kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-Of-This-World Novels and Short Stories

Availability: Ready to download

Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, character creation, and storytelling in the many styles and possibilities available to writers of speculative fiction. Combining two Writer's Digest classics, Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy and The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference, along with two new selections from award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors Philip Athans and Jay Lake, this new book provides the best of all worlds. You'll discover: —How to build, populate, and dramatize fantastic new worlds. —How to develop dynamic and meaningful themes that will expand the cannon of sci-fi and fantasy storytelling. —Exciting subgenres such as steampunk, as well as new developments in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. —How to imbue your tales with historically accurate information about world cultures, legends, folklore, and religions. —Detailed descriptions of magic rituals, fantastic weapons of war, clothing and armor, and otherworldly beasts such as orcs, giants, elves, and more. —How societies, villages, and castles were constructed and operate on a day-to-day basis. —Astounding methods of interstellar travel, the rules of starflight, and the realities and myths of scientific exploration. —How to generate new ideas and graft them to the most popular themes and plot devices in sci-fi and fantasy writing. The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to create credible and thrilling fiction, you must ground your stories in rules, facts, and accurate ideas. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction will guide you through the complex and compelling universe of fantasy and science fiction writing and help you unleash your stories on the next generation of readers and fans.


Compare
kode adsense disini

Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, character creation, and storytelling in the many styles and possibilities available to writers of speculative fiction. Combining two Writer's Digest classics, Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy and The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference, along with two new selections from award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors Philip Athans and Jay Lake, this new book provides the best of all worlds. You'll discover: —How to build, populate, and dramatize fantastic new worlds. —How to develop dynamic and meaningful themes that will expand the cannon of sci-fi and fantasy storytelling. —Exciting subgenres such as steampunk, as well as new developments in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. —How to imbue your tales with historically accurate information about world cultures, legends, folklore, and religions. —Detailed descriptions of magic rituals, fantastic weapons of war, clothing and armor, and otherworldly beasts such as orcs, giants, elves, and more. —How societies, villages, and castles were constructed and operate on a day-to-day basis. —Astounding methods of interstellar travel, the rules of starflight, and the realities and myths of scientific exploration. —How to generate new ideas and graft them to the most popular themes and plot devices in sci-fi and fantasy writing. The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to create credible and thrilling fiction, you must ground your stories in rules, facts, and accurate ideas. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction will guide you through the complex and compelling universe of fantasy and science fiction writing and help you unleash your stories on the next generation of readers and fans.

30 review for Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-Of-This-World Novels and Short Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Not bad, but I have one serious problem with this book - over 100 pages of it, Orson Scott Card's section starting the book, is reprinted word-for-word from Card's earlier (1990) book titled How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. There is nothing in the online listings or on the cover indicating that this content, over a quarter of the book, is not original - no way to see it without buying the new book. I don't know whether this was Card's decision or that of the editors or publisher, and I Not bad, but I have one serious problem with this book - over 100 pages of it, Orson Scott Card's section starting the book, is reprinted word-for-word from Card's earlier (1990) book titled How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. There is nothing in the online listings or on the cover indicating that this content, over a quarter of the book, is not original - no way to see it without buying the new book. I don't know whether this was Card's decision or that of the editors or publisher, and I don't know whether any of the other authors' content is also reprinted (I have an earlier book by Athans and his material here is new relative to that book, although I don't know about other earlier work of his.) But I feel that whoever made the call on the Card content is being less than honest with their readers. I must admit that the recent revelations of Card's racist and homophobic politics leaves a sour taste in my mouth anyway, and I won't be buying any more of his work - while the personal failings of artists do not necessarily make their work less in quality, I'm one of those readers/listeners/film-goers that can't get past the issue - same reason I can't enjoy films or music by artists who I've learned are abusive human beings. The rest of this book is indeed excellent, and it's a shame that such outstanding and useful content by such excellent authors is at least somewhat overshadowed by this business with Card's section. The whole middle and much of the latter part of my copy is a forest of little post-it flags, and I'll be going back through it over and over, taking notes wherever they apply to things I'm working on. If it was just the Card part, I'd give it maybe two stars, but I'm giving it four for the sake of the other contributors.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Cirilli

