needmilkformycookies:”Legion” & “Wrex” by Thoroly-Good…


“Legion” & “Wrex” by Thoroly-Good Cosplay & Dashy

these are the best ME related cosplays I have ever seen in my life.

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brianmichaelbendis:Iron Fist and Luke Cage Photographed by Ron…


Iron Fist and Luke Cage Photographed by Ron Gejon Photography

The family that cosplays together stays together.

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cosplayingwhileblack:XCharacter: GyradosSeries: Pokemon i…



Character: Gyrados

Series: Pokemon

i don’t know what a Gyrados is, but that dress took some mad skills and looks awesome.

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ericafailsatlife:I’m catching up on commissions. I… I…


I’m catching up on commissions.

I… I might not be able to ever look at anything else ever.

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sai-zar-drancher:well…for the work of a week…it looks great…


well…for the work of a week…it looks great XD

Spider-Gwen, Spider-Gwen
Does whatever a spider .. uh… ken…

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drdavidmrmack:11×17 print of this version of Neil Gaiman Poem…


11×17 print of this version of Neil Gaiman Poem collaboration- Now available here!

The other prints have sold out, and @neverwear is offering a reduced special advance price here:

Neil Gaiman reading and discussing the origin of the poem and collaboration here:


here is the entire text of the beautiful poem Neil composed:

I will write in words of fire.

I will write them on your skin.

I will write about desire.

Write beginnings, write of sin.

You’re the book I love the best,

your skin only holds my truth,

you will be a palimpsest

lines of age rewriting youth.

You will not burn upon the pyre.

Or be buried on the shelf.

You’re my letter to desire:

And you’ll never read yourself

I will trace each word and comma

As the final dusk descends,

You’re my tale of dreams and drama,

Let us find out how it ends.

-Neil Gaiman

A beautiful poem of love and creation set to beautiful art 

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Post Apocalyptic Disney Princesses at Torucon 2014 This is just…

Post Apocalyptic Disney Princesses at Torucon 2014 

This is just a few of the amazing girls we had in our group!

Jasmine – Batbunny Cosplay
Merida - Studio Eevia
Pocahontas – Eirin
Aurora – Timeforlemontea
Snow White – Blitzhellion Cosplay
Mulan – Ramona
Ariel – Starbit Cosplay
Elsa – Santatory

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scienceofdiscontent: betaadamantium: the-oh-god-of-hangovers: …





My Mass Effect 3 Liara T’Soni cosplay.

First time putting the make up with the costume and I’m really happy it all came together so well. This was another make up test I decided to do as practise before PAX AUS 2014. I’m glad it worked!

Photo and make up by Jen of Soylent Cosplay

this looked like some high resolution screenshot. omfg

That’s what I thought it was at first, too. Holy crap.

Asari cosplayers have the sickest makeup game. i once asked a girl at con to tell me the secret to “no seams” when they apply their cowls. apparently its tiny spatulas.

ho lee cow. That is amazing head make up/wear.

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Life is, indeed, too short to not be…

Life is, indeed, too short to not be Batman.

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Feature Friday: Metalalia

When we were approached by Metalalia, we were excited to learn about their fairy tale focused app. We poked around at their website and found that they do a lot of cool things that coincide with what we try to do here at QFT. You should check out their site! And just for QFT readers, here’s a fun interview with Alexander Nicholson, founder of Metalalia, to tell a bit more about their story.

Metalalia Full Logo copy

  • How did Metalalia get started (and where does the name come from)? 
AN: Metalalia started when my partner Pam and I were separated by visa issues. Though I wanted to live and work with her in LA it was impossible at the time. In order to feel closer we began writing to each other’s art: her music to my stories, and vice versa. When we had the thought of trying to publish them together in an e-reader, we found that no e-reader on the market provided the flexibility we required. Luckily, our friend Adam
Metalalia Pam and Alex
Schwem, a veteran app developer, was ready to help us.

The name is Greek for ‘stories told after’. We thought it was appropriate for the tales we were retelling in new ways. Metalalia is going beyond books, creating a blended storytelling experience to engage readers like other stories cannot.
  • Tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Metalalia. 
AN: I was the kid who went to other children’s birthday parties and spent my time hiding in their bedrooms reading their book collections. I’ve always been passionate about writing and telling stories. I was thrilled when Pam asked about scoring my fairy tales. She has such an intelligent and empathic approach to writing accompaniments.
  • What does Metalalia bring to the speculative fiction community? How is it unique?
AN: We don’t think anyone is doing quite what we’re doing with mixedMetalalia media storytelling at the moment. There are people like Neil Gaiman and Francesca Lia Block who do wonderful retellings of fairytales with contemporary spins. There are more artists than I can name who produce fantastic, genre-bending pieces that capture the imagination and transport you to worlds you’d never imagined. There are bands like The Mechanisms who create fantastic stories with music. But no-one has combined these elements into something you can carry around in your pocket.
  • What is something really exciting about you or Metalalia that we may not know?
AN: We’ve got some very exciting collaborators lined up. We opened submissions for stories and reached out to some of our favourite creators, and the response has been thrilling! We don’t want to give anything away yet, but the clues are out there.
 Follow Metalalia on Twitter and Facebook!

