This Week’s Writing Links: Half A King

Half_a_King_by_Joe_AbercrombieFresh off climbing a volcano and watching an inspiring US Women’s World Cup win, I thought I would get back into the swing of things on the blog. I’ve been working tirelessly on the book writing side of things this year, but have been neglectful on the blogging side, which admittedly, if I had to choose between the duties of a contemporary writer, is how I would prefer it. But now that I’ve finished manuscript duties for the time being, I suppose it’s time to return to contributing to the overall betterment of culture and society by posting Nicholas Cage mashups and soccer videos on my blog.

I’ve also had some people email me asking about when the Exiles of the New World is going to be back in print. That’s something I’m hoping to have an answer to in the next few months. I have to wait and see what happens with this WIP before going ahead with Exiles. Even if this manuscript gets pushed back, Exiles should be back on the market at some point this year. Until then, please do not attempt to buy any of the gouged used copies being sold on amazon. Email me for more reasonable alternatives before buying a $60 copy online.

Anyway, moving on. This week’s writing links features the AV Club’s best in print so far for 2015 (including Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Half a King’ and Noelle Stevenson’s ‘Nimona’, both of which I’ve read a bit of and enjoy greatly), some July must-reads from Flavorwire (including Harper Lee’s much anticipated Go Set a Watchman), Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s reassuring advice to struggling writers and some cool maps of fictional literary places.

I’d like to quickly swing back to Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King and talk a little bit more about that novel. I have read some of Abercrombie’s stuff in the past and liked it, but have admittedly preferred the style of his fantasy contemporaries like Rothfuss, Martin and Lynch just a bit more. However, having recently read some of Half a King, I must say it is quite good. The first chapter is a masterclass on writing a very tight, involving opening that grips the reader from page one without plaguing them with exposition or resorting to the more popular crutches of YA fiction like a burst of immediate contextless action or using a prologue or zombies or zombie prologues. Either way, if you were struggling with your opening, regardless of what genre or age group you’re writing for, try to track down that first chapter. It’s a good one.

Speaking of Nicholas Cage mashups (just let this abrupt transition happen), did everyone see the Nicholas Cage as Game of Thrones character mashup? It’s amazing and I love almost everything about it, but my only problem with it is that I honestly thought this post would represent the literal end of the internet. Like I always imagined that if Jeff Bridges’ character in Tron kept driving his blue light bike out of the mainframe and eventually found the end of the internet many years later, it would just be this picture of Nicholas Cage as Bran Stark floating in the nothingness of space, kinda like when they found the edge of the universe in Dark City. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case, as this mashup exists and more internet content continues to be produced. Disappointing to say the least, but we must be strong and forge on.

Anyway, check out some other good writing links below and feel free to share your own.

PS. I have a new release date for Doors of Stone. It’s never.

Just kidding. I’m sure it will come out at some point, but not in 2015 as Rothfuss stated in a tweet, so Doors of Stone watch has officially been pushed back to at least 2016. I’m sure it will be worth the wait though. Can’t wait to check it out.

This Week’s Writing Links:

– Best in Print of 2015 so far (avclub)
– 10 Must Read Books for July (flavorwire)
– Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona (amazon)
– Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world (theguardian)
– Matthew Weiner’s Reassuring Advice for Struggling Artists (fastcompany)
– Nicholas Cage as Every Game of Thrones Character (io9)
– Cool Maps of Fictional Places (joehill)
– Review of the Paper Towns Film Adaptation (thewrap)
– 7 Books to Read Before Seeing the Movie (kirkusreview)
– Every Time Travel Movie Ever Ranked (io9)
– Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness Avaliable as an ebook (sfsignal)
– How I Got My Literary Agent: Rebecca Phillips (writersdigest)
– How To Tell If Your Manuscript is YA (katebrauning)
– Hank and John Green’s new podcast (hankandjohn)

This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s writing links feature a review of Stephen King’s ‘The Wind Through The Keyhole’, the return of BBC’s Sherlock in the US this weekend, writing advice from famous authors, Paolo Bacigalupi’s interview on SF Signal and the odd possibility that asteroid mining could be declared illegal.

