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Shark Reads! 5 Books to Satisfy your Beach-Reads-Shark-Week-Summer-Loving Self

July 7th, 2023

Original header image by Brian Jiz It’s almost mid-July, the absolute peak of summer, and the traditional time to hit the beach with a book in your bag. Whether you’re digging out a paperback sticky with sunscreen or doing your best to keep sand off your e-reader, odds are you’re delving into a "beach read." Just as summer is the time for popcorn blockbusters, a certain type of book tends to lend itself to beating the heat.

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MyHouse.wad: Doom, House of Leaves, and the Pinnacle of Ergodic Lit

July 6th, 2023

header image and other screenshots used with permission from Power Pak There's a lot to cover here, kind of an endless staircase that leads down, always getting darker, always more frightening. And because there's so much, I can only waste three lines on an intro. Today, we're talking MyHouse.wad, a Doom mod that slams a fresh, new, Hell On Earth style of storytelling down on the table.

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So You've Decided To Attend A Professional Conference: An On-The-Ground Report Of Stokercon 2023 (Part 1)

July 5th, 2023

Photos via the author For me, Stokercon 2023 kicks off with a severe case of FOMO on Wednesday night, the day before the conference actually begins, and ends with me singing “Happy Birthday” with thirty-plus other people at Brian Keene’s Bram Stoker Awards afterparty on Saturday night to Cynthia Pelayo’s child.

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9 American Dystopian Books for Independence Day

July 4th, 2023

Original image by Dan Cristian Pădureț It feels like it’s easier than ever to imagine the end of the world. Disastrous futures that change the landscape of society. But what about the more subtle changes? The ones where governments change laws and corporations control policies? That’s what makes dystopian fiction different from the post-apocalyptic end-of-the-world stories.

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Dear Charlotte Perkins Gilman

July 3rd, 2023

Author photo via Wikipedia Commons, public domain. Overlay by Leeloo TheFirst Dear Charlotte Perkins Gilman,

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The Life of a Musician Publisher

June 30th, 2023

Holy shit, if you are reading this that means The Dionysus Effect's debut album is out RIGHT NOW. Putting out a book as a writer or a publisher is hard, but putting out an album feels like an act of extreme hubris. The recording, figuring out the order of the songs, pitching them to playlists, and just hoping anyone will give a fuck—it’s a hell of a ride.

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Dispatch From the Querying Trenches (Part IV): We Did It, Joe!

June 26th, 2023

Original graphic by Kat Korpi, character art by Jess Montz It’s my fourth dispatch from the querying trenches — and finally I have good news to share. On June 14, I got to send out a tweet I’d been dreaming of tweeting for 10 years. I got to share news I’d honestly started to believe I would never have the chance to share: I signed with a literary agent.

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6 Short Books to Get You Out of a Reading Rut

June 23rd, 2023

Let me start with a disclaimer: reading ruts do not always necessitate a ‘cure.’ Sometimes, if your focus isn’t cooperating with your will, you can just choose to listen to whatever it is that’s stopping you from reading, cut yourself some slack, and do something that replenishes you in another way.

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Storyville: The Pros and Cons of Prologues

June 22nd, 2023

Much like the discussion about “Should I get an MFA or not?” the opinions on prologues are divisive. I’ll try to shine some light on the subject today and not only tell you my opinion (with examples), but discuss the merits of having a prologue or NOT having a prologue.

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Horror Mechanics: What Are They, How Do They Terrify, and Where They Go Wrong

June 21st, 2023

image credit: Pixabay How do the scary things work in your horror story? That’s what we’re here to talk about today: how to pay attention to the mechanic in your story, how to write it so it makes sense, and how to make sure you don’t overwrite it. What Do I Mean When I Say “Mechanic”? A mechanic is a term borrowed from gaming that describes how something functions in a game.

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