Category: On Writing

“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...

The Pinks are Revolting

Brian Neiemeir over at Kairos has been doing the blog-post convo that we’ve seen so little of since the great Twitter migration.  This time around, he’s doing a deeper delve into a tweet-thread done by Ben Kai Wai Cheah: With all respect to Ben, this explanation puts the cart...

The Genre Détente

After an all out brawl – or at least the sort of petty slap fight that passes for such on Twitter – the anti-SJW crews have retreated to their respective corners.  For those not in the know, we aficionados of the Pulp ethos look askance at the claims of...

Lessons From the Master

The other day somebody at one of the many renegade publishing internet water coolers asked if the works reviewed over at the Castalia House blog, of which I have done many, are worth reading.  While I can’t speak for all of the reviewers over there, my own reviews run...

Dancing Around the Fire

Watching Amazon’s The Boys – more on that soonish – reminded me of my last desperate days stuck under the thumb of the Dinosaur Publishers.  Back in the bad old days when I only rarely dipped my toes into NYC publishing waters in search of a rare good read,...

Cirsova – Late to the Blurb Party

No that blog title is not a secret story only included on the copy of Cirsova provided to advertisers like me.  It’s just the subject of this blogpost and an admission that I’ve been doing it all wrong. Throughout the whole of Volume One of Cirsova, The Magazine of...

Last First Sentences – My Own Petard

This past week we’ve looked at more than a dozen story openings, and hopefully the exercise has been of some value to both the writers out there and the readers.  My thanks to all of the authors whose works were featured in Cirsova magazine, and my sincere hopes that...

Third and Final First Sentences

First sentences matter.  People are judgy and they love to find reasons to reject your works.  Knowing the how and why people judge can help you writers make sales, and they can help you readers be better judges of whether what you’re reading can recover from its doldrums or...