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Exclusive: The Cover for Beth Cato’s Upcoming Novel Call of Fire Is, Well, Fire

If you love steampunk you're probably familiar with the work of The Clockwork Dagger author, Beth Cato. You may have even read 2016's Breath of Earth, which was the beginning of a new fantasy series from Cato focused on a mixed-race geomancer named Ingrid in an alternate 1906. Now, her second novel in that series, Call of Fire, is set to arrive next year, and Harper Voyager has given us this exclusive first look at its beautiful cover!

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Why Your Life Needs More of The Adventure Zone

In case you enjoyed Monster Factory; good, good goofs; or unexpected tidal waves of feeling.

Three idiots, nee adventurers, walk into a tavern and accept a quest that promises untold amounts of fortune, glory, and definitely not any betrayal or untimely death. It goes real bad. Thus begins The Adventure Zone, a comedy D&D podcast that thoroughly won the heart of this total tabletop newbie.

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Hex11 #8 Is Animated, Action-Packed, Literally Magical

Hex11 is an action-packed story for fans of YA dystopian fantasy and sci-fi worlds, and it manages to feel familiar and new all at once.

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Let’s Stop Waiting for Our Hogwarts Letters: Why You Don’t Need to Be the “Chosen One” to Be Magical

When I was a kid, I used to add "magic wand" to my birthday wish list every year. (I would have settled for a charmed amulet or even a mildly enchanted paperclip.) I routinely checked the back of my closet for the entrance to Narnia. And I was always on the look-out for a stray dragon's egg in the woods behind my house that would hatch a friendly, telepathic, teleporting dragon, because they were oh-so-common in central Massachusetts.

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A Tale of Two Magicians: How SyFy’s TV Adaptation Left Alice Quinn Behind

When I read the first installment of the Magicians series, I dug book Alice even more than I had on TV—and realized that SyFy's Alice didn’t get the ending she deserved. And it’s hard to pinpoint why.

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Writing Fenris: Why We Need More Trans Heroes in Genre Fiction

Fenris Braun is the most loved and talked-about character in my new alternate history novel, Breath of Earth. He is an acerbic scene-stealer with a slim form and a practiced glower. He's effusive in his childlike joy of machines, especially his cobbled-together passenger airship, the Palmetto Bug. Fenris is also a trans man.

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Writing For Me: How Fantasy Tropes Can Bring Out the Power of Being a Fangirl

I wanted to write a story that not only was different than what was normally told, but pointed out why diversity is important. That not only contains it, but also discusses it. I wanted to write a book that makes the readers intensely aware that it is a book. And yet still be entertaining.

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This Year’s Hugo Awards Honor Diverse Authors, Shrug Off Sad Internet Campaign

N.K. Jemisin took the award for "Best Novel" for The Fifth Season.

The 2016 Hugo Awards were announced last night at MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City, MO, and after an attempt by an online group to once again derail the list of winners it was made even more satisfying when all four Hugo fiction categories were awarded to women, with two of them being women of color.

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Why Is Feminism in Fantasy So Important?

Because sometimes you need more than "it just IS, okay?"

Have you ever been in a situation where a conversation heads into a topic you are so passionate about that you can’t actually express your feelings on it? A topic you have spent so much time thinking about, so much time raging about (often within the confines of your own skull) that when another person turns to you and says “So why is this such a big deal anyway?” you find yourself unable to speak? That’s how I reacted when I was asked to write about the importance of feminism in fantasy.

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How Creating Inclusive Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sparked a Culture War

Hi, I'm Lynne M. Thomas. I’m the co-editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Uncanny Magazine, along with my husband, Michael Damian Thomas. And according to Wired, I’m partially responsible for sparking a culture war.

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More Than “Strong”: Why Men Need to Write More Complex Female Characters

I remember when first daring to write a novel in first person with a female protagonist that I feared it wouldn’t work. I’d written about vampires, werewolves, ogres, and ghost dogs, but I was genuinely concerned that writing from the perspective of an undead, cannibal, witch woman would be beyond my abilities. That instinct says everything about how we guys (specifically cisgender ones like myself) are trained to view gender in fiction.

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Tamora Pierce’s Forthcoming Exile Trilogy: Why It’s Already Making Me Cry With Joy

Tamora Pierce’s feminist fantasy shoots love and empowerment straight into the hearts and minds of her readers. I love all of her books, but Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, and Protector of the Small quartets are particularly special to me; after all, I’ve been reading them since I was 10. But as deft as she is at crafting her heroines, Pierce makes a point of including supporting, feminist, male characters in her stories as well, and soon, we'll get to know one of them a little better.

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Feminism by Thoughtful Omission in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Why aren't there more nontriarchies in SFF?

I don’t want another badass woman who, as far as the narrative is concerned, is just One Of The Guys until someone can crack a joke about her being a woman. I don’t want more revenge-fantasy matriarchies that aim to show men what it’s like to be oppressed. I don’t want to imagine more futures where gender has vanished and androgyny rules, because that shouldn’t be the only way for everyone to be treated equally.

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[VIDEO] Interview: Kaptara Scribe Chip Zdarsky Talks Writing a Fantasy Comic “Knowing Nothing About Fantasy”

We love comics creator, Chip Zdarsky, 'round these parts. From his stellar work doing the art on his creator-owned comic Sex Criminals with writer Matt Fraction, to writing an awesome new take on Marvel classic character, Howard the Duck with artist Joe Quinones, Zdarsky has proven himself to be a compelling and unique comic talent. However, there's another work of Zdarsky's that deserves your attention if you haven't already been reading it in single-issues.

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Star Trek vs Star Wars: Why I Don’t See Eye to Eye With Bill Nye the Science Guy

Oh look, this ol' chestnut again.

Bill Nye stepped into dangerous nerd waters in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, "deciding" once and for all the answer to the age-old geek debate: What's better? Star Trek or Star Wars? Watch the video after the jump for Nye's response!

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The Mary Sue Holiday 2015 Gift Guide, Part 1: Books!

It's that time of year again! Listed here are some great books to pick up for nerdy, feminist friends and family (or, you know, maybe even yourself).

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The Mary Sue Interview: Time Wars Universe Creator Bijhan Valibeigi Takes Down the Myth of “Feminine Inferiority”

"It was very hard for me to admit to myself that I was trans and queer. All my heroes were cisgendered men. Luke Skywalker, Jim Kirk, Tommy Oliver, and the Ninja Turtles were all intensely masculine, and all supported by less-central female characters. I now realize that, subconsciously, I was resisting what I had been told was a "downgrade". Who would give up a starring role in order to play the supporting cast?"

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About Time: The World Fantasy Awards End Use of H.P. Lovecraft’s Image After 40 Years

Octavia Butler or bust.

Lovecraft, whose name is synonymous with the genres of weird fiction, sci-fi, and horror is undoubtedly influential and iconic. However, many had issues with a modern day award using and honoring the image of a notoriously racist, xenophobic, and problematic writer.

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No Pressure: The Making of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Anthology Ecotones

Good things come to those who ask.

How do you get some of the leading figures in Speculative Fiction to lend their names to a collection featuring largely unknown writers? The short answer is, you ask.

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The Hugo Awards 2015: Looking Back and Moving Forward

The 2015 Hugo Awards have come and gone, but many members of the sci fi and fantasy community are still processing this year's controversy.

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