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The Writer's Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy [Hardcover]

Orson Scott Card , Editors of Writers Digest Books , Terry Brooks
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 26 2010
Craft an otherworldly experience for your readers!

Do you dream of writing tales that pull readers into extraordinary realms? The Writer's Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy gives you everything you need to build a fantastic world, inhabit it with original and believable characters, and create an authentic and enthralling story.

Two complete books in one, this comprehensive guide includes invaluable and timeless advice for writing and selling speculative fiction from best-selling author Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, as well as world-building information and instruction from the indispensable classic The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference.

You'll discover:
  • how to wield story elements that "define" the science fiction and fantasy genres
  • ways to build, populate and dramatize fantastic new worlds
  • how to construct compelling stories by developing ideas, characters, and events that keep readers turning pages
  • historically accurate information about world cultures, legends, folklore and mysticism
  • how to authentically portray the rituals of magic and witchcraft
  • in-depth descriptions of mythological creatures, fantasy races, clothing, weapons, armor, and more

The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to truly hook your reader you must ground your fiction with credible details. Let this book be your guide as you venture into the fantastic and you'll create vibrant, captivating new worlds that spring off the page.


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About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the author of the renowned Ender series and a winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not a fantasy writer, so I bought this book with some level of hesitation. After reading that it was an essential book for both science fiction and fantasy I decided to take a chance. Unfortunately MOST of the book is centered around Fantasy. There is only a very very limited amount of science fiction related material in this book. INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTED! I read several recommendations and reviews on Science Fiction writing guides, and this came up many times. People said that despite the inclusion of Fantasy, it is a great book for science fiction writers. I feel cheated... mislead... and deceived. Only the first 50 pages of 400 contain information directly related to Science Fiction. The other 350 pages is about Fantasy, and writing in general. This is not at all what I wanted. Furthermore, it is bound very poorly. They used COIL BINDING... ringed binding. This book feels cheaply made, and I would worry about tearing the the pages on account of it being coil bound.

My 1 star rating reflects the utter disregard for Science Fiction, and the excessive inclusion of Fantasy, as well as the poorly constructed nature of the book and its binding. I do not mean to suggest the information that is actually present is bad, or that it is written poorly, however.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXcellent Resource for Novelists May 26 2010
By C. Reeves - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A uniquely organized book chock full of interesting information about world building and historical peoples. The fantasy section is very interesting just for the information about ancient peoples, their lives and even the diagram of a castle. All in all a pleasure to read for both the science fiction writer and fantasy writer. The books cover nearly everything from the ground up and will be on my shelf for years as a valuable resource and interesting read for ideas.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unchanged Reissue; Not Helpful For Fantasy Writers June 17 2012
By Judah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is functionally identical to How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy and How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (Genre Writing). If you are interested in what Card has to say, get one of those second-hand, on the cheap. Please be aware the title is misleading and actually only covers Science Fiction well. For fantasy, this isn't what you are looking for. This volume contains plenty of anecdotes about Card's favorite books, but little do with writing for publication. You will find comparable advice in hundreds of other writing books, and I'd only consider buying this is you want to write science fiction in a style similar to early Orson Scott Card. The only new material are two pages of intro by Terry Brooks; otherwise it's an advice guide written 20 years ago, completed repackaged. (It predates urban fantasy, JK Rowling, and the resurgence of hollywood superheroes.)

For a better book by Orson Scott Card that will help your writing, try Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & Viewpoint. It personally taught me more that this superficial glance at the Science Fiction genre.

If you just want a superlative book on how to write, then go with Techniques of the Selling Writer.
24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame on the publisher May 2 2010
By Zahra Yacubi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was seduced into buying this book. With Terry Brooks on the cover to promote the book. It turned out to be simply new packaging, hard vvv expensive edition of vv old stuff that was written years and years ago! I did have the original Books by the contributing authors. Therefore was greatly disappointed. Didn't the authors have anything NEW to say after twenty years since the publication of their original books? ...shame shame shame on the publishers and authors. The only new material was a 2 page introduction by Brooks and few websites added here and there.. A money making device ...
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is win July 2 2011
By Happy Potato - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Personally I found the book to be a five star piece of work, endlessly useful for the science fiction and fantasy writer.
5.0 out of 5 stars I could use this book! May 4 2013
By anir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It definitely looks good. I can get a lot out of this thing. I am trying to get a book published.
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