Science Fiction: 101: Exploring the Craft of Science Fiction

Science Fiction: 101: Exploring the Craft of Science Fiction

Language: English

Pages: 512

ISBN: 0451466764

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Before Robert Silverberg won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards and became Grand Master of science fiction, he was a young man learning the art and craft of writing the genre. In Science Fiction: 101, Silverberg reveals the roots of modern science fiction with thought-provoking essays about some of the field’s most groundbreaking stories—included in this volume—which inspired him and taught him to write. These insightful analyses, along with the skills and strategies Silverberg developed to build his successful career, make this an indispensable volume for readers interested in science fiction history. 
Featuring Thirteen Classic Stories by Brian W. Aldiss, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Philip K. Dick, Damon Knight, C. M. Kornbluth, Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore, Frederik Pohl, Bob Shaw, Robert Sheckley, Cordwainer Smith, and Jack Vance

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is that Odysseus wants to get home to his wife, runs into all sorts of problems during the voyage, and is rewarded in the end by his discovery of her constancy—but Burke’s version, because it identifies the components with one-word tags, seems to me the most basic. Purpose. Easy enough. The main character has a goal in mind. Odysseus wants to get home; Hamlet wants to know who murdered his father; Raskolnikov wants to demonstrate his innate superiority by knocking off a nasty old pawnbroker and

minor sensation could not keep the attention of most of the scanners from the worry about the top emergency. One young man, who had scanned his first transit just the year before, dramatically interposed himself between Parizianski and Martel. He dramatically flashed his tablet at them: Is Vmct mad? The older men shook their heads. Martel, remembering that it had not been too long that the young man had been haberman, mitigated the dead solemnity of the denial with a friendly smile. He spoke in

supply that even physicians and physicists would have to be drawn from the ranks of the lumpenproletariat. Of course, a moronic doctor would be a danger to his patients; and so he would have to be supplied with medical instruments that would do most of the thinking for him. The “little black bag” of the story is Kornbluth’s brilliantly inventive solution to the problem: a portable kit of self-governing devices with which almost any dimwit could perform miracles beyond the comprehension of

could speak to their unborn descendants. Complex business transactions could be recorded to guard against later challenge. And so on and so on. Many such ideas, and others besides, must have occurred to Bob Shaw as he began to sketch out what would become “Light of Other Days,” and he set some of them aside for use in later stories. But for the very first slow-glass story he wisely chose a simple and compelling human situation: the power of slow glass to recapture for us a moment of the past that

Kuttner must show us the disintegration of Bellamy’s moment of triumphant ecstasy, and he does it in one quick paragraph of wild paranoid leaps: The bronze doors are beginning to open. But there’ll be no one outside. I can’t be sure yet, but I know it. I’m certain of it. The fear that never leaves a Hunter, except in his last and greatest Triumph, is with me now. Suppose, while I stalked Griswold tonight, some other Hunter has lain in wait for bigger game? Suppose someone has taken old Murdoch’s

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