Story Setting – What’s Important

“Setting” covers a large field of elements—not just the place and time but all the extensions of those things. A story taking place in Ancient Rome is not merely a story in a city in Italy in the first century. There is the architecture (which looked different when it was new compared to the ruins we see today). There is the dress, but that is more than the costume that covers the body of an actor. The toga had social significance to the people in Ancient Rome beyond its aesthetic appearance and specific functions, and at certain points in time,…

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How Short Fiction Died (and how it can come back)

If you want the deep read, check it out on JD Cowan’s blog: The ultra-short summation is this: Science fiction short fiction didn’t lose popularity like wearing bellbottoms, it was destroyed through the actions of a small clique of contemptuous busy-bodies who took over the scifi magazines and shifted their subject matter away from what was popular towards what they wished to be popular. The result, of course, was a loss in popularity over time, but process repeated multiple times, until brands which were important in the 1930s are worn like skin suits by people who hate what was…

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There’s Nothing “Nerdy” About Watching Star Wars

A new Star Wars movie came out recently – another piece of weird corporate fan-fiction with the creator happily disinvited from participation – and I noticed something: People (mostly my facebook friends) were posting about seeing the movie, but with an odd sentiment attached to it – the use of the word “nerd.” “Getting my nerd on.” “Time to let loose my inner nerd.” “Time to be a bit nerdy.” Let me say, there is absolutely nothing nerdy about going to see a movie in the most popular film franchise in the history of humanity. It is decidedly a normal…

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Voices of the Void, part 3

You can get the ebook for Voices of the Void right now on Amazon – free with kindle unlimited – or get the paperback (ebook always free with a physical purchase) Read part 1 | Read part 2 He turned away from the hall and ran back toward the elevators. As he did, the screaming finally stopped. The vision of the dead, forgotten child, seared into his retinas, burned into his memory forever, suddenly waned and began to disappear. By the time he reached the lift, the images had nearly evaporated, becoming a dream after waking, or a half-memory of a blurry photograph. He…

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Crown of Sight – scene 3

“What is there to sabotage, sir?”
Mardrel took his eye away from his telescope for a moment to look at Talel, who stood leaning against a charred tree trunk, his face wrapped against the chill of the fog that billowed per-petually from the Fay Lands close at hand.
“Much to sabotage,” Mardrel replied, “but very little we have the capacity to affect.” He handed the telescope to the scout and sat down on a nearby rock.
Talel brought the brass-barreled device to his eye. His grey cloak and gambeson made him blend in well with the tumbled stone and old ash of the burned-out grove, but he made a stark silhouette against the glow of the Fay. There, the trees grew of their own light, stretching in a golden green sheet behind the city.

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Rogue One: A Pointless Star Wars Interquel

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an interquel (yes, like a prequel, but taking place between two other works) that takes place just before the inciting events of the original 1977 Star Wars film, effectively fleshing out the yellow text roll of that original movie into a movie of its own. Therein lays the biggest and most unavoidable problem with Rogue One: it’s pointless and redundant. From the get-go, the concept is unlikely to work, as all of its importance can be summed up in a few sentences slowly crawling up a movie scene. This redundancy doesn’t mean there…

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Stormlight Archive/Way of Kings review and analysis (with Matt Wellman)

Matt and I talk shop about one of our favorite books, The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, and we also talk about the follow-up Words of Radiance, and some of the technical problems it has compared to the first book in Stormlight Archive. We both agree that The Way of Kings is an excellently well-constructed fantasy novel where Sanderson uses his flashback narrative techniques to create plot points that wouldn’t be possible in a more straightforward style.

Writers of the dawn is:

David V. Stewart – Fantasy and Historical Fiction Author, musician

Matthew J. Wellman – Urban Fantasy author, musician