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What makes fantasy different from other types of fiction? How do you build a science fiction world? Does magic need rules? From outer space to cyberspace, from The Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, fantasy and science fiction are more popular with readers than ever before, and offer a unique set of challenges to the writer.


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What makes fantasy different from other types of fiction? How do you build a science fiction world? Does magic need rules? From outer space to cyberspace, from The Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, fantasy and science fiction are more popular with readers than ever before, and offer a unique set of challenges to the writer.

30 review for Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    Pretty helpful - nice to read a book on writing by someone who has done some really cool stuff, like interviewing Roald Dahl. Also, at the age of twenty-one she co-wrote a book with George R. R. Martin, and she includes many of the actual letters they wrote back and forth to discuss the project - very neat to read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allan Walsh

    Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction by Lisa Tuttle is a non-fiction book for writers that covers off on everything you need to know to become a good speculative fiction writer. The Cover: I have the 2nd edition of this title and the cover is the perfect fit for this non-fiction title. It is simple, has a clear title, an image that suits a book on writing, and strong, clear fonts. The Good Stuff: I found this to be one of the best books for writers that I have read. It is written in a very natural, s Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction by Lisa Tuttle is a non-fiction book for writers that covers off on everything you need to know to become a good speculative fiction writer. The Cover: I have the 2nd edition of this title and the cover is the perfect fit for this non-fiction title. It is simple, has a clear title, an image that suits a book on writing, and strong, clear fonts. The Good Stuff: I found this to be one of the best books for writers that I have read. It is written in a very natural, smooth flowing way that makes it easy to understand. The advice within this book is sound and will help writers of all genres. It covers off on pretty much everything you need to know as a writer and contains all the information I have obtained from numerous other titles, all in the one place, without waffling on with pages of unnecessary words. The Bad Stuff: I acknowledge that this title was printed in 2005. It has plenty of information on Style, character development, plotting, etc... It also gives details on agents, publishing, editing, and cover letters. While this content is all perfectly valid and I believe still current, the book would be even better if it had some reference to Indie publishing and e-books. Maybe this will come in a newer edition. Overall, this is an excellent book for new writers and I feel it would make a good addition to many experienced writers book shelves. I found it an interesting and easy read with valuable information on the craft of writing. This one gets a well-deserved, writer-making, story-forming 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Al-Mahdi

