What If? 2 – Absurdity, Meet Reality

Randall Munroe’s original What If? Serious Scientific Answers To Absurd Hypothetical Questions first graced The Quill To Live in our “5 Lighthearted Reads For Dreary Times” post.  In late 2022, Randall Munroe released the wonderfully named What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers To Absurd Hypothetical Questions, so I thought it only right to give…

Tress Of The Emerald Sea – Oceans Of Charm

When I eagerly await something—an upcoming trip, a new season of my favorite show, a long-anticipated social event—the hope runs rampant in my head. I feast on the image of the thing in my mind, considering all the ways it could be amazing, groundbreaking, spectacular. And then, when the thing arrives, that glistening sheen wears…

Welcome to the Cosmere

Welcome To The Cosmere: A Brandon Sanderson Reading Order Guide

Come one, come all to the Cosmere! That’s right folks, after years of Brandon Sanderson reviews and discussions, we’re finally laying down the law. Today, one and a half Brandon Sanderson experts (Andrew and Cole, respectively) shoulder the Herculean task of telling YOU the ideal Brandon Sanderson reading order.  A few clean-up notes before we…

Dragons, Ghost Dogs, and Doomslugs: What Are Your Favorite Fantasy Animal Companions?

This article originally appeared on Tor.com.  Warning: this post contains no deep interpretations of animal companions and their impact on story. I won’t philosophize on the essential nature of furry, fuzzy, or squishy familiars or ask why they exist in the first place. Bottom line: they’re cute as hell, and sometimes that’s enough. I’m writing…

SFF Archrivals

Every Young Hero Needs An Archrival: Do You Have What It Takes?

This article originally appeared on Tor.com. Hello there, and welcome to The SFF Rival Academy! We’re thrilled you’ve enrolled in our educational program for youngsters of the generic magical/scientific arts. Did you know a courageous avatar of pure goodness will be joining you this year? How amazing! They may draw all manner of evil entities…

Five SFF Settings That Feel Like Characters

This article originally appeared on Tor.com. Places have power. In science fiction and fantasy, they have actual, magical power more often than not. SFF settings are often big by necessity. Locales need to hold entire casts of characters, sweeping civilizations, the flora and fauna flourishing in myriad biomes. Most settings function as they’re meant to,…

Media That Moved Me: Stories Within Stories

This year, our cadre of Quill To Live writers decided to do individual posts in a “Media That Moved Us” series. The only rule: no books! We have plenty of those! Instead, we want to ruminate on the things we watched, played, and experienced that made an impact on us.  When I thought about the…

Cytonic – Going Nowhere Fast

This review’s subtitle might throw you off if you haven’t read any of the Skyward series yet. Head to my review of the first book if you count yourself among the confused. For those of you who are caught up, we now turn to Cytonic the third installment in Brandon Sanderson’s high-flying, space-faring romp. Cytonic…

Starsight – Bigger, Not Quite Better

Brandon Sanderson’s Cytoverse, in which the Cytonic series takes place, just got a whole lot bigger. Starsight follows Skyward with another epic space adventure. There’s a lot to love in Starsight but the book suffers from some classic foibles.  After discovering The Krell are humanity’s galactic babysitters, Spensa and her plucky flight crew bust through…