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Nonfiction

Writing Fight Scenes

Have you ever: * Held a sword? * Taken a karate class? * Punched another person in the face? Even if your answer is “no,” you can still write a good fight scene. In this guide, fantasy novelist Marie Brennan will show you how. Drawing on her experience with fencing, stage combat choreography, Okinawan martial […]

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Dice Tales

Some people play roleplaying-games for the challenge; others play them for the story. Award-winning fantasy author and freelance game writer Marie Brennan is unabashedly in the latter camp. In these essays she looks at tabletop and live-action RPGs from a narrative perspective, exploring the ways the framework of a game can generate and support (or […]

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New Worlds, Year One

Worldbuilding is one of the great pleasures of writing science fiction and fantasy -- and also one of its greatest challenges. Award-winning fantasy author Marie Brennan draws on her academic training in anthropology to peel back the layers of a setting, going past the surface details to explore questions many authors never think to answer. She invites you to consider the endless variety of real-world cultures -- from climate to counterfeiting, from sumptuary laws to slang -- and the equally endless possibilities speculative fiction has to offer.

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New Worlds, Year Two

Science fiction and fantasy are renowned for immersing their readers in rich, inventive settings. In this follow-up to the collection New Worlds, Year One, award-winning fantasy author Marie Brennan guides you through new aspects of worldbuilding and how they can generate stories. From beauty to books, from tattoos to taboos, these essays delve into the complexity of different cultures, both real and imaginary, and provide invaluable advice on crafting a world of your very own.

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New Worlds, Year Three

The boundless complexity of worldbuilding can create a daunting challenge for writers of science fiction and fantasy. In the third volume of the NEW WORLDS series, award-winning fantasy author and former anthropologist Marie Brennan provides not only the building blocks for creating a setting, but advice on exposition and other aspects of craft. Whether you need guidance on security or sanitation, demographics or demons or drugs, you’re sure to find inspiration here.

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New Worlds, Year Four

Bathing and banking, animals and adultery: human culture contains a truly daunting array of elements. The fourth volume of the NEW WORLDS series takes readers on a tour of all-new topics, delving into everything from childbirth to dream interpretation to the importance of generosity, as award-winning fantasy author and former anthropologist Marie Brennan continues her in-depth exploration of worldbuilding in science fiction and fantasy.

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New Worlds, Year Five

In science fiction and fantasy, anything can provide color and conflict -- from soldiers, to schools, to shops, to sexuality. Continuing her comprehensive NEW WORLDS series of worldbuilding guides, award-winning fantasy author and former anthropologist Marie Brennan takes a deep dive into monarchy and democracy, natural disasters, warfare, gender, and the subtleties of language variation both in the world and on the page.

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