    هذا الكتاب هو واحد من الكوارث التي قمت بقراءتها مؤخرًا. الكتاب الأصلي لا بأس به، ولكن ترجمة الكتاب سيئة للغاية، فالأمر يبدأ بالأخطاء الاملائية التي لا تخلوا صفحة واحدة منها، والتي تشي بجهل المترجم عن الموضوع الذي هو بصدد ترجمته، فلا يوجد شخص لديه فكرة عن الفانتازيا والخيال العلمي ولو بسيطة أن يخطئ في كتابة أسماء العديد من المؤلفين بهذا الشكل، فتيري براتشيت يكتب تيري برانشيت، وستيفن كينج يكتب ستيفان كينج، وحتى المؤلف نيل جايمان الذي كتب اسمه بشكل صحيح تحدث عنه بصيغة مؤنثة. أما عن تولكين وأعماله فهي هذا الكتاب هو واحد من الكوارث التي قمت بقراءتها مؤخرًا. الكتاب الأصلي لا بأس به، ولكن ترجمة الكتاب سيئة للغاية، فالأمر يبدأ بالأخطاء الاملائية التي لا تخلوا صفحة واحدة منها، والتي تشي بجهل المترجم عن الموضوع الذي هو بصدد ترجمته، فلا يوجد شخص لديه فكرة عن الفانتازيا والخيال العلمي ولو بسيطة أن يخطئ في كتابة أسماء العديد من المؤلفين بهذا الشكل، فتيري براتشيت يكتب تيري برانشيت، وستيفن كينج يكتب ستيفان كينج، وحتى المؤلف نيل جايمان الذي كتب اسمه بشكل صحيح تحدث عنه بصيغة مؤنثة. أما عن تولكين وأعماله فهي جريمة مكتملة الأركان، فتولكين يكتب اسمه في الكتاب "توكين" ثم يخطئ في كتاب أسماء أبطال شخصياته، فبيلبو باجينز هو بيلبو باجيه، وتحول فرودو من ابن أخيه إلى ابن عمه، وحتى ميدل إيرث التي اصطلح كل عشاق الفانتازيا في الوطن العربي على تسميها بالأرض الوسطى كتبها الأرض الوسيطة. وهناك أخطاء املائية كثيرة تمتلئ بها صفحات الكتاب، وبعضها لا أعرف كيف مر على المراجعين ـ إن كان الكتاب قد تمت مراجعته أصلاً ـ ففي إحدى الصفحات يقول أن الأطفال يعتقدون أن الكبار لهم خصية واحدة! وهكذا قضيت الدقائق الخمسة التالية وانا احاول أن أفهم الجملة وما علاقتها بالنص قبل أن أدرك أنه يريد أن يقول إن الأطفال يعتقدون أن الكبار لهم شخصية واحدة! وهناك أشياء لن يخطئ في ترجمتها أي مترجم مبتدئ مثل جملة "Why on earth" والذي يستخدم للتعبير عن المفاجأة أو التعجب، وربما قد يعني بالعربية "لماذا بحق السماء" ولكن الكاتب يترجمه "لماذا على الأرض" وجملة مثل "Getting feedback" والتي قد تعني الحصول على النتائج أو ردود الفعل، يترجمها "الحصول على التغذية العكسية"! وفي نهاية الأمر كنت اقرأ المكتوب بالعربي لمحاولة استنتاج ما قالته الكاتبة بالإنجليزية كي أستطيع فهم المعني، وهو مجهود أكثر بكثير مما كنت سأبذله لو قمت بقراءة الكتاب باللغة الانجليزية. ولا اعرف كيف قامت دار بحجم الدار المصرية اللبنانية بنشر مثل هذه الترجمة.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed El Wakeel

    لأصول الكتابة شرح و تعريف ... قلَّ العبير عنة في ذلك الكتاب ولكن لم ينعدم إذا لم تكن تهوى الكتابة الأدبية فلن تجد ما يفيدك في ذلك الريفيو وطبعا أهلا بيك لو انت من المطلعين الشغوفين الكتاب في تقييم الجودريدز يكتفي ب ( 2.5 ) نجمة للآتي : الترجمة السيئة جدا , الطباعة الرديئة, والتشكيل والتنوين النحوي المغلوط . مثلا وانظر معي للمعنى : القِبلة إتجاة اليسار قليلا ... و ... القُبلة إتجاة اليسار قليلا !! أتدرك معي الفضيحه ؟ هذا ما كان يخص النسخة العربية ترجمة الدكتور كمال الدين حسين اما النسخة الأنجليزية ص لأصول الكتابة شرح و تعريف ... قلَّ العبير عنة في ذلك الكتاب ولكن لم ينعدم إذا لم تكن تهوى الكتابة الأدبية فلن تجد ما يفيدك في ذلك الريفيو وطبعا أهلا بيك لو انت من المطلعين الشغوفين الكتاب في تقييم الجودريدز يكتفي ب ( 2.5 ) نجمة للآتي : الترجمة السيئة جدا , الطباعة الرديئة, والتشكيل والتنوين النحوي المغلوط . مثلا وانظر معي للمعنى : القِبلة إتجاة اليسار قليلا ... و ... القُبلة إتجاة اليسار قليلا !! أتدرك معي الفضيحه ؟ هذا ما كان يخص النسخة العربية ترجمة الدكتور كمال الدين حسين اما النسخة الأنجليزية صعب جدا على إدراكي وأظن إدراك أي شخص .. لما تقولة عارف كتاب " كذا " فية الفكرة اللي انا عايز اوصلهالك .. ملحوظة : انا لم اقرأ كتاب كذا وأغلب الكتب المذكورة هنا .. أظن 90 % من الكتاب الناشئين لم يقرأوها إن لم يكونوا متربصين لفن الفانتازيا والخيال العلمي الملفت للنظر جدا ... أسلوب الكاتبة " ليزا توتلي " في انها تدلل على رؤيتها ونصيحتها بنص من قصة مثلا .. لكن الإشارة والتنوية كان شبة مستتر كانها إكتفت بالنص كتوضيح وانت عيش بقى :)) أهم ما أستفدته نصائح متعلقة بإبداع النثر البسيط : 1 - لا تستخدم كلمات كبيرة إن توافرت الصغيرة التي تفي بالغرض 2- لا تستخدم كلمتين إن كانت واحدة تكفي 3- تجنب المبني للمجهول قدر الإمكان 4- دع الأفعال تتحمل المصاعب إن خبرة إعادة كتابة أحد أعمال المشاهير .. ومحاولة إنجاحك لها هي تجربة بعيون مفتوحه و مثمرة إن كان السير البطيء عبر الصحراء يخلو من الاحداث , فسطرين أكرم ما يمكن تقديمهما لوصف ذلك المشهد الفارغ ربما كنت أنتظر المزيد .. ربما قد رفعت سقف توقعي قبل البدء