    In addition to the 100 pages or so by Card, there are also two essays by other authors. I think that the many glossaries of various fantasy related terms is really one of the most valuable parts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joel Flank

    This is essentially three separate books merged together to create a useful reference on writing fantasy and science fiction. The first part, written by Orson Scott Card, is the only part explicitly about writing, and is also by far the best part of the book. He talks about the market, what makes a story science fiction or fantasy or not, and creating a different world. Lots of great advice here, as well as specific examples, from both his career and from other authors. This section is 5-star. Th This is essentially three separate books merged together to create a useful reference on writing fantasy and science fiction. The first part, written by Orson Scott Card, is the only part explicitly about writing, and is also by far the best part of the book. He talks about the market, what makes a story science fiction or fantasy or not, and creating a different world. Lots of great advice here, as well as specific examples, from both his career and from other authors. This section is 5-star. The next section is an overview on the "modern" market for SF and Fantasy - with modern being 2012 when it was written. This is a bit dated already in 2018 with lots of the advice about self publishing and publishing on line having turned from a nascent new thing into a well established part of the publishing world. There's also an overview of steam punk, which also is not as new and different as it was in 2012. The third, and largest part of the book is a variety of reference chapters, covering topics such as medieval government, society, actual real world magic beliefs, military, weapons and armor, anatomy of a castle, etc. Super useful for those who aren't as familiar with these topics, and also a great primer and reference even for those who know about the basics - it makes a good place to start - find what you're looking for, and then research further when you've narrowed in on what you might want to use to inform your own writing. Parts 2 and 3 of the book are less groundbreaking and insightful than part 1, and I'd give a 3-star rating to. Useful, but nothing earth shattering. Combine the ratings to get the 4-star review I'm giving the book as a whole.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    I found parts of this guide very interesting, like the sections about structure and the different types of stories. The steampunk and magic chapters were also fascinating. Since I am not planning to set a fantasy novel in medieval Europe, among the Incas, or involving elves, etc., I skimmed many sections, but others may find them useful. This book was marred for me by some strange lapses and clearly could have used more careful editing, for example when Orson Scott Card makes a Jane Austen refer I found parts of this guide very interesting, like the sections about structure and the different types of stories. The steampunk and magic chapters were also fascinating. Since I am not planning to set a fantasy novel in medieval Europe, among the Incas, or involving elves, etc., I skimmed many sections, but others may find them useful. This book was marred for me by some strange lapses and clearly could have used more careful editing, for example when Orson Scott Card makes a Jane Austen reference but seems to conflate the plots of Emma and Persuasion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aurora Morales

    I found the initial section by Orson Scott Card excellent, but the reference section was offensively Eurocentric. According to the World Cultures chapter, Africa consists of Egypt, the Americas are the Aztects, Incas and Olmecs, and Asia is China. Instead of endless escapades based on English,Celtic and Norse royalty and mythology, I would really love to see a flood of fantasy and SF novels and short stories set in worlds based on the rich and deep cultures of indigenous America, Asia, Oceania a I found the initial section by Orson Scott Card excellent, but the reference section was offensively Eurocentric. According to the World Cultures chapter, Africa consists of Egypt, the Americas are the Aztects, Incas and Olmecs, and Asia is China. Instead of endless escapades based on English,Celtic and Norse royalty and mythology, I would really love to see a flood of fantasy and SF novels and short stories set in worlds based on the rich and deep cultures of indigenous America, Asia, Oceania and Africa--the fantasy equivalents of Tony Hillerman's Navajo mysteries, magical worlds based on the Yoruba tradition of Ifá or Maori myth, or the Mapuche of Tierra del Fuego, or Amazonian Yanomami, Laotian, Masai, Inuit, Garifuna,Kurdish,or basque cultures. How about medieval stories set in the Islamic world, or India? As a Caribbean woman of many heritages, I loved Olivia Butler's Wild Seed for having special powers rooted in an African past. Seriously, a "Complete Reference" for fantasy writers has got to do better than this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I found this book leaned much more towards fantasy than sci-fi, so buyer beware if sci-fi is your writing genre of choice. For those interested in writing fantasy, this has a good glossary of terms related to medieval castles, clothing, weapons, and a surprisingly deep exploration of the beliefs and functions of magic throughout history. The beginning also gives a nice reference list of magazines and publishers you may want to subscribe to in order to know what's currently on the market. (Most a I found this book leaned much more towards fantasy than sci-fi, so buyer beware if sci-fi is your writing genre of choice. For those interested in writing fantasy, this has a good glossary of terms related to medieval castles, clothing, weapons, and a surprisingly deep exploration of the beliefs and functions of magic throughout history. The beginning also gives a nice reference list of magazines and publishers you may want to subscribe to in order to know what's currently on the market. (Most are still relevant today) If you own more than one fantasy/sci-fi writing book, this should probably be one of them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    If a little dry in places, this makes an excellent reference work for anyone thinking to write a fantasy or sci-fi novel. Most of the resources and lists seem geared toward fantasy, offering terminology and ideas that way, while the sci-fi section is more to get you to think creatively about your new world. It's something to have on the shelf for when you're not sure about what a cuisse is and if your character needs one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eriche

