That’s a Lot of World to Build: Lessons from Writing a Six-Book Series (Part One)

My main writing project last year become THE SKYWARD SAGA, a six novel + two short story adventure starring a young woman and a murderous alien. You know, the kind of story that comes along all the time. As we’re coming near the close of the story, I’m taking a look at what I’ve learned […]

Bradbury’s Final Victim and the Earned Twist

Back again with another random walk through Ray Bradbury’s early short fiction, because that’s what happens during rainy Wisconsin summers: we pull out Golden Age stories and imagine ourselves into interplanetary peril. Final Victim is a longer story, spending more time developing cross sections between a bunch of characters, from the morally dubious but untouchable lawman Jim […]

Annihilation Makes its Unreliable Narrator Mesmerizing

When was the last time you took a walk through a living nightmare? Or a dream that you knew, knew was a dream and still kept going? Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer, is often dreamlike in its descriptions, which come straight from the mind and mouth of the narrator via her journals, and nightmarish in their consequences for […]

Ray Bradbury’s Gabriel’s Horn and the other side of Sci-Fi

It’s common in the ol’ realm of science fiction to have spaceships. To have lasers and stars and monstrous alien creatures battling hordes of space marines in galaxy-spanning wars. Technology is often at the core, and devices that would seem like magic to us are used like we use our phones now. The story starts […]

Rakers Week 5 – Taking Leaps

One of the crazy beautiful things about writing fiction is that you can literally go anywhere with your words. It’s something movies, paintings, and most other forms of art can’t do. There’s nothing stopping you from writing a novel about a talking plant, or a series of mysteries as solved through the eyes of a […]

Rakers Week 3 – The Evolution of an Idea

There is a question at the heart of Rakers that I won’t spoil here and that, frankly, doesn’t get explicitly answered in the novel. I’m not sure I want to definitively answer it in the series as a whole either, because some queries don’t have clearcut choices. When I started thinking about the book, this question did […]