Archive for the ‘News’ Category

SF Signal Mind Meld: Our Recent Faves from the Lighter Side of Genre

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The operative question for this Mind Meld was: What books have you read, especially recently, that you’d recommend to others as a temporary vacation from the slings and arrows of our current world?

Because I am nothing if not consistent, I once again mentioned Diana Wynne Jones, whose work never fails to put me in a chipper mood. I also offered up my most-reread duology by Patricia C. Wrede, because I’m a sucker for Regency romance.

There are a ton of great recommendations there, so check it out. You can apologize to your wallet later.

New article on Fantasy Literature

Friday, February 19th, 2016

I wrote an article for Fantasy Literature about how to write worlds and magic systems where magic is treated as a profession. If that sounds like your cup of tea, take a sip.

Comment on the post and you could win a book of your choice! The selection looked pretty sweet to me.

Daily writing prompts

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

I’ve started to post daily writing prompts on Tumblr, primarily for my students but also for anyone who needs a little nudge to get back on the wagon. Or to fall off the wagon? Possibly to caulk the wagon and get across the river.

Anyway, here it is, and I hope it helps.

Short Fiction Workshop

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

This summer, I’ve been invited to teach a workshop on short fiction at The Brainery. The Brainery Workshop is an online creative writing class focused exclusively on speculative fiction as an artistic discipline worthy of theory and practice. The writing participants are expected to produce includes, but is in no way limited to: magical realism, science fiction, horror, weird tales, slipstream, steampunk, and the like. As long as there’s a speculative fiction-y element, we’ll call it good.

This course is an intense practicum in speculative fiction writing and students can expect a traditional graduate-level fiction workshop, concentrating on understanding and implementing the various aspects of speculative fiction. These aspects include craft issues such as characterization, point of view, narrative structure, style, and voice. Although this class is designed with a flexible schedule in mind, students are expected to commit to the same standards as expected of graduate-level creative writing courses, including: deadlines, feedback, and accountability.

There will be master class roundtable sessions with John Chu, who won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, and Michi Trota, managing editor for Uncanny Magazine.

For more information or to sign up, visit:

SF Signal Mind Meld

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

I am again excited to be ensconced among awesome people on SF Signal for their Mind Meld feature. This time the topic was “Writing in Another Author’s Universe,” and the operative question was: “What fallow universe do you think deserves additional exploration, and who would you ask to write in that world?”

I gushed in as non-spoilery a fashion as I could about the Magid series by Diana Wynne Jones. Deep Secret remains one of my favorite books of all time, despite that I haven’t been able to read it in years due to lending it to some mystery person. If you are that person, please give it back. Or if you love it as much as I do, I guess you can keep it and I will continue loving it from afar.

Of the other responses, I think my favorite was the Majipoor series. The only book I read from that was Lord Valentine’s Castle, which is apparently the first book Silverberg wrote in that world. I had no idea, and when I read it I assumed I’d missed some other novels that gave the work more context. Not that such context was necessary; it was just such a vibrant setting whose characters felt intensely mythical in a way that suggested it was rooted in already-explored history. Looking back I’m sort of surprised I didn’t pursue the series further. My library probably wasn’t up to the task, and teenage Valerie wasn’t exactly rolling in dinero.

But I digress. Check out the responses and see what you think. What “fallow worlds” do YOU want to run around in?