    A bit harsh of a review but when it comes to reference books, my expectations are high. This is definitely better suited to beginner sci-fi writers and offers a limiting view of what the genre can and should be. I strongly recommend supplementing your reading with other sci-fi books, specifically Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series or the reference book she's published, and ignoring most of the limitations this author sets forth for aspiring sci-fi writers in this book. The presumption of a sci-fi A bit harsh of a review but when it comes to reference books, my expectations are high. This is definitely better suited to beginner sci-fi writers and offers a limiting view of what the genre can and should be. I strongly recommend supplementing your reading with other sci-fi books, specifically Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series or the reference book she's published, and ignoring most of the limitations this author sets forth for aspiring sci-fi writers in this book. The presumption of a sci-fi audience as being predominantly white and male throughout this book is decidedly tragic. While this book makes a few half-hearted warbles towards "diversity", his perceptions of non-white, female, non-European cultures, or LGBT contributions towards science fiction as a genre are both limited and grim. I take issue with the view towards "soft sciences" as they apply to science fiction and this book spat at the chance to bring some novel and helpful suggestions to science fiction writers that they desperately need to stop their repetitive drone of identical storylines and characters. Perhaps if sci-fi writers and readers, in general, didn't view "soft sciences" with such marked disdain, their efforts at producing new and creative books wouldn't result in tragically underwhelming homages to Lord of the Rings/Star Wars/Dune and they would instead bring something new to the table. Of course, you'll find the token references to Le Guin and Butler, as well as the bestselling Twilight series and Harry Potter series. The analysis for why these series became best-sellers shows a true talent for writing as opposed to market analysis. It's pretty clear that this book presupposes a "correct" way to do science fiction that caters to the predominantly white and male perspective from culture to weaponry to scientific advancements themselves. Prepare yourself for self-inserts broadly applied to the general population regarding subjects the author himself finds banal despite the fact that publishing history has demonstrated repeatedly that readers crave the precise subject matter he looks down upon. Jesus wept.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fernanda Brady

    Took me a while to finish as I re-read sections and took notes. Great resource. Highly recommended to those interested in writing or understanding this genre!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Owen

