In This Issue: Jo Walton, James L. Cambias, Brian Staveley, and more!

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January 6, 2014
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Books: I Like Them, Who Could Have Guessed? Building Ilmatar Giant Hawks and Mountain Bikes: Alternative Training January Grab Bag Sweepstakes More Stories...

Good Reads
We are currently offering the chance to win a copy of each of the following books on Goodreads:
More Stories has shared Michael Whelan’s endpapers for Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson. The image is also available as a free downloadable wallpaper. Speaking of Words of Radiance, you can also read an excerpt! What are you looking forward to in 2014? Check out lists of anticipated January titles from Buzzfeed and Kirkus Reviews. Vicious, by V. E. Schwab, is going to be a movie! Jo Walton muses on whether there’s a right age to read a book.
Books: I Like Them, Who Could Have Guessed?
by Jo Walton

I’ve been interviewed a lot about my Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel, Among Others. Because Among Others is about a science fiction reader, one of the questions I’ve been asked a lot is which one classic science fiction novel everyone ought to read. It’s an impossible question—especially in the context of my novel, which is about the kind of splurging, indiscriminate teenage reading many of us experienced.

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Building Ilmatar
by James L. Cambias

Settings are one of science fiction’s fundamental strengths. Readers of SF and fantasy love to play tourist in worlds of the author’s imagination, and an intriguing setting is a great way to draw the readers in and keep them reading while you make them care about the characters and get them to worry about what's going to happen next.

When creating a fantastic setting, there are two approaches: crafting what you need to fit the demands of the story (what we’ll call “top-down”) and extrapolating a setting based on some basic scientific assumptions (what we’ll call “bottom-up”).

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Giant Hawks and Mountain Bikes: Alternative Training
by Brian Staveley

There’s a scene near the middle of The Emperor’s Blades in which a class of Kettral cadets, ultra-elite warriors who fly massive hawks into battle, are undergoing their final test: Hull’s Trial. People who have read the book ask about this scene a lot, and about Kettral training more generally. They want to know if I’ve served in the military – I haven’t – and then they want to know where in the hell all the training material comes from. The answer (aside from lots and lots of reading about military training) is adventure racing.

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January Grab Bag Sweepstakes

Sign up for the Tor/Forge Newsletter for a chance to win this collection of advance reading copies: Sign up for a chance to win this collection!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, complete entry here beginning at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) January 2, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 PM ET January 31, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
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