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Mind Meld: Marvel, DC, and Star Wars

  • Jun. 18th, 2014 at 2:02 PM

I was invited to take part in this week's Mind Meld, which now makes me a repeat offender over there.  The topic?  Is the proliferation of Marvel, DC, and Star Wars movies and TV programming a good thing?  You can read my thoughts and those of the other panelists here

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I wanted to make it a point to this get this post up ASAP, because on June 17th a new Ice and Fire story is being published in the Rogues anthology, and I want to be able to read it without this blog entry looming over me.  So let's jump right in since this promises to be a massive write-up (you were warned).  As always, don't read this until you're all caught on the books and the show.

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Ah, episode nine.  As just about everyone knows by now, you tune into episode nine of Game of Thrones to see the excrement hit the fan.  Season one gave us the beheading of Ned Stark.  Season two gave us the siege of King's Landing.  Season three delivered the Red Wedding.  And this year we got the Brawl at the Wall.  Of course, the shock value at the end of episode eight with the death of Oberyn was worthy of an episode nine for those who didn't know what happens in the books, which I imagine only increased the anticipation of the much ballyhooed episode nine.

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Oh, episode eight.  I've been waiting for you for four seasons.  Yes, I was waiting for other classic moments such Ned Stark's beheading and the Red Wedding, but in some ways I was anticipating this episode even more.  As far as fantasy battles go in secondary worlds, the Red Viper vs. the Mountain is probably the greatest example of single combat I've ever read. Please note that I wrote "single combat," i.e. one on one.  As I said to a Facebook friend, when we start comparing a battle like this against classic fantasy war scenes (examples: the siege of King's Landing, the siege of Helm's Deep, the siege of Dros Delnoch, etc.) it becomes a matter of apples and oranges.  So I was extremely curious to see how they would bring this scene to life.  So with this said, let's dive in.  As always, the usual spoiler warnings for the books and the show apply.

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So there is a lot to cover with this week's episode, and as always be read up on all the books and be up to date on the HBO series before reading this, unless you don't mind spoilers.  Before I get into episode seven though, there were actually a few tidbits I forgot to bring up with episode six.  So let's get that out of the way to start.

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So last time I said I would be watching this episode until a certain point than stopping until GRRM's next book came out, as I was pretty worried about things being revealed in the show that would spoil details in the unpublished books for me.  And that's exactly what I did ...but then a few friends on Facebook convinced me that if I continued watching the rest of the episode, I would not be spoiled in the books.  So with fingers crossed, I watched the entire episode last night ...and all is well in Westeros.  I will admit that I jumped the gun on bailing on the show, though I felt perfectly justified in doing so after that scene with the Others.  So going forward, my policy will be thus: if I'm worried about spoilers in a given episode, I won't watch the episode and then wait for my Internet friends to report back to me as to whether it's safe for me to watch.

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Story Sale

  • May. 13th, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Pleased to announce that Marvin Kaye has accepted "The Shiver Wood" for Weird Tales, which marks the fourth time I've struck oil with this magazine.  It's another sword and sorcery piece (the third I've sold to this venue), and it's tentatively slated for "the Ice Issue."  Rather improbably in this age of online short fiction, all seven of my story sales have been to print publications.  At this point I can't help but wonder if I'll run this streak to double digits.

All this aside, I'd also like to mention that this story is very special to me.  Back when I was twenty-two, I conceived the idea of a man who spends his life looking for his name in a sword & sorcery world.  I planned to write a bunch of different adventures for him (still do) and created pages upon pages of world-building.  But every time I tried to write one of his adventures, I ran into a wall.  It didn't matter which one I tried to write, the results were the same.  The stories just weren't working.  This went on and off for some years before I put these stories aside with the intention of returning to them at some later date.  This one finally came together when I got this odd inkling out of nowhere that it was time to to take another crack at one of these Xaromeme tales.  Only this time I took two stories I had envisioned as separate adventures and realized I should roll them into one.  Looks like I combined the right two stories ...now hopefully it doesn't take another fourteen years to sell the next one!      

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Realms of Fantasy: December 2010 (Issue 97)

  • May. 9th, 2014 at 10:21 PM

ROF--December

Part ninety-seven in my comprehensive retrospective as I read the fiction in Realms of Fantasy and offer my thoughts, right up to the final issue.  This time around I’m diving into the December 2010 issue.

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Well after they jumped ahead of the published books in last week's episode in revealing information about the White Walkers, I said I would be foregoing further predictions to the ends of each episode.  One friend actually asked me to keep doing them, but as it turns out I'll soon be giving up my write-ups as well, but we'll get to that later.

So I don't recall any new characters being introduced this week, and we bid farewell to quite a few in Locke, Karl, Rast, and the rest of the Night's Watch renegades.  So with that we can get right into the episode.  As always, spoiler warnings are in effect for the books as well as the show.

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I feel like this validates my inner fan-boy for George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. :)

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Douglas Cohen

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