Writing Horses: Caring for Horses in Summer

Summer horsekeeping in a temperate climate is pretty much the ideal, though a strong argument can be made for the crisp clear days of autumn. Heat and flies can be definite issues, and summer storms present sometimes powerful challenges. But the warmer weather, the freedom from ice and snow, the much reduced probability of Mud, and above all, the chance to save significantly on the hay and feed bill by turning horses out on pasture, make the season most horse people’s favorite.

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Read an Excerpt From Kathleen Jennings’ Flyaway

In a small Western Queensland town, a reserved young woman receives a note from one of her vanished brothers—a note that makes her question memories of their disappearance and her father’s departure…

We’re excited to share an excerpt from Kathleen Jennings’ debut novella Flyaway, a beguiling story that proves that gothic delights and uncanny family horror can live—and even thrive—under a burning sun. Available July 28th from Tordotcom Publishing.

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Fantastic North American Geographies: Emily B Martin’s Sunshield

In discussing Emily B Martin’s Sunshield, I think the best way for me to draw you into what the book is and what is doing is not to discuss the plot or characters, but instead to talk about worldbuilding in the novel, and the worldbuilding of a lot of fantasy worlds in general.

I’ve written about secondary world fantasy that is beyond the “Great Wall of Europe” before, specifically about “Silk Road Fantasy”, mainly focused on Africa and Asia. Instead of being just places for “The Other”, on the margins of a Europhilic fantasy, we’re getting more novels and stories where African and Asian cultures, peoples, and geographies are front and center.

[Sunshield takes us instead to a fantasy version of North America]

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Sacred Ground”

“Sacred Ground”
Written by Geo Cameron and Lisa Klink
Directed by Robert Duncan MacNeill
Season 3, Episode 7
Production episode 143
Original air date: October 30, 1996
Stardate: 50063.2

Captain’s log. Voyager has been invited by the Nechani to take shore leave on their world. The Magistrate gives Torres, Kim, Neelix, and Kes a tour of the caves that serve as religious shrines. Kes and Neelix peel off to check out an altar, but it turns out that it’s forbidden to go there unless you’re a monk, and Kes accidentally crashes into an energy field that puts her in a coma.

[Your creative approach to this problem has fascinated the Nechisti Council.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Evil Dead II: The Deadites Are Right

Like much horror over the past 80 odd years, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films are indebted to H.P. Lovecraft. Evil Dead II in particular opens with intoned exposition about the Necronomicon. Lovecraft’s eldritch book is associated with madness and tentacular things that should not be. It’s also, as with most things Lovecraft, infected with the author’s racist loathing and terror of non-Western cultures. Supposedly written by a “Mad Arab,” the book within Lovecraft’s work links extradimensional eldritch evil with non-Western culture, tying them up together in a vile bow of cosmic terror and xenophobia.

Raimi isn’t a committed eugenic racist as Lovecraft was, but Lovecraft’s monstrous beliefs still snuffle and whisper around Raimi’s cheerful gorefest, whispering “Join us! Join us!” You can cast out the demons with an incantation, but there are uglier things in those woods that are harder to exorcize.

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The Old Guard Proves You Don’t Need Marvel Money to Make Superhero Magic

The Old Guard is a roughly defined “superhero” film written by comics scribe Greg Rucka, and based on his own comic series of the same name. It was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball) for Netflix at a budget of around $70 million dollars, which is well below and hundreds of millions that major studios often drop on their blockbuster fare.

It is easily one of the better films of this genre in the past decade, and deserved a theatrical release. It also deserves a sequel, so do the world a solid and add to their ratings by giving it a watch.

[Some spoilers for The Old Guard below.]

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Read To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini: Chapter 5: “Madness”

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

Read To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, a brand new epic novel from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini, out September 15, 2020 from Tor Books.

New chapters on Tor.com every Monday.

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Series: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Five Books in Which Magic Comes at a Price

The existence of magic in a story offers so many possibilities for how characters might overcome obstacles, relate to one another, manipulate the fabric of their worlds, and express who they truly are. But magic has to have limits, too, or any story whose protagonist comes to possess it would end in that instant, with an effortless and consequence-free fix of all their problems. Magic can be difficult to acquire, challenging to master, or simply limited in what it can do. But I’m drawn to stories in which the hardest thing about magic is the price you have to pay for it—whether that price was chosen freely, stumbled into accidentally, or inflicted against your will.

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Series: Five Books About…

Juice Like Wounds

In the course of every great adventure there are multiple side-quests. All too often these go unreported—perhaps because the adventurers in question fail to return to the main narrative due to death or other distractions, and sometimes because the chronicler of the events decides to edit out that part of that particular history for reasons of their own (historians are never infallible)—but occasionally we get another window into our heroes’ world.

In Juice Like Wounds we once again get to meet Lundy, and some of her companions. Lundy’s main adventure is detailed in In an Absent Dream (which is nominated for a Hugo Award, this year!) and you should definitely read that. Before or after this tale is up to you.

Remember: Side quests are fun.

For the reader, at least…

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