Tell a Story—Not a Setting

Guest Post by Steven Bohls:


Christopher Booker, author of THE SEVEN BASIC PLOTS, itemizes fiction’s seven basic—

I can hear you interrupting me with your mind. Don’t lie—I know you want to finish the line before I get to it.

—itemizes the seven basic Al Qaeda guerrilla tactics.

Serves you right for trying to steal my line…

So… back to the seven basic plots. These plots are in every story, everywhere, from the history of the world.

(The following is not plagiarism because, *ONE: I changed some of the words, and *B: I really like all this stuff I stole came up with completely on my own.


Overcoming the Monster: The protagonist sets out to defeat an antagonistic force which threatens the protagonist and/or protagonist’s homeland.

Perseus, Beowulf, Dracula, War of the Worlds, James Bond, Die Hard, Godzilla

Rags to Riches: The poor protagonist acquires things such as power, wealth, and a mate, before losing it all and gaining it back upon growing as a person.

Cinderella, Aladdin, Jane Eyre, Spiderman (Silence fool! I don’t care if you disagree), Oliver Twist

The Quest: The protagonist and some companions set out to acquire an important object or to get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way.

Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (Deathly Hallows), Land before Time

Voyage and Return: The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him/her, returns with nothing but experience.

Alice in Wonderland, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia

Comedy: Light and humorous character with happy or cheerful end; a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstance, resulting in a successful or happy conclusion.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Music and Lyrics, Mr. Bean

Tragedy: The protagonist is a villain who falls from grace and who often dies at the end.

Macbeth, Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Breaking Bad

Rebirth: The protagonist is a villain or otherwise unlikable character who redeems him/herself over the course of the story.

Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, A Christmas Carol, Despicable Me, Maleficent

Now I’m sure there’s a million other lists aimed to bottle art in all sorts of wonky-shaped bottles. But I only consider lists who score higher than a 4 out of 10 on the “I-Seriously-Question-That-Malarkey!” scale, or ISQM for short.

(Yes it’s a real, scientific scale. Now stop interrupting and let me indoctrinate you already).

The “man versus” list defines the 7 types of conflict in a story. We’re not going to dissect that list, but suffice it to say, you can very well have a “man vs. self” conflict enclosed within in an “Overcoming the Monster” framework for a “Scott Pilgrim VS the World” story, or instead put that same “man vs. self” conflict into a “Tragedy” and come out with something like “Breaking Bad.”

So, this is a Spec-Fic E-Zine focused on quality writing, yes? What does all this malarkey (in the non-ISQM fashion obviously) mean for you?

Hate me for saying the following all you want, but the following is 100% true-sauce: settings and genre matter just about as much as a J.C. Penny photo studio backdrop curtain in a cuddly picture of your 2-year old. Would you still frame/hang the picture if the wispy background curtains weren’t in the shot? What if the ABC blocks were gone too? What about the giraffe backdrop that looks more like a bargain bedsheet than a professional prop? Maybe. BUT, what about the baby? Nope. I can’t think of a single “baby” picture I’ve seen hanging on the wall of any home I’ve ever been in that’s had simply the props + backdrop and no baby.

Stop getting so damn excited about “sweet new settings!” and “holy crap I have the BEST idea for a new [insert fantasy world/planetary body/alien species/shadow wraith queen of the cursed blood doom cult of shrieking doom]-s! Because guess what? Once you awesomely learn how to frame a story—once you studiously study how to orchestrate conflict and create academy-award-winning book characters, you can put that beast of an idea into whatever setting/genre your pretty, little heart desires (except that… if you’re a seasoned writer, I’m betting your “heart” is no longer “pretty” anymore… probably more like an “undercooked-brownie-in-a-toddler’s-pocket” sort of “pretty.”

Stop world-building. You’re not Brandon Sanderson. No one is. (In fact, I’m convinced “Brandon Sanderson” isn’t even a person at all, but a writer’s fairytale, some unattainable myth that taunts me at night with its unattainableness. Curse you phantom Brandon and your superiority!)

