Tor.com content by

Charlie Jane Anders

Fiction and Excerpts [14]
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Fiction and Excerpts [14]

If You Take My Meaning

As an ex-smuggler and two-time reluctant revolutionary, Alyssa is used to staring into the razor-sharp jaws of death. But now she's embarking on the most terrifying adventure of her life—journeying into the darkness to become a new type of being, one who can help humanity to survive. And deep at the heart of the city in the middle of the night, the price of transformation could be higher, and more terrible, than Alyssa ever expected.

Never Say You Can’t Survive: The Most Powerful Thing a Story Can Do Is Show How People Change

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the seventh chapter, “The Most Powerful Thing a Story Can Do Is Show How People Change.” You can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Never Say You Can’t Survive: The Secret to Storytelling? Just One Good Scene, and Then Another, and Another

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the sixth chapter, “The Secret to Storytelling? Just One Good Scene, and Then Another, and Another.” You can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Never Say You Can’t Survive: Don’t Be Afraid to Go on Lots of First Dates With Story Ideas

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the fifth chapter, “Don’t Be Afraid to Go on Lots of First Dates With Story Ideas”, which begins section 2, “What’s A Story, and How Do You Find One?”—you can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Never Say You Can’t Survive: Everything Is Broken! What Should I Write About?

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the fourth chapter, “Everything Is Broken! What Should I Write About?”—you can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Never Say You Can’t Survive: Embrace Uncertainty: The Joy of Making a Giant Mess

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the third chapter, “Embrace Uncertainty: The Joy of Making a Giant Mess”—you can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Never Say You Can’t Survive: Imposter Syndrome Is Just Part of Being a Writer

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the second chapter, “Imposter Syndrome Is Just Part of Being a Writer”—you can read the introduction and Chapter 1 here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Never Say You Can’t Survive: How To Make Your Own Imaginary Friends

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the first chapter, “How To Make Your Own Imaginary Friends”, which begins section 1, “Being a Writer Just Means You Know How To Get Lost.” New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[Read more]

Never Say You Can’t Survive: How To Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the Introduction, followed by the first chapter, “How To Make Your Own Imaginary Friends”, which begins section 1, “Being a Writer Just Means You Know How To Get Lost.” New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

[But putting my fears into a story really helped me to deal with them.]

Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

To Write About the Future Is to Represent the Past

Science fiction authors tend to get salty when people accuse us of trying to predict the future. Especially when people are like, “Hey, in your book you said that there would be giant flesh-eating killer moths in 2015, and instead they arrived in 2018, and I want my money back.” Most science fiction authors will insist that even if a book is set in the future, it’s really about the present—and there’s a lot of truth to that.

But lately, I’ve been feeling like a lot of my science-fiction writing about the future is actually about the past. The past and the future are reflections of each other, after all. And what kind of future we build depends on what we learn from our past.

[Read more]

If You Take My Meaning

As an ex-smuggler and two-time reluctant revolutionary, Alyssa is used to staring into the razor-sharp jaws of death. But now she’s embarking on the most terrifying adventure of her life—journeying into the darkness to become a new type of being, one who can help humanity to survive. And deep at the heart of the city in the middle of the night, the price of transformation could be higher, and more terrible, than Alyssa ever expected.

[Read more]

Exploring the Genius of Ursula Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle

Ursula K. Le Guin left us with a wealth of stories and universes, but my favorite might be her Hainish cycle. I recently read, or re-read, every single novel and short story in the Hainish universe from beginning to end, and the whole of this story-cycle turned out to be much more meaningful than its separate parts.

Some vague and/or minor spoilers ahead…

[Read more]

5 Fantastic Recent Books about Humans Colonizing Other Planets

Humanity has accomplished a great many things since we started mastering technologies like writing and agriculture. But we still remain confined to this one tiny planet, without even a permanent presence on our own moon, and the dream of interplanetary colonization remains just that. So it’s a good thing we have a lot of great books in which humans go to live on other worlds.

When I was working on my new novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, I was inspired by a bunch of great books featuring humans colonizing other planets. Here are five recent colonization books that are especially fantastic.

[Read more]

Queer Transformations in Enigma by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo

I didn’t get into comics, really, until I was fresh out of college and doing a slew of horrible internships and temp jobs. I was sharing a house with a group of roommates I didn’t really get along with and spending most of my time as a captive audience for various weird flavors of office politics, under the thumb of bosses who ranged from borderline harrassy to just kind of obnoxious. I was determined to write fiction, but I kept writing in circles, and I was groping desperately for the motivation to keep scribbling, rather than just play video games for a few more hours. And then winter came and it dumped a few feet of snow on me, making my commute to the latest depressing nowhere job that much more awful.

And that’s when I really discovered comics, and got lost in their four-color worlds. I started going to some local comic-book stores and just buying up tons of back issues, especially the ones in the quarter bins. I didn’t even care what they were: I bought armfuls of indie experimental comics alongside complete runs of Batman and the Avengers. I read about the Infinity Gauntlet in the same session as Love and Rockets. And that’s when I discovered Vertigo Comics, which was DC Comics’ weird, experimental imprint.

[And one of the weirdest comics to come out of Vertigo was Enigma…]

Unlocking the Full Brilliance of Ursula Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle

Ursula K. Le Guin left us with a wealth of stories and universes, but my favorite might be her Hainish cycle. I recently read, or re-read, every single novel and short story in the Hainish universe from beginning to end, and the whole of this story-cycle turned out to be much more meaningful than its separate parts.

Some vague and/or minor spoilers ahead…

[Read more]

Five Fantastic Recent Books about Humans Colonizing Other Planets

Humanity has accomplished a great many things since we started mastering technologies like writing and agriculture. But we still remain confined to this one tiny planet, without even a permanent presence on our own moon, and the dream of interplanetary colonization remains just that. So it’s a good thing we have a lot of great books in which humans go to live on other worlds.

When I was working on my new novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, I was inspired by a bunch of great books featuring humans colonizing other planets. Here are five recent colonization books that are especially fantastic.

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

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