Search Results for: "state of mind"

Neverwhens, Where History and Fantasy Collide: Of Tudor Scum and Georgian-Gallants; an Interview with Peter McLean

My guest this month is Peter McLean, a successful short story writer and contemporary fantasy novelist who has cast his authorially eye on more traditional fantasy, with his War for the Rose Throne, series, the first two volumes of which (Priest of Bones and Priest of Lies) are now available, and currently in development for television by Heyday Productions. For those who may not have read them (and if that’s you, go do that now, we’ll wait) here is the…

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Future Treasures: Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Shveta Thakrar’s short fiction has appeared in the anthologies A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Toil & Trouble, The Underwater Ballroom Society, and Clockwork Phoenix 5, and magazines such as Uncanny, Enchanted Living, Faerie Magazine, Mothership Zeta, Mythic Delirium, and Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. Her debut novel Star Daughter mixes Hindu mythology and contemporary fantasy into something quite original. It arrives from HarperTeen next week. Here’s the description. The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending…

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Fantasia 2018, Days 1 and 2: Five Fingers of Death

Fantasy’s described by fantasy: consider John Crowley’s Little, Big, a novel about a faerieland where the further in you go the bigger the land becomes. A powerful image, it echoes the way fascinations gain in depth and scope the more you explore them. How familiar experiences can become strange the more you dig deeper into them, birthing mystery, growing weird. Art and story perhaps most of all. So I am about to begin my coverage of the Fantasia International Film…

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Modular: Successful Adventuring — Or, Staying Alive & Getting the Gold

Creighton Broadhurst is the founder and head honcho of Raging Swan Press, one of Pathfinder‘s leading third party publishers. His Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is the spiritual successor to the old moat house in The Village of Hommlet. Creighton plays Pathfinder, but he approaches the rules-heavy game with an old school style, which is something I’ve been trying to figure out for myself. His blog features lots of lists: GM advice, player tips, favorite modules, etc.. I broke his…

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The Secret of Ventriloquism by Jon Padgett

A lot of the reviews of this collection compare Jon Padgett to Thomas Ligotti, which is fair, since Jon Padgett has been the long-time moderator of the Thomas Ligotti fansite, ligotti.net, and one of the stories takes its title directly from a Ligotti story. But the big question that potential new readers will likely have when reading those reviews is “Who the hell is Thomas Ligotti?” So. Thomas Ligotti himself has been called a successor to H.P. Lovecraft (yeah, the…

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A Prophet Without Honor: J.G. Ballard

After the past several months of Socratic dialogue/pie fight/drunken Hell’s Angels motorcycle-chain melee (in other words, after dozens of articles and hundreds – thousands? – of comments on the Hugo debacle, for you late arrivers), we here at Black Gate have firmly answered the nonmusical question, “What are awards good for?” In a nutshell, we have established that awards can help writers find a wider audience, they can provide a bit of financial leverage for those who win them, and…

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Things Your Writing Teacher Never Told You: Location, Location, Location! or How to Find and Maintain Your Writing Space

In a perfect world, we could all write anywhere, anytime. But even seasoned writers sometimes have problems sitting down and starting a writing session or staying in a writing session once it’s started. While we all have these problems  – the pros find ways to get past it. Here are some suggestions on how to fight the urge to do absolutely anything but write. The causes are too numerous to deal with in a single blog post, but lets start…

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Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1952: A Retro-Review

Sometimes, it’s easy to think that writing science fiction in the early 1950’s couldn’t be easier. After all, how many cliches existed at that time? Well, apparently there were plenty. Gold writes in his opening of Galaxy’s January, 1952 issue: The world today is loaded with ifs! So crammed, crowded, bulging with ifs jostling each other, in fact, that it’s a pure bafflement to see writers turning the same ones over and over, looking for some new bump never before noticed on…

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Maleficent Fails in an Unexpected Way

Maleficent (2014) Directed by Robert Stromberg. Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Ella Purnell. Sometimes, we need the fictional villains in our life to just stay evil. Forget sympathy for the Devil: I don’t want sympathy for the Red Skull, the T-1000, Michael Myers, the Joker, Auric Goldfinger, the Dark Lord Sauron, or King Ghidorah. I especially don’t want sympathy for the Mistress of All Evil, Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent. So few…

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Nobody Gets Out Alive: Writing Advice from the Cheap Seats

Before I was published, I read a lot of articles and books about writing, hoping to improve my craft. As I progressed, it became more difficult to find sage advice, because so much was slanted toward the novice writer just starting their first steps on the path. What I’d like to do today is pass along some tips for the intermediate writers out there — those who have been honing their work for a couple years with the goal of…

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