Archive for January, 2008

The use and misuse of prologues

It seems vaguely appropriate to talk about prologues in the first month of the year. If you’re a fantasy reader, odds are you’ve read a prologue. They’re a standard part of the architecture in epic fantasy, and also crop up in other types. But they aren’t as common as they used to be, because it […]

Make ‘em Laugh

When I was at Wiscon last May, I attended a panel on High Fantasy (or epic fantasy, or quest fantasy, or whatever you want to call it) where the panelists ended up spending a good portion of their time on humor.  Not enough of it in High Fantasy, they decided, and I couldn’t agree more. […]

Why I’m a Darksider

I’ve always been a big fan of the dark side of the Force.  First of all, tell me it isn’t a sign of the dark side’s awesome skillz that there only needs to be two of them to balance all the light side Jedi.  But, more to the point of this post, I find the things that supposedly fuel the […]

Top Ten Science-Based Sci-Fi Movies (Revised)

 This is a revised version of a list I posted on my blog a couple of days ago that was also farked.  I was convinced that the Alien and Aliens movies had a number of shortcomings compared to some other films and have added on a couple of others in their place.  The tragedy is […]

When did the customer cease being right?

Maybe I’m looking at the past through the viewing screen of a rose-tinted tardis but I’m sure I remember a time when the shopkeeper’s mantra was ‘the customer is always right.’ Today the mantra appears to be ‘it wasn’t our fault.’ Mini-rant warning. Well, I am of a certain age and I have been provoked:) […]

The effortlessness of Gods, or “Did you do it yourself?”

I have this sweater. It’s multicoloured, knitted from what looks like oddments of yarn – but silk yarn, I’ll have you know, this is a heavy silk knit sweater – and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and circled around it for a while after that because the price tag […]

Accused of Mary Sue

I was reading through some of my book reviews when I came upon the term Mary Sue.  I had a vague idea what it meant so I went to Wikipedia (yeah, I know, but don’t worry I did check other sites, too). Here’s what Wikipedia had to say, “Mary Sue, sometimes shortened simply to Sue, […]

10 Things learned in the course of novel revising

1. Definition of tonight: As in, I will finish this tonight. Whatever odd definitions you might have, the truth is that Tonight doesn’t end until I sleep. So long as I keep my eyes open and I am typing, tonight doesn’t end. Never mind that big ball of molten light out there. The night is […]

What’s your plan?

The thing about New Years’ resolutions is, people so rarely keep them. Maybe it’s because they often have a moralizing quality: “I will write every day this year!” Then halfway through January you miss a day, and now you’re a failure and a horrible person. So I don’t want to hear about your resolutions. I […]

Author Information

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan is the author of more than forty short stories and seven novels, the most recent of which is the urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy. Visit site.

S.C. Butler

Butler is the author of The Stoneways Trilogy from Tor Books: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, and The Magician's Daughter. Find out what Reiffen does with magic, and what magic does with him... Visit site.

Lyda Morehouse

Lyda Morehouse is the author of the science fiction AngeLINK series. She's won the Shamus and the Philip K. Dick Special Citation for Excellence (aka 2nd place). Her books have also been nominated for the Romantic Times Critics' Choice and preliminary Nebula ballot. She lives in the deep-freeze of Saint Paul, MN with her partner of twenty-odd years, their son, and lots and lots of cats (and fish!) Visit site.

Mike Brotherton

Professional astronomer, science fiction novelist (Star Dragon, Spider Star). Visit site.

Chris Dolley

Chris Dolley is an English author of SF mysteries and fun urban fantasies, a pioneer computer games designer, and the man who convinced the UK media that Cornwall had risen up and declared independence. His novel Resonance (2005, Baen) was the first book to be plucked from Baen’s electronic slush pile. He now lives in France with his wife, a dolmen, and a frightening collection of animals. His memoir French Fried (2010, BVC) has just been released. Visit site.

Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander is a novelist, short story writer and anthologist whose books include High Fantasy ("Hidden Quen""Changer of Days"), historical fantasy ("Secrets of Jin Shei", "Embers of Heaven"), contemporary fantasy ("Midnight at Spanish gardens") and YA (the Worldweavers series, the Were Chronicles). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats. Visit site.

Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder has been writing fiction and nonfiction since 1995. She has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers. Her first published novel, Poison Study appeared on the shelves in 2005, and chronicles Yelena’s challenges in surviving her dangerous job as a food taster. Magic Study follows with Yelena’s efforts to learn about her magic while searching for a rogue magician turned serial killer. Fire Study chronicles Yelena's adventures with a Fire Warper and was released in March 2008. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology at Penn State University. Much to Maria’s chagrin, forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. Writing, however, proved to be more enjoyable and Maria earned a Master of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. As part of her research for her Study novels, Maria signed up for a glass blowing class to learn how to shape molten glass. The first thing she learned is it is considerably harder to sculpt glass than it looks. Maria now has an extensive collection of misshapened paperweights, tumblers, and bowls. When she’s not traveling, Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, daughter and yellow Lab. She is working on her next MIRA novel, Storm Glass, due out Spring 2009. Readers are welcome to contact Maria by e-mail at, or they can find more information on her Web site at Visit site.

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan is the author of more than forty short stories and seven novels, the most recent of which is the urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy. Visit site.



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