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Books - Science Fiction & Fantasy - Writing

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$24.95
1. The Complete Guide to Writing
$10.19
2. How to Write Science Fiction &
$10.17
3. Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul:
$16.99
4. World Building (Science Fiction
$11.55
5. Scene of the Crime: A Writer's
6. Divine Invasions
7. Dragonholder
$11.55
8. The Writers Complete Fantasy Reference:
$29.70
9. The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis
$29.95
10. H.P. Lovecraft: A Life
$12.37
11. The Wave in the Mind: Talks and
12. The Writer's Guide to Creating
13. Asimov's Galaxy
14. Space Travel (Science Fiction
$13.00
15. Conversations with Carl Sagan
16. Rip-Off: A Writer's Guide to Crimes
$12.32
17. Dancing at the Edge of the World:
$11.35
18. The Book of Story Beginnings
$19.84
19. Dreamer of Dune: The Biography
$12.99
20. The Wand in the Word: Conversations

1. The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy
by Dragon Moon Press
Paperback (July, 2003)
list price: $24.95 -- our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1896944094
Sales Rank: 112891
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's all about the details!
This is a wonderful book for anyone who writes fantasy, as it addresses the special nuances specific to the genre. There are a number of good books on writing novels out there, but none detail what's needed in a good fantasy novel, how characters may differ, how to plot a believe story while maintaining the fantasy elements.
5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have World Building Reference Book
My husband is a publisher with little time to read for pleasure, so when I saw that the book he had purchased had quickly gone from "brand new condition" to "over worn and dog eared" I had to read it for myself.
5-0 out of 5 stars Great reference
This book has everything the inspiring fantasy novelist could want to know about. And even for those who are not writing but just want to have information about either medievil or fantasy. I would definatly recommend this book to anyone from the novelist to the rollplayer ... Read more

Subjects:  1. Composition & Creative Writing - General    2. Publishing    3. Reference    4. Writing Skills   


2. How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
by Writer's Digest Books
Paperback (September, 2001)
list price: $14.99 -- our price: $10.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 158297103X
Sales Rank: 19951
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars A long time ago..
...in a time far away, I was an aspiring fantasy writer, and I picked this book up off the shelf shortly after it was published. I've never forgotten the MICE, and to this day, I still use the basics of that idea to help me focus my stories.
5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
I was amazed when I first started reading this book. As a relatively novice writer, I felt the book helped me understand a lot more about writing certain kinds of fantasy novels, and taught me a general overview on how to make a living doing so. Card is a worthwhile author and this book is an indispensible guide for ANY fantasy writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quick and Useful Guide
I, like many aspiring filmmakers, read Aristotle's Poetics in college as part of a dramatic writing class.There is nothing in there that one cannot reason out for oneself; still, it is useful to have it written out and classified. This is both because not all of us have time to think about dramatic theory/contemplate our navels, and also because Aristotle was a pretty clever guy and it's good to see what he thought about the things he was an expert on.
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Subjects:  1. Composition & Creative Writing - Fiction    2. Language Arts / Linguistics / Literacy    3. Reference    4. Writing Skills    5. Creative writing guides   


3. Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul: 101 Stories of Courage, Hope and Laughter (Chicken Soup for the Soul (Paperback Health Communications))
Paperback (01 July, 1998)
list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1558746099
Sales Rank: 20265
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (50)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book for Kids!
Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul
1-0 out of 5 stars Parents beware
I have not read this book, but my nine year old daughter has read and enjoyed most of it. Last night though, she cried herself to sleep after reading graphic stories (near the end of the book) by an incest victim whose father was sent to jail and the daughter of an injection drug user who woke up one night with police pointing guns at her. I'm sure the inclusion of these stories was well-intentioned, but there's no way they are "chicken soup" for the average kid's soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
Chicken Soup grabs everything that a kid experiences, expertly juggles all of them, weaves a wonderful book, and prints it. Voila! You get Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul.
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Subjects:  1. Children    2. Children's Books/Ages 9-12 Religion    3. Children's writings    4. Children: Grades 2-3    5. Conduct of life    6. Juvenile Nonfiction    7. Juvenile literature    8. Religion - Inspirational    9. Social Science - Sociology    10. Fiction anthologies & collections    11. Juvenile Nonfiction / General   