    Really? Are you sure you have the title correct? The reason I say this is because this book started by explaining the different genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Not bad for the layman who is just exploring it, but for the avid reader and budding writer it is not needed. Heck, I know what Steam Punk is, so why did you find it necessary to try and explain it for 10 pages? From there it went down hill. The next section started to explain the hierarchy of society, the basic types of tribes of man Really? Are you sure you have the title correct? The reason I say this is because this book started by explaining the different genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Not bad for the layman who is just exploring it, but for the avid reader and budding writer it is not needed. Heck, I know what Steam Punk is, so why did you find it necessary to try and explain it for 10 pages? From there it went down hill. The next section started to explain the hierarchy of society, the basic types of tribes of man around the world, and the different types of magic. Really? When do you start talking about writing? I skipped a lot of pages since I've been reading Science Fiction and Fantasy for around... Oh, 40 years. They missed very little except how to incorporate their information into a story. This book should be titled "Basic information on what should go into your book: Warning, very dry. Dryer than your 5th grade text book!" So, it is a reference book, and that is it. Nothing more, nothing less. What a waste for me. I could have told them a few things they missed about magic and its usage, as well as building different races and more. Sorry, got it as a gift and did decide to read it. Just an info dump of a book that most writers really don't need to look at. Hope that saves you the $20 odd bucks it costs.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Full disclosure: I didn't actually finish the book. Let me explain. The first section is a copy of Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. The remainder is a series of essays/chapters discussing different aspects of speculative fiction, from characters archetypes to creatures to races. Naturally, I'm using the last sections of the book as reference/occasional reading as it becomes necessary, but the structure of the chapters (often categories and lists of definitions) don't l Full disclosure: I didn't actually finish the book. Let me explain. The first section is a copy of Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. The remainder is a series of essays/chapters discussing different aspects of speculative fiction, from characters archetypes to creatures to races. Naturally, I'm using the last sections of the book as reference/occasional reading as it becomes necessary, but the structure of the chapters (often categories and lists of definitions) don't lend themselves to page to page reading. All in all, I enjoyed the book. Card's section is focused more on Science Fiction than Fantasy, but there are useful tips for all speculative writing and I'm sure I'll reread dog-eared pages in the future.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holly Davis

    A comprehensive guide to fantasy (and some sci-fi), involving magic systems, world building, political systems, parts of a castle, mythological creatures, etc. I found parts that are very useful to me and that I will refer to in the future and even some terms and rules of space that I can use in my current manuscript! Woo hoo! Overall, it is a helpful guide to have, but I know I won't need to refer to it for every fantasy book I write.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Travis Cottreau

    This was ok, but felt like almost an afterthought. I enjoy lots of Orson Scott Card's books, but felt this should have been better. There are a few ideas to take from it, but I didn't think an entire book was necessary to convey it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    Speculative fiction, which is composed of science-fiction and fantasy, however broadly they are defined, has been a staple of writing since the latter part of the 19th century when genres of writing were explored and when mass-market writing became accessible to a large audience of readers.  In a broad sense, fantasy tends to look backwards and towards the magical and supernatural while science-fiction tends to look forwards and towards the scientific and the technical.  Within such writing as a Speculative fiction, which is composed of science-fiction and fantasy, however broadly they are defined, has been a staple of writing since the latter part of the 19th century when genres of writing were explored and when mass-market writing became accessible to a large audience of readers.  In a broad sense, fantasy tends to look backwards and towards the magical and supernatural while science-fiction tends to look forwards and towards the scientific and the technical.  Within such writing as a whole, though, there is a wide degree of flexibility for writers to approach different angles and approaches with the knowledge that a good living as a writing and a solid audience can be attained by someone who is willing to work their craft.  The authors of this work have some interesting comments to make and this work is a collaborative effort that is really four smaller books in one and something that ought to make a great deal of writers puzzle over what it is that they want to say through their development of the writing craft in speculative fiction. The materials of this book are divided into four parts, each by a separate author, and each of the parts is really a separate work that is only tangentially related at best to the other parts of the book.  The first part of the book, taking up a bit more than 100 pages, is written by noted writer Orson Scott Card, who discusses how to write science fiction and fantasy (I) in four chapters.  First he begins with an introduction, and then he discusses the infinite boundary of speculative fiction (1), the importance of world creation in creating a compelling place for one's fiction, even if it does not make its way into the stories themselves (2), a discussion of story construction (3), as well as a discussion on what it means to write well (4).  After that Philip Athans discusses the state of fantasy and science fiction at the beginning of the 21st century in a relatively brief chapter (II).  This is followed by another relatively brief chapter that discusses the world of steampunk with some critical comments about the nostalgia of the imagined Victorian past (III).  The fourth and final part of the book, extending for more than 200 pages of the nearly 400 pages of this work, provide ten chapters that serve as a fantasy reference for the writer (IV) by various authors, including traditional fantasy cultures (1), world cultures (2), magic (3), witchcraft and pagan paths (4), commerce, trade, and law in contemporary fantasy (5), fantasy races (6), creatures of myth and legend (7), dress and costume (8), arms, armor, and armies (9), and the anatomy of a castle (10), after which the book ends with an index. What does a reader get out of this particular book?  I found this book a fascinating read but not necessarily a very coherent one.  It seemed to me, at least, that this book was contained of four very loosely connected pieces that were put together because the book could sell well given the name recognition of its lead author while also not requiring very much effort by him or the other contributors.  And in general the approach works.  Orson Scott Card does have the credibility to talk about how one can acquire mastery in writing about science fiction and fantasy.  If I do not know or particularly care who Philip Athans and Jay Lake are, their contributions are modest and still interesting.  And if I do not know at all who the editors of Writer's Digest are, I found the resources they provided to fantasy writers to be interesting as well.  If you want to write better and you have interests in speculative fiction, this book provides information that will allow one to think about the need to define one's writing better, to recognize trends in publishing, and to acquire some sound knowledge to serve as a foundation for one's fiction.  And that is all something that many writers, myself included, can certainly appreciate.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joel Adamson