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anna Elizabeth

    This was the first writing guide I had ever read. There were SO many pointers that I found helpful - such as the stressing of writing every day, getting your work published, the need of an agent, the different types of fantasy and science fiction, writing dialogue, etc. etc. etc. A lot of the book was showing her personal experiences as a writer, which I found helpful because I like to be shown an example rather than be just told how to do it. I learn better that way. :) She interviewed several wr This was the first writing guide I had ever read. There were SO many pointers that I found helpful - such as the stressing of writing every day, getting your work published, the need of an agent, the different types of fantasy and science fiction, writing dialogue, etc. etc. etc. A lot of the book was showing her personal experiences as a writer, which I found helpful because I like to be shown an example rather than be just told how to do it. I learn better that way. :) She interviewed several writers and editors, which helped me see a bit more of what my experience might be like with an editor. Overall, I think this book is very good for anyone, who is beginner in the fantasy and/or science fiction writing field. One point that I would like to make is that the the author's example of an omniscient author wasn't exactly the most appropriate - on pp. 83 and 85, I think. I think this book is best for a teen and adult audience. My rating: 8 out 10

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)

    Utterly fantastic. Yes, I knew most of it already from being an avid reader of the genre/s and from reading other books on writing, yet Tuttle backed up her statements far better, and the eloquence was astounding. So many arts are easily sharable, explained things that have only been half-explained or shared before, and really connected and assured me as someone who's attempting to write. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to write fantasy and/or science fiction, because wow. I've r Utterly fantastic. Yes, I knew most of it already from being an avid reader of the genre/s and from reading other books on writing, yet Tuttle backed up her statements far better, and the eloquence was astounding. So many arts are easily sharable, explained things that have only been half-explained or shared before, and really connected and assured me as someone who's attempting to write. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to write fantasy and/or science fiction, because wow. I've read a dozen or more books on writing and this is the best by far - just as helpful as Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Lynne Truss) is for grammar.