Stop hinging your book’s entire appeal on its setting—on its world—on its premise.

Start by forgetting your genre—forgetting your beautifully-crafted world and all its fracking Battlestars.

Learn to craft all 7 of the 7 of the basic plots. Seamlessly.

Learn to pit man versus anything from society and supernatural all the way to the battling of the forces of technology (Gahh!!! I did it again! Fine. Now you know them all. Guess that means you have no more excuses).

As a sci-fi writer, learn to write a gorram western just as well as your space opera (betcha ten bucks that Joss Whedon could—oh wait, he can. And he did a pretty ‘shiny’ job at it too).

Overall, learn how to tell a story, before you start living in your fantasy world.

About Steven:
BohlsunnamedI believe a day isn’t worth its hours if I didn’t taste at least some of its art. I’m a dreamer first, a thinker next, an artist third, and a writer last.

I signed with Corvisiero Literary Agency last year and shortly thereafter signed with Disney Hyperion for a series of middle grade books. I’ve completed thirteen novels and wake up each day anxious to write more. I truly believe that success in publishing is not a game of luck—but rather a reckless, confident, foolhardy, ridiculous, arduous, tenacious, exhausting, grueling charge into the unknown then charging again, and again, and again, and again until the day comes when your earned fortitude lifts you beyond the mountain peak of rejection and into the valley of more work.

Earthsong: Volume III, Chapter VIII

Earthsongch8coverContinue reading Crystal Yates’ Earthsong, Chapter VIII.

Or if you’re just joining us or missed any previous sections, start at the archives.

Happy reading!

Thursday Prompt: Not-so-Intelligent Life-forms


(click for source)

Interestingly enough, I got the idea for this prompt while watching an episode of Louie. Louis C. K. did a joke about how we should stop looking for aliens because there’s no scenario in which they would be friendly. He says that they wouldn’t just exist for “our own experience”. That got me thinking: everyone assumes that if we find alien life, or it finds us, they will be far more evolved than we are. What if we were to find aliens that were as advanced, if not less advanced than we are?

Write a story about humans discovering aliens who are less developed, or as developed as we are. What do they look like? What kind of technology do they use? Would we rub our superiority in their faces?

Television: The Future of Visual Storytelling?

So I was working in my 3D Design class when my instructor, some of my classmates, and I got into one of our usual counter-productive (but very rewarding) conversations about pop culture. This time the topic was TV because we were a mere four days away from the season premiere of Game of Thrones. We were marveling at how much television has improved over our lifetime, as well as how movies seem to have gotten worse. Jonah (my instructor) said that we are “living in the Renaissance of TV.” Looking at the shows we have to choose from, I agree with him.

From Breaking Bad to Adventure Time, television has become a medium through which original and fascinating stories can be explored. Shows like these have set the bar higher than we ever thought imaginable. Breaking Bad is one of my favorite shows of all time because of its ability to blend humor and gravitas into one morally questionable joyride. And have you seen Better Call Saul? Best. Spinoff. Ever. As a side-note, if you’re already sick of my gushing, be forewarned that there is more to come.

On the other hand, Adventure Time puts on the guise of a children’s show, but throws in some mature and heart-wrenching story arcs that have you questioning what your own childhood shows slipped in without your knowing. A few months ago, I watched a short series called Over the Garden Wall, one of the most gorgeous children’s shows I have ever seen. As you can see, I’m still raving about it. The animation harkened to the time of Betty Boop and music that sounded as though it came from the early 20th century. I mean just think about the level of cultural memory required to fully appreciate a show like that? Grandparents and great grandparents could be watching it! If it was intended for children yet deep enough to remind me of my own mortality, I think it would be suitable for people of any age. What I’m getting at is that even shows made for children are amazing now. They’ve progressively become more amazing since Spongebob Squarepants (before Stephen Hillenberg sold the rights) and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Unfortunately, this is more than I can say for the writing in mainstream movies. It seems like the only original stories in films are taken from books, comic books, videogames, etc. I think the main reason for this is that Hollywood has followed a formula in screenplays for years that they refuse to change because it has made many a successful movie. Because of this, big-shot movie executives look for plotlines that fit into said formula, whether they are original or based on some other work. Now I’m not saying that all movies nowadays are unoriginal or formulaic; originality can still be found in most independent films and some mainstream ones. I mean, just look at Pixar! But just think about how many original ideas have been realized through TV shows as opposed to movies. Come on, movies, step it up a little!

