Archive for August, 2013

The Skill List Project: Discipline

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, I decided that we had looked at most of the skills involved with plot, characterization, and other story elements, so it was time to step back […]

A Quick Guide to Making the Most of Conventions

A week from now, two of the biggest conventions in American speculative fiction will begin.  WorldCon opens in San Antonio on Thursday, August 29, and runs through Monday, September 2.  The next day, DragonCon opens in Atlanta; it also runs through Monday.  Both are huge events — DragonCon attracts a much larger crowd, but WorldCon […]

Add another zero

A while back, a friend of mine was running a roleplaying game set in the Pathfinder universe. The game took place in the city of Korvosa, which — according to the official writeup — is a substantial place. It is the royal seat, and its seven districts support three different military groups (the city guards, […]


My Horngate books are categorized as Urban Fantasy. But the truth is that they aren’t particularly urban. In fact, they are downright rural. Rural Montana, to be exact. It’s a different kind of place than rural Alabama or rural Texas, or rural Maine. While you can generalize some things from place to place, the truth […]

Farmhouse Fantasy

Hey there!  Long time, no see in these parts, but it’s good to be back on SFNovelists! When Marie suggested this month’s topic, I leaped at the chance to write about big cities, small towns, and various living arrangements in between.  The concept has been at the front of my mind for the last nine […]

Big city, small world

“Indeed, Mamma, you are mistaken,” said Elizabeth, blushing for her mother. “You quite mistook Mr. Darcy. He only meant that there was not such a variety of people to be met with in the country as in the town, which you must acknowledge to be true.” “Certainly, my dear, nobody said there were; but as […]

It’s a small world… isn’t it?

For all its breadth and glory, the parameters by which fantasy is defined can be awfully restricting – people it with streetwise paranormals and it’s immediately “urban” fantasy set in the gritty city streets. Stick a lost heir in a blacksmith’s shed in a village of a pastoral population of maybe a hundred or so […]

Introducing the First Themed Month

We’re launching a new feature here at SF Novelists: Themed Months. Which is to say, we’ll pick a topic — broad enough yet concrete enough that there are many different things to say about it — and throughout the month, members of SF Novelists will post their thoughts. It’s basically a slow-motion roundtable, and we […]

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.

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.

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.


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.

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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