Category: On Writing

Essentials of Fantasy

There aren’t any. Sure, there may be a pretty hefty list of really important books in the fantasy genre.  Books like Starship Troopers, Lord of the Rings, and Harrison Bergeron should be on everybody’s reading list, but the genre is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big...

The Music of the Ainur

Listening to the Silmarillion on audiobook, and something occurred to me. The three themes of the Ainur presage the three ages of Middle-Earth.  From the Tolkien Gateway: The Ainur’s flawless Music satisfied even Ilúvatar during this early stage. The Second Theme was “like and yet unlike” the First; it...

CoronaChan Lives!

Today, I’d like to share with you a nice little review of the Amazon top title, CoronaChan: Spreading the Love, by Aaron Giddings over at Sticks, Stories, and Scotch.  This really is a great collection of works by authors with considerably smaller audiences than they deserve, and the fact...

Book Clubbing

Alexandru over at The Dacian has a cunning plan.  Every two weeks he will pick a short story worthy of discussion and give the stalwart Old Guard fans a chance to read and discuss across blogs.  In his own words, he hopes to: foster an environment rich in community...

Post-Apocalypse Fiction in A Time of Apocalyptic Non-Fiction

Is now really the best time to write a post-apocalyptic novel? It is if you know what you are doing. And as a writer, let me assure you – I know what I’m doing. The sad fact is that we already live in a post-apocalyptic world.  Several of them,...

Feanor et al. Did Nothing Wrong

How am I just now learning about the Feanor Did Nothing Wrong memes? For those who don’t know, the story goes a little something like this: So the Valar (kind of like the gods of Middle-Earth, but maybe like archangels or something in-between) started out by making literal heaven...

A Barnes and Ignoble Moment

By now the immediacy of the Barnes and Noble failed experiment of woke-casting classical literature has faded.  These non-troversies rise and fall so fast it can be hard to keep up, so let’s have a quick recap courtesy of Penguin Random House and Barnes and Noble: To kick off...

“Literary” Awards

January means it’s time for successful authors to start laying the marketing groundwork for the award season. Hard pass. The digital panopticon was supposed to make it easier for the technocrats to fool the rubes.  They see a distopian future with themselves standing atop the graveyard of liberty, fully...

A Mutual Vote of Confidence

Writer Daniel J. Davis burst onto my personal scene in 2019 with a string of solid D&D analyses that would have fit right into the earliest days of the OSR.  His post on the post-apocalyptic assumptions built into D&D is one of those deep insights that have grown harder...

Stopped Clocks and the Midlist Midwit Diaspora

When they are right, they are right. Before we get to the meat of this post, let’s take a moment to recall the first rule: A quick search for “Scalzi whatever hiatus” takes six seconds and reveals five of the first six hits betray the lie of “nonstop”. But...