July 23, 2014

Fight scenes are dangerous territory for writers. On the surface, they seem as if they’re guaranteed to keep the reader glued to the action in the same way as they often do at the movies. In reality, though, readers tend to skip over fight scenes – skimming the long, tedious, blow-by-blow descriptions in favour of…

July 7, 2014

Note: I originally wrote this for ScienceNow.com back in 2014. Human beings have a complicated relationship with the sword. On the one hand, it’s an instrument of violence with a long history written in blood. Yet it also has the capacity to mesmerize us with the beauty of its varied forms and the way a…

July 7, 2014

I hate knights. How is it that the biggest bunch of self-involved bullies in all of European history became the most prominent heroes in fantasy literature? These are the same brutish and brutal thugs who murdered, raped, and pillaged their way across Europe and the Middle East in the name of God (thanks a lot,…