Robin Sloan’s delicious stewing of magical realism and food writing, Sour Dough, serves up the perfect blend of action, pathos, and exposition in its mouth-watering first chapter. Here’s the recipe and ingredients. I’ve broken the first chapter into five sections which form a kind of parallel structure. Warning, there are minor spoilers for the first… Read More FIRST CHAPTER: ROBIN SLOAN’S SOURDOUGH


Two things. First, my friend Graeme Brown recently published a novella called the Pact. Brown is a prolific world builder and proponent of outlining. He’s taught me that a published book contains only a fraction of an authors efforts. Case in point, Brown keeps stacks of notes detailing every aspect of his built-world, which will never… Read More SPACE JOURNALISM


While browsing the subreddit for fantasy writers, I came across a brief discussion detailing the value of content over style, and it reminded me of an Ursula K Le Guin essay called From Elfland to Poughkeepsie, published in 1973. Here, Le Guin makes a point which all writers, especially fantasists, should be familiar with: style and content are not mutually exclusive. Most… Read More STYLE & FANTASY