Tag Archives: Jim C. Hines

Book Review: RISE OF THE SPIDER GODDESS: THE PROSEKILLER CHRONICLES by Jim C. Hines

REVIEW SUMMARY: An annotated evisceration of the unpublished first novel of the author, by the author

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS:: Nakor is a very special elf, at the center of a story involving the return of a spider Goddess. Oh dear, its a D&D campaign turned into a novel. A bad novel…

MY REVIEW:
PROS: An unflinching look at what an early novel from a published author looks like, and what the author has learned since then.
CONS: Sometimes the annotations and snark grow thin or repetitive, leading to long passages of passable (or worse) prose and plot.
BOTTOM LINE: A book that stands as an interesting artifact of Hines’ career more than a training or teaching tool.
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Podcast Spotlight: Podcastle

In the last two podcast spotlights I featured Escape Pod, the first speculative fiction podcast, and Pseudopod, the first horror podcast. This installment is about Podcastle, the third brand of the Escape Artists brand with the other two. They cover the whole spectrum of fantasy stories from contemporary to epic, grimdark to comedy, literary to light, contemporary authors to classics (including three Conan the Barbarian stories so far). There’s something there for everybody, and plenty to recommend. Compared to the other Escape Artists podcasts, they are friendlier to longer stories–even featuring period “Giant” episodes of novelette length stories, and have also often feature Miniature episodes for flash fiction. They’ve also started doing some non-fiction features, including Podcastle Spotlights to highlight an exciting upcoming fantasy novel, and recently featured Kameron Hurley’s essay “We Have Always Fought” reprinted from Dribble of Ink that went on to win the Hugo Award for Best Related Work.

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MIND MELD: Disabilities in Speculative Fiction

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Sarah Chorn’s highly successful Special Needs in Strange Worlds column…the recent Kaleidoscope anthology…the upcoming Accessing The Future anthology… Fiction focusing on discussions of disabilities, different abilities, special needs and different needs are increasingly important in the speculative fiction community.

With that in mind, here’s what I asked our panelists:

Q: What are some examples of speculative fiction titles where disabilities and disabled characters have been handled the right way? Are there specific disabilities that you’ve yet to see written into a speculative fiction story in a positive way?

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MIND MELD: Our Favorite Magical Items from Fantasy

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Sure, we’d all like to own a Quidditch broom or a crystal ball, but what magical item would you want the most? That was our esteemed panel’s challenge this week. Next week we ask a new set of panelists about their favorite SF devices.

Q: What magical item, artifact, weapon, etc., from the world of fantasy fiction would you most like to own? Why? What would you do with it?

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Exclusive Cover Reveal! UNBOUND by Jim C. Hines (Plus: MAGIC EX LIBRIS Cover Gallery and LIBRIOMANCER Giveaway!)

Here’s the Gene Mollica cover and the synopsis for the upcoming novel Unbound by Jim C. Hines. This is the third book in the Magic Ex Libris series.

Here’s the synopsis for Unbound:
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[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Jim C. Hines on Writing with Depression

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Jim C. Hines! – Sarah Chorn


Jim C. Hines is best known as a fantasy novelist and the guy who did those gender-flipped SF/F cover poses. His first novel was Goblin Quest, the tale of a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet fire-spider. Actor and author Wil Wheaton described the book as “too f***ing cool for words,” which is pretty much the Best Blurb Ever. After completing the goblin trilogy, Jim went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. He’s currently working on the Magic ex Libris books, which follow the adventures of a magic-wielding librarian from northern Michigan.

He’s also the author of more than forty published short stories. His first professional story sale was the award-winning “Blade of the Bunny,” which took first place in the 1998 Writers of the Future competition and was published in Writers of the Future XV.

Jim is an active blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols, and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2012.

He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in English, and works for the State of Michigan. He lives with his wife and two children, who have always shown remarkable tolerance for his bizarre and obsessive writing habits. (The cats, on the other hand, have no tolerance whatsoever, and routinely walk across his desk when he’s trying to work.)


Writing with Depression

by Jim C. Hines

I get anxious every time one of my books comes out. Will this one sell as well as the last? Will people like it? Will Spielberg finally call me up and offer me an obscene amount of money to turn my books into blockbusters? Will this be the book that tanks and destroys my career, forcing me to live on the streets and hunt rats for food?
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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 247): Diversity in Genre Panel Live from PPWC2014 With Carol Berg, Jim C. Hines, Chuck Wendig and Amy Boggs

In episode 247 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Carol Berg, Jim C. Hines, Chuck Wendig, and Amy Boggs, discuss Diversity in Genre Fiction.