4. World Building (Science Fiction Writing)
by Writer's Digest Books
Paperback (August, 2001)
list price: $16.99 -- our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 158297134X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Another in Ben Bova's series on Science Fiction Writing, here geologist and SF scribe Stephen Gillett helps you construct star systems and planets from the atoms up. While it may take you a little more than the proverbial seven days (well, Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent "how-to" on basic astronomy, geology, planetology
I agree with the bulk of the reviewers here; this book is jam-packed with excellent technical background for designing believable planetary systems consistent with the physics of *this* universe. In deference to the reviewer who complained that there is nothing about creating the cultures of intelligent beings, yes, maybe a better title would have been "Planet Building." There is another book in this series, "Aliens and Alien Societies," by Stanley Schmidt, that is in fact *mentioned* in "World Building" as a resource for that aspect of science fiction world creation. (I have not seen the Schmidt book, but it appears to have garnered fewer accolades than this one amongst Amazon reviewers.) The section on alternative oceanic constituents for rocky planets (sulfur, or even iron-based compounds) was fabulous.
5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with information
I have been extremely pleased with this book. I bought it because I wanted to know how to invent a planet that would look plausible scientifically. I am a neophyte in the sciences field, and as such found this book really excellent. It is full pack of information clearly presented, to understand how planets are formed, and what are the requirements for life (this is not simply air and water, but, for example, on the long run also requires volcanism and plate tectonics!). In fact, had I read this book when I was in college, I would have wanted to study chemistry and physics at university (instead of hating it). Lastly, for those wanting to create alien worlds, the end of the book also presents some examples, without which all the info presented may be of few use to design some original exo-planet. Overall, an excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise, useful starting point.
The biggest advantage to his book is that it concisely draws together the general facts about stars, planets, and atmospheres that one needs to design the physicality of worlds for hard-science fiction. Though not all encompassing or exhaustive of the subject, there's enough data to enable one to make choices for a world and then research those choices to the depth necessary to meet one's needs without having to become an expert in astrophysics and/or biochemistry. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. Composition & Creative Writing - Fiction    2. Composition & Creative Writing - General    3. General    4. Language    5. Language Arts & Disciplines    6. Reference   


5. Scene of the Crime: A Writer's Guide to Crime-Scene Investigations (Howdunit Series)
by Writer's Digest Books
Paperback (September, 1992)
list price: $16.99 -- our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0898795184
Sales Rank: 187534
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars a useful source
I found this book to be both interesting and informative and also very useful in writing a crime story.It will definitely give you an idea of how the cops in your story should act at a crime scene and what they should and shouldn't do.The book is also helpful even if your main character isn't a cop at all.I do have a couple of complaints about the book though.For one thing, the author gives way too much detail on some things.Like the fingerprints.The chapters on fingerprints seemed to be aimed more at someone who wants to become a fingerprint expert instead of just writing fiction about them.I found parts of the fingerprint chapters to be extremely boring and I even skipped through a small portion of it.Although some amount of detail can add realism to a story, I really cannot understand why anyone would want to put THAT much detail on fingerprints into a work of fiction.Secondly, the author slips into stories of personal experience several times in the novel.Most of the stories are interesting and could help a writer, but a couple of them just seem to be rambling by the author and really have nothing to add that would help anyone in writing a novel.But despite these complaints, I still found the book to be very useful and, for the most part, very interesting.I would definitely recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scene of the Crime:The Howdunit Series
A great source of information on the field of Crime Scene Investigation.This books gives a great comprehensive overview of the field and how it may work from small towns to larger cities.A great source to find out if it may be something you would like to get into as a career.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fingerprint in the Howdunit series
Scene of the Crime has lots of facts about fingerprints and examining possible pieces of evidence at a crime scene.I found the sections about identifying remains and what changes the body goes through after death very interesting. I learned a lot of information that will help me in my writing.Read more

Subjects:  1. Authorship    2. Composition & Creative Writing - Genre Fiction    3. Criminal Investigation    4. Forensic Science    5. General    6. Handbooks, manuals, etc    7. Reference    8. United States    9. Writing Skills    10. Writing & editing guides   


6. Divine Invasions
by Harmony
Hardcover (23 December, 1989)
list price: $25.95
Isbn: 0517572044
Sales Rank: 609733
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful book for serious PKD readers
Sutin's sometimes sarcastic style might surprise the reader at first, but this is a very insightful look at the life and work of Philip K. Dick - it's also the most substantial book of its kind we have yet. Sutin does a good job of inserting his comments about the works while sharing with us their genesis at the same time; the analysis aspect of `Divine Invasions' is fairly limited, but since it's not a scholarly book, it doesn't disappoint. It reads somewhat like PKD's own novels and short stories, with Dick himself as the central character. The extracts from the Exegesis show PKD at his speculative best and made me want to read more. One more note: in the last section, Sutin offers a `guide' in which he rates PKD's books on a 1-10 internal scale, also providing capsule reviews of the works he didn't write about in the main narrative; it's sure to provoke arguments, as he thought it would. Serious PKD readers should definitely read this.

