Expert Advice for Writing with Authenticity in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Other Genres
Author: Dan Koboldt
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
Science and technology have starring roles in a wide range of genres--science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of technical subjects in literature, film, and television are pure fiction. A basic understanding of biology, physics, engineering, and medicine will help you create more realistic stories that satisfy discerning readers. This book brings together scientists, physicians, engineers, and other experts to help you: Understand the basic principles of science, technology, and medicine that are frequently featured in fiction. Avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions to ensure technical accuracy. Write realistic and compelling scientific elements that will captivate readers. Brainstorm and develop new science- and technology-based story ideas. Whether writing about mutant monsters, rogue viruses, giant spaceships, or even murders and espionage, Putting the Science in Fiction will have something to help every writer craft better fiction. Putting the Science in Fiction collects articles from "Science in Sci-fi, Fact in Fantasy," Dan Koboldt's popular blog series for authors and fans of speculative fiction (dankoboldt.com/science-in-scifi). Each article discusses an element of sci-fi or fantasy with an expert in that field. Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others share their insights in order to debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, and offer advice on getting the details right.
Author: Ben Bova
Publisher: Writers Digest Books
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Offers advice for constructing strong stories and novels, discusses the major elements of science fiction storytelling, and offers tips on researching markets and submitting manuscripts for publication
Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction
Author: Charles L. Adler
Publisher: Princeton University Press
From teleportation and space elevators to alien contact and interstellar travel, science fiction and fantasy writers have come up with some brilliant and innovative ideas. Yet how plausible are these ideas--for instance, could Mr. Weasley's flying car in the Harry Potter books really exist? Which concepts might actually happen, and which ones wouldn’t work at all? Wizards, Aliens, and Starships delves into the most extraordinary details in science fiction and fantasy--such as time warps, shape changing, rocket launches, and illumination by floating candle--and shows readers the physics and math behind the phenomena. With simple mathematical models, and in most cases using no more than high school algebra, Charles Adler ranges across a plethora of remarkable imaginings, from the works of Ursula K. Le Guin to Star Trek and Avatar, to explore what might become reality. Adler explains why fantasy in the Harry Potter and Dresden Files novels cannot adhere strictly to scientific laws, and when magic might make scientific sense in the muggle world. He examines space travel and wonders why it isn’t cheaper and more common today. Adler also discusses exoplanets and how the search for alien life has shifted from radio communications to space-based telescopes. He concludes by investigating the future survival of humanity and other intelligent races. Throughout, he cites an abundance of science fiction and fantasy authors, and includes concise descriptions of stories as well as an appendix on Newton's laws of motion. Wizards, Aliens, and Starships will speak to anyone wanting to know about the correct--and incorrect--science of science fiction and fantasy.
Assured Survival - Putting the "Star Wars" Defense in Perspective
Author: Ben Bova
Publisher: Tor Books
Star Peace (originally published in 1986) is a novel by Ben Bova, the author of more than a hundred works of science fact and fiction. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Author: Mike Ashley
Here are 25 stories of science fiction that push the envelope, by the biggest names in an emerging new crop of high-tech futuristic SF - including Charles Stross, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Peter Hamilton and Neal Asher. High-tech SF has made a significant comeback in the last decade, as bestselling authors successfully blend the super-science of 'hard science fiction' with real characters in an understandable scenario. It is perhaps a reflection of how technologically controlled our world is that readers increasingly look for science fiction that considers the fates of mankind as a result of increasing scientific domination. This anthology brings together the most extreme examples of the new high-tech, far-future science fiction, pushing the limits way beyond normal boundaries. The stories include: "A Perpetual War Fought Within a Cosmic String", "A Weapon That Could Destroy the Universe", "A Machine That Detects Alternate Worlds and Creates a Choice of Christs", "An Immortal Dead Man Sent To The End of the Universe", "Murder in Virtual Reality", "A Spaceship So Large That There is An Entire Planetary System Within It", and "An Analytical Engine At The End of Time", and "Encountering the Untouchable."
The Science Behind the Fiction
Author: Edward M. Lerner
Physicist, computer engineer, science popularizer, and award-winning science-fiction author Edward M. Lerner entertainingly examines the tropes that surround science fiction: the science behind the fiction.
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation’s capital—and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines. When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year. It’s an increasingly steamy summer in the nation’s capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it’s too late—and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain. While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming—if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work—one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm. With style, wit, and rare insight into our past, present, and possible future, this captivating novel propels us into a world on the verge of unprecedented change—in a time quite like our own. Here is Kim Stanley Robinson at his visionary best, offering a gripping cautionary tale of progress—and its price—as only he can tell it. From the Hardcover edition.
