For all you wordsmiths out there, I know that “bicentennial” means “200th year,” but I’m going to use that word, however incorrectly, to point out that this is my 200th post here at Fantasy Author’s Handbook.

As I did with my 100th post, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on Fantasy Author’s Handbook, and all the ways that you’ve come to find it, and how we’re doing as a community.

Fantasy Author’s Handbook has been viewed a total of 71,261 times since my first post on June 15, 2009. Since then, y’all have left 553 comments. I know you can do better than that, so consider this yet another invitation to make your opinions known (in a respectful, positive way, of course). The top five most commented-on posts or pages are:

End of Part Two 44


Philip Athans 21

Don’t be a Snobby Reader 12


I know everybody was really curious about what happened when I left Wizards of the Coast, but come on, people, let’s all move past that and start commenting on other stuff! ASK PHIL, for instance, really needs to pass that up by post 300 . . . please?

Speaking of my leaving Wizards of the Coast, June 23, 2010, the day after I left WotC, remains Fantasy Author’s Handbook’s busiest day with 754 views, leading into the busiest month of all time with 3155 views in July 2010. Gee whiz, would I like to break that record with just about anything else!

Here’s a list of the ten all time most read posts:

Home page/archives 26,949


A prisoner of the prisoner 2195

Index 1933

Philip Athans 1767

Welcome to Fantasy Author’s Handbook 1753

In search of the first paragraph 1665

End of part two 1624



If I correct that list to exclude pages, here are the top ten posts that people specifically visited:


A prisoner of the prisoner 2195

In search of the first paragraph 1665

End of part two 1624



SAKURA-CON 2010 793

How not to open a short story 734



I can not begin to tell you how delighted I am that IN SEARCH OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, which is actual advice on, y’know, writing, managed to nudge out END OF PART TWO, by however slim a margin.

I hate to be negative, but maybe we can gather together to rectify this sad situation: the least visited posts of all time, which is a two-way tie between ON VACATION and MERRY CHRISTMAS with only 14 each. Though, honestly, those were posts more or less about how I’m not really writing a post that week.

And now we come to one of my favorite parts of the WordPress stats, the search terms.

This tells me what y’all typed into Google that got you to me. The 100th post included some really, really odd search terms, and I’m happy to report that the past twelve months (less than 100 posts) hasn’t seen the same level of disconnected creepy stuff as last time. People are actually finding Fantasy Author’s Handbook when they’re looking for advice on writing, lists of the best SF and fantasy books, and stuff like that. Still, the most common search term remains some variation of galley slaves, galley slave, slave galley, ben hur rowing, or charleton heston shirtless, for a total of 2152 referrals. This includes some pearls like: slave fantasy (38) and shirtless slaves (49). I would prefer not to be the internet’s one-stop shop for gay slave porn, but something tells me when some of these searches get to a blog post about proofreading book galleys there are some disappointed web surfers out there. Sorry.

On November 18, 2009, I wrote about how I was watching the original series The Prisoner on On Demand and apparently the internet is lacking in content in regards to that show, and there are a boatload of people out there who need to know more about it. That post has been viewed by people who have Googled all sorts of variations on: the prisoner, patrick mcgoohan, etc., for a total of 1512 referrals for the second place position. It was a great show, and I’m happy to help in any way I can.

Trying not to let my ego get in the way, I have to say I am gratified that I’ve at least come in third in this category, with 821 people Googling some variation of my name to find me here at Fantasy Author’s Handbook. I want to believe that the four referrals for “philip athans sucks” came from the same hater Googling that four times, but if there are four of you out there, I hope you found what you were looking for here. Maybe you can get together and join a bowling league or something.

Like The Prisoner, there must be an unfulfilled yearning for information about The Powerpuff Girls villain Mojo Jojo, resulting in the fourth-place search term: some variation of mojo jojo, with 269 referrals, all ending up on a photo of a Mojo Jojo cosplayer from Sakura-Con 2010.

The fifth-place search term made perfect sense: “fantasy authors” got to me 145 times. Whew.

And then there was the bizarre:

certificate of incorporation business school (3)

fabio nude (5)

fabio on a horse (5)

medieval porn (4)

snaps her neck “snaps her neck” (4)

where to buy a bunny (4)

I’m pretty sure I’ve never written about incorporating a business school, which I have neither attended nor incorporated myself, but Google truly moves in mysterious ways.

I supposed that if I could find a picture of Fabio riding a horse in the nude I could make as many as ten people very happy.

Alas, I have no way of knowing if the four people searching for medieval porn wanted porn written in medieval times or set in medieval times, but I don’t have much to say on either subject, likely leaving another four people to move on to “philip athans sucks.”

The 100th post had some creepy search terms, but “snaps her neck” was this year’s most unsettling.

I must say I take some delight in the fact that just as many people read my blog after typing in “where to buy a bunny” as “philip athans sucks”. There may be hope for me yet.

Thanks, everybody, for reading Fantasy Author’s Handbook, however you managed to find it.

Next week: Post number 201.


—Philip Athans



About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, ( is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
This entry was posted in Anime, Books, conventions, creative team, Dungeons & Dragons, E-Books, Publishing Business, Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels, SF and Fantasy Authors, transmedia, Writing, Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. craig says:

    Nice to see the top 10 posts… I read your 10 favourite Fantasy novels link and bought A Wizard of Earthsea (gotta love Kindle for the spontaneous purchases).

    I know this blog is about writing fantasy, not reading it, but your book recommendations are certainly valued. Here’s a request for a future blog post: your favourite Dungeons & Dragons based novels (ie The Legend of Huma, Once Around the Realms, etc)… I’m sure you know more than a few 🙂

  2. brothertripp says:

    I could not stop myself from laughing out loud with this post. You can be very funny when you choose to be. I purchased your book ‘How To Start Your Own Religion’ book to get ideas for creating a religion in my own world that I am working on. I will probably buy your book on world creating soon.

  3. It’s true, the way people find a blog and the posts that have the most traffic can be fascinating,can’t it? FYI, I found you because you did a great job on a Writer’s Digest webinar. I subscribed and have been reading you ever since.

    • Philip Athans says:

      So nice to hear–and it looks as though I’ll be doing more of those WDU Tutorials in the near future. They’re great fun to do!

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