Author Archives: 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, (https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/) is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.

DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING PROCESS

Do you even have one? Have you thought about it much, if at all? First off, if you are writing—if you’re making words appear on a page, and they are pretty good words put into an interesting order… if you’re … Continue reading

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WHY WAIT TILL 2021?

I know 2020 has been challenging for, well… pretty much everyone, and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to 2021 to at least be better, less miserable, less divisive, less deadly. I have no superstitious or metaphysical component to my … Continue reading

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A CASE FOR LITERARY FANTASY

…and science fiction and horror and… every other genre has been made before, and now it’s my turn. I have turned to this subject in the past, including my suggestion that we not forget that fiction—of any genre—is also an … Continue reading

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ELECTION DAY, 2020

I don’t like to bring current events, especially politics, into Fantasy Authors Handbook—that’s not what this blog is about. Still, this year has been, let’s say, “different” in so many ways that that stuff has crept in, or in a … Continue reading

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OKAY, LET’S JUST TAKE A WEEK AND…

Ah, another Tuesday and once more into Fantasy Author’s Handbook. Glancing back it looks like I have been a little “ranty” lately, whether it’s unloading a pallet of bile in regards to reviews or bemoaning the fact that for a … Continue reading

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EVERYONE GETS BAD REVIEWS AND NO ONE SHOULD READ THEM

I’ve said it before but here in October of dismal 2020 I feel I should say it again: Never read or write reviews of anything ever, and especially never read reviews of your own writing. Nothing is less useful to … Continue reading

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WHAT WRITING ACTUALLY IS

“Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.” —Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction” We write in … Continue reading

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THE WORLDS THAT OUTGREW THEIR STORIES

This, I promise, will be the last of the posts reprinted from Grasping for the Wind from 2010. This one is a bit more personally maudlin for me, but I didn’t wallow in that then, why wallow in it now? Still, imagine … Continue reading

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HI, TALL GIRL, MY NAME IS EYE PATCH, PLEASED TO MEET YOU

Bear with me this week while I vent my frustrations with the vile horror of descriptive placeholder semi-nicknames to differentiate thugs and other tertiary characters who don’t seem worthy of a name, but Eye Patch or Tall Girl may as … Continue reading

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ROBOT IS THE NEW VAMPIRE

In July of 2010 I wrote this for the blog Grasping for the Wind. Let’s see how it holds up ten years later…   In the popular mythology of vampires, these undead creatures are difficult to kill, but it isn’t … Continue reading

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