Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…”

― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

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Hilary Mantel, celebrated author of Wolf Hall, dies aged 70

The Booker prize-winning author of the Wolf Hall trilogy, Dame Hilary Mantel, has died aged 70, her publisher HarperCollins has confirmed.

Mantel was regarded as one of the greatest English-language novelists of this century, winning the Booker Prize twice, for Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, which also won the 2012 Costa book of the year.

Writer and broadcaster Damian Barr said her death is “such a loss”.

“With every book she redefined what words can do,” he tweeted, adding: “She’s the only person I ever interviewed that speaks in whole, flawless paragraphs. I can’t believe we won’t have another book from her.”

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“The pen is in our hands. A happy ending is ours to write.”

— Hilary Mantel 

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It’s Tuesday, so you almost got an encouraging quote and pretty picture, but this short story appeared in my inbox. 

I was never a philosophy student but the message still tickles my funny bone (I probably would have taken that job, though).

You might like it too.

Recipe by Tina S. Zhu

Makes one reluctant vampire hunter.


     1 desperate jobseeker

     4 YouTube videos on cooking with tomato sauce

     2 fire alarms, batteries not included

     1 friend willing to smuggle blood

     4 cloves garlic

     1 gallon expired holy water

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Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

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Whether your story rests on a historical foundation or you’re starting a world from scratch, writers, game-builders, and creators of all kinds can benefit from an in-depth understanding of how social and economic systems operate. 

There is a lot of related material out there but I came across this guide, specifically aimed at creators of fiction, and thought I’d share.

Resources for World-Builders by The Pedant, a.k.a. Dr. Bret C. Devereaux

I know a lot of my readers are interested in constructing fictional worlds which follow historical rules and patterns, where things like agriculture and armies make sense. So I thought I would gather together some of the material I’ve written that might be of use. 

As an example, here’s an analysis of what it took to for pre-modern farmers to make bread. It certainly makes me appreciate the ease with which we can now access high-quality flour (and legal protections, and insurance). 

Bread, How Did They Make it? (I, II, III, IV, A)

And finally, just to point out the obvious: farming labor is hard. It is back-breaking, uncomfortable stuff. 

The resource collection includes material on the following categories, with examples from history (fictional and otherwise).

This site has a Lot of other interesting material as well, so if (for example) you’ve ever wondered why the Industrial Revolution didn’t happen under the Roman Empire, this is the resource for you.

* Also note, for more on what and how people ate in the Western Middle Ages, SF Canada writer Krista D. Ball has a detailed and useful book on realism in fantasy food: What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank.

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Photo by Mingwei Lim on Unsplash

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I drafted a drabble. I drafted a haiku. I drafted another drabble. None of these pieces are ready to share, so instead I’ll leave you with this back-to-school story from Fireside ok, that was too scary so I’ll just go submit a story to an anthology!

Such is the writing life.

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Photo by Kerin Gedge on Unsplash

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The winners of the 2022 Hugo Awards have been announced! 

The Hugo Awards

  • Best Novel – A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • Best Novella – A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers (Tordotcom)
  • Best Novelette – “Bots of the Lost Ark”, by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, Jun 2021)
  • Best Short Story – “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather”, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021)

Click through the links above for free access to the winning novelette and short story, or visit the awards page for the full list of awardees.

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Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

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I’m apparently out of practice balancing the day job with other things. I also spent a good part of my day interfacing with computers, so while I relearn time-management skills, here’s a story from Ken Liu.

/can’t find the story

/now where is that link hiding?

/AI help needed!

Ah, here we are.

50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know – Uncanny Magazine

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Photo by Ian Battaglia on Unsplash

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I tested out yet another version of my tofu pudding recipe, hazelnut chocolate this time. It’s a little sweet, but I may try layering it with passionfruit whipped cream and see what that’s like. Because half the fun is in the making.

Ok, maybe not half. But it is fun.

In honor of the connection between food, experimentation and the evolution of humanity (by humans or… not), check out this short story by CB Droege in Nature.

Alfie’s ice cream
It was almost time. After months of calibration and fine tuning. After dozens of years of research, theory, testing and production. After centuries of anticipation and dreaming. The SCS Alfred Nobel, Alfie as he called himself, was finally going to try some ice cream.

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Photo by Andres Molina on Unsplash

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A random musing in the form of a drabble: What if finding an adult sponsor were the only way to live past your 18th birthday?

Old and New
Travis smiled as he helped Mr. Frederick with his groceries. Dead-end job? Sure, but it gave him a chance to meet a lot of elders. They usually hid behind retirement community walls, but everyone had to eat.

He slipped a Recommendation card into the last bag, between a head of broccoli and an eggplant.

“Thanks, kid,” the old man said.

Damn it, three weeks of sucking up and Mr. Frederick still didn’t know his name? All his other prospects had fallen through. Travis gave a silent groan as he counted the days to his 18th birthday.

He was so dead.

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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

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“Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.” 

― Charlaine Harris

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Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

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