Stephen King returned to his sprawling Dark Tower fantasy series this past week with the release of The Wind Through The Keyhole, a tale that takes place sometime between the events of the fourth and fifth books of the series. King, who once declared that he was done with the series, it seems was drawn back to the tale of Roland, the Gunslinger. And why not? It’s such an expansive, interesting world, and I don’t fault him one bit for jumping back in. Reviews seem to be glowing so far for this book too. So, kudos again to the book writing machine that is Stephen King.

It was also a little disappointing to hear that asteroid mining might be declared illegal, seeing as that my next kickstarter project was either going to be an asteroid mining project or a mini-fridge segway attachment. Now, I guess I’m defaulted into the segway fridge all the way, which to be honest is a little bit less ambitious. This bit of information also sullies a few bits of asteroid related fiction too. It means that all the surviving astronaut characters in the movie Armageddon would have been championed as heroes when they returned to Earth, but would have been promptly arrested thereafter for space treason or whatever bit of silly legislation this legal snafu falls under. Talk about a buzz kill. Anyway, here are the writing links for the week.



– AV Club Reviews Stephen King’s The Wind Through The Keyhole (avclub)

– David Brin: The Need To Restore Optimism To Science Fiction (io9)

– Season 2 Of BBC’s Sherlock Debuts Stateside On PBS This Weekend (mcclatchydc)

– Paolo Bacigalupi Interviewed For The Drowned Cities (sfsignal)

– The New Prometheus Trailers (youtube)

– Best Piece Of Writing Advice: Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, Carl Sandburg (writersdigest)

– Asteroid Mining Could Be Against The Law (io9)

– New Literary Agent: Sarah Joy Freese Of Wordserve Literary (guidetoliteraryagents)

– The Most Embarrassing Star Wars Official Merchandise (gizmodo)

– 10 Books To Fuel Your Springtime Wanderlust (flavorwire)

– 11 Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror Books To Read For May (sfsignal)

– Indiegogo Project That Needs Help: Game Reset (indiegogo)

Monday’s Writing Links (2/27)

Today’s writing links include news about Japan’s proposed space elevator (and a counterpoint to the plan), news about JK Rowling’s next book, new literary agents on the scene and a list of successful adaptations of “unadaptable” books.

I have to admit, although I’m not a huge fan of long elevator rides, Japan’s space elevator plan sounds cool in concept. Although the argument against why it won’t be ready by 2050 includes an incredibly relevant point (the technology to tether the supposed “ribbon” configuration has not been invented yet), it would still be very exciting to see the thing erected during my lifetime, even though I’d be 66 by the time it goes up. I can’t hide a little bit of disappointment that it’s going to take that long, but I guess if I want to get to the moon before then, I’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. With the relative decline of NASA, the old fashioned way seems to have defaulted into hiding in Buzz Aldrin’s luggage or being Richard Branson’s butler.

It’s also nice to hear that J.K. Rowling will be returning to writing soon, with the announcement that she will be publishing a new book in the near future with her newly acquired publisher, Little, Brown. Although the subject matter of her next novel is unknown, it will be interesting to see what she will write her first adult novel about. Are we looking at an adult fantasy book or a David Foster Wallace like entry into her literary cabinet? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

In other news, links!


– Japan Plans Snail-Paced Space Elevator For 2050 (cnet)

– Why Japan Won’t Have A Space Elevator By 2050 (io9)

– 10 Great Magical Books For Adults (flavorwire)

– New Literary Agent Alert: Kat Salazar Of Larsen Pomada (guidetoliteraryagents)

– J.K. Rowling To Publish First Novel For Adults (flavorwire)

– 17 Successful Adaptations Of “Unadaptable” Books (avclub)

– SF Signal Reviews Hitchers By Will McIntosh (sfsignal)

– The Opportunities Of Self Publishing (writersdigest)

– Flavorwire’s Reading Picks For February (flavorwire)

– Who Controls Your Amazon E-book Price? (sfwa)

– Science Fiction Or Fact: Could a ‘Robopocalypse’ Wipe Out Humans? (yahoo)

Wednesday's Writing Links

This week’s writing links may be a little heavy on the film side of things, possibly necessitating a name change for the week to Christmas Writing/Movie Links With A Heavy Emphasis On Science Fiction And Nonsense, but brevity is the bread and butter of the internet, so we’ll keep it simple for now.

