‘Populating a universe is hard’ essay

An essay by me about populating universes with quirky memorable characters on the Beauty in Ruins website. I think people looking to add a little spice to their world-building will find this a little bit useful.

Beauty in Ruins: Populating a Universe is Hard . . . by C.T. Phipps…:

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Two essays by me for the Fantasy Book Critic!

Hey fans,

The FANTASY BOOK CRITIC has been a big supporter of my work. It’s probably my favorite review site on the web right now. One of the things they’ve done for me is they’ve shared two of my essays on writing which I recommend to both of you.

TO MYTHOS OR NOT MYTHOS – An essay which talks about whether or not to do works set in H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos when you’re a new horror writer. It’s how I decided to do CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON.

GIVING BACK VAMPIRES THEIR BITE – An essay which discusses the nature of vampires in recent years and how they should be treated to get the maximum effect from their horror/sexiness. An essay related to STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON.

I hope you guys will enjoy.

“What every fantasy and sci-fi author can learn from Halo”


Here’s an article I wrote for Ragnarok Publications which I thought you would be interested in. Basically, I took a moment to talk about one of my favorite game series and their handling of storytelling in the original games. Basically, some advice on how to “hit the ground running” when you’re trying to capture a world.

What every sci-fi and fantasy author can learn from Halo

 No, I don’t mean how to tea-bag your opponents.

Nor do I mean selling out to Microsoft.

Not even how to craft excellent maps in multiplayer.

No, what I think every sci-fi and fantasy writer can learn from is the handling of Halo’s story.

*crickets chirp*

Okay, I see I’ve lost some of you there but I’m serious. In 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved came out and proceeded to light the gaming world on fire. It’s pretty much the reason why the X-box became something more than, “The console for people who can’t afford a Playstation.” 

But what I remember most about it is how the game managed to do something very unexpected: it took a game about shooting aliens and told a tremendously engaging story without ever pausing to explain it.

I hope you’ll check my article out.

“Every Street in Urban Fantasy is all the same (Except Yours)”

I’m pleased to say Ragnarok Publications has a growing collection of short articles talking about writing in the fantasy and science-fiction market by a bunch of my fellow authors. These articles don’t go very deep but contain some interesting little stories and ideas about everyone’s individual process. This week, we’ve got, “Every Every Street in Urban Fantasy is all the Same (Except Yours)” which is an article by me about how you can differentiate your story from the sea of other ones out there at present.

I had a lot of fun writing this and have agreed to submit numerous other little articles to Nick Sharps, webmaster at Ragnarok Publications, in the near-and-not-so-near future.

I hope people will check it out!

Beam Sabers, Giant Robots, and Child-Pilots


One of the most anticipated books coming out from Ragnarok Publication this year is Mecha: Age of Steel which is the spiritual successor to their Kaiju: Age of Monsters anthology. In the Kaiju novel, they celebrated giant monsters and the robots which fought them. In Mecha, however, they’re doing a wonderfully adult take on the mecha genre.

While I didn’t write any stories for the anthology, I am going to be writing an introduction for the simple fact I am a huge-huge mecha fan. Here, on Ragnarok, I’ve already posted an article which I think people will like.

“Beam Sabers, Giant Robots, and Child Pilots”

    I remember when I was busing tables in high school, I got to see Gundam Wing as my first mecha anime. In retrospect, it had a lot of flaws but it had politics, depth, and amazing animated fights between gigantic robots. Much to my surprise, I found out most of my friends were already mecha fans. Some had been introduced to the genre by Robotech, Power Rangers, and Voltron: Defender of the Universe.

    After I watched Gundam Wing, I devoted myself to dozens of other series and gradually familiarized myself with the tropes inherent to each. I can describe intimately the in’s and out’s of Evangelions, Zakus, Arm Slaves, Gunmen, Aestivalis, and Go-Lions. In short, in matters mecha-nical, I am the very model of a Modern Mecha General. I may not keep up with the genre quite as much as I used to but the fact Ragnarok Publications was coming out with a giant robot anthology made me know I had to be involved.

    However tangentially.

I hope people enjoy.

    Read the Article Here

Always Chaotic Evil: In Defense of Orcs and Anti-Elves

Ragnarok Publications was kind enough to share a short little essay by me on my favorite misunderstood monster in fantasy: the orc. Who doesn’t love those green-skinned ne’er-do-wells? Well, apparently the gods of fantasy don’t because they always get the short end of the stick. But what is “evil” in fantasy and why must it always be the pug-looking tusked warrior races? I don’t get into it in-depth but my article talks a little about how it ties into my upcoming book Wraith Knight.

Check out the article here