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How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy Paperback – 30 Oct 2005
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About the Author
Orson Scott Card is one of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy. He won both the Hugo and Nebula science fiction awards for best novel for two consecutive years - something no other writer has done. In addition, he was the first writer to ever win a Nebula and a Hugo for both a book and its sequel.
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Top customer reviews
The parts that were less useful were the discussion of what SF&F is, and the discussions of concepts such as star drives, time travel, hyperspace, etc... presumably the intended audience for the book will have read plenty in this genre, so these sections might be superfluous. On the other hand, it's interesting (for example) to see the various ways of dealing with interstellar journey times set down and analysed, including their impact on the mind-set of the arriving travellers.
For me, the real meat of the book was the second half: the chapters on story construction and writing well. The MICE quotient (milieu, idea, character, event) gave me a new way to think about my book, and the section on controlling exposition was excellent.
I'm giving this book 5 stars because it was a very enjoyable read, and because I took several ideas from it that I think will be valuable. Don't get it as your only "Craft of Writing" book, though. That's not what it sets out to achieve.
Love the humour scattered throughout the entire book. The way Card deals with explaining the ambiguous, but very real line between science fiction and fantasy, the no-nonsense and *clear!* advice to any writer in the field. Card addresses the reader (and presumably aspiring writer) in a serious manner, not in the almost condescending way that a lot of writer's guides tend to do. As the title states, this is a book on "How to write science fiction and fantasy", but a lot of the tips like finishing the story you started, and delivering on promises you make to the reader are relevant to writing techniques in other genres as well.
I agree this should by no means be the only writer's guide in your collection, but it is a very, very good start.
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Most recent customer reviews
I'm reviewing it to warn about his recommendation of Engh's Arslan, which I'd say is a how not to write a book. It isn't even SF.Read more