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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 246): Interview with Jim C. Hines

In episode 246 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with author, Jim C. Hines live from the 2014 Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

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MIND MELD: Our Favorite SF/F/H Consumed In 2013

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It’s 2014 and that means it’s time to look back at all the SF/F/H available in 2013. Our panelists were asked this question:

Q: What was the best SF/F/H you “consumed” in 2013?

Consumed being anything read/watched/heard during 2013, but not necessarily new in 2013. Here’s what they said…
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MIND MELD: Worthy Media Tie-ins

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From Star Wars to X-Men, Halo to Star Trek, many media franchises also offer tie-in novels, giving fans another way to enjoy their favorite worlds and characters.  But which media tie in novels are the cream of the crop? we asked some experts:

Q: Many movies, TV shows, comic books, and even video games have gotten the novelization or media tie-in treatment. Be it a direct novelization of the original property or an original story based on the characters, what media tie-in books have been a worthy addition to their franchise?

Here’s what they said…

Tricia Barr
Tricia Barr writes about fandom, heroines, and genre storytelling at her blog FANgirl and contributes to her Star Wars expertise to Suvudu.com, Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Blog and Star Wars Insider magazine. She has completed her first original novel, Wynde, a military science fiction epic with a twist of fantasy.

Over thirty-five years later, many fans do not realize that A New Hope, known simply as Star Wars back in 1977, used a novelization and Marvel comics to generate considerable pre-release buzz. The Prequel Trilogy continued this tradition, with April publications of the novelizations in advance of the May movies. When Episode III novelization author Matthew Stover stepped on stage for his book panel at the official franchise convention Star Wars Celebration III, after the book’s release and before the film opened, he was greeted like a rock star. The impending release of Revenge of the Sith certainly helped spur on the fan hoopla, but it was the way Stover masterfully wove together the fall of the Jedi Order and its hero, Anakin Skywalker, that excited a fandom that had survived the Dark Times – the period between the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy – by reading books and comics. The standing-room- only crowd of novel enthusiasts appreciated the way he had turned a visual story into powerful prose. While much of the Revenge of the Sith novelization maintained the traditional third-person-limited point of view narrative, Stover ventured into second-person explorations of the key characters like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku, and Padmé Amidala. He also explained at his panel why the battle scenes that took place on Chewbacca’s home planet of Kashyyyk were not included in the novelization: to maintain the thematic focus on Anakin Skywalker’s fall. While there were no Wookiees in the book, Stover used a recurring metaphor of a dragon to foreshadow the story’s conclusion.
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Recommended Reading by Professionals…With Jim C. Hines

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend two or three authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by Jim C. Hines.
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MIND MELD: What Are The Most Overdone/Useful/Damaging Tropes and Stereotypes in SF/F?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: What are some of the most overdone tropes and stereotypes in SF/F? What are some of the most useful? What are some of the most damaging?

Here’s what they said…

Kameron Hurley
Kameron Hurley is an award-winning, Nebula nominated author. Her personal and professional exploits have taken her all around the world. Visit kameronhurley.com for details on upcoming projects, short fiction, and meditations on the writing life.

Tropes are a funny thing. To some extent, knowing and expecting what’s going to happen next in a story – anticipating a particular structure and story elements – is why we’re drawn to specific genres and sub-genres. Many romance readers are looking for boy meets girl, boy loses girl (or girl loses boy) but they happily (and sexily) get together at the end. Hard SF readers may be reading for a Big Idea and exploring how it changes our society, but be less interested in the characters moving that big idea around on the stage. Urban Fantasy readers may be looking for tough – but vulnerable! – heroines put into paranormal situations that may seem harrowing, but all work out at the end. And in Epic Fantasy, many still expect the White Hats (Stark white!) to Save the World.
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Jim C. Hines Strikes a Pose for Charity

Author and Hugo Award-winning fan writer Jim C. Hines, he of the Women and Fantasy Covers post, is at it again…only this time in the name of charity.

Jim has launched an annual fundraiser to benefit the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation. What he’s offering is brand new cover poses like the one above. The more that’s donated, the more he’ll do. John Scalzi is in on this and figures into the tiered poses.

Check out Jim’s post Cover Posing for a Good Cause for more information.

