sterling lord

I think Lup’s speech is best understood in context of the wider themes of the show.

Travis/Magnus got a lot of flack during The Suffering Game arc for always pushing for trust. And what confused me some about that arc was that Griffin was structuring the game in such a way that Travis/Magnus would get flack for trusting. In every other arc- with Sloane in Petals to the Metal, the purple worm in Eleventh Hour, Kravitz in Crystal Kingdom- THB were ultimately incentivized to be compassionate, and penalized if they weren’t. That rings true to the McElroy Brand at large. And The Suffering Game does end with Lord Sterling rewarding Magnus for his compassion, and Antonia forgiving Taako for forsaking them and telling them that who they are when they’re pushed to the brink isn’t the real them.

I can see that as foreshadowing both the Red Robes’ discussion about destroying worlds, and whatever the endgame is. I see this a lot with discussions of the AtLA finale- the idea that it’s selfish not to sacrifice your ideals to pragmatism. But ideals matter. Keeping them alive and living according to them has an impact on the world. At the end of the first round of Wonderland, the Liches show THB the people who forsook them, who played game theory right- and they are pouring off necrotic energy, strengthening the Liches and Wonderland. I’m not saying that these situations aren’t very complex morally, but this wasn’t just a case of Lup or Magnus being overly idealistic. It was them knowing that there are other ways of strengthening the Hunger.

Because of Lup’s intervention, Taako came up with a solution that saved the souls of most of the people on that planet while keeping the crystal from the Hunger. Paloma’s last prophecy said that when faced with two terrible options, they must always remember that there is another way. I cannot see TAZ leaving us with a message that the ends justify the means.

So many good possible teamups in TAZ (specifically Tres Horny Girls, ngl) but one that I’d personally like to see is the three THB nemeses (maybe not exactly the right word, but you know what I mean)

After The Suffering Game, Magnus Taako and Merle have hit celebrity status.  Everyone they freed from Wonderland spreads the story of how they destroyed it from the inside, Lord Sterling especially.  No one may know where they came from or what they do, but their names are well known.

Kalen hears that Magnus is still alive, and is furious.  The man who ruined his life, who stole what was rightfully his, is still alive, growing in power once again.  Kalen knows he has to be stopped.

Sazed hears that Taako is still alive, and is terrified.  It’s been years, and surely Taako’s discovered the truth about what happened in Glamour Springs by now.  If Taako were to ever reveal that information, with his regained popularity, Sazed would be a dead man.  He’ll just have to beat Taako to the punch.

As apparently the only two people who aren’t enamored with these up-and-coming heroes, Kalen and Sazed strike up a partnership over drinks, neither one wanting to risk facing the trio on their own.  As the two discuss their strategy, sharing information on the practically unknown third member of the party, a female dwarf across the bar lifts her head.

“You fellows say something about Merle Highchurch?”

Kalen and Sazed confirm, eyeing the dwarf with suspicion, wondering how much she overheard.

“Yeah, I know him.  Son of a bitch owes me fourteen months’ worth of welfare checks.  If y’all are looking to dish out a beating, I know the exact toy store he’ll be in one week from now.  And after teaching my kids inappropriate language for an hour or so, he’ll lead us straight to the other two.”

And in one week’s time, another grizzled fighter, another deadly chef, and another somewhat-religious dwarf show up on the moon base.

Merle, irreverent as he is, has never had qualms about fighting back.  But this time is different–he knows Hekuba, and really, doesn’t he deserve it?  It’s almost a relief to finally face what he did so long ago, and he can’t bring himself to retaliate.  Besides, Hekuba wouldn’t actually kill him..would she?

Taako has no such moral dilemma.  Sazed’s killed people, and he’d kill again.  The problem is, Taako has no idea how.  Sazed was an expert on all things Taako, from his recipes to his spells.  Taako racks his brain for a sliver of information about Sazed–his fighting style, his weaknesses, or even just his goddamn class–but comes up empty.  He readies a spell, but has no idea what he’s readying it against.

And Magnus, he just sees…a stranger.  He’s fought strangers before, of course, but he can tell that something’s wrong here.  Taako and Merle immediately recognized their opponents, but the figure before him is wholly unfamiliar.  Magnus tries to remember, but the more he thinks, the more certain he becomes that he’s never met this man in his life.  And that thought, that someone he’s never met is out to kill him, Magnus, folk hero and protector of the innocent…it disorients him, to say the least.  He can’t kill this man, or at least, not until he knows what he did wrong.

Maybe not a threat on par with The Hunger, but if anyone’s able to bring Tres Horny Boys down, I’d put good money on these three.


Queen Elizabeth hosted a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Motability on April 25, 2017. 

“Motability, established in 1977 by Lord Sterling and the late Lord Goodman, a charity that enables disabled people, their families and carers to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair using their mobility allowance.” 

Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

I want a really close bond to form between all of the random incidentals who made it out of Wonderland and got left in the woods while Our Boys went off to save the world. Because chances are? Most of them are not in the greatest state of health after an extended dose of Lydia-and-Edward.

Last we saw them, Antonia was recently blind, Sterling was a hot mess, and Rowan was apparently missing patches of beard and not looking great which doesn’t bode well for him long term. I imagine people who were there for longer were even worse off, missing limbs and years and big chunks of memory. They were in a forest full of dangerous animals, they probably had to rely on each other to get out. 

And then.. well Neverwinter is close and Sterling is the lord of it, even if he comes back ten years older and seriously traumatized. He can get everyone the best of care, just in time for the world to start ending around them. It’s a struggle to get out of the woods- carrying some people and leaning on others, regular breaks for healing and reassurances that everything will be fine once they get to the city- but they make it and manage to convince Lord Sterling’s that yes, this is the same boy who left a week ago. After that things are easier, but still not easy. They’re not a good state. 

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Submission Information

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a great holiday and lives are getting back on track.  Now that we’re passed the hectic holiday season, I am opening up submissions.

I represent adult genre fiction of nearly any stripe, but primarily science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, both commercial and literary. I also handle YA and some middle grade, and am especially looking for YA fantasy with female protagonists. For nonfiction, I am interested in seeing material related to popular or fandom culture, journalism, women’s issues, anthropology, psychology, cooking, and art.

I do not work with commercial romance fiction unless it crosses over heavily with another genre. Our agency does not handle screenplays.

For fiction, please send a query letter, a synopsis of the work, and the first three chapters. For nonfiction, please send a query letter with your bio and project proposal.

I prefer to receive email submissions. Please email your query letter and material IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL (no unsolicited attachments) to caitlin [at] Please include the word “submission” in the subject line. If you would rather submit by mail, please send your materials, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, to:

Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc
Attn.: Caitlin McDonald
65 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012

Please feel free to drop me an ask if you have any questions.

Fanfiction: How Fifty Shades Is Dominating the Literary Scene | Vanity Fair

“We’re getting deals everywhere,” explained London-based literary agent Lorella Belli, who snagged a six-figure advance from Simon & Schuster for her author Sophie Jackson’s forthcoming trilogy, A Pound of Flesh, which also started out as Twilight fanfic. “[Fan-fiction writers] already have such a huge following without doing any kind of promotion,” she continued. Jackson’s story drew more than 4 million reads on, and she’s gone from being a schoolteacher in Britain to having three major publishing houses bid up her debut novel. Just last month, Hollywood agent Steve Fisher at Agency for the Performing Arts signed on to secure the film rights.

Belli and her colleagues have gotten into the practice of scouring popular fan-fiction sites, as well as Amazon’s comparatively new fanfic portal Kindle Worlds, for potential talent. But her current crop of writers from the fan-fiction pool solicited her, she noted, adding that the submissions she receives from fan-fiction authors are often higher in quality than the average submission. “Readers of fan fiction are much more sophisticated than most people give them credit for—they’re quite discerning.” Accordingly, they’re not shy in expressing their opinions about stories.

“It’s almost like having thousands of editors at one time,” said first-time novelist Anna Todd who credits fan fiction and its open-forum style with helping develop her writing chops. She was fast becoming one of the top writers on Wattpad, with the read-count on her fanfic about One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles topping a million in just two months, when representatives from the online writing community approached her about her plans for the story.

Although she had been courted by traditional literary agents on Wattpad—which skews millennial and sees a lot of real-person fiction (“R.P.F.”) like her story After—she put her fate in the hands of the site’s head of content, Ashleigh Gardner, who secured Todd a mid six-figure advance from Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint—which has published the first three After books and will release the fourth in the series this month. Gardner also helped facilitate a movie deal with Paramount via United Talent Agency.

“We’re seeing lots of agents, lots of publishers join Wattpad, especially in the wake of big stories like After,” said Gardner. “We’re also seeing a lot of authors going out to agents include their Wattpad stats as a badge of honor.” This kind of data, along with geographical breakdowns of readership, makes fanfic appealing to both publishers and studios as it comes complete with a built-in audience. “It was all about the numbers,“ said Todd of her After movie deal. "Even without a published book, having those kind of numbers is hard to look away from.”

Jennifer Udden, a literary agent at Donald Maass in New York concurred, adding: “[The film studios] don’t care about the stories; they just care about numbers, for better or worse.” As an avid fan-fic reader, Udden is less focused on fanfic page views, and more interested in connecting with authors who can develop compelling characters and a good story structure, to see if they have any original work that doesn’t involve copyrighted characters. Caitlin McDonald, an associate literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic in New York and vocal champion of fan fiction, admitted, “Fanfic is always treading that fine line,” between fiction-inspired original writing and copyright-infringing work.

(I posted the RTMI bits here. It’s an interesting look at how some publishers are looking more closely at fanfiction: read the entire article here: