By Philip Athans
Adams Media, $14.95, 244 pages
Have you ever read a well-told epic fantasy or science fiction novel and thought to yourself, “I want to write something like that”? The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction will make that possible. Author Philip Athans narrates his work for an audience from that perspective: the initial desire to write a fantasy or science fiction novel and nothing else. He gently breaks down the different categories and subgenres of fantasy and science fiction, explaining the distinctions and mechanics of writing this type of novel in sagaciously simple vernacular that even the most tried low-attention-spanned individual can handle. This book is not about writing in general, such as sentence structure, proper grammar or punctuation. It is about the world of writing with imagination and asking the what-if questions of ourselves manipulating reality. Athans takes a story idea and shapes it into a novel as an example and exercise used to illustrate his points. Introduction and original story written by author R.A. Salvatore, Athans solicits the guidance from other well-known fantasy and science fiction writers as well. The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction is definitely a must-have implement in this type of writer’s tool chest.