Archive for June, 2012

The Skill List Project: Dialogue Purpose

This is another post in The Skill List Project: an attempt to list all the skills involved in writing and selling fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy. Last time, we began looking at dialogue, covering a few preliminaries about punctuation, realism, and different perspectives on what constitutes “good” dialogue. This time, we’re going to look […]

Blending Mystery and Speculative Fiction

Thieftaker, which I am publishing under the name D.B. Jackson, comes out one week from tomorrow. Finally. Those of you who know me, or who have been following my posts here at the SFNovelists blog, know that I’ve been writing and talking about this book forever. It certainly seems that way to me. It goes […]

Exceptions ARE the rule

Have you ever heard of Emmy Noether? I hadn’t, not until recently. In elementary school I learned about Marie Curie, the famous lady physicist and chemist, who was of course an exception to the rule that almost all of the groundbreaking work in the sciences was done by men (until our enlightened present age, of […]

Did Star Trek Wreck SF?

Star Trek was great back in 1966.  There had never been anything like it.  For the first time, SF was mainstream, not just a product of the pulps or B movies.  SF that was watched by twenty or thirty million people every week.  (Or whatever a 15 or 16 point Nielsen share worked out to […]

Watch me spit tacks

This is custom-made for me – a discussion on the “lessons” to be learned – by writers – from Lord of the Rings. No, not the books, the MOVIES. And as most people who know me will tell you, I’ve always had STRONG opinions on those movies. Anyway, Part One is here: (and there […]

The Effect of Water and Walking (or, Brainstorming)

For the past month, I’ve been fiddling with a particularly difficult novel.  It’s in a genre new to me (YA – but with no paranormal element), and it concerns an issue that is intensely important to me (bullying).  I’ve been fighting to find ways to write that aren’t preachy, aren’t boring, and — most of […]

Author Information

James Alan Gardner

James Alan Gardner got his M.Math from the University of Waterloo with a thesis on black holes...and then he immediately started writing science fiction instead. He's been a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula awards, and has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award as well as the Aurora award (twice). He's published seven novels (beginning with "Expendable"), plus a short story collection and (for street cred) a Lara Croft book. He cares deeply about words and sentences, and is working his way up to paragraphs. Visit site.

David B. Coe

David B. Coe ( is the Crawford award-winning author of the LonTobyn Chronicle, the Winds of the Forelands quintet, the Blood of the Southlands trilogy, and a number of short stories. Writing as D.B. Jackson (, he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a blend of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. David is also part of the Magical Words group blog (, and co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. In 2010 he wrote the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. 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.

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.

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.

Mindy Klasky

Mindy Klasky is the author of eleven novels, including WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD and HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH in the As You Wish Series. She also wrote GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, and MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, about a librarian who finds out she's a witch. Mindy also wrote the award-winning, best-selling Glasswrights series and the stand-alone fantasy novel, SEASON OF SACRIFICE. Visit site.



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