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Sarah Gailey

Fiction and Excerpts [7]
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Fiction and Excerpts [7]

Magic for Liars: Chapter 3

|| When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets.

Magic for Liars: Chapter 3

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life—or at least, she’s perfectly fine. She doesn’t in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.

Ivy Gamble is a liar.

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.

Sarah Gailey’s Magic For Liars is available June 4th from Tor Books. Read chapter 3 below, or head back to the beginning with the prologue!

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Magic for Liars: Chapters 1 and 2

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life—or at least, she’s perfectly fine. She doesn’t in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.

Ivy Gamble is a liar.

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.

Sarah Gailey’s Magic For Liars is available June 4th from Tor Books. Read chapters 1 and 2 below, and stay tuned for additional chapters soon!

[Read more]

Magic for Liars: Prologue

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life—or at least, she’s perfectly fine. She doesn’t in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.

Ivy Gamble is a liar.

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.

Sarah Gailey’s Magic For Liars is available June 4th from Tor Books. Read the prologue below, and stay tuned for additional chapters soon!

[Read more]

Revolutionary Honesty: Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon

In the first episode of her YouTube series, Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova discusses the nature of truth and memory. There are, she says, three version of events: the objective truth of What Happened, the remembered truth of the people who experienced What Happened, and the reported truth. Events occur, and then they pass through filters—filters of memory, of identity, of conversation. People lie, and people misremember. People manipulate the truth for purposes of entertainment and personal gain and cruelty.

Over time, the Objective Truth can come to feel completely inaccessible, lost to all the people who’ve divided it into pieces and swallowed those pieces and digested them into stories and gossip and history. The prospect of trying to unravel it all to find out what really happened can feel like an insurmountable obstacle.

But author Mallory O’Meara is an unstoppable force.

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Highway to the Danger Zone: The Heterosexual Tragedy of Top Gun

Top Gun is a motion picture. Say what you will about it: it’s a film, and that’s undeniable. When Tony Scott settled into the director’s chair on the set of Top Gun and shouted “action” into a cartoony metal bullhorn, there’s no doubt that he knew he was about to do some cinema at American audiences. There’s also no doubt that he knew exactly what kind of movie he was about to produce: a cautionary tale of heterosexual tragedy.

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7 Books That Helped Me Survive 2018

This is the first year I’ve failed to meet my reading goal.

Every year of my life since I can remember, I’ve read at least one hundred books. This year, I’ve managed half of that. I can blame part of that on writing, and I can blame part of it on edits, critiques, and the abject hell that is moving—but if I’m honest, it’s just been a hard year. It’s been a hard year for everyone I know; the world is a hard place to be right now, and the small personal struggles we all face feel unbearably magnified. For so many of us, 2018 has been a year of loss and grief: we’ve lost jobs, pets, friendships, relationships, health, family members, children, and a good measure of hope.

It’s been a hard year, and I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do. When I have been reading, I’ve been gravitating toward books that are kind to their audience, that treat the reader like a partner rather than an adversary.

[Here are some of the books that helped me to navigate this impossible year]

Evil in a Teacup: Fighting the Institutional Authority of Dolores Umbridge

Who is the villain?

Is the villain the leader who starts the movement? The demagogue who decides to rally the tiny cruelties that live within the hearts of people who think of themselves as good? Is it the person who blows on the embers of hatred until they finally catch and erupt into an all-consuming flame?

Or is it the person who finds themself in a position of power, and chooses not to put the fire out? Is the villain the person who chooses to sit before that fire, warming their hands?

[Read more]

The Future Tornadoes Want: Twister

When Jan de Bont released Twister in May of 1996, he probably thought he was being sneaky. He probably didn’t expect anyone to figure out that he’d made a horror film in which the monster represents the death of heteronormativity in the American nuclear family structure. He probably thought he got away with it. Well, I’ve got bad news for you, Jan…

(Oh, did you think Jan de Bont was safe from this essay series? Did you think I wouldn’t come after the director of Speed 2: Cruise Control? Did you think that just because he also directed Speed 1: It’s Actually Just Called Speed, I wouldn’t force a too-small hand-knit sweater of literary analysis over the narrow shoulders of one of his summer blockbusters? Welcome to Hell, where the essays are long and the tornadoes are feminists. The only way out is through. Let’s do this. Twister.)

[Read more]

Space Dads for America: Armageddon

It’s not that Michael Bay isn’t to blame for Armageddon. I want to be very clear about that. Bay should absolutely be held responsible for the film he inflicted on an unsuspecting world in 1998. But for all that the weight of guilt rests on his shoulders and his alone, one would be remiss were one to forget the serpent twined irrevocably ’round the roots of that motion picture: America’s subconscious desire to play the abusive father figure to a grateful world.

(There’s a lot of material here, reader. I’m dismayed to inform you that, despite what many literary wanks would like to tell you about the shallow nature of genre cinema, Armageddon is embarrassingly ripe for analysis. Let’s drill down (sorry) to the bottom of the longest montage ever made. Here we go. Armageddon.)

[Read more]

Vanity, Patriarchy, and Futility: Death Becomes Her

Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her is an ode to the perils of mortal sin. The 1992 cult classic is far more than just a vehicle for Bruce Willis’ moustache: one could argue that it also performs an incisive takedown of man’s desire to earn the notice of a patriarchal God.

I mean, one could make that argument. Look, reader, I’ll be honest with you: I spend a lot of time fielding the opinions of people who think that genre media and pop culture can’t sustain deep analysis, and I’m feeling very salty about it. People love to corner me at social and professional events to explain why genre fiction just doesn’t merit the kind of thought that real literature deserves. The people who do this seem unaware that a dedicated enough individual could write a thesis on the latent symbolism in a fistful of room-temperature ham salad. So this is my answer to those people: a series of essays focusing on needlessly in-depth literary analysis of a few selected modern classics of genre cinema. You think it’s impossible to find depth of meaning in popular media? Well strap in, kids. We’re riding this little red wagon directly to Hell, and we’re starting with Zemeckis.

[“You are like Don Quixote, tilting at Nature’s windmills.”]

Fear of the Female Voice

[Note: This essay is adapted from a lecture delivered by the author at Utah State University in October, 2017; video of the lecture is available here.]

Raise your left hand in the air and keep it there.

Did you do it? If so, you are extraordinary. A strange woman just told you to do something, and you listened. On a historic scale, that’s not just different. That’s revolutionary.

There are a lot of people in the world who wish you hadn’t done it. People who don’t like me personally, because I’m the kind of woman who gets up in the front of the room and starts telling people what to do. People who don’t like me in theory, because of what I represent to them. People who you know. People who are participating in a cultural narrative that is woven into the fabric of our society.

I’m not mad at these people, even though some of them have threatened my life. Even though some of them have threatened my family. Even though some of them have said they’d like to come to my home and shoot me in the head rather than see me continue standing up at the front of rooms, telling people what to do. I’m not mad at them, and I’m not scared of them. Because I recognize what they really are.

They’re terrified.

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This Future Looks Familiar: Watching Blade Runner in 2017

I watched Blade Runner for the first time this week. Since I have apparently been living in a cave for the past few decades, I thought that Blade Runner was kind of like Tron but with more Harrison Ford, and less neon, and maybe a few more tricky questions about What Is The Nature Of Man.

That is the movie I was expecting.

That is not the movie I saw.

[Read more]

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