Science and Science Fiction: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Written by Nancy Kress

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One of the scariest statements I ever heard came from a young relative of mine: “All the science I know I learned from your books!” To which I replied, gasping a little, “But you know I make it up, right?”

But not entirely—which raises a critical question. While much has been written about how to use science to create, plot, or enhance one’s fiction, not as much has been written about how speculative fiction impacts our understanding of science. Consider the following: Haijun Yao, editor of China’s major SF magazine, Science Fiction World, told me last year that the Chinese government, which banned SF during the Cultural Revolution, is now very enthusiastic about its publication. The reason, Mr. Yao said, is that reading science fiction encourages young people to learn about science.

Many, many more people see science fiction movies than read print SF.

Almost all SF movies, and much print SF as well, depicts science that is misleading at best, harmful at worst.

Read the full article at Tor Forge Blog.

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Which Social Media Channel Sells The Most Books?

#30days30authors The answer might surprise you!  It surprised me!

By Rachel Thompson

“Which one social media channel will net me the most book sales?” an author asked me recently during my weekly #BookMarketingChat (join any Wednesday on Twitter, 6pm pst/9pm est simply by typing in the hashtag).

Well, it’s not that easy. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go to say, Facebook, because that’s the EASY button, and violá! They will come, we will sell, and yacht-life, here we come. Alas, it just doesn’t work that way because well, a few reasons.

Let’s deconstruct.

Read the full article at TheVerbs.com.

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Writer’s Block? Use a Random Generator

#30days30authors Writer’s block? No problem! Fix it with randomization! #amwriting

By Jami Gold

I’ll probably jinx myself by saying this, but I have more than enough story ideas to keep me busy writing for the rest of my natural life and I haven’t yet suffered from writer’s block. But I know others do struggle and come up blank.

My “seat of my pants” writing style means that I rely on my muse for everything, and so far, he hasn’t let me down. But others need to know every plot point in advance and can get hung up on figuring out the details or might have a too-often-silent muse.

Those issues are nothing to be ashamed of. We all work in different ways, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses.

So even though I don’t suffer with those issues (until now, when I just jinxed myself again *smile*), I was fascinated by the writing process I saw in a forum post and wanted to share. This author’s techniques might be helpful for anywriter—no matter our process.

Read the full article at JamiGold.

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Quest for Fire

#30days30authors #amwritingfantasy Excellent article by Cindy Tomamichel reminding those of us who write fantasy or historical fiction that central heating and range stoves just weren’t a thing for our ancestors, and making fire wasn’t as easy as flipping a switch.

Reading is easy. We sit in a comfortable chair, perhaps by a warm heater with cat on lap/dog at feet and a hot drink. That’s often why we read, to share vicariously the bad times and good with characters while we are cosy. But what about the characters? They are the ones on a quest for some hidden relic, pursued by demons or orcs. Often just as they stop for a rest, the wolves start howling and lightening signals a storm. As Sam Gamgee said, ‘I hope we are not in one of those stories, Mr. Frodo.’ But a reader share the hard times, and it is up to the writer to make those hard times so realistic the reader shivers in sympathy as the snow piles deeper and the distance from home and safety grows ever further.

Fire making is of prime importance in a fantasy, historical or even apocalyptic setting. Assuming no one has fire magic (and here we glance meaningfully at Gandalf) or a handy laser or box of matches, it is up to the author to decide on how primitive things need to be.

Read the full article at Cindytomichel.com.

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8 Tips For Writing Explosive Action Scenes

By Tracy Lawson

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I’m a dance teacher and choreographer-turned author. Writing is my main focus, and I’m retired from teaching in a studio setting, but I satisfy that passion for dance by choreographing middle- and high school musical theater productions. My daughter observed recently, “Mom, your choreography has improved since you started writing.”

Writing and choreography have a lot in common. As a writer, I want my readers to be able to visualize the action in the story as clearly as if they were watching a film. As a choreographer, I want the movement to complement and reinforce what’s happening in the show.

Here are some of the ways I approach the action scenes in my YA dystopian series as a choreographer.

Read the full article at BookDaily.com.

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Orwell vs Huxley vs Zamyatin

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In a city of glass, where people who are just Numbers living in glass-brick houses, and everyone’s daily routine is determined by the Tables of the Hours set down by the Well-Doer, one particular Number, D-503, is developing a dangerous affliction. He is nurturing a soul. This could put his life and that of his loved ones in mortal danger, because in this future One State, where logic rules, sex is rationed and love banned, a budding soul is an indication of developing individuality and separateness. But the state believes: “nobody is ‘one,’ but ‘one of’. We are so alike…”

Read the full article at Scroll.in.

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What is Grimdark Fiction?

By C.T. Philips

Grimdark is in the eye of the beholder.

On a more simpler term, grimdark is a term which was initially bandied about by the gaming community of science-fiction and fantasy as an insult for books which were “trying too hard to be taken seriously.”

The term originally comes from the over-the-top hardcore dystopian science-fiction/fantasy setting Warhammer 40K. However, something (black) magical happened when a lot of fans who enjoyed the titles so referred started to use it as a positive descriptor of the fantasy they like. Grimdark, to the horror of grimdark hipsters everywhere, became mainstream.

Read the full article at the United Federation of Charles.

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