An Interview With Hugo-Winning Best Fan Writer & Author Jim C. Hines

Best Fan Writer Hugo-winner Jim C. Hines nominated me to moderate the first panel I was ever on. He loves breaking in new writers. His Jig The Dragonslayer trilogy, now out in a Daw omnibus, is a humorous sword and sorcery tale about a goblin. He followed that with the four book Princess cycle which are fairy tales gone awry crossing Disney princesses with Charlie’s Angels. Published by Daw Books, his latest book Libriomancer starts a new trilogy, Magic Ex-Libris, about a librarian hunting a killer. Because he likes to stretch himself, being as he lives in Lansing, he set this series in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s an urban fantasy with a lot of humor, involving dryads, wizards, vampires, automatons and more. Jim’s short fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Fantasy, Andromeda Spaceways, Writers of the Future and several anthologies. He can be found online at Facebook, Twitter via his website at and his blog.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt talks to Jim C. Hines about his career and his exciting future projects.


SFFWRTCHT: Starting at the beginning, Where’d your interest in SFF come from?

Jim C. Hines: Ahem. Is this thing on? My interest in SF/F comes from the fact that swords and magic and spaceships and lightsabers are awesome.

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[GUEST POST] Jim C. Hines Takes Us on a Behind the Scenes Tour of His New Book “Libriomancer”


Jim C. Hines‘s fiction has appeared in more than forty magazines and anthologies. His first published fantasy novel was Goblin Quest, after which he went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. Jim’s books have been translated into German, French, Czech, Polish, and Russian, thanks in no small part to his wonderful agent. In 2010, he signed a contract with DAW Books for a new current-day fantasy series. His latest novel is Libriomancer. Jim lives in mid-Michigan with his wife and children, who have always shown remarkable tolerance for his bizarre and obsessive writing habits.

Photo © Denise Leigh

Libriomancer: A Behind-the-Scenes Tour

by Jim C. Hines

Libriomancer is the story of Isaac Vainio, a librarian from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with the ability to reach into books and create the items described on their pages: everything from disruptor pistols to Lucy’s magical healing potion from Narnia. He’s a member of Die Zwelf Portenære, a magical organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg, the man who invented libriomancy … a man who has now gone missing, and may be responsible for a string of supernatural murders.

Also, in chapter one, Isaac has to fight a trio of sparkling vampires.

This is the first book I’ve set in the real world—mostly real, at least—and part of the fun was working various Michigan settings into the book. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in the pages of Libriomancer.

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MIND MELD: Monarchies in Fantasy

UPDATED to include a response from Delia Sherman

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Very often, in secondary world fantasy novels, the default political setup is to have a Monarch of some sort, often one that acts in a seemingly autocratic manner. Many times, this Monarch rules by some sort of divine right or providence.

Q: Why are kingdoms with monarchs the default political setup in many secondary fantasy world novels? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such political structures? What are some exceptions to this?
Mark Charan Newton
Mark Charon Newton is the author of the Legends of the Red Sun series. He is also a Whisky addict. Find out more about him at Markcnewton.com

When people create worlds, we only really have our own world for reference, or from which to glean conscious and subconscious influences. Kingdoms, empires, monarchs – that’s all human history has pretty much known. Even today, we’re under the illusion we have democracy, but it’s much more wishy-washy than true ancient Athenian democracy, where power was genuinely more equally distributed, and more citizens played a role in the functioning of society. Today our monarchs and empires now are largely trade-based hegemonies, imperial campaigns given the spin of delivering peace through drone bombings. We are now subject to political and financial kings and queens (well, strictly speaking, in the UK we’re still subjects to the queen, but hey).

So in one sense, that’s life. That’s all we’ve ever known.

Emphasizing this point, many fantasy writers tend to look towards history, consciously or otherwise, for inspiration. Given that, aside from moments in the ancient world, there are very few examples where there are not kingdoms and empires, it’s inevitable.

There’s a wonderful season of Shakespeare on the BBC at the moment, which is hammering the point that I think still lingers today, and that’s a fascination with those who hold ultimate power. The pressures. The mental state. The sheer audacity to rule. Holding a position of god on earth. It is the biggest stage in a nation. So what does that do to an individual? What does that do to their mind? Can they ever be truly human? Such questions continue to inspire fantasy writers today. We’re very much interested in that big stage and what it means when ordinary people connect with it in some way.

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TOC: ‘Sister of the Hedge & Other Stories’ by Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines has posted the table of contents for his new collection Sister of the Hedge & Other Stories:

  1. “Sister Of The Hedge”
  2. “In The Line Of Duty”
  3. “Heart Of Ash”
  4. “Bloodlines”
  5. “Images Of Death”
  6. “Ours To Fight For”

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