Tag Archives: science fiction

From the Ground Up

For any type of fiction that’s not based in our own world in the present day, world-building is both essential and deeply challenging. If you’re writing historical fiction based in our own world you can rely to a great extent … Continue reading

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That Was Then

Science fiction is never really about the future. It’s about the present. It only pretends to be about the future. Nor could it be otherwise. The writer is inevitably trapped within the social and intellectual matrix of the present day. … Continue reading

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Time Keeps On Slippin’, Slippin’, Slippin’…

Stories about time travel have been a staple of science fiction ever since H. G. Wells invented the idea. The obvious advantage of the time-travel tale is that it allows the writer to drop a modern human, a character whose … Continue reading

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How Much Fantasy?

Science fiction authors tend to try to get the science right — or at least, we’d like to hope they will. There are many exceptions. We know a lot more about physics and biology today than was known even 50 … Continue reading

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Worlds While U Wait

There’s a scene in the 2nd or 3rd Star Trek movie, I forget which one, where some sort of high-tech projectile is launched at a barren planet. In a burst of light, the planetary surface springs to life. A fully … Continue reading

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In Fact It’s a Gas!

The other day I started thinking it might be fun to write a steampunk novel. Steampunk, for those who are standing out on the sidewalk with their noses pressed against the glass, is a sub-genre of science fiction. The typical … Continue reading

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Bibliophilia

I wish I had a lot more time to read. I own hundreds and hundreds of books, some of which I’ve been carting around for 30 or 40 years. Don’t remember a thing about some of them except that I … Continue reading

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Reading: Connie Willis

Many years ago I was knocked out by Doomsday Book, Connie Willis’s novel of time travel to the dark days of the Black Plague. But then I tried another of her books, found it disappointingly shallow, and gave up on … Continue reading

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Video: Battlestar

I never saw the original BattleStar Galactica series. The new series looks pretty good, though it’s far from flawless. Last night I watched the pilot miniseries, which is essentially a 3-hour movie. I’ll try a few more episodes before making … Continue reading

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World-Building

Writing science fiction is enormously difficult. If you cut corners, it gets easier. Cutting corners is always a temptation, because (a) if you don’t, your¬†whole story may collapse, and (b)¬†your readers or viewers probably won’t notice or care. Quick example: … Continue reading

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