How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

how to write science fiction and fantasy

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy By: Orson Scott Card

From one of the all-time bestselling authors of science fiction and fantasy writing comes an excellent resource for beginners or pros. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card covers topics such as the creation of worlds and alien societies and the use and rules of magic, topics specific to the genre. Learn creative science fiction and fantasy writing from one of the masters.

Review:

Whatever you think of Orson Scott Card’s beliefs he is known for his science fiction so I thought it would be interesting to read his book.

I learned some things that I should have done with my Amelia Bennett Chronicles books, though I don’t think they’ve suffered and I can certainly use what I learned in future episodes.

I decided that I never wanted to write hard sci-fi.

I was just starting to think, “Man he’s got a lot of rules for this stuff.”

When he blindsided me with some not nice things to say about Star Trek. I can see why hard sci-fi writer’s wouldn’t like Star Trek but if he felt that way he should have just not brought it up. Instead he brought it up a few times, each time to point out exactly where they fucked up. And each time it made me want to do exactly the opposite of what he recommended.

That’s just how I roll.

Anyway. He strongly recommends not writing prologues in event driven books. He basically says you’re an amateur that doesn’t know what you’re doing if you do.

He has a lot of rules, strong recommendations, and opinions on what a sci-fi and fantasy writer should do. Most of what he mentions is for sci-fi with some fantasy stuff thrown in almost as an after though.

“You can do this with fantasy too.”

Honestly I was never able to get over him dissing Star Trek so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

I thought the publishing information was pretty dated, since it was first written in 1991 there wasn’t any mention of self-publishing.

Overall I learned very little from this book and wouldn’t recommend it.

2/5

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6 comments

  1. I tried reading that one as well. Og love him, Card certainly thinks highly of himself. He *is* a successful and arguable excellent science fiction writer, but there is a level of condescension in his instructional writing that I find unbearable.

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  2. I completely agree. Several times he would say only an amateur would do this or only a highly skilled writer could do this and it was very heavily implied that if you were reading a how to book you obviously had no skill.

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  3. I wanna read this now:) OSC’s an amazing writer. But probably a better name for the book is “How to write science fiction and fantasy if you’re Orson Scott Card.”

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  4. John, I bought the book a few years ago and found it to be little more than a long, detailed explanation of how he wrote Ender’s Game. Kristine, I totally love this: “he blindsided me with some not nice things to say about Star Trek… it made me want to do exactly the opposite of what he recommended.” Bravo!! Hat tip to John for reblogging this, or I’d have missed it.

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  5. John that would be a much better title for the book, if you’re going to pick it up I would suggest library. lol

    Carol so glad you found me and that you enjoyed the post. It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only person not thrilled with his Star Trek bashing.

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