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Author Archives: Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
Detective fiction writer Lawrence Block tells a wonderful story about how he was having all kinds of trouble writing a Bernie Rodenbarr novel because of the chaos at home. He rented a cabin at a writers’ retreat back East and … Continue reading
My inestimable agent, Trodayne Northern, recently decided that what he really would like to have on the new Prentis Agency website he’s building is a series of love letters from his writers to their beloved genres. Here is my “how do … Continue reading
All time travel stories have to contend with a science fiction trope we might call the “trickle forward” effect. Some writers simply ignore the effect, others use it to great (and often funny or tragic) advantage.
Personally, I love writing time travel stories. I’ve penned about half a dozen of them, all published in Analog. I’m working on a sort of twisted time travel novel at the moment and am grappling with a complex plot that relies on the trickle forward effect from multiple points in time. Obviously, this can be a blessing or a curse.
I was discussing time travel stories with Larry Niven one weekend at a con when he told me that he has some slightly twisted friends who like to dress in black suits and go about in the guise of Time Travelers. They spend their time abroad policing each other. If one of the number so much as picks up a gum wrapper and throws it away, the others will insist that he find the wrapper and return it to the spot.
The point is, that while many of us who even think about time travel, consider major events such as assassinations and wars as turning points in history, the truth is that the removal of a gum wrapper may be just as telling in the long run. Continue reading
I’d be willing to bet that most people have had the experience of reading a headline in a news article (or media chyron) only to have the content of the report fail to live up to the headline. This happens … Continue reading
Most people know what a ’meme’ is. The dictionary definition ’meme’ is: “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.” The dictionary … Continue reading
As regular readers of my articles know, I have a bit of an issue with the way that people—especially highly public and influential people—use and abuse language. Some do this intentionally to manipulate their audience; others do it unintentionally out … Continue reading
My favorite clients are the ones that ask questions, because it means they’re curious enough about the process of writing that they want to understand it. Those questions may be specific: ”On page 50 of my manuscript, why did you … Continue reading
Today, communication fans, I’d like to dismantle four sentence-like sequences of words that have something in common: muddled meanings caused by a poor (or possibly clever) choice of words. Who said them and with what intent is irrelevant to the … Continue reading
Sample scenario: Toyoshi’s voice came raggedly over the phone. “Riyoko is in trouble. She’s been casting spells at midnight to call forth a Wretched Demon and I’m pretty sure it’s working. One more spell and her soul will be completely … Continue reading