As some other reviewers have pointed out, this is not a cohesive, straight through guide to writing by a single author. It is a collection of 20 essays by 14 different authors on many different aspects of writing. The book covers plotting, characterization, creation of future societies, and (most important of all for aspiring writers) guidance on getting your first story published.
This is an excellent book if you know what you are getting in to. It does not go into great depth on writing fantasy despite the title and it focuses mainly of the short story, not novels. If, however, you are interested in writing short science fiction this book is a great resource.