Sn3 Ep3 – Talking shop with Gama Ray Martinez

Another episode, this time with my buddy Gama Ray Martinez, who writes awesome fantasy!

Four Seasons of Epic Fantasy

In this episode, we have special guest Gama Ray Martinez talk about his experiences with self and traditional publishing. He shares some excellent insight as to why maybe you shouldn’t “Write every day.” Tune in to learn why!

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S3 Ep2 – Self Publishing Stories

My podcast posted another episode! 😀

Four Seasons of Epic Fantasy

In today’s episode we discuss some of our adventures in publishing! Leah gives some good advice on hiring cover artists, Thomas says a couple of bad words, and Jeremy offers a well-deserved sassy retort!

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Why we’re wrong about everything – Just Another Nobody Ep4

Here’s another episode of my youtube channel!

You are wrong about everything and so am I! This episode is much less about fiction and much more on human psychology. Why are we wrong? Why do we want to be right? How can we cope with the vast incomprehensibility of the universe? And why are political parties SUCH A JOKE?

S3 Ep1 – War And REVOLUTION!!!

My podcast just released another episode! This was about war and revolution, so I had fun, of course!

Four Seasons of Epic Fantasy

In today’s episode, we talk about war and REVOLUTION!!!!!!!! Good reasons wars happen, bad reasons, and a complex tale of some humans, some dwarves, two dragons, a whole lotta gold and a whole lotta death.

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Sn2.Ep5 – Food and Genetic Manipulation

Four Seasons of Epic Fantasy

In this episode, we start out talking about food as a key element of fantasy and scifi, then delve into genetic manipulation and cannibalism. So… it’s gonna be a crazy ride! Welcome to crazy town.

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Sn2 Ep4 – Music As Writing Inspiration

My Podcast did another episode! 😀

Four Seasons of Epic Fantasy

In this episode, we discuss using music as inspiration while writing. And when not to! Joined again by the fabulous David. Check him out at @crestsphinx (twitter) and his comic club podcast at

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Just Another Nobody Ep2

In this episode, I talk about spoilers as a concept. Do they really ruin the experience? Most of the time…YES.

Research referenced:

Fictional Works Referenced:

Gilmore Girls
Wheel of Time
Merlin BBC
Ender’s Shadow

Music Used:

Mythology by MusicbyAden
Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0
Free Download / Stream:
Music promoted by Audio Library

Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman, 4.9 Stars

This story beautifully captured two things for me: depression and dissatisfaction with the futility of life.

The main character, Quentin Coldwater, lives a lifestyle that he thinks will make him happy, but doesn’t. Drugs and sleeping around don’t bring him fulfillment, they only make him more miserable. One scene perfectly encapsulates this realization that his lifestyle is worsening his depression, and it is hurting those he loves.

The book also communicates just how HARD magic can be. I mean, every spell requires a set of hand symbols which are so complex, your hands ache after practicing them. Then, every spell must be modified according to the “circumstances”, ways that you must tweak your spells due to nearby factors. The nearest body of water, the political affiliation of the people nearby, the time of year, the location of the moon, whether your bladder is full (the last was a joke… almost), etc.  There are literally books and books filled with tables and charts describing all of these.

Magic isn’t much explained, since you basically need a genius-level intellect to comprehend it at all (which is why the magical college only recruits people with such intellect as potential students). But Lev Grossman doesn’t use magic to solve crazy plot problems (and if he does, he quite efficiently explains THAT part of the magic). In fact, magic, or the ability to do almost whatever you want, causes problems in the protagonist’s sense of purpose. He can get almost whatever he wants, therefore he is depressed and feels like life has no point. The plot issues must be solved through different means.

People talk about hard-magic (rule-based) and soft-magic (mysterious). Other novelists use educating the reader about the rules as a way to solve plot problems, and I LOVE novels like that. But Lev Grossman doesn’t do this. As I said above, being able to do anything with magic, even though it’s really hard, does not solve the emotional and relationship issues of the main characters.

If you don’t mind f-bombs and a moderate amount of sexuality (he doesn’t go into pornographic detail, but these ARE promiscuous twenty-somethings), then I DEFINITELY recommend this book. It touches my own inner pains in a way that no other novel quite has. The part that suffers from anxiety and depression. And, most important of all, it gives HOPE for the future. Despite the truth of these sorrows, he gives you HOPE as a truth to top it all.

-Thomas Fawkes

p.s. It’s also a TV show on Sci-fi. I’ve watched part of the first season. It’s pretty good! More rushed, and they also add more events and change things. It’s different from the book, just know that and perhaps you’ll enjoy it too. 🙂

Book Review: Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd 4.5 Stars

2 words: MAGE GUNS

Stranger of Tempest is an epic fantasy with a heavy dose of… modernish warfare? (due to guns). The mage-guns use element-based ammo forged by mages, who have been coerced into service by various religious military orders (think Knights Templars or other crusade-era religious armies).

The protagonist, a middle-aged war veteran, is a skilled sharpshooter. He was also on the wrong side of the war and was imprisoned when he called out his own army’s cruelty. Apart from a small handful of flashbacks, he is NOT in prison during this book, and I won’t reveal too many details of his past. I will say that one fascinating thing about him is his obsession with reading. Since he can only keep what he can carry, he always keeps one book. And once he’s read it, he sells it and buys another. An incredibly human trait in a person you might expect to be hardened.

The story follows Lynx (the veteran), Sitain (a mage he rescues from a militant order), and the mercenary crew known as “the Cards.” They’re on the run from the militant order that wanted to kidnap Sitain. Their chase leads them through a city, tunnels inhabited by a 3-gendered 4-armed race, and ancient ruins full of unholy terrors. It leans much farther toward adventurous than horrific, and YES, the terrifying behemoth on the cover does make an EPIC appearance.

Also, just look at that cover. There’s something psychologically stimulating about the man’s posture (it’s similar to Wanderer above the Sea of Fog which, in turn, inspired many movie posters).

Overall, a fine read. Some parts got a little too much on the sexual detail, and if you’re not paying attention the time jumping can get disorienting, but the balance between action, adventure, and especially empathy for these characters make it very much worth the read!


-Thomas Fawkes