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 well.

Before firearms dominated the battlefield, it’s generally agreed that the stirrup was the most important innovation in warfare for a couple centuries. With that in mind, what would magic do to warfare?

Author Philip Pullman has raised £32,400 to provide relief for survivors of London’s Grenfell Tower fire, and will name a character in an upcoming book after a young victim of the disaster.

The sciences are overwhelmingly hostile to women, and in astronomy, it’s doubly bad for women of color.

When a book gets popular enough, the author may get to see their vision reenacted on a giant screen by attractive people with bizarrely perfect teeth. What could be cooler than that? Well, for starters, it might be “cool” if the adaptation didn’t completely reverse the point the writer was trying to make in the first place.

Science fiction and fantasy have never been straightforward genres. They encompass any number of weird, obscure, and wildly imaginative works of fiction, which is why it feels constraining to have only two categories for all these tales.


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