Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Why Sci-Fi Writers Fail

Posted by | Filed under Science Fiction | Sep 30, 2015 | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Each magazine or publishing house has its own character, so reading and studying their published magazines and books beforehand is essential to having a story or book accepted–or even read–by an editor.

hssFor example, a light-hearted whimsical romp won’t likely fit in Analog magazine, which publishes serious hardcore sci-fi stories with the proper science and engineering background fully exploited and realized. Fantasy & Science Fiction might not prefer such a story either, but wouldn’t necessarily balk at one featuring both robots and ghosts, or even the ghost of a robot. Asimov’s Science Fiction is known for its more literary approach, and Talebones for the dark spin on its stories. There are many other science fiction outlets, mostly low-paying, but all good places to start and to learn about marketing. Be sure you make a thorough study of the different categories.

Unfortunately, every science fiction editor can testify that neophytes eagerly submit stories in which the lone survivors of a spaceship crash are revealed to be Adam and Eve.

Such cliches

Arthur C. Clarke: Sci-Fi Stud

Posted by | Filed under Science Fiction, The Cosmos | Sep 22, 2015 | Tags: , | No Comments

At the close of the war, the scientists who had built and launched Nazi Germany’s V-2 ballistic missiles immigrated to the Soviet Union and the United States. Amid the gypsum desert of White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico, they worked with their American counterparts to rebuild and relaunch these rockets. The British knew firsthand the destructive power of rockets in war as the V-2s bombarded London; rocket power, as demonstrated by the German V-2s, was becoming a major new force. In 1952 Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto, who worked at that time at White Sands, got Clarke access to the site and talked with him about rocketry’s potential.

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Clarke saw the promise of space travel, but he also understood that governments would be loath to embrace it unless a practical use could be found. In October 1945 Wireless World published his article “Extraterrestrial Relays,” which laid down the principle of geostationary satellites. Three communications satellites, positioned 120[degrees] apart in a geostationary orbit, or “Clarke orbit,” as some now

L’Sprague De Camp: Iconoclast!

Posted by | Filed under Characters, Science Fiction | Sep 12, 2015 | Tags: , | No Comments

De Camp, a native of New York City, was one of the leading early figures in science fiction, getting his start in the 1930s and 1940s at the same time as colleagues such as Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Lester del Rey, and Frederik Pohl. John W. Campbell, the influential editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, pointed to de Camp’s stories as an example of the kind of science fiction he was looking for.

They were based on imaginative but careful and reasonable extrapolation from contemporary science. De Camp was known for his erudition (especially about history), scientific accuracy; polished writing, and “swashbuckling” style.

decmAlthough best known as a fiction writer, de Camp was a meticulous researcher who brought his interests in science, history, and archaeology and his background as an engineer (B.S. in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1930; masters from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1933) to his nonfiction works. During World War II, de Camp, Heinlein, and Asimov independently worked on research projects at

Who The Heck Are Animorphs?

Posted by | Filed under Science Fiction | Aug 30, 2015 | Tags: , | 2 Comments

There’s a scene at the end of an early episode of The X-Files TV series in which Agent Mulder says, “They’re here, aren’t they?” And the mysterious informant (a government insider most likely, though we aren’t told for sure) responds over his shoulder as he turns to walk away, “Mr. Mulder, they’ve been here for a long, long time.”

Personally, I don’t have any idea whether they’re here or not. My question is, why have we become so fascinated by THEM in the past few years?

The extraterrestrials-among-us craze began even before the fiftieth anniversary of the Roswell Incident last July, when the alien autopsy became a hot topic of conversation again. The X-Files and movies like Independence Day already had viewers glued to the screen (when they weren’t outside scanning the sky for suspicious weather balloons). Then children’s booksellers around the country began receiving cryptic messages from Scholastic: “The Yeerks are among us” and “Animorphs have invaded this store” and “Step inside a morph. It’ll change your world.”

Call …

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