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SF Glossary

2002-04-19 20:30:23+00 by TC 2 comments

A Glossary of Terms for critiquing Science Fiction. I'd like to add a few like it was better than cats or sucks asteroids through capillary tubes but in general seems to cover a wide spectrum of expression.

[ related topics: Astronomy Writing ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-04-20 00:55:18+00 by: meuon

It's a great read, and a long list why one of the things I can not 'DIY' is SciFi, or for that matter any creative writing longer than one page. As I read the bad examples vs good examples I also realized that good writing is transparent, it just works. Bad writing, especially full of the writing cliches listed, stands out.

#Comment made: 2002-04-20 15:50:36+00 by: Nicholas Urfe

I count thirteen out of that list that have any specific bearing on SF; some quite vital if not terribly obvious concepts, like Caesar's palmtop and the Sorcerer's mop (always a problem on Trek). But most of the rest are just tips or terms on writing genre fiction in general--so many of them seem to come from mysteries, say (maid and butler dialogue) or--oddly--seem to be inappropriate borrowings from film and television (because we must show and not tell, yes, yes). There is some attention paid to the mechanics of actually constructing prose, and thinking critically about SF in general, but not too terribly much (and Strunk and White have yet to relinquish their death-grip on the minds of our writers and editors, I see). And most of the structural concerns brought up will help you in writing a pretty standard genre short--an admirable goal, to be sure--but little else.

But! Still. An interesting list, and link.