  7. 5 out of 5

    بيسان رجوب

    قرأت أول مئة صفحة وتصفحت الباقي ، أخذت فكرة عامة عن عالم الفانتازيا والخيال العلمي. لا يهمني كثيرا ولكن جذبني الكتاب لقراءة بعض الروايات او مشاهدة أفلام تنتمي لهذين العالمين.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    If this is the first time you've thought about writing speculative fiction, this is the book for you. Otherwise, this is a tremendously basic primer. If this is the first time you've thought about writing speculative fiction, this is the book for you. Otherwise, this is a tremendously basic primer.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A lot of the advice in this book is helpful no matter what genre you are writing. Equally, there are aspects that will be particularly useful to sci-fi and fantasy writers - for example, the section where the author sets out definitions and examples of some of the many sub-genres, which can seem bewildering at first if you're a newcomer to genre fiction. Some of it is basic common sense - like checking that your character names don't have embarrassing meanings in other languages! There are also A lot of the advice in this book is helpful no matter what genre you are writing. Equally, there are aspects that will be particularly useful to sci-fi and fantasy writers - for example, the section where the author sets out definitions and examples of some of the many sub-genres, which can seem bewildering at first if you're a newcomer to genre fiction. Some of it is basic common sense - like checking that your character names don't have embarrassing meanings in other languages! There are also sections on finding an agent, writing for magazines etc - although given that this edition of the book is from 2005, there is the danger that such information is out of date. Self-publishing is not mentioned and I don't think e-books were around back then either. But the basic advice is sound and I like the fact that the author includes examples of her own processes for producing certain works - but at the same time acknowledges that we will all have our own approach.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Chapters 2 to 6 are most useful for new fantasy writers looking for a solid introduction if you are really unsure where to start. I'm happy to keep this novel on the side when I get lost in the writing process and need to get back on track and remember what I am supposed to be doing. I appreciated the advice from the editors even though I disagreed with some of their opinions. The book was first published in 2001 and the second edition in 2005, and so it often refers to OLD books which I find fr Chapters 2 to 6 are most useful for new fantasy writers looking for a solid introduction if you are really unsure where to start. I'm happy to keep this novel on the side when I get lost in the writing process and need to get back on track and remember what I am supposed to be doing. I appreciated the advice from the editors even though I disagreed with some of their opinions. The book was first published in 2001 and the second edition in 2005, and so it often refers to OLD books which I find frustrating because I do not relate to these writers and the ideas they have in their books. So if you are looking for a guide that refers to more modern texts maybe try something else.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maegan Boyle

    Plenty of quality information and advice for writers of F&SF during all stages of their writing; from first drafts, to editing, to approaching agents/publishers - as well advice from multiple publishers, which I felt were insightful. I also found the last few pages in regards to the communication between Lisa Tuttle and George R. R. Martin in regards to their collaboration for their novella 'The Storms of Windhaven' interesting. All in all, a good read. Would recommend to any writer of F&SF. Plenty of quality information and advice for writers of F&SF during all stages of their writing; from first drafts, to editing, to approaching agents/publishers - as well advice from multiple publishers, which I felt were insightful. I also found the last few pages in regards to the communication between Lisa Tuttle and George R. R. Martin in regards to their collaboration for their novella 'The Storms of Windhaven' interesting. All in all, a good read. Would recommend to any writer of F&SF.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    Most of this stuff I already knew from other writers' interviews or books. And if you read a lot of books about writing you won't find anything new here. But if this is your first book about writing in general, this would be a good introduction. Most of this stuff I already knew from other writers' interviews or books. And if you read a lot of books about writing you won't find anything new here. But if this is your first book about writing in general, this would be a good introduction.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jc

    A great read. I got lots of ideas and information about pursuing this type of writing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    I didn't read the last section and skimmed through some sections like the one on writing short stories and children's literature but overall a good book on the genre. I didn't read the last section and skimmed through some sections like the one on writing short stories and children's literature but overall a good book on the genre.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    A great guide to writing fantasy and SF and about being a writer in general. Full of real-world advice, and helpful hints this guide is up there among the best writing guides I've ever read. A great guide to writing fantasy and SF and about being a writer in general. Full of real-world advice, and helpful hints this guide is up there among the best writing guides I've ever read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Airaology

