Oren Ashkenazi

Oren is a grumpy old man whose physical age hasn’t quite caught up with him, at least that’s what the kids who won’t get off his lawn keep saying. He’s been into roleplaying games since he was knee-high to a d10, and into prose writing for nearly as long. He loves stories and games that push the envelope of storytelling, like the Discworld series and the RPG Primetime Adventures. He’s also a huge Star Trek fan, though his rants on the mistakes of Voyager and Enterprise might make you think otherwise.

Analysis

Five Stories That Violate Their Own Conceit

No story can perfectly mirror reality, especially stories with lots of speculative elements. Sometimes, for a story to work, the audience must accept certain conceits. In X-Men, we accept that mutants are persecuted for their powers, even though in real life they’d be rock stars. In … read more »

Commentary

Why Aliens Wouldn’t Be Hostile

Many people think we should avoid contacting aliens because they’ll be hostile to us. I hear this everywhere, from folks in my roleplaying group all the way up to geniuses like Stephen Hawking. For the moment, this is a purely theoretical question. If there isn’t intelligent … read more »

Podcast

142 – Vampires

The Mythcreant Podcast

It is time to discuss… THE VAMPYRE. Vampires are a staple of fantasy fiction, from toothy Nosferatu to wise-cracking Spike. This week, we talk about how vampires have changed over time, how to keep them interesting in a saturated market, and why they’ve always been … read more »

Worldbuilding

Designing Your Fantasy Empire

Roman army besieging a city.

The empire is a staple of fantasy fiction, and it’s not hard to see why. Much of human history has been shaped by empires, so authors have a lot of fodder for inspiration. But empires, evil or otherwise, are extremely complex. If you’re planning to … read more »