Archive for March, 2013

The Skill List Project: World-Building Specifics

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 the skills involved with world-building. I offered some general principles, including that the worlds we build should be convincing, interesting, and useful […]

Writing and Revising

I’ve had some trouble starting a post for today, in large part because I am too absorbed in my current work-in-progress to focus on a blog post.  And so I thought that I would turn the issues facing me with my WIP into a post that would be helpful to me as I write it, […]

Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Sometimes I swear there really is a collective unconscious. I decided in early February that this would be my March post; now, in the last week or so, I’ve come across a groundswell of people discussing the exact same topic: “gritty” fantasy (and gritty fiction in general). I’m talking about the books where the heroes […]

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.



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