Sci Fi Writing Advice?

Hi. Would anyone care to share a link or book on science fiction writing that contained useful tips? For a beginner?

Also, does anyone have opinions on story types that Analog, Lightspeed, Asimov, Clarkesworld prefer? Yes, I’ve read their writer’s submission pages but I was wondering if anyone could share impressions on these publications. Thanks!

Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction
By Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake

I used this for a class I took via Writer’s Digest.

It’s not a book, but the podcast “Writing Excuses” (Featuring Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and more recently added Maurice Broaddus, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar, and Valynne E. Maetani) has been helpful to me. They (Sanderson, Kowal, Wells, and Tayler) also published “Shadows Beneath”, a collection of 4 short stories+transcripts of writing group discussions about those stories, a first draft, a “diff” between that and the finished draft, and a bit from each author about their process.

I can advise to read the book “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card. It`s paper book, but very good and explains clearly different tips for writing.
I also read “Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy” by Crawford Kilian that is quite short but useful enough. You can find it in the pdf.

Lord Lightning, a contributor to this board, posted a useful encapsulation a few years ago.

It should be here:

One thing I didn’t think to say last time is that you should read the publications you plan to submit to, if the list is small and you want to submit to the most suitable publications. Obviously, if you’re casting your net wide, that may not be feasible, but you only listed a handful, so checking out a recent issue or two each would help a lot more than the general impressions of strangers on the internet could.

You might try Brandon Sanderson’s youtube lectures

Also I recommend a forum called Absolute Write, which has a sub forum for SF; lots of other advice available there, too.

fiction succeeds for one thing, give it a logical explanation of reality

How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy, & Science Fiction, edited by J. N. Williamson. It has chapters written by everyone from the aforementioned Mr. Card to Dean Koontz to Robert Bloch to Ray Bradbury. Their essays cover the whole of SF writing and its sister fields, providing guidance on all the mechanics. Plus, the book ends with lists and lists of “further reading” books and stories for additional inspiration.

It’s my go-to book. One of 'em, anyway.


Hello, check medium or reddit for similar tips, there are lots of topical discussions.