forms of foul speech, not always with any great conviction.

The Moon is the Tango to Earth’s Cash, the Hall to our Oates, the Lennon to our McCartney before they hated each other. Simply put, our planet and the Moon are soul mates: except, of course, if something were to happen to one of them. Like, I don’t know, what if we just blew up the […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 7-11-2017

Derek Haines says, “I had the occasion, albeit under the very heavy influence of a bottle or two of an extremely pleasant Shiraz, to stumble upon a rather tall gentleman with an odd outlook on life. Well, odd in the fact that he was rumoured to be dead, but we’ll come to that shortly.”

Photographer and photo editor Kathleen Kamphausen recreated some of the most passionate front covers of romance novels using Average Joes instead of Fabios, and they pretty much look like most of us trying to be seductive on any given day.

When it comes to the undead in modern horror, there are few—if any—things that come to mind quicker than zombies.

Rachel Dunne says, “Rereading books is one of my big vices – I love digging into a book and catching all the subtle foreshadowing, finding the deeper meaning. It feels a little like being invited into […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 7-10-2017

If you’re looking to sell more books, particularly by hand at conventions, then hopefully this will help out.

If an author ever tells you that they’re their own worst critic, don’t believe them. It’s not that they’re lying or pretending to be humble. They’re simply failing to account for Goodreads.

It is common for feminist writers to feel the need to focus only on stories that preoccupy themselves with the marginalisation of women. Other writers don’t necessarily dwell on the representation of their own demographic, so why should women (and other marginalised groups) feel the need to?

If there’s one thing more tiresome than yet another babe lost in the woods or frat boy tied to a chair, it’s the dismissal of the horror genre by people who seemingly know nothing about it except for examples they themselves deem to be exceptional.

Even if time permits it there is […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 7-6-2017

One thing is true: Writers need other writers. Aside from the obvious benefits of companionship and mutual understanding, one of the reasons we need each other is that sometimes, if we’re very lucky and listen carefully, a fellow writer will offer a bit of advice that makes all the difference to our work.

George Bernard Shaw once quipped that “Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated.” While that’s a noble maxim to cling to at family reunions, when it comes to fiction the fact is our favorite stories would be pretty dull if we rid them of their most loathsome characters.

Mention Gina Torres in a room of sci-fi and fantasy geeks, and they will swoon en masse.

There are many, many things to like about Wonder Woman—so many that we’re still talking about it weeks after the movie’s debut. One of those things was the costume design […]

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Magical Words Link Roundup 7-5-2017

The content of required reading lists matters not just for my kid, but for your kids, and not just for kids, but all of us who live in America.

Fantasy fiction is rife with tropes. We’ve all bemoaned the most overused: dark lords, ancient prophecies, faux-medieval Europe, quests, magic blades, and so on.

Author Neil Gaiman says meeting his readers is ‘enormously fun‘.

If you haven’t heard of cli-fi yet, you are not alone; however, you have probably either read or watched some already.

The film and TV industries go to extreme lengths to protect the details of their stories. So it’s hilarious when their biggest plot twists are revealed not by master hackers or corporate spies, but by random fans making off-the-cuff jokes.

John Scalzi says, “The first time I personally encountered Harry Potter was not long after the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, […]

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Happy Independence Day, USA!