3-0 out of 5 stars Philip K. Dick, Self-Devourer
By the time of his premature death in 1982, Philip K. Dick had shrewdly submitted and withdrawn so many hypothetical explanations for his chaotic life and unusual experiences that it made rational judgement and objective analysis impossible for those who were paying attention. Many people were paying attention, and waiting a little too passively for his every next pronouncement on the divine. What is amazing today isn't the great number of fans his science fiction work has generated globally, but the increasing deification of Dick as an illuminated cyberpunk guru and Fortean poster boy of the first order. Certainly Dick documented his experiences more thoroughly, if not more clearly, than most; but since millions of people experience paranormal or metaphysical phenomena every year, and some year after year as Dick did, exactly how and why does Dick stand out from the rest? 5-0 out of 5 stars Only Apparently Real
This is Lawrence Sutin's best book (well, of the three that I've read).It's also the best book on Dick I've found, and it's about as engrossing as some of Dick's better novels.There's a lot of stuff in here, but I wolfed it down pretty quickly.Read more

Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Authors, American    3. Authorship    4. Biography    5. Biography / Autobiography    6. Biography/Autobiography    7. Dick, Philip K    8. Dick, Philip K. - Prose & Criticism    9. General    10. Science fiction    11. Non-Classifiable   


7. Dragonholder
by Del Rey
Hardcover (23 November, 1999)
list price: $19.95
Isbn: 0345422171
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In her brief note to the readers, Anne McCaffrey informs us that Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Anne Heir
I enjoy reading about the background story of her and her family, I enjoy her stories and also her son too.Dragonsblood and Dragon's Kin exclent so was Dragonlover's Guide to Pern but someone should have check it better for there are some problems with it and with On Dragonwings too. vak
3-0 out of 5 stars only for fans of McCaffrey
Admittedly, this book is for fans of author Anne McCaffrey.Fans had been clamoring for her to tell her life's story, but she's been too busy writing her novels.Her second son, Todd, wrote this book to give the fans a little bit of what they want.That's the problem.It is a little bit.This is a very slim volume (coming in at not much more than 100 pages) and is not very well organized.We are not really treated to the entirety of McCaffrey's life and this is not a chronological book.Todd McCaffrey jumps around quite a bit and never stays on any one subject for too long.We get glimpses of the science fiction legend.We see a little bit of her early life and the problems she had growing up.We see her as a struggle writer, and a struggling singer/actor.We see how these experiences shaped her later novels (the singer problems translated directly into Crystal Singer), but we never really get a sense of who Anne McCaffrey is.Granted, I'm not expecting the depth of research that we would get from Robert Caro or David McCullough, but this is a very skimpy biography and is somewhat of a let down.Decent enough for fans of McCaffrey, but I can't imagine this would be of interest to anybody else.

4-0 out of 5 stars Charming Fragments of a Life
The only criticism possible for this biography of Anne McCaffrey by her son, Todd, is that it is too short.The book is a must-read for any Anne McCaffrey fan, but will leave any such fan saying "More!More!"It tells in brief her family background and the story of her life in a series of family anecdotes and his own favorite memories of growing up with his mother.What is in the book is lovely and charming and interesting and often quite touching, but it is disjointed and reads more like a sketch than a real biography.What you are left with is a sense of what an interesting person she is and how much you'd like to hear more, to have a really well-rounded portrait.That lack is why I gave it only four stars instead of five.Still, you are left with a new awareness of how incredibly brave Anne McCaffrey was and is.She wrote her wonderful dragon stories under the worst possible conditions -- an unhappy, difficult marriage, raising three children, one quite ill for some years, frequent moves, the death of her father, serious money worries.Through it all, she kept writing and was clearly an excellent mother.That alone makes her an inspiration.Read the book knowing its limitations and enjoying learning some charming fragments of a life. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Authorship    3. Biography    4. Biography & Autobiography    5. Biography / Autobiography    6. Biography/Autobiography    7. Fantasy fiction    8. Historical - U.S.    9. Literary    10. McCaffrey, Anne    11. Mccaffrey, Anne - Prose & Criticism    12. Novelists, American    13. Science fiction    14. Women    15. Biography: general    16. English    17. Fiction / Science Fiction / General    18. Novels, other prose & writers: from c 1900 -    19. USA   


