Satisfying Book Experiences of 2008 (Part II)

Happy New Year, everybody.  Here are a few more of my favorite book experiences to round out the year. Howl’s Moving Castleby Diana Wynne Jones.  Howl is a hard wizard to pin down–even his castle is always on the move.  The young Sophie Hatter, an equally interesting protagonist, has to navigate her way through a maze … More Satisfying Book Experiences of 2008 (Part II)

Satisfying Book Experiences of 2008 (Part I)

I was thinking of doing a post on my favorite books to come out in 2008, but the truth is I’ve only read maybe three or four books newly published this year, so I thought I’d steal a page from the clever Matthew Cheney and just post about some of my more satisfying book experiences in 2008, regardless of publication … More Satisfying Book Experiences of 2008 (Part I)

Secret Invasion: The “Wha-huh?” Moments

So Marvel Comics has just wrapped up Secret Invasion,  its mega-crossover for 2008.  Shape-changing alien skrulls secretly invade earth, taking the place of many of your favorite superheroes.  You can’t trust anybody anymore.  An old but fun premise with lots of potential, especially in the hands of talented writer Brian Michael Bendis.  Sadly, it concluded with a … More Secret Invasion: The “Wha-huh?” Moments

Shiny New Masthead

The default wordpress image, while nice and vaguely science-fictional, had grown tiresome. This shiny new masthead is from a photo of a work of art made by my friend Skylar Fein, a rising star in the New Orleans art world.  A few years ago, Skylar and I went to New Orleans together for a couple … More Shiny New Masthead

Lester Dent’s Pulp Fiction Master Plot Formula

This past summer I went to Taos Toolbox, a two-week writing workshop in Taos, New Mexico.  Among the many great exercises we did, the inimitable Walter Jon Williams introduced us to Lester Dent’s master plot formula for writing pulp fiction short stories.  (Lester Dent is the classic pulp fiction writer who created Doc Savage.) There are so … More Lester Dent’s Pulp Fiction Master Plot Formula