On the docket though we have the first trailers for ‘The Hobbit‘, ‘Dark Knight Rises‘ and Ridley Scott’s kinda-maybe-rumor-we’re-not-sure ‘Alien’ prequel ‘Prometheus‘ (which should not be confused with the ‘Wrath of the Titans‘ preview that went up yesterday too, starring the character Prometheus), a new self-publishing service and Writer’s Digest on the ‘18 Most Popular Writing Articles Of The Year.’

So, what are people reading/watching for Christmas/the Holidays? My approach so far has been a little unorthodox, having revisited ‘Die Hard’, ‘Trading Places’, ‘Muppet Christmas Carol’, assorted ‘Psych’ Christmas episodes and that one Chris Van Allsburg book that gave me nightmares as a child. That’s all I’ve gotten through this year to complete a pretty odd Christmas routine. Either way, I hope you have are having a Happy Holidays celebrating(or not celebrating) whatever religion, creed, belief, Festivus, methodology, football team, you follow(or don’t follow).


– The Hobbit Trailer (comingsoon)

– The 18 Most Popular Writing Articles Of 2011 (writersdigest)

– 50 Things We Learned From Harry Potter (totalfilm)

– Av Club Reviews Peter Nadas’ ‘Parallel Stories’ (avclub)

– How To Expand Your Platform Through Generosity (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Postcolonialism And Science Fiction: An Introduction (io9)

– Dymock’s New Self-publishing Service (sfwa)

– ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Trailer (youtube)

– Teaser Trailer For Ridley Scott’s Rumored Alien Prequel ‘Prometheus’ (io9)

– The Year’s Best Science Fiction And Fantasy (sfsignal)

– Kickstarter Project To Support: Realms Unreel (kickstarter)

This Week's Writing Links

Not a whole lot happens in the publishing industry during the Holidays, so this is a great time to catch up on your reading and relaxing, and put the business end of things out of mind for awhile. Certainly many of us will continue to scribble away into the night, but I believe the helpfulness of a break is often undervalued. Take a break and take in some other things from other mediums/walks of life and I know it will go a long way toward inspiring some new ideas.

But if you have had a lethargic writing winter so far, and are looking for a goal to get back into the swing things, try January 20, 2012. That is the date of the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York. It is the perfect event if you’re looking to find an agent, sell your work, connect with industry professionals and attend seminars. So, if you are going to take a break, keep that one on your radar for a possible return to things of a productive nature. Until then, links.


– Amazon’s Best Science Fiction And Fantasy (amazon)

– New Agent Alert: Claire Dunnington Of The Vicky Bijur Literary Agency (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Writer’s Digest 2012 Conference (writersdigest)

– Nebula Awards Interview: James Patrick Kelly (sfwa)

– A Collection Of The Year’s Best Sci-fi Stories (io9)

– A 12 Day Plan Of Simple Writing Exercises (writersdigest)

– Av Club Reviews Gregory Maguire’s Out Of Oz (avclub)

– Kirkus Review: Best Nonfiction Of 2011 (kirkusreview)

– Report From The Hobbit Set (hobbitblog)

– Successful Queries Agent: Jen Rofe (writersdigest)

– The Great Alan Moore Reread ‘V For Vendetta’ Part 1 (tor)

– 10 Pieces Of Advice From Science Fiction And Fantasy Movies (io9)

– Scientists Discover Monster Black Holes (yahoo)

– Book Trailer For Michael Dempsey’s ‘Necropolis’ (sfsignal)

– Guy Pierce In The Trailer For Luc Besson’s New Space Prison Break Movie (io9)

Monday's Writing Links

This week’s links mourn the passing of Anne McCaffrey, feature a new short story by Alan Moore, highlight the releases of Michael Connelly’s ‘The Drop’ and showcase a tumblr dedicated to cool bookshelves.

It’s sad to hear about Anne McCaffrey’s passing. Although she was 85 and apparently lived a full and fruitful life, there is always an element of tragedy when someone leaves us. She was definitely an influential author, who deserved a larger audience in the era of any and every fantasy series being snapped up by movie studios and TV networks alike. Hopefully that won’t be too far off in the future for her ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ series.