8. The Writers Complete Fantasy Reference: An Indispensable Compendium of Myth and Magic
by Writer's Digest Books
Paperback (November, 2000)
list price: $16.99 -- our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1582970262
Sales Rank: 127756
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

1-0 out of 5 stars What a Disappointment.
This book has very little content, just random facts that lack any sort of overall cohesion.
1-0 out of 5 stars No no no....
The entire concept of writing fiction of ANY kind is to use your imagination mixed with the things that you know.A book to TELL you how to write fantasy does not make a bit of sense!If you are building a world, use common sense and round it out, smooth the edges, be as 'realistic' as you can for a Fantasy story.The problem with Fantasy these days is that all Elves are the same; all Dwarves are the same, all Goblins are the same...every book written is basically a carbon copy of the last one.These races DO NOT EXIST in our world, therefore you cannot say they MUST be one way or another.Get back to IMAGINATION - just use the sense you were given.TRUE old fashioned imagination has created the BEST books ever read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not as Complete as the Title Suggest
It's definately a good starting point for a reference library, yet it still seems to leave a lot out. For example, it does little to explain world-building and gives less-than-detailed examples in a lot of the book's sections. Most of the info in the book can be found with a search engine. I recommend it only for those of you who want to build a decent reference library. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. Authorship    2. Composition & Creative Writing - Genre Fiction    3. Fantasy fiction    4. Language Arts / Linguistics / Literacy    5. Reference    6. Technique    7. Writing Skills    8. Writing & editing guides   


9. The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community
by Kent State University Press
Hardcover (30 December, 2006)
list price: $45.00 -- our price: $29.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0873388909
Sales Rank: 414715
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Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Authors, English    3. Authorship    4. Biography    5. English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh    6. Fantasy fiction    7. Inklings (Group of writers)    8. Language    9. Language Arts & Disciplines    10. Literature - Classics / Criticism    11. Reference    12. Science Fiction & Fantasy    13. Fantasy    14. Literary studies: from c 1900 -   


10. H.P. Lovecraft: A Life
by Necronomicon Press
Paperback (October, 1996)
list price: $29.95 -- our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0940884887
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The basic facts of H.P. Lovecraft's life have long been known, but before this book the only account of his life worth having was L. Sprague de Camp's 1975 biography, which was lively but sketchy, giving a fragmented view of Lovecraft's life and work. S.T. Joshi has delivered the goods. This is not only the finest and most definitive biography of Lovecraft, it is likely to remain so for many decades into the future. While at nearly 700 pages, it's not necessarily a book every Lovecraft fan will sit down and read cover to cover, it's almost as compulsively readable as it is compulsively detailed. Joshi is sympathetic toward his subject but doesn't pull any punches: he includes Lovecraft's less flattering qualities, such as his "contemptible" racism and his "shabby" treatment of his wife. Best of all, perhaps, for fans of Lovecraft's fiction, are the accounts of how the stories came to be written, concise plot summaries, and well-chosen historical-critical remarks.Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars painstakingly informative
Clocking in at 654 pages, this sprawling biography will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the horror scribe -- along with some things you'll wish you hadn't discovered, like how Lovecraft was a more zealous racist than was the norm in his day. Joshi is long-winded, for sure, like the grandfather who, when you ask him how the light switch turns the lamp on, proceeds to tell you the history of electricity, starting with two sticks being rubbed together. You'll be hard-pressed to remember all the details afterward, but the story of Lovecraft's life is smartly woven, divulging the world as viewed through the writer's eyes and those around him. Like a criminologist apt at identifying with a killer, Joshi truly seems to understand his subject down to the crumbs on his coat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft Lives Again
I agree with all the other reviews here... if you have realy gotten into HPL, then you will enjoy reading this--it's hard to imagine that anyone else will produce anything more comprehensive.Buy it now before it goes out of print again and used copies cost several hundred dollars.If your interest in HPL is a bit less obsessive but you'd still like to read his bio, there is a shorter version of this book called "A Dreamer and Visionary."
5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to Imagine a Better Biography of HPL
Joshi's work is not only thorough and scholarly, creating a well-rounded and moving impression of Lovecraft and his own interests (as opposed to the interests of his biographers), it is also thoroughly entertaining and compulsively readable.More importantly, it is now back in print for the price of $30.Buy it, read it, and join me in hoping that one day S.T. Joshi will find a publisher for the complete and unabridged version.Yes, even this massive volume is abridged. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. (Howard Phillips),    2. 1890-1937    3. 20th century    4. Authors, American    5. Authorship    6. Biography    7. Biography/Autobiography    8. Fantasy fiction    9. Horror tales    10. Lovecraft, H. P   