    From types of science fiction to types of fantasy, this book is handy to reference and learn. Like, I didn't know the difference between epic or high fantasy and dark fantasy and dynastic fantasy and it explains clearly. From types of science fiction to types of fantasy, this book is handy to reference and learn. Like, I didn't know the difference between epic or high fantasy and dark fantasy and dynastic fantasy and it explains clearly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    As I've been reading books about writing lately, I'm discovering that most of them are bland repetitions of the same old same old. This book is no exception. When it comes to SFF, though, there aren't a lot of writing books out there. So far this is the best SFF writing book I've come across. (Jerry Cleaver's Immediate Fiction has been my favorite writing book so far, but he zeroes in on some of the most essential elements--namely conflict and its related elements--and nearly ignores everything e As I've been reading books about writing lately, I'm discovering that most of them are bland repetitions of the same old same old. This book is no exception. When it comes to SFF, though, there aren't a lot of writing books out there. So far this is the best SFF writing book I've come across. (Jerry Cleaver's Immediate Fiction has been my favorite writing book so far, but he zeroes in on some of the most essential elements--namely conflict and its related elements--and nearly ignores everything else.) While most of the book is fairly bland and superficial, as I said, there were a few things that were relatively unique. She summarizes the subcategories of SFF. For many who are more hardcore about SFF or fandom than I am, this will be old news... but for me it was enlightening in some cases... of course I knew what Urban Fantasy was, but I was not sure what High Fantasy is and how it was different from general fantasy... that sort of thing. I think her best contribution comes from her chapters on short stories, and interviews with publishers (both magazine and publishing houses, IIRC). Her writing voice is somewhat funny and light. It's personal and comes with personal judgements and biases, but overall she's relatively less judgemental than other "let me tell you about writing" authors I've read or flipped through. That's a pet peeve of mine--if I'm a dullard that can't write, and I don't already know that, some hectoring author isn't going to clue me in; and if I can write, then I don't need the hectoring. LT avoids that trap. Also a useful bibliography.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    I didn't learn anything from this book. I was hoping for something that didn't just describe fantasy and science fiction, and then give the general tips all writers are given, but went into it a bit deeper -- saw something I didn't see, at least. But everything in this book was what I already knew from being an avid reader of the genre. A lot of it was just description, or stating the obvious. In some cases it wasn't so much a "writing handbook", which it's supposed to be according to the cover, I didn't learn anything from this book. I was hoping for something that didn't just describe fantasy and science fiction, and then give the general tips all writers are given, but went into it a bit deeper -- saw something I didn't see, at least. But everything in this book was what I already knew from being an avid reader of the genre. A lot of it was just description, or stating the obvious. In some cases it wasn't so much a "writing handbook", which it's supposed to be according to the cover, but a reflection of her personal experiences in the genre. All well and good, but not what I signed up for. The last chapter in its entirety is about her experiences in collaborating with another author, complete with excerpts from their letters to each other. The only reason I've found to recommend it is that if you have no idea what you're getting into, both with fantasy/SF and writing, then it's as good an introduction as any.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Annemarie Slee

    Nothing new, you can read this in any book on writing advice (chapters on Structuring, Plotting and Rewriting). The chapter on World Building is interesting though. "Landscape, in both SF and fantasy, is more than just a background; it plays a role equivalent to that of a major character... Discovering and describing your background is as essential as the plot - usually, world-building is an inextricable part of the story, and the two tasks will go hand-in-hand." Ok, gotta go now... have to creat Nothing new, you can read this in any book on writing advice (chapters on Structuring, Plotting and Rewriting). The chapter on World Building is interesting though. "Landscape, in both SF and fantasy, is more than just a background; it plays a role equivalent to that of a major character... Discovering and describing your background is as essential as the plot - usually, world-building is an inextricable part of the story, and the two tasks will go hand-in-hand." Ok, gotta go now... have to create a few worlds!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Geoff Lynas

    There are 100's of 'how to' books out there, written by theorists and academics, that cover a lot of what this book discusses. Lisa Tuttle though is a successful author and this is her take on the basics, plus more focussed F&SF advice, so it has credibility. A far more stimulating experience than my last read - The Wonderbook. There are 100's of 'how to' books out there, written by theorists and academics, that cover a lot of what this book discusses. Lisa Tuttle though is a successful author and this is her take on the basics, plus more focussed F&SF advice, so it has credibility. A far more stimulating experience than my last read - The Wonderbook.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gary Ross-Jordan

    This was good for listing out what genres there are and how manuscripts might fit into areas but in terms of an aid to writing I didn't find it that useful. This was good for listing out what genres there are and how manuscripts might fit into areas but in terms of an aid to writing I didn't find it that useful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mafalda Fernandes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Brigham-Ward

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beenee Reads

  27. 5 out of 5

    Toby

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carla M. Erling

  29. 5 out of 5

    C.H. Svedén

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ssila Junior

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