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

The Protagonist Problem

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by Pete Richmond

The protagonist is a key to any successful story, whether book, film or TV show. What type of protagonist are we going to have? The young hero, slowly realising his powers? The grizzled veteran on one last mission? The outsider discovering a new land? The choice of protagonist is crucial to a story’s success as it is their journey that the reader follows.

Many protagonists within popular culture become icons in their own right, after all, who hasn’t heard of Luke Skywalker? But what makes a great protagonist? 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

Top Five Noteworthy Fantasy Weapons

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by Tripp Bond

Powerful weapons have been a staple in fantasies and myths since the dawn of language. In fact, they have become so prevalent that we expect to see them in any action movie or book that has even a hint of the preternatural. These armaments are often extremely powerful, being imbued with magical or cosmic forces, granting their wielders some pretty cool abilities. Ranging from swords and wands to hammers to rings, here are our top five fantasy weapons. (Disclaimer: We normally present a top ten, but since so much can be written on each of these weapons we have stopped at five for the sake of brevity.)

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Are You Afraid of the Dark? Here’s Why

by Courtney Vice

Horror novels: either you love ‘em or you hate ‘em. There’s something personal about our fears; in a way, its exposing our vulnerabilities out for everyone to see, which isn’t the most pleasurable experience for everyone. Some people might just not like the unrealistic aspect of horror novels. After all, there’s no such thing as sharp fanged, eight foot tall beasts who wait at the end of your bed at night, right? …Right? Continue reading