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Want more from your favorite sci-fi and fantasy authors? Subscribe to The Portalist 's newsletter and get out-of-this-world stories delivered straight to your inbox! There are two types of writing books: ones that lay out rules, tips, and techniques, and ones that speak broadly about art, purpose, and big picture decisions. Aspiring writers need a little bit of both instruction and inspiration, and Words Are My Matter is among the best possible ways to get some of the latter.

In Writing Magic , Levine shares her techniques for crafting engaging fantasy stories. Okay, so this is technically an essay, but it has been published as a very short book, so I say it counts. When George R. Enter David J. Peterson, who developed Dothraki into a real language that the series' screenwriters could use extensively. If you want to top George R. Good writing is good writing, no matter which genre you work in. But there are some areas of special concern to writers of speculative fiction. Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction.

One area in which SF differs from all other genres is the handling of exposition—the orderly revelation of necessary information to the reader. The result in either case is confusion, impatience, boredom.

11 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers With Incredible Advice For Aspiring Authors

We not only have to introduce characters and immediate situations, we also have to let readers know how the rules of our universe differ from the normal rules, and show them the strangeness of the place in which the events occur. In the early days of science fiction, when the genre was still being invented, key information was given in huge lumps, often by having one character explain things to another.

This was often badly handled, as when one character explained things to another who already knew it:. Smith, the rebolitic manciplator causes the electrons of any given group ofatoms to reverse their charge and become anti-electrons.

Whitley, and of course that will cause an immediate explosion unless the rebolitic manciplation is conducted inside an extremely powerful Boodley field. A dark and gritty cyberpunk experience.


  • by Richard K. Morgan;
  • History of science fiction - Wikipedia;
  • The Trial and Death of Socrates.
  • Home - Rogue Skies?
  • How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card.
  • A Family Affair (Sir John Appleby, Book 24).

Now a Netflix series! Vanja is an information assistant in a world where language literally controls reality. After being sent to the ice colony Amatka to gather intelligence for her government, she falls in love with her housemate and decides to extend her mission. She begins to realize, though, that there is something deeply amiss in this colony. A human expedition to the planet Jeep is nearly wiped out by a virus that kills all the men and most of the women.

Some centuries later, an anthropologist, Marghe, is sent to test a vaccine on the descendents of the original expedition, themselves all women. As she lives and moves among them, Marghe finds herself changed in profound and unexpected ways. After their homeworld is destroyed, the surviving members of the Sadiri must find a way for their people to continue, despite the fact that most of the survivors are male.

Who Was Ray Bradbury?

A wonderful primer for science fiction readers. An early work of feminist Utopian fiction and proto-science fiction, The Blazing World tells the story of a woman from our earth who travels to another world via a portal at the North Pole, where she becomes empress of a society made up of fantastical half-animal half-human species. The book, published in , reflects Enlightenment-era theoretical science, with Cavendish imagining submarines, boats with engines, and a universe without end. Often cited by critics of genetic engineering despite being written before the discovery of DNA, Brave New World imagines a future where people are divided into castes chosen before birth and kept docile through the use of drugs.

Heavily relying on references to Shakespeare, it offers scathing criticisms of capitalism, utopian ideals and conformity. Nuclear war razed the Earth, plunging its survivors into a new dark age in which science is reviled and books are destroyed on sight.

The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

A small order of Catholic monks dedicated to a legendary miracle worker hold back the wave of ignorance as best that it can as barbarism swells at its gates. A Canticle for Leibowitz is a bittersweet tale that might make you worry about our future as a species. Building a premise that feels all too plausible, British author P. James crafted a modern classic that continues to feel disturbingly relevant with each passing year. Inspired by the real issue of declining birthrates around the world, James imagines a world where that birth rate declined to zero, and an England under the thumb of an autocratic government.

Within this narrative framework James explores themes of human frailty, the societal necessity of procreation, love, and hopelessness. Astounding storytelling by one of the best writers working today.

Welcome to Fantasy Author’s Handbook

Bear envisions a world where the next leap in human evolution is not superhero mutations but rather a small step that changes the world. Great characters fighting against bigotry amidst scientific upheaval and government control. Winner of the Nebula Award. The city of Bellona is not what it once was — most people have fled, leaving behind only the madmen, the criminals, and the desperate.

And a young man, a poet known as the Kid. This dense and intricate tale winds its way through issues of race, gender, and sexuality in a near-future, devastated landscape, in a way that simply cannot be missed. War and pollution have taken their toll on Earth, leaving it very nearly uninhabitable. Rick, who makes his living eliminating renegade androids, is prompted to question his work, and even his own identity, during a particularly challenging assignment.

12 “Alternate Universe” Picks

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Time travel is a reality, and, finally, historians can observe the past as it happened. At Oxford College, a trip to 14th century England has gone awry, stranding a young historian in the midst of the bubonic plague. As a team in the present era works to bring her back home, a new and deadly form of the flu begins to spread through London. Is there a connection between the two epidemics? The story of a young woman being recruited to telepathically bond with a queen dragon to lead her people and battle Thread on the planet of Pern has been a beloved favorite among all ages of readers for decades.

McCaffrey was the first woman to win the Hugo and Nebula Awards — and with great reason. The first rule of Dune is: do not read the whole series. The story follows a noblewoman, a serving girl, and an angel as they journey through the crumbling ship in an attempt to stop a war between their houses — and in the process, change the order of their world.

10 Worst Tropes in Science Fiction