Writing for Fantasy Faction

I just wanted to do a short post this week to mention that I recently became a staff writer for Fantasy Faction, so in addition to keeping up this weekly Thoughts on Fantasy blog (or at least, I usually manage to keep it weekly!) I’ll be writing one or two articles a month for Fantasy FactionContinue reading

Discontinued Sci-fi and Fantasy TV Shows: What’s Your Pick From the Graveyard?

Have you ever watched a TV show that got cancelled before reaching its final season, or even after its first season? If you enjoyed a show like this you might look back on it with frustration, disappointment or just a vague sense of something left unfinished.

For me, there are four discontinued shows that stick out in my memory. Continue reading

Great Books About Writing

About four or so years ago, I read a large number of “how to” books about creative writing. I read them because I was a new writer wanting to hone my craft, but also because I was writing my master’s thesis at the time. It involved analysing existing writing advice about world-building… in short, seeing what other writers had to say about inventing and describing fictional settings. Some of the books I read were very useful, others not so much.

Continue reading

My Favourite Fantasy and Science Fiction Books in 2015

It’s 2016!! And to celebrate in proper fantasy-nerd style, I’m doing my annual round up of the best fantasy and science fiction books I read last year.  These are not books published in 2015, just books I happened to read last year, thus you’ll notice some are ones I took a bit longer to discover than other people might have. Continue reading

Judging a Book by Its Cover: 17 Typical Features of Fantasy Covers

If you’re wandering through a store or trawling through a website, it’s generally easy to recognise a fantasy novel. Most covers have features and styles that make them unmistakable.

In fact, fantasy and science fiction novels have a history of distinctive covers… and not necessarily in a positive way. Continue reading

Why You Should Join Goodreads

Okay, so I’ll get it out there first off: I love Goodreads. I am a Goodreads fangirl. Excepting perhaps Facebook, Goodreads is my favourite social media network. Like so many book-related things these days, it is owned by Amazon (sigh)… but I overlook that because it has instigated such a positive change in my reading life and behaviour.

If you’ve never tried it, and one (or all) of the below statements applies to you, there’s a good chance you’d enjoy using it too: Continue reading

Why the World is Never Round in Fantasyland

I’ve just returned from a round-the-world trip, and all that globe-encircling got me to thinking about the shape of worlds in epic fantasy novels. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed it, but there’s a rather bizarre and archaic trait almost all fantasy worlds have in common: Continue reading

17 Common Fantasy Sub-Genres

The fantasy genre is rich with a myriad of sub-genres, and each has its own conventions and trends. With the different terms floating around out there it can be easy to confuse or overlook key sub-genres. Finding a succinct list of the most notable ones – particularly a list with definitions and examples – is not always straightforward. So I thought I’d put my reading and researching to use and assemble one. Continue reading

What is Fantasy Fiction?

If you read a lot in the genre, recognising a book or film as “fantasy fiction” is probably something innate and automatic. However, if you’re not familiar with it, or if you’ve wondered where the lines are drawn, a definition might help to clarify things.

But how do you define something as slippery and changeable as a genre? Continue reading

How Many Pages Do You Read Before Giving Up On a Book?

Anyone who reads regularly will be familiar with that feeling of struggling through the first pages or chapters of a book, pushing on because you’re waiting to see if it will get interesting. At some point the book either gets better and grabs your interest, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you have two options:

1) force yourself to read a whole book you’re not enjoying, or
2) give up and start a different book.

Believe it or not, when I was younger I always selected option 1. Continue reading