    If you insist on having an "updated" version of Orson Scott Card's classic How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, then this is a fine book, but its value primarily depends on having that entire book as the first section. If this is the only copy you can get or you're interested in the perspectives of the co-authors, then again, this is an okay book. The added material does have a convenient glossary of arms and costume pieces, as well as other glossaries of medieval stuff. I hesitate to rate th If you insist on having an "updated" version of Orson Scott Card's classic How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, then this is a fine book, but its value primarily depends on having that entire book as the first section. If this is the only copy you can get or you're interested in the perspectives of the co-authors, then again, this is an okay book. The added material does have a convenient glossary of arms and costume pieces, as well as other glossaries of medieval stuff. I hesitate to rate this book as high as the original because within that added material, there is little that you can't learn simply by getting invested in non-fiction about medieval living. There is plenty of research material out there, and learning about it holistically is way better than simply consulting a glossary. Life in a Medieval City is just one example of a book that will benefit any author writing in historical or pseudo-medieval settings. And of course, I have to ask, even though this book is a convenient reference: if all you're going to consult is a reference book like this, then do you really want to write about these settings? (I write fantasy because I've been a medieval history hobbyist for a long time, and I understand there are lots of motivations to write fantasy, but you can't hope to write something believable just by knowing the difference between a tunic and a doublet) There are, however, non-essential chapters that provide commentary and a little bit of history on witchcraft and magic, and I found these highly entertaining because once the principles are laid out and a few suggestions are made, writing about magic requires very little historical information. In other words, I don't care to dig deeper into the history of rosicrucianism or occultism; it's kind of interesting, but it's not that helpful when constructing a world or magic system to know the difference between Gardnerian Wicca and all the other neo-pagan sects. There was a some really interesting history about actual witchcraft and Satanism, but I don't particularly consider that relevant to my writing, so it was just fun. It's interesting to note that there is no cursory material about science in the added sections. Only stuff to do with medieval history and magic. I think this will make a good addition to any writer's library, but as I said above, it's mainly essential thanks to Card's original book making up half the pages. There is nothing particularly unique or essential about the supplemental material, and the essays on the "state of the field" were pretty useless to anybody who can go to a bookstore. Edit: by the way, there is nothing in this book about short stories or the current (in 2013) state of short stories. All of that is in the original book, and the new material appears to be completely novel-based (which I under$tand, that'$ where the buck$ are, but the title is a little misleading).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mike Kanner

