Category Archives: Dungeons & Dragons

REMEMBERING MATT ADELSPERGER

If you know me from TSR/Wizards of the Coast and the Forgotten Realms novel line, you’ve seen the work of Matt Adelsperger, who died yesterday, very suddenly, and far too young. I worked with Matt at both TSR in Lake … Continue reading

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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT

…or it was a record-shattering heatwave, or it was a once-in-a-lifetime flood season, or it was a freak early-season blizzard, or… For the past three days, and with another hot day ahead, I’ve been suffering through a short-term weather crisis, … Continue reading

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WHO IS PHILIP ATHANS NOW?

Fantasy Authors Handbook snuck out into the world exactly twelve years ago today. My first post was a long-form author bio, in the hope of introducing myself to the world. On the occasion of this anniversary, I thought it time to … Continue reading

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DOES FANTASY HAVE TO BE MEDIEVAL?

I’m going to answer that right away: No, it doesn’t. By now we’ve all read “urban fantasy”—stories set in the contemporary world but with the addition of magic and monsters—or historical fantasy set in Victorian times, or combined with the … Continue reading

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SOME THOUGHTS ON HORROR

All fiction is shared experience. Authors reach out to some unknown other people, across time and distance, and say: “I felt this.” We look to horror in the same way we look to all genres of fiction, to experience what … 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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A FANTASY WORD LIST

One thing I do, and have done, with every edit (at least of a fantasy or science fiction novel or story) since starting at TSR in 1995 is create a word list/style guide. I’ll share my basic template here and … Continue reading

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FOR THE LOVE OF PRETEND MAPS

Or, more accurately, for the love of maps of pretend places. Maps have been appearing in fantasy literature going back—how long? I’m not even sure. At least to Tolkien, yes? Homer? Maybe—some editions, at least. There are ancient maps of … Continue reading

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A COUPLE DIFFERENT KINDS OF EVIL

When I talk about monsters in Writing Monsters and elsewhere I tend to start by first explaining that when I say “monster” I mean some kind of non-human creature, some kind of unknown animal or other force, usually not terribly … Continue reading

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WHY FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION

Why not? Isn’t that a good enough answer? It is for me, but let’s look at this subject again, and bring in some experts. I love fantasy and science fiction and I have all my life. I have refused to … Continue reading

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