Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life


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What It Means To Be a Science Fiction Writer in the Early 21st Century

I believe that science fiction’s best days are ahead of it, because I have read a lot of science fiction.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: io9.gizmodo.com

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Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity: 14 Agents Seeking Science Fiction

Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity: 14 Agents Seeking Science Fiction https://t.co/0gLlYaFGv6

Sourced through Scoop.it from: publishedtodeath.blogspot.com

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6 Ways To Make SciFi And Fantasy Weapons More Believable

Ever read a fantasy book or watched a science fiction movie and struggled to suspend your disbelief due to the total lack of reality in some make 

6 ways to make SciFi and Fantasy Weapons more believable 


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Genre Snobbery Is a ‘Bizarre Act of Self-Mutilation’

In the latest episode of ‘Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ author David Mitchell discusses how ridiculous it is for people to write off fantasy and sci-fi.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.wired.com

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20 Great Infodumps From Science Fiction Novels

A truly great infodump is a work of art. The best science fiction authors can brief you on everything you need to know about their worlds, without making you feel lectured. Here are 20 great examples of the smooth infodump.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: io9.com

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10 Writing “Rules” We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break

Science fiction and fantasy are genres where almost anything can happen — as long as the author can make it seem plausible, and as long as it’s part of a good story. But that doesn’t mean there are no rules.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: io9.com

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Separating literary and genre fiction is act of ‘self-mutilation’

Separating literary and genre fiction is act of ‘self-mutilation’

By David Barnett

“Author David Mitchell has let loose the latest salvo in the perennial “literary vs genre” war by saying that those who dismiss fantasy and science fiction are committing a “bizarre act of self-mutilation”.

Mitchell is one of the handful of authors with a foot in both camps. He’s beloved of the literary establishment, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize twice, and longlisted on a further three occasions. On the other hand, on Sunday he lifted the best novel trophy in the World Fantasy awards for his 2014 novel Bone Clocks, and his latest book, The Slade House, is an unabashed haunted house story.

Interviewed by Wired for a podcast put online just ahead of the World Fantasy convention where the awards were announced, Mitchell spoke about his fantasy and SF reading roots…”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theguardian.com

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Why speculative fiction may be the best way to depict reality

Why speculative fiction may be the best way to depict reality: The form exposes society and our lives in places that realistic fiction can’t touch.

By Shweta Taneja

“In 2001, while receiving the Carnegie Medal for his children’s book The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, author Terry Pratchett said, “We categorise too much on the basis of unreliable assumption. A literary novel written by Brian Aldiss must be science fiction, because he is a known science fiction writer; a science fiction novel by Margaret Attwood is literature because she is a literary novelist. Recent Discworld books have spun on such concerns as the nature of belief, politics and even of journalistic freedom, but put in one lousy dragon and they call you a fantasy writer.”

Pratchett was England’s most popular author in the 1990s (before yet another fantasy author took over with her saga of a boy who knew magic), having sold over 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages. The Amazing Maurice is the tale of a cat and a group of rats fighting monsters and two-legged humans in a quest for their survival, and defies any categories – be it a metaphor, a children’s book or even a fantasy fiction.

For most of us, it’s the dragons who breathe fire, immortal vampires with icy smooches and marble skins, and werewolves and robots and faeries and artificial intelligence who want to take over the world – these are the things that take us back again and again to the speculative genre. We live in these make-believe worlds, we see them through the dragon’s eyes, through the wizard’s adventure, through the superhero’s flight in the sky. For those few hours a day, swashbucklers we, slay with our Valyrian swords, dashing away from the Nazgul, and facing the worst tormentors by becoming Jedi masters. For fantasy, be it in gaming or books or movies, is perceived by the majority as escapism and a desire to live in alternate realities…”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: scroll.in

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Speculative Fiction Subgenres

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By Jill Williamson

“Speculative fiction is a term that encompasses a wide variety of “weird” fiction genres. It is the supergenre of everything that falls under Science Fiction and Fantasy. Where all types of fiction tell a story of a hypothetical situation, speculative fiction often tells a story that takes place in a hypothetical storyworld that is different from our own. Speculative fiction can take place on earth but often takes place in other worlds envisioned by the author. Here is a list of all the subgenres I could think of..”


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The Speculative Fiction Writer’s Dilemma: Inventing Sci-Fi and Fantasy Names

http://sdmcphail.com/2015/10/26/the-speculative-fiction-writers-dilemma-inventing-sci-fi-and-fantasy-names/

By S.D. McPhail

“Writers of fiction have a difficult job. We must invent an entertaining story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. As if that isn’t enough, we must populate that story with interesting characters. To top it off, all those characters must be named. You can’t simply call the characters in a novel Hero, Love Interest, Sidekick, Comic, Villain, Distraction, Redshirt 1, Redshirt 2, Antagonist, Sage, or any other generic archetypal label, even if that’s what they are. Imagine how boring—how unimaginative—a story would be using only labels and not names…”

S.D. McPhail

Writers of fiction have a difficult job. We must invent an entertaining story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. As if that isn’t enough, we must populate that story with interesting characters. To top it off, all those characters must be named. You can’t simply call the characters in a novel Hero, Love Interest, Sidekick, Comic, Villain, Distraction, Redshirt 1, Redshirt 2, Antagonist, Sage, or any other generic archetypal label, even if that’s what they are. Imagine how boring—how unimaginative—a story would be using only labels and not names.

fantasyCitySmallNow, for writers whose stories take place in the real world, whether contemporary or historical, names are pretty easy. Finding just the right moniker for each character in your story may require a little research, but there are online sources to look up common names from most any era or language. Find some that you like, then…

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Back to the Future: Writing Honest Science Fiction

Back to the Future

“If you own a TV or have access to the internet, you’ve probably already heard that today is “Future Day” – the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to from 1985 in “Back to the Future: Part II”. The film depicted a future wildly different from today’s reality – hoverboards instead of skateboards, flying cars (and white vans), and peculiar fashions that never quite made it.

As the world celebrates this fun adventure trilogy of films, which are some of my childhood favourites, there’s plenty of opportunity to see how the fictional future of BttF2 stacks up against real-life 2015…”