A Historical Anthology
Author: Eric S. Rabkin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Science fiction stories dealing with the effects of technology on civilization include authors ranging from Jonathan Swift and Nathaniel Hawthorne to Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison
A Science Fiction Survival Story
Author: Leonard Petracci
Publisher: Leonard Petracci
Category: Young Adult Fiction
A starship is struck by an asteroid on its way to colonize a distant planet. Now, hundreds of years later, the inhabitants must learn to survive deep space without technology or perish. With the ship split in two and the citizens fragmented, disaster is imminent. Join princess Airomem and Horatius the historian on their adventures- from fighting cannibals, to preventing starvation, to discovering long hidden secrets of the ship. Can they survive? Or will the thousand year journey end in failure?
Author: Lauren Beukes
Publisher: Jacana Media
Category: Science fiction
"Zinzi has a talent for finding lost things. To save herself, she has to find the hardest thing of all - the truth. Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit and a talent for finding lost things. But when a client turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she's forced to take on her least favourite kind of job - missing persons. Being hired by famously reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass, marked by their animals, live in the shadow of the undertow. Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the underbelly of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she'll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives - including her own. Set in a wildly re-imagined Johannesburg, it swirls refugees, crime, the music industry, African magic and the nature of sin together into a heady brew"--Bookseller's website.
Author: Deborah Chester
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than in traditional epics? What should you do if you're lost in the middle? How do you make your plot end up where you intend it to go? From the writing of strong, action-packed scenes to the handling of emotions, let award-winning fantasy author Deborah Chester guide you through the process of putting a book together. Convinced there's no need to shroud the writing process under a veil of mystery, Chester supplies tips that are both practical and proven. They are exactly what she uses in writing her own novels and what she teaches in her writing courses at the University of Oklahoma. Along with explaining story construction step-by-step, Chester illustrates each technique with examples drawn from both traditional and urban fantasy. The technique chapters include exercises to assist novices in mastering the craft of writing fantasy as well as suggestions for avoiding or solving plot problems. More experienced writers will find tips for taking their work to the next level. With an introduction by author Jim Butcher, The fantasy fiction formula provides the information you need to gain skill and proficiency in writing fantasy like a pro.
A Trek From Science Fiction To Science Fact
Author: William Shatner
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Over five decades, Star Trek's celebration of mankind's technical achievements and positive view of the future have earned it an enduring place in our global culture. Its scientific vision has also had a profound effect on the past thirty years of technological breakthroughs. Join William Shatner, the original captain of the Starship Enterprise, as he reveals how Star Trek has influenced and inspired some of our greatest scientific minds -- the people behind the future we will all share. In interviews with dozens of scientists we learn about the inventions that will revolutionise our lives and the discoveries that will make it truly possible to explore the last great frontier -- space. As one Nobel Laureate commented on being shown a wood and plastic model of the engine core from a Star Trek: The Next Generation starship: "I'm working on that." From the technicalities of warp speed to real-life replicators to the likelihood of our being able to beam across continents, this always-informative book takes us on a fascinating and eye-opening voyage to the realms of the possible and probable.
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
At the heart of a provocative narrative that stretches from Renaissance Italy to the moons of Jupiter is the father of modern science: Galileo Galilei. To the inhabitants of the Jovian moons, Galileo is a revered figure whose actions will influence the subsequent history of the human race. From the summit of their distant future, a charismatic renegade named Ganymede travels to the past to bring Galileo forward in an attempt to alter history and ensure the ascendancy of science over religion. And if that means Galileo must be burned at the stake, so be it. From Galileo’s heresy trial to the politics of far-future Jupiter, Kim Stanley Robinson illuminates the parallels between a distant past and an even more remote future—in the process celebrating the human spirit and calling into question the convenient truths of our own moment in time.
Author: Jeffrey M. Elliot
Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
Jeffrey M. Elliot interviews five writers of science fiction: Jerry Pournelle, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, Gregory Benford, and Richard A. Lupoff. With an introduction by A. E. van Vogt.
A Plea for Putting Emotions Back into Literary Interpretation
Author: Jean-François Vernay
Category: Literary Criticism
By meshing psychology with literary analysis, this book inspires us to view the reading of fictional works as an emotional and seductive affair between reader and writer. Arguing that current teaching practices have contributed to the current decline in the study of literature, Jean-François Vernay’s plea brings a refreshing perspective by seeking new directions and conceptual tools to highlight the value of literature. Interdisciplinary in focus and relevant to timely discussions of the vitality between emotion and literary studies, particularly within the contexts of psychology, affect studies, and cognitive studies, this book will open up a space in which the formation of our emotions can be openly examined and discussed.