    So many good things about this book. And it is not limited to writers. Any fan of the genre will also love the book. First, there is a set of essays. Orson Scott Card talks about how speculative fiction has expanded and includes numerous worlds such as science fiction, urban fantasy, and traditional magic. He then gives a series of masterclasses discussing why you can create any rules for your world, but need to be consistent in applying these rules; and why the genre doesn't free you from the b So many good things about this book. And it is not limited to writers. Any fan of the genre will also love the book. First, there is a set of essays. Orson Scott Card talks about how speculative fiction has expanded and includes numerous worlds such as science fiction, urban fantasy, and traditional magic. He then gives a series of masterclasses discussing why you can create any rules for your world, but need to be consistent in applying these rules; and why the genre doesn't free you from the basics of writing well and telling a good story and that the same story can be told in each genre. Philip Athans gives you a history of the recent and current state of speculative fiction (and essentially gives you a reading list). He highlights some of the best and talks about why they are the best. Admittedly, not all of my favorites made the list, but as he points out, the field is so large being all-encompassing would be impossible. Jay Lake finishes up this 'state of the Union' by talking about what is steampunk really. He lays out the common elements while at the same time discussing the difference between steam and dieselpunk (I disagree with his including cyberpunk in this discussion). As a steampunk fan, I liked his discussion of the problem areas of racism, class, and imperialism in Victorian England and how you deal with it as a writer in modern times. He only briefly touches on gender issues but does mention that many of the writers (e.g., Gail Carriger) ignore gender ideas of the Victorian period and go with modern concepts. Part 4 is the reason that this is going into my desk's bookshelf. It is the encyclopedia of fantasy. Wanting to know the different types of magic and what instruments used? Check the chapter on Magic. What is the difference between an elf and a fairy? See the chapter on fantasy races. In other words, it can save you research time and the danger of being sucked into the internet (although web cruising has been helpful). BOTTOM LINE - It doesn't matter of you write, or just like reading this genre, this is a volume you should have in your library.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    A thorough discussion on writing fantasy, sci-fi and related genres. A good book will make you think and this one did. There are some common sense words of advice that perhaps some people do need to hear and that those who know it already need to be reminded of. It did come out in 2013 so the discussion about authors publishing their own works in the realm of e-books is likely a little outdated by now but I don't see that it has changed very much. The discussions around naming genres and how in A thorough discussion on writing fantasy, sci-fi and related genres. A good book will make you think and this one did. There are some common sense words of advice that perhaps some people do need to hear and that those who know it already need to be reminded of. It did come out in 2013 so the discussion about authors publishing their own works in the realm of e-books is likely a little outdated by now but I don't see that it has changed very much. The discussions around naming genres and how in different times and places the naming of genres has been different I found to be interesting. I appreciated the section which talked about the term "urban fantasy". Perhaps some people would rather not anchor their works to any specific genre hoping to get more readers but there are differences within them. For example, I don't consider vampires to be sci- fi at all but the tv shows, movies and books of vampires are often lumped in with the label of sci-fi. To me the name "urban fantasy" makes perfect sense. I also liked the interesting discussion about an opening line in a modern book of why it works so well. There is a glossary of terms as well as a section with short descriptions of various cultures which is very helpful if you plan on writing a story that would involve those terms or histories. They can be an interesting spin off point as well to coming up with ideas for writing. But if your like me, your attention span changes when you read a book or sections of a book that include glossaries or small studies of many cultures. So you might do better leafing through this section and reading the entries that pull your eye.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    Mostly enjoyable and useful. Orson Scott Card's advice for important works of fantasy and sci-fi has made my reading list so much bigger and I think several books will be his. The biggest problems with the book on the whole were that several of the contributing writers would make sweeping statements about history that need sourcing (I had always been under the impression that writers should be careful with their accuracy for fear of their readers loosing trust in them) there were several occasions Mostly enjoyable and useful. Orson Scott Card's advice for important works of fantasy and sci-fi has made my reading list so much bigger and I think several books will be his. The biggest problems with the book on the whole were that several of the contributing writers would make sweeping statements about history that need sourcing (I had always been under the impression that writers should be careful with their accuracy for fear of their readers loosing trust in them) there were several occasions where the writers made brow raising statements about historical facts.... Off the top of my head Michael J. Varhola defines a Jannisary as "A Christian child raised to be a soldier by the Ottoman Empire. Jannisaries were fierce, dedicated soldiers and often used as shock troops." see from Wikipedia "They began as an elite corps of slaves made up of kidnapped young Christian boys who were converted to Islam, and became famed for internal cohesion cemented by strict discipline and order. Unlike typical slaves, they were paid regular salaries. Forbidden to marry or engage in trade, their complete loyalty to the Sultan was expected." Other than that the book temporarily came to a screeching halt when I reached Philip Athans' section and oh god did he feel the need to pander to women, so strong was his need to find SOME in fact ANY woman writer to praise that he shill for Stephanie damn Meyer. Yeah that makes you credible.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Daniel B-G