In other news, November wraps up this week, so if you’ve got a NaNoWriMo goal in sight, this is that last sprint toward the finish line. Stay on target and then you can reward yourself by spending the entirety of December reading on the beach…or editing in your car on lunch breaks if you don’t have beach access. Either way, congrats to all participants, regardless of where you finished with your manuscript.


– RIP Anne McCaffrey (sfwa)

– The Influence Of Anne McCaffrey (tor)

– Kirkus Review Of Michael Connelly’s ‘The Drop’ (kirkus)

– New Agent Alert: Marie Lamba Of The Jennifer Dechiara Literary Agency (guidetoliteraryagents)

– The Future Of The Book As Depicted In Science Fiction (tor)

– How Long Should Novel Chapters Be? (writersdigest)

– Kirkus Review’s Best Fiction Of 2011 (kirkus)

– Alan Moore’s Short Story From Dodgem Logic (newhumanist)

– A Tumblr Just For Great Bookshelves (bookshelf)

– Bruce Lee Interviewed For ‘The Green Hornet’ TV Show (youtube)

– The Best Scenes In Terrible Movies (avclub)

Monday's Writing Links

In today’s Monday’s Writing Links, the AV Club interviews ‘100 Bullets’ writer Brian Azzarello, Tor asks what the first book you bought was, JA Konrath uses sales figures to argue in favor of the self publishing/Amazon route and the coolest child’s nursery ever is unveiled.

The holidays are right around the corner, so I hope everyone is being productive this week in order to relax with family and decompress next week. Everyone needs a break, even from writing. It’s okay. Your manuscript will still be there when you get back and your characters will be just as dysfunctional as when you left them. So, especially for those NaNoWriMo participants out there, make that final push this week so you can take that much needed break next week. It will be much deserved. Until then, links!


– AV Club Interviews Brian Azzarello (avclub)

– Why There Are So Few Superheroes In YA Literature (sfsignal)

– What Was The First Book You Bought? (tor)

– How To Gain Perspective On Your Work (writersdigest)

– Before They Were Famous: Odd Jobs Of Literary Greats (writersdigest)

– Lee Goldberg And JA Konrath Discuss Self Publishing Sale Numbers (jakonrath)

– New Agent Alert: Linda Epstein (guidetolitararyagents)

– HBO Annouces TV Adaptation For ‘The Corrections’ (avclub)

– Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust Announces Winter 2012 Online Classes (sfwa)

– The Spokes Of The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (io9)

– An Amazing Star Wars Nursery (blastr)

Monday's Writing Links

Today’s writing links highlight prominent sci-fi author John Scalzi’s new announced project, Redshirts. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Redshirt comes from Star Trek lore, referring to the expendable red shirted crewmembers who were always fodder for whatever alien culture they encountered in an episode of the show. If you still have any trouble understanding this phenomenon, go back and watch the original Star Trek episodes. Anyone in red standing next to William Shatner when they arrive on a new planet has a life expectancy of about zero.

Scalzi’s attempt on the subject will humorously explore what would have happened if the new redshirt recruits got together to compare notes and finally took notice of the unusually high mortality rate for their position. More details on the synopsis can be found on the website for the always fantastic publisher, Tor. Redshirts won’t be out until Summer 2012, but it will be worth checking out when it releases. In other news, Happy Halloween and here are some links!



– John Scalzi’s Next Project Revealed, ‘Redshirts’ (io9)

– Av Club Reviews Terry Pratchett’s ‘Snuff’ (avclub)

– New Agent Alert: Becky Vinter Of Fineprint Literary Management (guidetoliteraryagents)

– How To Improve Your Researching Skills And Write Accurately (writersdigest)

– Made It Moment: Scott Armstrong (jennymilchman)

– New Author Spotlight: Michael Dempsey (sfsignal)

– Ray Bradbury Video Interview From 1974 (sfsignal)

– George R. R. Martin’s ‘Wild Cards’ To Be Adapted Into Film (tor)

– Copyright Is People (sfwa)

– Scientific, Sword And Sorcery, Galactic? What Is Sci-fi? (karenelliott)

– Incredible But Real Science Fiction And Fantasy Pumpkin Carvings (io9)

Monday's Writing Links (Tuesday Edition)

Welcome to yet another Holiday Monday’s Writing Links: Tuesday Edition, where I attempt to make this byline as long as possible. We’ll see what we can do about making the title longer next week. Either way, today’s Writing Links are here to inspire you and get you back writing so that you can have your book out by this time next year, enjoying the accolades of being the bestselling author of the first Hasidic Jew action detective series (or whatever subject you may be tackling).

