Normally when I write a review of a book, I wait until I’ve completed it before posting any of my thoughts. With Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, however, I’m presenting this partway review while I wait for the copy I had from the library to make its trek back to me.
In Sanderson’s preface to the novel, he discusses the many years and thousands of pages of notes that went into The Way of Kings, beyond the manuscript itself. That sort of Tolkien-level world-building is something that I don’t think as many writers do today – myself included, for several of my projects – but the value (more…)
As part of our nightly ritual, my 2-year-old daughter and I read books together. A couple weeks ago, Rumpelstiltskin made its way into our reads for the night. I’ve heard the story a hundred times, but this time around, I was creeped out more than usual by this story—maybe because I have a child now and could sympathize with the miller’s daughter. If I lived in a mythical fairy land, the thought of having a little imp-man take my child away would pretty much be one of my biggest nightmares.
Well, Rumpelstiltskin sparked my interest and lead me to do a little research on it. On my search I found out that in the 1857 Brothers Grimm edition of the story, when the miller’s daughter/queen reveals Rumpelstiltskin’s name, he goes all crazy and the story tells that he got so mad that he “drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two”(source). Yikes!
After reading this gruesome version, I decided to look into original/alternate versions of other fairy tales and came across an interesting article that talked about these stories. From reading this article, here are a few stories that I will never look at the same again: (more…)
Have you noticed that movie trailers today tend to summarize the core of a movie, including the ending? More and more, Hollywood seems to have decided to reveal the best parts of the story ahead of time, taking away any possibility for surprise when you watch the whole thing. Unfortunately, reading The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick was like seeing a movie after watching today’s trailers. As an expansion of McDevitt’s short story of the same name, published in 2011, there just isn’t enough new material to maintain intrigue for the reader. Further, a significant shift in plotting causes irreparable harm to a story that presents itself initially as largely character-driven.
Though this is the first (more…)
I have four kids. I lie to them all the time. I take my job as a parent and liar very seriously where they are concerned. I’m responsible for building their imaginations, of filling their brains with wonder and awe and all kinds of impossibilities come true.
We also like to burn stuff. Last night we took all of our paper recycling out in the back yard and set it on fire (in a safe place). They danced and sang and threw small branches in and watched the flames rise higher and higher. Then little bits of ash started to float up into the air and drift all around us. They glowed bright red before they turned grey and disappeared into the haze of dusk and the branches high above us. (more…)
The staff of QFT gives their impressions of 22 movies coming out in the rest of 2014. The list isn’t every speculative fiction movie coming out this year (no one had anything to say about Transcendence, for example), but it’s a good starting point.
LEGO Movie – February 7
The Scientific Theory of Santa’s Magic: How Santa Visits Every House in One Night and How Santa Gets Down the Chimney
Disclaimer: Usually, this blog features a work of fiction – a made-up story designed for entertainment purposes with a bit of science thrown in. Today, I’m not going to do that. I’m putting on my scientist hat to present a work of non-fiction – truth to the best of my ability – my theory of Santa’s so-called magic.
Everyone thinks that Santa Claus uses some form of mystical magic to travel the world in a single night and to fit his big ol’ belly down everyone’s skinny chimney. But let’s face it, is magic best explanation we can come up with? People have long used magic as an excuse to explain things they don’t understand. The sun used to be pulled on a golden chariot. Love was attributed to potions and spells. Weather was more a function of supernatural temperaments than meteorology. Just because we don’t understand how Santa gets around or squeezes himself down the chimney doesn’t mean we should relegate his miracles to some unexplained phenomenon. Santa is, after all, a resident of our physical universe, and as such, is subject to the same physical laws as the rest of us.
This article originally appeared in The Official Time-Waster’s Guide about 8 years ago. But I like it and it’s tasty. So here you go.
One of the inherent problems of being a guy, especially a geek guy, is that people think you don’t know how to cook. After all, mom’s been making your dinner for the last 34 years, right?
Well, fret not. Don’t tell everyone at the office that you had to buy your contribution to the potluck or that the wife made it for you. There’s some really simple food you can make that will impress everyone (esp. single girls for you lonely nerds). The beauty of this food is it looks like you worked hard on it, but it requires no skills other than the ability to read numbers (but be careful not to burn yourself). Yes, you too can be lazy and still eat well (if by “well” you mean “food that will make you fat”).
When I was a child and would stay home from school, my mother would sometimes give me a bowl of morning ice cream to cheer me up. I remember this vividly when I was home with the chicken pox. I have fond memories of these moments; they felt more like special events, vacation with my favorite person, rather than times of illness. And there was another vivid recollection I had from these times: I would let the ice cream melt in the bowl, I would stir to help the process along, and then I would drink the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry swirl right up. I did this not because my throat hurt, although that may be how it started, I did this because when I drank the ice cream I was actually drinking a sort of Superhero Soup. My Superhero Soup would give me strength, even health – superpower to get better.
Happy Halloween! And Happy Birthday to us! This marks the one year anniversary of Quantum Fairy Tales. I’d get all choked up and emotional about it, but then my fake eye lashes would fall off – can’t have that.
But in all seriousness, it’s been an incredible year. Our contributors and staff have created this lovely little cog work nest to work in and the only thing that could make it any better would be the addition of Aussie Owned & Read to our list of conspirators.
Sometimes I go weeks, even months without writing. Life just gets really crazy. Between taking care of my daughter and working two part-time jobs from home, writing often gets pushed to the bottom of my list of things to do. While I’m far from perfect at making time to work on my creative writing, I’ve learned some tricks that help me take a break from my daily tasks in order to write.