11. The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination
by Shambhala
Paperback (17 February, 2004)
list price: $16.95 -- our price: $12.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1590300068
Sales Rank: 33640
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Midwest Book Review, February 2005 Issue
Having read and enjoyed LeGuin's previous non-fiction works (particularly DANCING AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD,THE LANGUAGE OF THE NIGHT,and her writing book, STEERING THE CRAFT), I expected an interesting and entertaining volume of essays. What I got far exceeded my expectations. I was enchanted from the first words, and I could hardly wait to read as many of these pieces as I could gulp down each night. When I finished, I was unhappy it was all consumed. I wanted more.
5-0 out of 5 stars writes like an angel, but a grounded one
I. I recommend it to anyone interested in reading, writing, feminism, stories, or family. She writes like an
4-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking...
Ms. Le Guin's latest collection of essays and "nonfictive" writings looks like one of those books that is dull, scholastic, dry, and unentertaining. But...
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Subjects:  1. 1929-    2. Authorship    3. Essays    4. History and criticism    5. Le Guin, Ursula K.,    6. Leguin, Ursula - Prose & Criticism    7. Literary Criticism    8. Literature - Classics / Criticism    9. Science fiction    10. Women Authors    11. English    12. Literary Criticism & Collections / Essays    13. Literary studies: general    14. USA    15. Women's studies   


12. The Writer's Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe
by Writers Digest Books
Hardcover (March, 1993)
list price: $18.95
Isbn: 0898795362
Sales Rank: 506900
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Resource for Science Fiction Writers
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. 4-0 out of 5 stars Good reference book for sf writers
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.5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Beginners
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. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. Authorship    2. Composition & Creative Writing - Genre Fiction    3. Language Arts / Linguistics / Literacy    4. Literature and science    5. Science Fiction    6. Science Fiction And Fantasy    7. Science in literature    8. Technology in literature   


13. Asimov's Galaxy
by Doubleday
Hardcover (01 December, 1988)
list price: $17.95
Isbn: 0385241208
Sales Rank: 734353
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I had to write a research paper on Asimov, Bradbury and scifi.Obviously the first two were easy enough (once I actually figured out what I was doing) but the last topic was a bit more difficult.I mean, you can't really think indepentently on a research paper.Don't ask me why, but always have to rely on someone else's opinion.I could really seem to find anything until I came upon this in my school library.Not only did I find the information I needed, but I found all of Asimov's essays to be fascinating. I wish he was still alive because I found his views on fantasy to be somewhat conflicting with mine (I'm a huge fantasy fan) but alas, I found out to my dismay he's been dead for quite awhile.Oh well, go figure.But I would definetly recomment this book--

5-0 out of 5 stars Collection of Essays
This book is s collection of essays from "Asimov's Science FictionMagazine" by the good Doctor.Normally they relate to sciencefiction, but Asimov also covers some other topics, normally science relatedwhen they are not directly related to SF. Read more

Subjects:  1. 1920-    2. Asimov, Isaac,    3. Authorship    4. Fiction - Science Fiction    5. History and criticism    6. Science Fiction & Fantasy    7. Science Fiction - General    8. Science Fiction And Fantasy    9. Science fiction    10. Asimov, Isaac    11. Non-Classifiable    12. Views on authorship   


