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Sci-Fi/Fantasy News and Views

Cinda Williams Chima: Creating Believable Magic

BY DJ DeSmyter, OCTOBER 22, 2014 | PERMALINK

Creating a whole new world is one of the most exciting parts of being an author — but it can also be the most grueling. With two YA fantasy series under her belt, Cinda Williams Chima knows a thing or two about worldbuilding. And with The Sorcerer Heir, the latest book in her Heir Chronicles series, hitting shelves today, we wanted to know what tips and insight Cinda has for worldbuilding. Here's what she had to say:

People associate worldbuilding with fantasy writers, but all writers need to master it. For example, if I set a novel in a small Georgia town or coastal Maine, I have to make that setting real to people who’ve never been there. Fantasy writers have the additional challenge of building a magical system alongside the setting.

My goal with the Heir Chronicles was to make the magical world of Ohio accessible to everyone — even people who are not regular fantasy readers. The key is to layer in description with a light hand. I believe that a reader with a few questions is more likely to keep reading than one who feels like she is hacking through a thicket of words.

After five books, I know the magical landscape of the Heir Chronicles really, really well. That doesn’t mean that it all makes its way onto the page. I like Hemingway’s iceberg theory of fiction. He says that seven-eighths of what the writer knows stays below the surface, supporting the world that the reader sees.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Our Favorite Lady Cosplayers From New York Comic Con 2014

BY Elisa Verna, OCTOBER 14, 2014 | PERMALINK

Last weekend was the biggest, and surprisingly most organized, New York Comic Con I've ever attended. One of the most enjoyable parts of any comic con is cosplaying, both participating in and appreciating all of the excellent outfits people put together. I noticed more female cosplayers this year than ever before, and below are some of my favorites.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Cover Breakdown: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

BY DJ DeSmyter, SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 | PERMALINK

Maria V. Snyder's Study series is one readers just can't get enough of. I don't think I've heard a single bad thing about it, and one of my best friends has been badgering me for years to read them. And now, there's a new spin-off series on its way, starting with the upcoming Shadow Study! For today's Cover Breakdown, let's take a look at the new book's (really pretty) cover! 

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job — and his life — are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret — or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is — while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Science Fiction
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Jennifer Estep's Superhero-Sized Fall TV Picks

BY , SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 | PERMALINK

Whether it's Outlander, Witches of East End or The 100, we love TV as much as we love books. And with September in full swing, it's time for favorite shows to return for a new season and for new ones to capture our hearts and attention. Bestselling author Jennifer Estep is just as excited as we are about the Fall TV line-up, especially for all the superhero shows, and today she shares her top picks for the season.

Fall is my favorite time of year for several reasons — football, autumn leaves, cool temperatures and the start of the new TV season.

This year, I’m especially excited because of all the superhero-themed shows that will be hitting the airwaves over the next few weeks. I love, love, love superheroes, and this TV season offers a variety of takes on the crusaders from the speedy (The Flash) to the spooky (Constantine).

Here are some of the superhero-themed shows that I’m looking forward to this fall:

Gotham — premieres Sept. 22 (tonight!) — A hero is only as good as his villains, and Batman arguably has the best gallery of villains out of any superhero. This show will explore the origins of villains like the Penguin, along with a young Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon, a cop who’s trying to do the right thing in a city full of corruption.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, TV Recap, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Cover Breakdown: Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal

BY DJ DeSmyter, SEPTEMBER 03, 2014 | PERMALINK

With her Glamourist Histories series, Mary Robinette Kowal has enthralled us again and again with her unique take on magic in the Regency era. Mary has quickly become not only a favorite amongst readers, but also with us here at RT. Back in May, during the RT Convention, Mary discussed the importance of diversity in literature and the Fantasy genre, and mentioned she was working hard to ensure her books included a wide range of characters. So when the cover for Of Noble Family, the fifth and final book in the series, was revealed, starring a woman of color, we were more than excited. Let's take a look:

Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some much-needed rest after their adventures in Italy when Vincent receives word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies. His brother, who manages the estate, is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. Grudgingly, out of filial duty the couple decides to go.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Science Fiction
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