    Disappointing. There were a number of useful reference tables in here, much of which was stuff I was quite comfortable with, but this is very light on practical advice, which isn't really acceptable for a book that claims to tell you how to write great SF&F. It's worth addressing it section by section. 1) Orson Scott Card - This section was written in the 90s and it shows. There were a few interesting insights, but this was a direct reprint of another book. 2) Phillip Athans - This industry update Disappointing. There were a number of useful reference tables in here, much of which was stuff I was quite comfortable with, but this is very light on practical advice, which isn't really acceptable for a book that claims to tell you how to write great SF&F. It's worth addressing it section by section. 1) Orson Scott Card - This section was written in the 90s and it shows. There were a few interesting insights, but this was a direct reprint of another book. 2) Phillip Athans - This industry update was insightful, but I don't know why it was included at this point in the book. I get the impression sequencing was done in order of prestige. 3) Jay Lake - Steampunk is now quite clichéd, not something exciting and new so I feel this section is a little out of date. 4) Michael Varhola - This is where things really started going downhill. Not enough information to be interesting or informative, too much detail to be a summary. This would be better with a brief description followed by recommended reading for independent research. 5) Alla Maurer and Renee Wright - Dire, I don't know what this wanted to achieve, don't really care. I think it wanted to survey real world magical beliefs, but again, it struggled to hold interest or give anything specific of help. I skimmed from here on out. I may use the tables in future, but the rest was fairly dire.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan Gray

    A decent reference book for brainstorming and inspiration. It provides lots of jumping off points for research or discovery of new ideas, but it doesn't provide much insight into the actual writing of fantasy and science fiction. Granted, there are multiple instances throughout where the authors inform the reader that there are tons of reference books that exist to help you learn about the elements of storytelling, which is true. Still, a lot of those books don't approach those elements from the A decent reference book for brainstorming and inspiration. It provides lots of jumping off points for research or discovery of new ideas, but it doesn't provide much insight into the actual writing of fantasy and science fiction. Granted, there are multiple instances throughout where the authors inform the reader that there are tons of reference books that exist to help you learn about the elements of storytelling, which is true. Still, a lot of those books don't approach those elements from the perspective of fantasy or science fiction writing. That's what I was hoping for with this book. Now, again, it's true that there are books that approach those elements from that direction. I'm not saying there aren't. But, come on, the book is called "Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-Of-This-World Novels and Short Stories," am I crazy for expecting it to be about writing, not just research? And that's what it is, it's just pretty much about what you should research. Also, it focuses mainly on epic worldbuilding-type fantasy, with a bit of science fiction at the beginning. I don't know. I got very little out of it and I don't expect that I'll be returning to it again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catrina

    While I read plenty of fantasy books, I still found what was said in this book to be very helpful. As I'm reading it, some of the advise is like a duh moment on my part. Seriously I should have thought to do this without having to read it. But sometimes the obvious is what you miss the most. Still an excellent book that covers several aspects of both genres. It doesn't necessarily give writing advice since everyone does things different, which is acknowledge by the authors. What they focus on ar While I read plenty of fantasy books, I still found what was said in this book to be very helpful. As I'm reading it, some of the advise is like a duh moment on my part. Seriously I should have thought to do this without having to read it. But sometimes the obvious is what you miss the most. Still an excellent book that covers several aspects of both genres. It doesn't necessarily give writing advice since everyone does things different, which is acknowledge by the authors. What they focus on are the musts of creating the worlds of the writers imagination to the fullest so the readers aren't confused and so the author doesn't contradict him/herself. Though, there was one section where an author discussed the plot of a Jane Austen novel, Emma. However, it sounded more like the plot for Persuasion. Not a big deal but it did throw me off for a moment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Austen Rodgers