The highlighted link today is for Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Ernest Cline, best known for writing the doomed Star Wars fanboy film Fanboys, ventures into novel writing with Ready Player One. Despite a recent release, Cline’s novel already comes highly recommended and rated by those who have had the pleasure to read it. Have I read it yet? No. Will I read it? Absolutely. I leave for Brazil at the end of the week and I’m sure somewhere in the dual twelve hour flights, miscellaneous time spent at customs insisting that the packets of white powder in my bag are in fact dietary supplements for stomach problems and the thirty-five to forty minute window on the beach that my skin complexion can tolerate the sun, I will find the time to read it. Until then, let’s bask in the glowing glow of the synopsis:

“Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future–the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and 80s nostalgia, this high energy cyber-quest will make geeks everywhere feel like they were separated at birth from author Ernest Cline.”


– AV Club Reviews Ready Player One (avclub)

– io9 Interviews Ernest Cline While He Plays Joust (io9)

– The Perils And Pleasures Of Long Running Fantasy Series (avclub)

– Fact Vs Fiction: Writing Outside Your Life (writersunboxed)

– Then All Genres Are Flawed (writeanything)

– How A Single Bullet Can Get A Customer To Buy Your Book (writetodone)

– Podcast Interview With Nathan Bransford (aisf)

– George Lucas Changes Star Wars Yet Again (sfsignal)

– Grammar Rules: Capitalization (writingforward)

– Neil DeGrassi Tyson: If I Were President (haydenplanetarium)

Monday's Writing Links

This week’s Monday’s Writing Links covers the second book of the Kingkiller Chronicle, the fluctuating prices of ebooks, a ‘Blade Runner’ sequel and the inevitable construction of a space elevator to make your moon commute less of a hassle (something that has been plaguing us each and every day, I know).

The ‘Wise Man’s Fear’, which is the sequel to ‘The Name of the Wind,’ a book I profiled in an earlier post, is a continuation of the Kingkiller Chronicle, a series that follows young protagonist Kvothe as he recounts his life and adventures. It has been a great series so far and although the third and final trilogy of the series is not out yet, I would highly recommend the first two. As I mentioned earlier, I would describe it as a meld of the Harry Potter and Wheel of Time series.

And truthfully, I have never been a big fan of ‘Blade Runner,’ which I know might get some of you all riled up and soaking your torches in kerosine, but don’t quite get your best mob overalls on just yet. The reason I don’t like ‘Blade Runner’ is that I don’t think it is a very good movie. Wait, that didn’t help at all. In fact, this hole seems to be getting deeper somehow. But really, I don’t think ‘Blade Runner’ is a bad movie, it’s just one of those classics that never quite clicked with me. Sure, Harrison Ford is the man in my book and Rutger Hauer’s speech at the end of the movie is pretty awesome, but as a whole I’ve just never really meshed with it. Call me crazy. Either way, my peace offering is this nice collection of writing/sci-fi links.


– The ‘Wise Man’s Fear’ On Amazon (amazon)

– Ebook Price Wars (graspingforthewind)

– Is A Space Elevator Coming Soon? (io9)

– Ridley Scott To Direct Blade Runner Sequel (sfsignal)

– American Gods Fan Art (nylonadmiral)

– 2011 Hugo Winners Announced (hugo)

– SF Signal Reviews Lev Grossman’s The Magician (sfsignal)

– Av Club Interviews Lev Grossman (avclub)

– Now Magazine Interviews David Tennant (now)

– Spoiler Alert: Behold Guillermo Del Toro’s Latest Scary Monsters From ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’ (io9)