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Book Review: The Great Ordeal by R. Scott Bakker

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews | 0 comments

Book Review: The Great Ordeal by R. Scott Bakker

The Great Ordeal–penultimate volume of the Aspect Emperor No-Longer-A-Trilogy, the conclusion of which, The Unholy Consult, was released yesterday–is not only a compelling novel but also very useful as a physical object. A nine-inch by six-inch by three-inch rectangle with the words THE GREAT ORDEAL across the front in an emphatic font is basically the world’s best portable Demotivator. I read this book at the tail end of 2016.  Which was not, by any possible standards, a...

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A Checklist to Start Publishing Short Fiction

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Blog Posts, Work and Career, Writing, Writing Advice | 0 comments

A Checklist to Start Publishing Short Fiction

This post originally went live on Fictionvale in 2014 and was reprinted in Short Story Writer Magazine. Unfortunately, Fictionvale has since closed and the article is no longer available online. I’m taking the opportunity to repost it while I’m moving to my new apartment and have less time available to blog. While it’s focused on writing short fiction, the advice may also be helpful to novelists, article writers, artists, and anyone curious about how publishing works on the...

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“Of the Generation” in Heroic Fantasy Anthology from Flame Tree Publishing

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized, Writing | 0 comments

“Of the Generation” in Heroic Fantasy Anthology from Flame Tree Publishing

Flame Tree Publishing has posted the Tables of Contents for its new Gothic Fantasy anthologies: Time Travel and Heroic Fantasy. It’s pretty unreal to be on the same list as the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The full ToC for Heroic Fantasy is: A Matter of Interpretation by M. Elizabeth Ticknor Burned Away by Kate O’Connor Dragon and Wolf by Zach Chapman Erzabet and the Gladiators by Susan Murrie Macdonald Five Fruits I Ate in Sandar Land by Michael Haynes Laya by Voss...

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Living with Imposter Syndrome

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Blog Posts, Work and Career, Writing | 2 comments

This post originally went live on Fictionvale in 2014. Unfortunately, Fictionvale has since closed and the article is no longer available online. I’m taking the opportunity to repost it while I’m moving to my new apartment and have less available to blog. If you’re currently battling a bout of imposter syndrome, I hope it proves timely. This is a piece to read not when you’re fleeing constructive criticism, but when no feedback, not even positive feedback, feels...

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“John Kosichev” in Storyteller magazine

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Blog Posts, Featured, Writing | 0 comments

“John Kosichev” in Storyteller magazine

As I said in my last post, it turns out that when you send stories regularly in answer to calls for submissions, you sometimes get stories accepted! I’m very excited to break my long publishing silence with a release in a new magazine, Storyteller, with a story that’s been a particular favorite of mine (even when it took a few drafts), “John Kosichev.”   This issue of Storyteller includes some gripping and rather timely stories tackling issues of virtual reality,...

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2017 already!? (On second thought, thank goodness)

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Blog Posts, Work and Career | 0 comments

2017 already!? (On second thought, thank goodness)

It is with considerable chagrin that I realize I haven’t published a new blog post since March of 2016 (though it is with some pleasure that I work the word “chagrin” into a sentence). 2016 was not the most productive of years, and that’s the kindest thing that can be said for it. My feelings toward it are not kindly and it was not at all kind. I lost my father unexpectedly, under difficult circumstances, at the end of September, and in November I lost another good...

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12 Words to (Almost Always) Cut

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in Blog Posts, Editing, Featured, Writing, Writing Advice | 0 comments

12 Words to (Almost Always) Cut

Strong stories are not necessarily short. They don’t need to be Hemingway-esque masterpieces of bare prose. In fact, I have friends who would argue “Hemingway-esque masterpiece” is an oxymoron; the man’s writing gets downright boring. And it would be hypocritical of me to argue for only short sentences or short paragraphs. I have to consciously apply myself to make use of either.    But in a strong story, every word counts. And no word is misplaced or ill-chosen. The...

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The Big List of Writing Writing Resources, Part One

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice | 0 comments

You can write your story with nothing but a reasonably flat surface and something that leaves a mark, but it’s a lot easier when you have the right tools. Happily, there are a lot of useful resources out there. Here are some of my favorites. I encountered a few while writing The Starter Guide for Professional Writers (about which I have exciting news: revisions and expansions are underway for a second edition! The past two years have seen some interesting changes in the publishing...

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“The Grace of Turning Back” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized |

“The Grace of Turning Back,” the final story of the Curse-Strewn World sequence, appears in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #179, which can be read on the BCS website or in the Kindle store. The Tynesi merchants, who traded everything from the silver rice of Timru and perfume leaves from Simrandu to chips of ivory off the Keld’s temples, had a term for a particular sort of improvidence: to throw money, time, or strength into seeing to completion a bargain they had...

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“Arnheim’s World” in Analog Magazine

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

“Arnheim’s World” in Analog Magazine

In the May 2015 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, alongside fiction from Rajnar Vajra, But Sparhawk, Robert R. Chase, Aubry Kae Anderson, and J.L. Forrest, my story “Arnheim’s World” explores the economics, ethics, and (anti)sociability of terraforming. Environment, economics, ethics, all stewing in a high-tension dilemma. Exactly the kind of thing you’d expect of me, I hope.  I worked on this piece on and off from 2011 onward, intrigued by the idea of a...

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