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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Moderately used book. Still a decent reading copy, the cover has visible markings and wear, some scant markings/marginalia inside is likely. Older publications likely noticeably aged/faded.
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The Writer's Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe Hardcover – March, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books; Second Printing edition (March 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898795362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898795363
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for those interested in Science Fiction. It helps the laymen understand scientific concepts and is written in a way that is easy to understand. We often see scientific books as being hard to understand, being too mathematical and way above our heads. This book is definitely not that way. If you want to learn about science, this is the book. There is a section on creating an alien life bearing planet, detail by detail. A section on spaceships and space stations, and a section on designing a future. There is even a section on remodeling humans. All this in an understandable format. Writers will find it of unmeasurable help in their writing science fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
I am just starting out writing science fiction, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in writing in the genre. It is not a "how to write science fiction", but rather a handy reference book. It the various areas of science that a science fiction writer might find useful, with chapters devoted, inter alia, to: space and spaceships, planets and planet design, aliens, designing a future setting, nanotechnology, intelligent machines, bioengineering, and alternate universes.
I found the book to be well-organised and easy to read. All sections are written in a clear, easy to understand manner, assisting the non-scientist layman in writing convincing science fiction. One of the best features, in my view, was that the authors point out all the "wrong science" blunders common to science fiction, thereby helping you to avoid them. They also point out examples of excellent science fiction and how those authors used known science in a convincing manner.
The only significant shortcomings of this book relate to its age: it was printed in 1993 so the science risks becoming dated as we move further from its publication. Additionally, this means that it has gone out of print and one can only obtain used copies. However, there is nothing newer out there that covers all the areas that The Writer's Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe so it is still well worth it.
I have also read the Science Fiction Writing Series (edited by Ben Bova) "World Building" and "Space Travel" and I preferred The Writer's Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe. There is nothing wrong with the Bova books, they were excellent as well, but I found Messrs. Ochoa and Osier's book easier to read and more insightful. Plus, it is nice having everything in one place. On the other hand, the Science Fiction Writing Series books are more comprehensive and still in print.
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Format: Hardcover
Though I read this straight through, this is really more of a reference book. It covers chapter-by-chapter the various areas of science that a science fiction writer might find useful, starting (not surprisingly) with space and spaceships. Other topics include designing a planet, aliens, designing a future, nanotech, intelligent machines, and alternate universes. The authors do a good job of pointing up common cases of bad science, from lasers visible in space to human-alien halfbreeds and other Star Trek-type errors. They also point up shining examples of science fiction stories that are based on particular concepts and make suggestions based on other ideas that haven't been fully mined yet.
Definitely a worthwhile book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd pay good money for an up to date version of this! Fascinating read in and of itself, but also a really good grounding on various sciencey things, written in a way that's interesting and accessible.
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is starting out writing science fiction. It is very easy to read and understand, and it discusses topics frequently found in science fiction. Not only does it have information about world-building, but it also covers topics like aliens, space travel, and futuristic civilizations. If you're just starting out, or if you just need some guidelines in your fiction, check this book out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a 'how to write science fiction' book. It is an informative yet easy to read and understand reference guide. The author makes sure to point out 'common mistakes' in science fiction and gives good ideas on how to avoid them.
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