    Well, like others have said, I'm of the opinion that this is a good reference book for fantasy, and not much else. The first 150 pages has easily forgettable parts titled "The World of Steampunk" and "The State of the Genre: F&SF in the 21st Century". The "how to write" section is only about 100 pages, and most of the advice is run of the mill. Which means that the last 250 pages is the fantasy reference. And let me tell you: it's the best I've ever seen. There are so many terms for social class Well, like others have said, I'm of the opinion that this is a good reference book for fantasy, and not much else. The first 150 pages has easily forgettable parts titled "The World of Steampunk" and "The State of the Genre: F&SF in the 21st Century". The "how to write" section is only about 100 pages, and most of the advice is run of the mill. Which means that the last 250 pages is the fantasy reference. And let me tell you: it's the best I've ever seen. There are so many terms for social classes, castles, ancient magic, and creatures. It truly is inspiring. I just wish that the first third of the book was worth a damn.

  23. 5 out of 5

    AMD

    Definitely a good reference book for the aspiring Fantasy writer but not so much for Sci-Fi. I was a bit disappointed to read so many disparaging reviews based on O. S. Scott's actions and beliefs rather than the actual material contained on the pages. Putting that part aside, there are definitely a number of things to be gleaned from this book. It certainly makes a great shelf reference that contains ideas to inspire new writers and push stuck ones over the hump. My only wish is that is contain Definitely a good reference book for the aspiring Fantasy writer but not so much for Sci-Fi. I was a bit disappointed to read so many disparaging reviews based on O. S. Scott's actions and beliefs rather than the actual material contained on the pages. Putting that part aside, there are definitely a number of things to be gleaned from this book. It certainly makes a great shelf reference that contains ideas to inspire new writers and push stuck ones over the hump. My only wish is that is contained more Sci-Fi material. Kind of surprising given the number of Sci-Fi stories Scott has written.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thad Ligon

    I found the Orson Scott Card portion the most useful, or at least suited to my interests. The rest of the book is largely dedicated to fantasy concept. I'm not particularly interested in fantasy writing, but found the content to be very informative, historical, and I could see myself incorporating a few ideas vaguely inspired by reading those portions of the book. That being said, the fantasy parts were light on the how-to-create, but otherwise makes a good reference guide.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan Thomas

    I found parts of this guide very helpful! For whatever reason I really do not like Orson Scott Card's writing, so getting through the first section of this book was challenging. As I continued on I found lots of great info to consider in the worldbuilding of my own fantasy novel! I recommend this for anyone feeling lost or stuck at the overwhelming prospect of building a new world from scratch.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Think of this book as an encyclopedia for Fantasy / Science Fiction authors. It begins with a few essays on Card that shoudl be read in their totality, and then the majority of the book references things like parts of a castle, and creating fantasy cultures. Helpful, although with the internet, perhaps less necessary.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dave Tindall

    A bit hit and miss to be honest. What was good, was very good, very informative. But there was chunks of the book that was not so good. And at times a bit condisending on people who want to write a fantasy novel with Elves, Dwarves, Orcs etc. Not everyone wants to come up with new races or monsters that do the same job.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Us

    I'm currently working on a fantasy and found the reference chapters in the back of the book very interesting, detailed and helpful. I loved the advice to become a "folklore collector" and pay attention to all cultures. My only critique is that the book has several writers and one of them has the insufferable tone of a snob. He also writes oddly structured sentences.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steven Powell

    I found this book to be a good reference book for anyone writing sci fi and fantasy. However, it also focused a lot more on fantasy. It dealt with many of the different elements in fantasy and science fiction books. It is a very good review book for aspiring fantasy and science fiction writers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Belynda

    Ah! This book was so helpful...I've gotten so many ideas from reading it just to flesh out my stories. 10/10 would recommend if you're writing science fiction or fantasy. Just to get some world building ideas....

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.