Spec Tech: Your Protagonist Wants Sleeves: Fashion in F&SF

Most clothes are uncomfortable, cumbersome, and dangerous, and can really make your characters’ lives miserable.  As a writer, this is an underused resource for inflicting pain and suffering upon your poor, hapless protagonists. Unless manufactured on machines by cotton produced on industrial farms and sewn en masse by underpaid illegal laborers, clothing is expensive. For…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Your Protagonist Wants Sleeves: Fashion in F&SF

Spec Tech: Of Tall Ships and Star Ships

When Mishell Baker went looking for a nautical blogger, she found me. My name is Rick Spilman.  I am the host of the Old Salt Blog.  By training, I am a naval architect, which is to say a ship designer.  I am also a multimedia designer and a writer, among other things.  I have an abiding love for…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Of Tall Ships and Star Ships

Breaking News!

The instructors for Clarion 2011 have been announced: Week One:  Nina Kiriki Hoffman Week Two:  John Scalzi Week Three:  Elizabeth Bear Week Four:  David Anthony Durham Week Five and Six:  John Kessel and Kij Johnson Now might be a good time to start working on those application stories.

Writing Life: How Novel!

Until fairly recently, it was standard practice for a new science fiction or fantasy writer to rack up a few sales in Asimov’s or Weird Tales before even attempting a novel.  Very few writers would be taken seriously until they had established a track record of published stories.  These days, speculative fiction writers (particularly in…… Continue reading Writing Life: How Novel!

Writing Life: Life is Short

Although it is entirely possible (and some say even advisable) in the SF&F market to plunge straight into writing and selling novels, there is a lot to be learned from writing short fiction.  Good prose is good prose, and a few sales in the right places can be an excellent way to demonstrate that you’re…… Continue reading Writing Life: Life is Short

Guest Blog from Scott H. Andrews: “Literary Adventure Fantasy”

We continue our series of mid-month guest blogs from the SF&F marketplace with a look into the newest SFWA-qualifying short fiction market, Beneath Ceaseless Skies.  If you’re just now tuning in, and missed our visits from agents Matt Bialer and Russell Galen, you may wish to go back and check them out.  Next month: Joshua…… Continue reading Guest Blog from Scott H. Andrews: “Literary Adventure Fantasy”

Spec Tech: Why Wolves are Like Chocolate Chip Cookies

Short answer: Because they’re both awesome. Long answer: When I was a teenager, I read a lot of books about wolves, which invariably started out, “Wolves are not the monstrous beasts of legend, but interesting and misunderstood social animals.”  These pro-wolf books would go on about how wolves really don’t kill people, and they’re not…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Why Wolves are Like Chocolate Chip Cookies