The Classic Work of Feminist Science Fiction
Author: Pamela Sargent
Publisher: Open Road Media
A dystopian tale of a power struggle between the sexes in the post-nuclear future, perfect for readers of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin. After a nuclear holocaust, women rule the world. Using advanced technology, they’ve expelled men from their vast walled cities to roam the countryside in primitive bands, bringing them back only for the purpose of loveless reproduction under the guise of powerful goddesses. When one young woman, Birana, questions her society’s deception, she finds herself exiled among the very men she has been taught to scorn. She crosses paths with a hunter, Arvil, and the two grow close as they evade the ever-threatening female forces and the savage wilderness men. Their love just might mend their fractured world—if they manage to survive. Hailed as “one of the genre’s best writers” by the Washington Post Book World, Pamela Sargent is the author of numerous novels, including Earthseed and Venus of Dreams. The winner of the Nebula and Locus awards, she has also coauthored several Star Trek novels with George Zebrowski.
Author: Darren Beyer
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Smart Science Fiction at its Best. "Beyer opens his series with a punch, establishing his prospective universe while simultaneously delivering sci-fi action. A chase sequence on Earth and an explosive confrontation on Eridani are exhilarating, but dirty politicking of the future proves most engrossing..." "Nefarious bigwigs, collusion and galactic jumps against a cosmic backdrop; readers should definitely want to come back for more. - Kirkus Reviews "I hadn't read very far into Casimir Bridge, the debut novel from newcomer Darren Beyer, before I realized I'd just found my newest favorite sci-fi author." - Book Pleasures Review A manned, interstellar survey ship has gone missing. A nuclear terror plot is thwarted just outside Washington, D.C. And it's an election year. Mandisa "Mandi" Nkosi is a young reporter who, while on a trip to Johannesburg to connect with her roots, is contacted by an anonymous source with evidence that material seized from a nuclear terror plot will point squarely at one of humanity's most important companies as the supplier. The source also unveils that the "evidence" against the company - Applied Interstellar Corporation (AIC), a science and technology behemoth with more corporate and political foes than can be counted - is a setup, and part of a plot to destroy AIC and gain control of its technological secrets. The deeper Mandi digs, the more of a target she becomes. What follows is a heart-pounding, unforgettable ride through the hallowed halls of big government, far-flung star systems, and the revelation of a conspiracy that runs so deep, Mandi's life "" and the future of humanity "" are put at stake. Brimming with tantalizing futuristic technology, deep space adventure, and thrilling plot twists, Casimir Bridge is a nuanced, thought-provoking, and deeply human space opera that draws the reader in and never lets go. What you'll find among the pages of Casimir Bridge: A thrilling, fast-paced story that spans two planets, four star systems, and crosses the depths of space. Realistic science fiction, true to the technology and science. Currently relevant undertones including corporate and political conspiracy, nuclear terror, money in politics. Rich characters, personal relationships, love and hate in a deeply believable science fiction setting Join readers from around the globe in discovering the best new author to hit the science fiction scene.
Author: Michel Faber
A monumental, genre-defying novel that David Mitchell calls "Michel Faber’s second masterpiece," The Book of Strange New Things is a masterwork from a writer in full command of his many talents. It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter. Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us. Marked by the same bravura storytelling and precise language that made The Crimson Petal and the White such an international success, The Book of Strange New Things is extraordinary, mesmerizing, and replete with emotional complexity and genuine pathos. From the Hardcover edition.
Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Author: Richard H. Thaler,Cass R. Sunstein
Category: Business & Economics
From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow New York Times bestseller Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice. More than 750,000 copies sold
Author: Dan Koboldt
In the tradition of Terry Brooks' Landover series, Piers Anthony Xanth books, and Terry Pratchett's Discword novels, scientist and blogger Dan Koboldt weaves wonder, humor, and heart into his debut novel, The Rogue Retrieval. Sleight of hand…in another land Stage magician Quinn Bradley has one dream: to headline his own show on the Vegas Strip. And with talent scouts in the audience wowed by his latest performance, he knows he’s about to make the big-time. What he doesn’t expect is an offer to go on a quest to a place where magic is all too real. That's how he finds himself in Alissia, a world connected to ours by a secret portal owned by a powerful corporation. He’s after an employee who has gone rogue, and that’s the least of his problems. Alissia has true magicians…and the penalty for impersonating one is death. In a world where even a twelve-year-old could beat Quinn in a swordfight, it's only a matter of time until the tricks up his sleeves run out.