In Defense of Fantasy and Scifi

I came across this article on Wired today, about how colleges aren’t accepting of the fantasy and science fiction genre as a valid literary avenue. I agree that for the most part, they are not. My own college advisor hated fantasy because he felt you couldn’t describe magic–it was unseen. He liked sensory detail. I wrote a piece for one of his classes in which I described magic well enough to win him over, at least partially. He liked my story and was surprised by my use of sensory detail to describe fantastic details or the appearance of magic. 

When I published Bound, he read and enjoyed it. Now, I can’t say he has accepted the genre as something to integrate in his cirriculum, but I felt like I helped him better understand its value. Not everyone is going to be as open-minded as my professor, however.

Most people forget that this genre provides detailed social commentary, or predicts how humans might behave in the future, or could have behaved in the past. It is an exploratory genre; one that allows humanity to be more than it is, one that postulates solutions to larger social or scientific problems, one that helps us learn things, in addition to telling a damn good story.

So, if you’re looking to defend this genre, remind folks that H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are some of its forefathers, and Mary Shelly the mother. Remind folks that if they like Star Trek, they already walk this path with us. And whatever happens, do not let anyone dissuade you from loving this genre. It has as much value as any other.

If you see other genre fiction folks floundering (graphic novels, romance, or other niche subjects) rise to their defense. We’re all in this together.

Happy writing, all. 

U is for Undead, my slogan for Bound.


1,000 Words: Fable

Finished the first draft of my fable, in support of the new trilogy I am writing. I am really excited.

The fable is part of my world-building process, though I hope to publish it when it is ready. How do you all build your worlds?

Happy spring, my hearts!

BOUND Cover: Revealed!

Bound to each other, we rise or we fall.

by Scott Hartman

by Scott Hartman

Kelda’s escape would mean nothing if she could not break the spell on her mind. But even with the help of her new friends in Berglund, restoring her memory could be dangerous. Behind the wall that traps her thoughts is a dark, ever watchful force.

“I can see you.”

* *

Many thanks to Scott Hartman, my cover artist, who patiently endured the “Can we move this up?” and “Can we make this bigger?” barrage of questions via email, even though the word “bound” started to lose all meaning to him while choosing a font. You’re awesome, Scott.

Promises, promises and BOUND

Hey, my doves. I know I said I’d do the cover reveal for my novella BOUND this week, but…well, time sort of ran away from me (at like, warp speed) and that’s not going to happen. At least not this week.


It will happen next week. Next Saturday, May 16, 2015, the cover will be revealed. Stay tuned for a fun countdown you can  see on my new Instagram account, @thespidereen.

I’m getting excited. Are you excited?

Use the hashtag “UisforUndead” on Instagram and Twitter.

BOUND Excerpt

As promised, the following is an excerpt from my forthcoming novella, BOUND. That’s so fun to say–forthcoming. Anyway. Here you are, my hearts!


Chapter One Excerpt

Ingram checked her over quickly. “She’s alive,” he said, glancing up. He rolled the woman carefully onto her side. There was a gash over her left temple that was still bleeding. She hadn’t been lying there for long. She grimaced when Ingram pulled her out of the water.

Lothar clambered over the rocks to his friend, then helped Ingram get the woman into a sitting position. Ingram yanked off his cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders.

“Where did she come from?” Lothar wondered aloud. She was beautiful, with a delicate nose and heart-shaped face. Her eyes fluttered. She murmured something he couldn’t quite make out.

Ingram examined her for further injuries, but found none. He discovered a tattoo of two bearded axes crossing each other on her left forearm. He wracked his brain trying to think of the chieftain to whom the sigil may belong. He glanced around. The woman had nothing with her aside from the clothes she wore, no weapons, no pack–nothing to spare. He couldn’t see anything floating in the water, either. If she had carried something, it was gone now.

Ingram pressed one of her hands between his own. “She’s freezing. We need to get her to the village.” Lothar nodded. As he shifted to lift the woman, her eyes snapped open.

“No!” she shouted, kicking out. Her foot connected with Ingram’s chest and sent him tumbling into the water. Lothar clamped his arms around her shoulders to subdue her. Fafnir came running to their aid.

“I won’t go back,” she cried, thrashing and clawing at Lothar’s wrists. The big man let her have her tantrum, nodding Fafnir toward Ingram. Fafnir hesitated, his face going white. Lothar gave another pointed glance at Ingram. Fafnir extended a hand and helped the prince back onto the rocks. Ingram crouched beside the woman, prying her fingers from Lothar’s arms, and gripped her hands.

“You’re not going anywhere,” he said calmly. “We want to help.” The woman kicked at him again, but the move was weak. She panted, trying to twist her hands out of Ingram’s grip.

“She’s half mad,” Fafnir said, eyeing the woman dubiously, his color returning. Ingram and Lothar shot him identical scowls.