tumblr2_mlvr1fWJYR1s47u83o1_500I think one of the reasons why movies are starved for originality is that an hour and a half to two-hour film doesn’t have the capacity for development that a series of episodes does. Some stories just can’t be boiled down elegantly to just a couple of hours. Take the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. My level of hatred for this movie is astronomical; you don’t know how much I have to restrain myself from going on a tirade about it right now. But I digress. This movie did a terrible job of representing the intelligent and beautiful writing of the show because it tried to condense an entire season of half-hour episodes into an hour and a half. Plus, it took 6 earthbenders to bend one rock. In other words, M. Night Shyamalan did absolutely no research and should have everything good about his childhood be horribly mangled and misrepresented in movie format. An eye for an eye, Shyamalan.

tumblr_madqd6fAig1rn80v8So what can we learn from all of this? TV is just getting better and better. Unfortunately this means more Netflix and less productivity. Sorry to Quantum Fairy Tales in advance for my next few nonexistent blog posts!

Earthsong: Volume III, Chapter VII


Continue reading Crystal Yates’ Earthsong, Chapter VII.

Or if you’re just joining us or missed any previous sections, start at the archives.

Happy reading!

Visual Writing Prompt – 9 Apr 2015


Courtesy of

Two Blogs of “What Not To Do” Goodness

I wanted to write a little different blog post this week, and keep it short and entertaining.

Bad Covers! Kindle Cover Disasters're a Horse!

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” It’s a popular English idiom, but we all do it. If you haven’t heard of the blog Kindle Cover Disasters by now, you’re missing out. I bring it up not to point and mock other authors, but as a cautionary tale (or encouragement—your mileage may vary). You may be a great writer, but if you’re not a great designer or visual artist, do yourself a favor and either find someone to do your cover for you, or find resources that can help. Please. Here are my suggestions:
  • While you may be an okay designer, statistically and logically you’re way better off using this service which helps you find people willing to do a service on your behalf, starting at just $5. You probably aren’t going to find much better for the cost than a designer or design student trying to pad their portfolio.
  • If you really fancy yourself an artist but haven’t done any serious digital work, and want to keep it on the cheap, Canva is a great second option. The site comes with plenty of templates, pre-selected font matching, color layouts, etc. Premium features cost money, but usually not more than $1-$2 at a time (in my experience). You could easily put together a stylish-looking book cover in less than an hour that would look much, much better than anything you could throw together in MS-Paint or Photoshop using badly-clipped stock photos.

Bad Query Letters! Slush Pile Hell

If you think your writing is up to par and really want to get published, you’re going to need an agent. Bad things happen when you try to go it without one (it’s personal, I don’t want to talk about it). An agent’s job is to help get your manuscript in front of the right people, but your job is to find the agent that can help you do that. That means sending out query letters.

Slush Pile Hell is a blog written by an agent who anonymously publishes their worst queries, and responds on the blog with the words they only wish they could use in real life. Again, it’s not about pointing and laughing, it’s a cautionary tale. Here are some great alternatives to avoid ending up in this agent (or any other’s) slush pile:

  • Query Shark: Like Slush Pile Hell, this is a blog created by an agent. Unlike SPH, this blog has back-and-forth between authors and the agent (or several) to get pointers on writing the best query letter possible. It’s a fantastic resource, and while it will take some time to read through the many posts, if you’re serious about wanting to write and get your work in front of an agent, this is part of the work you should be doing.
  • Create Space: This might seem a little like a cop-out, but one tool that can be very effective in the writing process is to skip the agent/publisher step all together and take things into your own hands. Create Space is an Amazon-owned company that helps you through the process of getting your manuscript into a finished e-book. They offer paid services for editing, cover design (although I’d look at the two resources above, they’ll be cheaper in the short run), editing, and marketing. I mention editing twice because this will directly affect your book rating on Amazon. So why self-publish if I really want a bigger market? Look at it this way: self-publishing a novel right now and selling it inexpensively puts it out into more hands. If the writing is good enough and you can get enough people to read it, this is going to attract a lot more agents and publishers than someone with a half-finished manuscript who thinks that simply insisting their book is the most important thing to happen to mankind is enough. Don’t be that person.

Earthsong: Volume II, Chapter VI

Earthson2-6Continue reading Crystal Yates’ Earthsong, Chapter Six.

Or if you’re just joining us or missed any previous sections, start at the archives.

Happy reading!

A Truly SUPER Writing Prompt

Ok, heroes! Today’s writing prompt is your chance to shine… or spin, or explode, or sparkle… it’s your choice!

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Dumb? You’ve heard that before? Oh, no. Because I have RULES you must obey. (more…)