14. Space Travel (Science Fiction Writing Series)
by Writers Digest Books
Paperback (March, 1997)
list price: $16.99
Isbn: 0898797470
Sales Rank: 584512
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Book in the "Sci-Fi Writing Series".
This is another of the books in this series that was put together by Ben Bova and a host of others. Mr. Bova has written a ton of Sci-Fi, and he is definitely an authority on the subject.4-0 out of 5 stars Prepares you for more advanced works
This is, for the most part, a good book.Although it does have some errors of style (METRIC UNITS!PLEASE!) and a few errors of fact, as noted by other reviews, it covers a wide scope in adequate detail.4-0 out of 5 stars Prepares you for more advanced works
This is, for the most part, a good book.Although it does have some errors of style (METRIC UNITS!PLEASE!) and a few errors of fact, as noted by other reviews, it covers a wide scope in adequate detail.Read more

Subjects:  1. Astronautics    2. Authorship    3. Bova, Ben - Prose & Criticism    4. Creative writing    5. Language Arts & Disciplines    6. Reference    7. Science fiction    8. Rhetoric    9. Writing & editing guides   


15. Conversations with Carl Sagan (Literary Conversations)
by University Press of Mississippi
Paperback (30 January, 2006)
list price: $20.00 -- our price: $13.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1578067367
Sales Rank: 164381
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Interviews and profiles discuss all the interests he holds for environment, astronomy, physics, and social issues
Carl Sagan is best known for his hosting of the PBS series Cosmos but actually has a long history of work in the astronomy field, and an interest in science and space which extends from his childhood - so it's fascinating to learn about his efforts to popularize his interests in CONVERSATIONS WITH CARL SAGAN. Here interviews and profiles discuss all the interests he holds for environment, astronomy, physics, and social issues. Subject chapters blend with interviews to make for a fine survey.
5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Interviews with Carl Sagan
As a communicator and popularizer of science Carl Sagan was probably the best known scientist of his time. Although a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics, his speaking style and his far ranging thoughts about life here on earth and life elsewhere in the universe made him one of the most quoted scientists anywhere. Perhaps this was because of the great interest in space at that time, but that's not important.
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Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Astronomy - General    3. Authorship    4. Biography & Autobiography    5. Biography / Autobiography    6. Biography/Autobiography    7. Interviews    8. Literary    9. Novelists, American    10. Philosophy & Social Aspects    11. Science fiction    12. Scientists - General    13. Astronomy, Space & Time    14. Biography: general   


16. Rip-Off: A Writer's Guide to Crimes of Deception (Howdunit)
by Writer's Digest Books
Paperback (August, 1998)
list price: $16.99
Isbn: 0898798272
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Something tells us we would be naïve to believe this book would appeal solely to mystery writers. Detective Fay Faron, syndicated newspaper columnist ("Ask Rat Dog") and author ofRead more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars A decent reference
I thought this was, overall, a pretty good book. Faron, who ran her own private investigation agency for many years, gives a good overview of rip-offs of all kinds. If I want more detailed information on a specific kind of scam, there are other sources I'd likely use (most probably, talking with one of my police contacts), but I liked the overview this book gave me in that it got me thinking about a few directions I might go in my own writing.
1-0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Lousy
When I ordered this book, I was hoping for more than a cursory look at some of the great scams and cons throughout history.It fell woefully short in many respects.It seems to me that Ms. Faron has learned all she knows from watching a Discovery Channel special or movies, such as The Sting, Traveller, or Paper Moon.It provides nothing in the way of original insight or research.The author's writing style is disjointed and confused.It jumps between subjects quickly without segues.I can see how non-writers can be interested in this book, but as it sells itself as a guide to help an author with character and plot development, I expect a little more than "You might want your character to do this..."5-0 out of 5 stars Another goodie from the Howdunit Series!
This is a great book! It gives details of all types of deceptive crimes.Many of them really get you thinking, "Now how'd they do that?" Now let me tell you, this book is not ONLY for the writer.If you deal with the public (at all, and that is nearly all of us) this book is for you! It'll get you thinking back to this book each time you bump into someone, make change, or even stand in the elevator with a croud!Read more

Subjects:  1. Authorship    2. Composition & Creative Writing - General    3. Deception    4. Forensic Science    5. Fraud investigation    6. Language    7. Mystery And Suspense Fiction    8. Publishing    9. Reference    10. Swindlers and swindling    11. United States    12. Writing Skills    13. Rhetoric    14. Writing & editing guides   


17. Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places
by Grove Press
Paperback (October, 1997)
list price: $14.50 -- our price: $12.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0802135293
Sales Rank: 431845
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Le Guin's Non-Fiction Pieces: A Mental Biography
I had never read a word of Ursula K. Le Guin until I recently picked up "Dancing at the Edge of the World," a chronologically arranged collection of essays, talks and book reviews written by Le Guin during the period 1976 through 1988. It is a collection that is intended, in the author's words, "[to] provide a sort of mental biography, a record of responses to ethical and political climates, of the transforming effect of certain literary ideas, and of the changes of a mind."3-0 out of 5 stars Le Guin's Non-Fiction Pieces: A Mental Biography
I had never read a word of Ursula K. Le Guin until I recently picked up "Dancing at the Edge of the World," a chronologically arranged collection of essays, talks and book reviews written by Le Guin during the period 1976 through 1988.It is a collection that is intended, in the author's words, "[to] provide a sort of mental biography, a record of responses to ethical and political climates, of the transforming effect of certain literary ideas, and of the changes of a mind."5-0 out of 5 stars Great collection, useful for students of SF
This book presents a body of one woman's opinions. This might not sound like much but, given that these are Ursula Le Guin's opinions, it is well worth reading. She writes entertainingly and even though she wants to makeyou think it does not hurt one bit. Given the dearth of decent criticism ofScience Fiction available at student level prices this is an excellentintroduction to the genre for them. It is probably the first time most ofthem will have discovered serious thought behind SF. She also addressesother issues, often concerning her own experiences and the problems ofbeing a woman writer, which would make this a useful text for anyoneinterested in gender studies. To sum up, buy it; it is very good; you willread these essays more than once, guaranteed. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. Authorship    2. Essays    3. Literary Criticism    4. Literature - Classics / Criticism    5. Science fiction    6. Technique    7. Women and literature   


18. The Book of Story Beginnings
by Candlewick
Hardcover (14 March, 2006)
list price: $15.99 -- our price: $11.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0763626090
Sales Rank: 382272
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great concept, engaging read
I love the concept of this book and was eager to see how Oscar and Lucy's adventure was resolved.As a child, I would have devoured it!The only downfall was the slowness of pace towards the middle of the book.What I really appreciated was the lessons learned by the characters (not taught in a "preachy" way):conflict in marriage is not always as terrible as children interpret it, you can choose to be happy in the circumstances you find yourself in, and the importance of seeing the impact of your wishes and choices on other people.

5-0 out of 5 stars We love this book!
I got The Book of Story Beginnings for my 10 year old daughter and the both of us read it together. We loved it. It has a very warm and inviting sensibility. I highly recommend this book for your family.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read
This is a great book. It is one of those books that you just can't put down. It was such a good book, that I read it in a day! This book has many magical parts, so if you're a reader who prefers non-fiction over fiction, than this book is not for you. But,if you liked Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings, than you'll surely like this book! ... Read more

Subjects:  1. Action & Adventure - General    2. Authorship    3. Children's Books/Ages 9-12 Fiction    4. Children: Grades 4-6    5. Juvenile Fiction    6. Magic    7. Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic    8. Storytelling    9. Juvenile Fiction / Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic   


19. Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert
by Tor Books
Hardcover (19 April, 2003)
list price: $27.95 -- our price: $19.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0765306468
Sales Rank: 202588
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat misleading title
While this book does contain a lot of information about Frank Herbert it contains almost an equal amount about his wife Beverly and his son (the author of the book) Brian. I found all the information to be interesting but those looking for an in depth look at Frank Herbert will likely be disappointed.
3-0 out of 5 stars A life lived with Frank Herbert
The author Frank Herbert (1920-1985) is best known for his wildly popular novel Dune, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1965 and arguably the best science fiction novel ever written. In his biography Dreamer of Dune, Frank Herbert's son Brian tells us the story behind the desert planet of his father's imagination, breathing life into the brilliant but imperfect character of the bearish man who so dominated his own life. In straightforward, no-frills prose, Brian Herbert tells the story of his father's life chronologically and in great detail, from Frank's dangerously independent childhood in the Pacific northwest--at the age of nine he sailed on his own in a row boat from his home town of Burley, Washington to the San Juan islands and back, a distance of more than two hundred miles--to his sudden death at the age of 65 from a pulmonary embolism. Along the way Herbert's life was dominated by two focuses, his writing--he was a prolific author who wrote with a feverish intensity and demanded that his time at the typewriter remain inviolate--and his wife: Beverly Herbert, Brian's mother, was Frank's partner in life and in the business of writing for nearly forty years, theirs the sort of marriage that grew in intensity over time and which seems to have been a stronger bond than either shared with their children. Beverly predeceased her husband by slightly more than two years. (Frank's devotion to Beverly is perhaps called into question by the fact that he was married again so soon after her death, to a woman thirty-six years his junior. He pronounced himself "in love" with this young woman less than three months after his wife's death.)
5-0 out of 5 stars An inticate and personal view on the life of Frank Herbert
Not but two minutes ago, I read the last page of this book. I had only recieved it a few short days ago, and throughout those few days, I could hardly put this book down. As a fan of the senior Herbert, I began collecting the Dune series in hardback, and wanted this book to add to my collection, little had I known that it would be so influencial to me. As I read this book, I laughed, felt the onset of tears, I anguished over the last days of Beverly Herbert, and felt immense sorrow when Frank passed away so suddenly along with Brian, Jan and the rest of Herbert's loving family. Reading this book showed me the quiet bond that can grow between father and son, and made me think of my own relationship with my father, and how one day, I too will have to face the pain of losing a parent. Dreamer of Dune isn't just a powerful book that I'd heartily reccomend to any fan of Dune, it's a window into the life of the man behind the stories, an incredible glimpse into the events that shaped his amazing imagination. I can't reccomend this book enough. ... Read more

Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Authors, American    3. Authorship    4. Biography    5. Biography & Autobiography    6. Biography / Autobiography    7. Biography/Autobiography    8. Dune (Imaginary place)    9. Herbert, Frank    10. Literary    11. Science fiction    12. Biography & Autobiography / Literary    13. Biography: general    14. Literature: History & Criticism   


20. The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy
by Candlewick
Hardcover (14 February, 2006)
list price: $19.99 -- our price: $12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0763626252
Sales Rank: 201685
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
If you are a reader of fantasy, an aspiring writer, or simply an avid book-lover, don't miss this book! The Wand in the Word gives you insights on 13 different authors and their lives and work routines, including Brian Jacques, Diana Wynne Jones, Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander. The authors tell how World War II, reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time, or listening to their grandparents tell stories affected the different authors and their careers in different ways. One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from the interview with Brian Jacques:
5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and inspiring look at fantasy authors
This is one of the most interesting and inspirational books that I've read in a long time. Through the interviews and profiles, Marcus' masterfully brings out the best in each author, providing a fascinating look at some of the leading authors in the fantasy genre. Find out how Lloyd Alexander's experiences in the military during World War II influenced his writing, or how Diana Wynne Jones kept Tolkein from finishing The Lord of the Rings! It's inspiring to read about how authors are regular people who faced the same kinds of problems in childhood as everyone else: problems in school, problems with parents, problems with other kids. One even had dyslexia. Taken together it presents a powerful and inspirational message that anyone can be a writer, that anyone can overcome their personal obstacles to achieve their dreams. Each author also gives advice for young, aspiring writers. Highly recommended for fantasy fans, aspiring writers, or anyone who just needs a bit of inspiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars They tell us that dragons can be beaten
I was into Leonard S. Marcus before it was cool.Really!Okay, fine.I wasn't.In fact, until I read his collection of the letters of Ursula Nordstrom ("Dear Genius") and heard about his Margaret Wise Brown bio ("Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened By the Moon") I didn't know just what a great editor and writer he could be.But now that he's come out with "The Wand In the Word: Conversations With Writers of Fantasy", I have a feeling his star is going to rise pretty high.Anyone could write a book with an interview by Jane Yolen.You might even be able to squeeze out some interest if you included a talk with Garth Nix.But a glance at the people included in this book and it begins to get a little silly.Lloyd Alexander?He's still alive?And Nancy Farmer?How did he get her?Susan Cooper!! Omigod I LOVE Susan Cooper!There are only thirteen fantasy writers contained in this volume, but with the notable exception of J.K. Rowling, they are undoubtedly the greatest living fantasy writers working today.
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Subjects:  1. Biography & Autobiography - Literary    2. Children's Books - Young Adult Fiction    3. Children's Books/Young Adult Misc. Nonfiction    4. Children's stories, American    5. Children's stories, English    6. Children: Young Adult (Gr. 7-9)    7. Fantasy fiction, American    8. History and criticism    9. Juvenile Nonfiction    10. Language Arts - Composition & Creative Writing    11. Theory, etc    12. Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Literary    13. Writers, poets & dramatists   


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