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A Strange Magical World: Magic from Man-Made Material

– Posted in: Fantasy Book Reviews
Book Review: The Paper Magician: A world where magic comes from man-made material and paper can be dangerous

The premise of The Paper Magician is that magic comes from man-made materials. I found this fascinating, and I bought the book because I was curious to find out exactly how debut author Charlie N. Holmberg would make magic from paper. So, I bought the first two books. I'll review the second one in another [...]

“Whose Body” by Dorothy L. Sayers

– Posted in: Fiction Book Reviews
One of the earliest female mystery writers. Whose Body?: a British Cozy.

"Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957) was a British playwright, scholar, and acclaimed author of mysteries, best known for her books starring the gentleman sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. While working as an advertising copywriter, Sayers began writing Whose Body? (1923), the first Wimsey mystery, followed by ten sequels and several short stories. Sayers set the Wimsey novels [...]

Los Angeles: Frontier Pueblo to Modern Metropolis

– Posted in: Non-Fiction Book Reviews
The Fragmented Metropolis an engaging history of Los Angeles 1850 to 1930.

El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels) I'm currently writing a novel set in 1890 Los Angeles and reading The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930 was part of my research. I'd planned on read up to the 1900s, but found the book engaging and finished [...]

A Must Have Writing Book: “Writing 21st Century Fiction”

– Posted in: Non-Fiction Book Reviews
A must have book for any serious novelist: Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass

In my post The Best How-To Book for Fiction Writers, I said I loved Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwright V. Swain. I'd like to revise the title of that post to: One of the Two Best How-to Books for Fiction Writers. Donald Maass' book Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional [...]

Who Started the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Genres?

– Posted in: Literature
Who Started the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Genres?

A woman! Most people credit Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus Unbound as the first science fiction novel. I'd venture a guess that most people think of early science fiction authors as male and would have guessed that a man started the genre. I'm in the middle of reading Ancillary Justice by Ann [...]

Dungeons & Dragons: Does the Game Promote Evil or Creativity?

– Posted in: Random Musings
Learn how playing games like Dungeons and Dragons helps creativity. (artist: Andy Fairhurst @ DeviantArt)

One of the things I do when I take a break is find and watch short videos of authors giving talks or answering questions. It’s fun, and I often learn a thing or two. During this activity, I made a discovery: many of my favorite authors play or played Dungeons & Dragons, and they often [...]