Defending Indiana Jones, Archaeologist

Indiana Jones isn’t that bad of an archaeologist.

I mean, okay, the low relative quality of his archaeological expeditions is so notorious it’s become a bit of a truism. There’s a great McSweeney’s list of the reasons Herr Doktor Jones was denied tenure. Even as I make this argument, I can hear friends of mine who spent their summers on digs cringe inside, across the continent. (Hi, Celia!) But hear me out. This won’t take long.

(Looks at rest of essay)

Um. Maybe it will. Keep reading anyway.

First, I want to acknowledge the common protests. Jonesian archaeology looks a lot different from the modern discipline. If Jones wanted to use surviving traces of physical culture to assemble a picture of, say, precolonial Peruvian society, he’s definitely going about it the wrong way. Jones is a professional fossil even for the mid-30s—a relic of an older generation of Carters ...

The Scholast in the Low Waters Kingdom

< p class="frontmatter">A stranger claiming knowledge of realms beyond the known world attempts to stop a war.   Stories about the Scholast proliferate among the uneducated. They say she was a god, or not. She seduced the Princess Martial, or was saved by her. She has been credited with miracles. But history owes its pride of place to the truth of its tales, and since many of the war’s principles will soon pass beyond reference, your humble scholars have prepared this meticulously sourced account to endure for future generations. The Scholast fell to earth one brilliant everspring morning, at the height of our Ceremony of Passing Through. We of the Low Waters Kingdom gathered in Crimson Square for three days while players acted out the titans’ rise and fall, and the splitting of the sky. We wept when Sujiang, called eight-jointed, danced the Gatherer’s part. We beat dry ground with our palms ...

A Room of Our Own: On Writing Collaboratively

lotr-bilbosbook Writers talk so much about the hero’s journey, I think, because we take them all the time. We start from a comfortable spot, in front of a blank page, nothing ventured, nothing lost. We advance into the unknown out of fear or need or destiny, and all’s going well enough until we slip into the underworld around the beginning of the second act. After that, it’s all about slogging through Hades, grinding out words, fighting off demons, until by inspiration, hard work, and divine grace we win that golden cup of story, and bring ourselves home, and find a white page in front of us again as if nothing happened at all—but we’re changed, sometimes forever, by the experience. By contrast, collaborative writing, like we do on the Bookburners team, feels less like the classic hero’s journey, and more like an epic fantasy quest, the sort you get in ...
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How to Fix Rogue One with the Least Amount of Effort

rogueone-jyn Today we’re going to talk about Rogue One, editing, and least effort fixes. If you haven’t seen Rogue One yet, be warned that I’m about to spoil a good chunk of the film. It’s time for some game theory. (Sorry/not sorry.) I’ve seen Rogue One twice now, the first time at a midnight showing, and the second while recovering from a New Year’s hangover. This is where you want me to say “I liked it!” or “It was terrible!” but I can’t. It was, in many ways, a better movie than The Force Awakens; in many ways it was worse. In concept it’s a daring, bold film. Edwards’ cinematography is top notch, and I love his sense of monstrosity and scale, which he showed off in 2014’s Godzilla. The film felt expansive and space operatic in a way The Force Awakens really didn’t; The Force Awakens showed a ...
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Four Roads Cross (Chapters 6 and 7)

FourRoadsCross

< p class="frontmatter">We’re excited to bring you four days of Four Roads Cross, the fifth book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence! Read chapters 6 and 7 below, or head back to the beginning with chapter 1!. Four Roads Cross publishes July 26th from Tor Books.

The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm—and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world.

As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken ...

Four Roads Cross (Chapters 4 and 5)

FourRoadsCross

< p class="frontmatter">We’re excited to bring you four days of Four Roads Cross, the fifth book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence! Read chapters 4 and 5 below, or head back to the beginning with chapter 1!. Four Roads Cross publishes July 26th from Tor Books.

The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm—and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world.

As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken ...

Four Roads Cross (Chapters 2 and 3)

FourRoadsCross

< p class="frontmatter">We’re excited to bring you four days of Four Roads Cross, the fifth book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence! Read chapters 2 and 3 below, or head back to the beginning with chapter 1!. Four Roads Cross publishes July 26th from Tor Books.

The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm—and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world.

As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken ...