Spec Tech: Dreaming of Windships

I have been daydreaming recently of windjammers, the last of the great merchant sailing ships. I’ve looked back at the sailing ships of the recent past and imagined the future windjammers that may yet be. Is there a future for commercial sailing ships? I wouldn’t rule it out. The ageless winds still blow, girdling the globe in…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Dreaming of Windships

Writer’s Craft #26 – Boyfriend Backbone

Lately it just happens I’ve been reading books in which the female protagonist puts the male lead through hell before she’s willing to admit he’s a keeper. Evolutionary psychology might say it’s because women want to test their man’s loyalty to the max to be sure he can be trusted after she succumbs to his…… Continue reading Writer’s Craft #26 – Boyfriend Backbone

2011 Write-a-Thon, Week 1

Hello, friends of Clarion!  Today marks the beginning of the 2011 Clarion Write-a-Thon. The Write-a-Thon is a way for writers who are not able to attend Clarion to feel part of the team and to take several weeks out of the summer to focus on their own writing goals.  For the next six weekends, the…… Continue reading 2011 Write-a-Thon, Week 1

Spec Tech: The End of the Silk Road

Chang’an: The city at the end of the Silk Road… …or at the beginning.  It depends on where you’re standing.  And when. For a citizen of First Century BCE China, Chang’an is the capital of the western Han Dynasty.(1)  It also marks the start of the Silk Road – the epic overland route linking the…… Continue reading Spec Tech: The End of the Silk Road

Writer’s Craft #25 – The Love of Words

This week’s guest contributor is Amy Neftzger of Nashville, on the love of words. (Lynda) Words are my drug of choice, just as they are for most writers. In fact, most writers are avid readers and it’s our love of words that brings about our need to write. I love words alone or neatly choreographed…… Continue reading Writer’s Craft #25 – The Love of Words

Market Insights: Michael Ray, Redstone Science Fiction

When people find out that I invented a second job for myself by creating an online magazine, they invariably ask, “Why?” Well, now that we’ve been at it a year, the answer’s not simple, but it does have its own logic. My latest day-job is teaching AP History, which is largely about teaching ambitious students…… Continue reading Market Insights: Michael Ray, Redstone Science Fiction

Spec Tech: Conlanging 2 – Sounds and Words

This is the second in a series of posts “live-blogging” the creation of a fictional language from scratch, with the help of our readers.  We plan to construct a functional language one piece at a time, incorporating suggestions and preferences from our audience along the way.  You can read the first post here. — From…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Conlanging 2 – Sounds and Words