Three big pieces of news!
First, I’m taking on the temporary title of Interim Managing Editor for Outer Places, the sci-fi/science site where I work! My official title is Staff Editor, but until a new managing editor is found, I’ll be taking on that role and managing OP’s output and marketing. I’ll probably be heading out to SDCC, WonderCon, and NYCC this coming year to help cover events and speak on new panels too, which is amazing!
Second, Clarkesworld Magazine accepted my new pitch for an essay on magic and worldbuilding! For the past several years I’ve been bugged by magic in different books and games, especially The Elder Scrolls, because it’s often treated like a science where mages can ‘experiment’ and harness ‘magical energy.’ The way I see it, treating magic like science will inevitably create a domino effect within the fantasy world that leads it to turn into a world like ours, one where magic is harnessed like any other natural phenomenon. Magic will stop being magic, and Middle-Earth will become just ‘Earth’.
Third, I submitted a presentation proposal to GIFCON, the Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations convention, outlining a lecture I want to give on ARGs and The Rats in The Walls, my April 2015 project. I got an email last week that my proposal is under consideration, and that I should hear back around mid-January. We’ll see!
Finally, two of my friends got me a new poster:
Looking forward to 2017!
Back in college, I used to keep a sticky note attached to my laptop titled “Things Chris Mahon Believes In”. In order, they were:
- Ursula LeGuin’s “Wizard of Earthsea”
- Princess Mononoke
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
The sticky note was there to anchor me, and remind me why I do what I do. I used to read and write a lot about moral philosophy, and a lot of my writing is still informed by that, but day-to-day, I always found myself returning to stories for inspiration and a reason to get out of bed.
Thanks to Outer Places (the sci-fi website where I work), I got to write a piece on my seven favorite sci-fi/fantasy movies and books for TSR’s blog, Multiverse! You can read the article here, but here’s the list:
- Wizard of Earthsea
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- Princess Mononoke
- Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard
- Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
- End of Evangelion
This list isn’t definitive, but it’s a good chunk of what I love. There’s no H.P. Lovecraft on there (because most of his work is short stories and novellas) or Paranoia Agent or Serial Experiments: Lain (both TV shows), nor is there any manga/graphic novels (Vagabond or Uzumaki or V For Vendetta or Prophecy), and I couldn’t include things like The Seventh Seal or Man of LaMancha because those films aren’t technically fantasy.
Still, it’s a good shortlist and amazingly cool that it’s been published. It’s now “ON THE RECORD.” Woop woop!
After sending in a pitch to Open Road Media’s new sci-fi/fantasy site The Portalist back in November, I wrote up a listicle on the 5 Most Elaborate Sci-fi Alternate History Books, including H.P. Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness, PKD’s Man in the High Castle, and William Gibson’s Difference Engine. Now it’s live on the Portalist site! Huzzah!
Today I also sent in my third non-fiction pitch to Clarkesworld Magazine on the topic of magic and worldbuilding in fantasy–we’ll see what they say. My last two essays with Clarkesworld were on “The Candlelit World,” about mythology’s influence on fantasy, then “Paradise Lost,” about the history of the genre. They’re a fantastic publication.
In the meantime, I’m still working on my new short story with Yute, incorporating some of the ideas I picked up from my new book on wabi-sabi and the Japanese tea ceremony.