Empathy

I remind myself of this whenever people don’t act the way I think they should. In the irritation of the moment, it is easy to forget that there is more to every situation than I might at first know. It goes along with my favorite quote from J.M. Barrie: “Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.”

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5 Minutes with Andrew Leon Hudson

5 Minutes with Andrew Leon Hudson This is a chance to learn a bit more about Andrew Leon Hudson, whose new Weird Western ebook series End Trails has only just begun… What I love most about writing . . . …is relatively rare for me, but occasionally I’ll get totally absorbed to the extent that…

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Book Review: Hunting for Spring by Katherine McIntyre

Hunters are a lonely breed, and Conor is no exception, until the day he meets Brenna. Even though she slinks in unannounced and kills the wight he was hunting down, the girl’s a mystery and he can’t get that blinding smile or those gorgeous curves off his mind. Since they’re both after the same caster who’s unleashing these monsters, he suggests teaming up, and despite her initial reluctance, the hungry way she scans him down promises something powerful.

However, her secrets have repercussions, and faster than Conor can lift his Glock, he’s drawn into the web of kidnappings and Unseelie mischief, all concealing the machinations of a darker foe—one that plans to bring Philly to ruin.

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Neil Gaiman’s Tribute to Lovecraft & Sherlock Holmes

In the preface to the collection, Gaiman (2006) explains that he found this to be a unique challenge because the two styles are very much polar opposites. The character of Sherlock Holmes is logical, scientific, and rational. The focus is on solving mysteries and presenting celebrated solutions. Lovecraft’s works proceed on a different basis. Many of his creations were deeply illogical and maintaining the mysteries helped keep humanity sane. “If I was going to tell a story that combined both elements,” Gaiman (2006, pp. 4-5) writes, “There had to be an interesting way to do it that played fair with both Lovecraft and with the creations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

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Interview with Steampunk Author Kara Jorgensen: Creative & Professional Writing

Kara Jorgensen is an independent author with two highly successful steampunk novels—The Earl of Brass and The Winter Garden—and a novella—An Oxford Holiday—in her Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. Her newest novel, The Earl and the Artificer, will be released on January 30, 2016. But the publication of this novel is unusual; it also serves as the Master’s Thesis for her MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. Not only did Jorgensen have the clamoring voices of her fans demanding the next installment in the series when she was writing, but her thesis advisor adding pressure as well!

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5 Minutes with Grant Goodman

This is a chance to learn a bit more about Grant Goodman, author of Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Tiger Trouble!

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What’s On the Menu in Speculative Fiction?

In elementary school children learn that the basic needs are air, water, food, and shelter in that order of importance. The need for other things, like love, security, and meaning, are lower on the level of significance. Anthropologists study the eating habits of a society in both basic forms and elaborate ritual purposes in order to gain cultural insights. The acts of obtaining, preparing, distribution, and eating of food are a fundamental part of a culture’s infrastructure. Is it any wonder, then, that food plays a principal role in the world-building of fiction realms and that some of the most famous and successful speculative fiction authors like Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Suzanne Collins devote a extraordinary amount of narrative time to the central questions of how, why, and where their characters eat?

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Back to The Future: The Importance of DeLoreans & Time Travel

In the Back to the Future trilogy, the DeLorean time machine was Doctor Emmett Brown’s most successful invention. Comprised of a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car and a flux capacitor invented by Brown, the vehicle allowed Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and others to travel into the past and into the future. Today marks one of the most significant days in the trilogy—October 21st, 2015—the day that Marty and Doc Brown arrive in the future. In order to celebrate this occasion, we will take a look at the machine that made it all possible.* No—not the flux capacitor, but the iconic DeLorean automobile.

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Grim Fandango: Lucas Arts Resurrects a Tale of the Dead

This week features the re-launch of Grim Fandango, Lucas Arts’ film noir style game for PC, Mac, and PlayStation. The release has been expanded and it is now also available for iPads, iPhones, and Androids. It has been more than fifteen years since the original release and, if you missed it the first time around, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of this second chance to experience this visually stunning dark tale of the dead.

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5 Minutes with Rayne Hall

This is a chance to learn a bit more about Rayne Hall who has over fifty books published under several pen names, in several genres, in several languages. Twitter: Rayne Hall Amazon Author Central: Rayne Hall   About the Author I started writing when I was about six. I had learnt to read and write…

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Book Review: Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

There is an interesting line in Jeb Kinnison’s new novel, Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2: “The reward for succeeding is more work.” Kinnison wrote a terrific sci-fi dystopian novel, The Red Queen. His reward for this success was writing the next novel in the series, Nemo’s World. Kinninson’s hard work paid off in the form of a…

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Victorian Influences on Modern Speculative Fiction: Steampunk and Fairy Tales

  In a previous series of articles on this site, I have explored the influence of Victorian literature, artwork, and culture on the present-day steampunk literary genre and artwork. (For a partial list—please see the articles listed at the end of this posting.) In this series, I plan to discuss the Victorian influence on modern-day…

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Bolts of Lightning: Thoughts on Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction has been a favorite genre of mine for years. I like the ideas in the fiction; I like the short story length. It gives a writer a chance to work on his/her craft; in essence, it gives a writer a chance to be a wordsmith. Writing comes down to creating connections—making that momentary…

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On Writing: The Road Less Traveled

This starts out with lunch, meanders into a gaggle of geese, gets waylaid by pirates, but eventually does become about writing. I promise! Today was a rare day off for me. I decided to pack a lunch, which included fresh tomatoes from my garden, and have a picnic in the park. I asked my father,…

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