Sunday, March 30, 2014

Highlights from Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy by Crawford Killian ~ Part III

“When you’re tempted to write about a dream come true, be sure that the dream turns into a nightmare as quickly as possible” (Killian 26).

“Kurt Vonnegut observes that only teenagers and SF writers think about the Big Issues like the meaning of life and the fate of the universe; the rest of us are too busy saving for retirement and fighting traffic to reflect on those issues” (Killian 34).

“You don’t have to invent your own languages, but your use of language should be very conscious. If your story portrays an oppressive bureaucracy, let us hear the bureaucrats mumbling in euphemisms and bafflegab while you’re hero speaks plain, blunt English” (Killian 37).

“At the same time we realize that both genres are really about the here and now, not some magical realm or the far future […] Given the current pace of events, however, it’s hard to find a ‘present’ that isn’t ancient history by the time we’ve dealt with it in print” (Killian 40).

“However you organize your fantasy world, then, make it as gritty and real and ordinary as you can; the more ordinary it is, even in its marvels, the more marvelous your readers will find it” (Killian 48).

“Establish the setting – where and when the story takes place. […] make this clear without a lot of chunky exposition. You’ll show it to us through the eyes of one or more of your characters, who will usually take their surroundings for granted” (Killian 71).


Kilian, Crawford. Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. U.S.A.: Self-Counsel, 1998. Print.

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