Questions No One Asked – What’s the deal with Valyrian steel?

by Sam Honour

Every epic fantasy worth its salt has epic weapons to match. Lord of the Rings has Narsil, Glamdring and Sting; Harry Potter has the Elder wand; The Chronicles of Narnia has those presents from Santa, I guess? And George R. R. Martin’s epic Song of Ice and Fire is no exception. The powerful and coveted Valyrian steel is renowned to lords and smallfolk alike thanks to its unrivalled strength and alleged magical properties. But what is Valyrian steel? What makes it so powerful? Would it be able to cut through those vacuum sealed plastic packets that nothing on this plane of existence has been able to get through as of yet? Well I’m going to endeavour to answer this question no one asked, whether you want me to or not. Continue reading

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Writing Prompts: Good or Bad for the Writer’s Soul?

by Courtney Vice 

As a writer, I have noticed a trend surging online amongst the writing community: writing prompts. These prompts are generally short and—if they’re good—creative starters to writing. Essentially, they’re a cure for writer’s block. An example could be an opening line, a scenario, or even dialogue from a character. Entire subreddits are dedicated to writing prompts, both the good (“Give the hero the most villainous powers you can, and the villain the most heroic”) and the bad (“Write a story that takes place in our universe”). Nowadays, these prompts are a way to get the creative juices flowing. But the question remains: are they actually beneficial to the writer, or do they limit their creativity to ideas that others have already come up with? Continue reading

Review – The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

by Meera Nair

Shannon, Samantha - The Song RisingThank you Bloomsbury India for sending me a copy of this book for review. 

The Song Rising is the third instalment in Samantha Shannon’s dystopian fiction series, The Bone Season. True to its namesake, the novel chronicles the rising of hope, as the Mime Order attempts to evade the growing power of Scion (a corrupt governmental organization that seeks to rid the world of unnaturals). The new threat that the Mime Order faces makes it impossible for clairvoyants to roam freely in London. In addition to facing off the malicious Hildred Vance, Paige Mahoney has lured a hoard of other enemies. Nashira Sargas, the Emim, Terebell Sheratan are all waiting for her to slip up. Even some of the clairvoyants seem to think her unfit to be the Underqueen. With so many people vying for her failure, Paige is thrust into a ceaseless conundrum. Continue reading

Why Are Androids not a Thing Yet?

by Courtney Vice

If you’ve recently read any science fiction novel, you may have noticed how there seems to be two distinctive classes of robots: androids and, well, robots. Androids look human to the point where they can blend perfectly with society. In fact, they don’t even look like robots. They’re practically humans, but with a few more wires inside of them and no organs. So, maybe not practically humans, but pretty close. Continue reading

Guest Post – The Illusions of Dialogue – Jesse Teller

door-rectI came from a family of storytellers, I mean, gifted storytellers. They could pick you up and lift you into a tale like none other I have ever known. I apprenticed under them, and it made me the writer I am. I have been telling stories all my life and writing for most of my life, and at first, the storytelling didn’t translate to the written word.

If I wrote the story as I heard it, it always fell flat. There was no way to transfer the experience of telling a story to writing one. The teller has more tools. Continue reading

Guest Post – To Self-Publish or Not! – Peter Mowbray

Peter Mowbray.JPGAs I sit and consider the experience of self-publishing, I have to admit that I am both frustrated and happy in equal measure. For those of you that have yet to decide whether to set to work on submitting your masterpiece to all the major publishers and agents, or spend some savings on some “vanity publishing” it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

Let me share with you then, my own experience of the route of self-publication. Continue reading