Since 1997, you’ve been coming to to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
0 Kudos

Putting It All Together: The One Thing

If you had to pinpoint only one thing, in all the aspects of writing SF, that helps to create a strong SF story and a strong sense of wonder, what would that thing be?

Reply to this message to discuss this topic.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 147
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Putting It All Together: The One Thing

The idea. That's what brings me back to certain writers and to certain stories. Usually I rephrase it as "what would happen if...?" Or, "OK. So, what if...?" The One Thing is generally what emerges from several other things being atom-smashed together.

Ok, so what would happen if, instead of just another android, it was a detective. And it's partner hated androids and was agoraphobic.

Ok, so what would happen if you were the one who discovered the number zero.

The idea.
#Play tasty!#
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Putting It All Together: The One Thing

I think the creating the sense of wonder means getting the reader to see things in a different, novel way. Sometimes that means taking the world and showing it in a different way, the way John Brunner created a novel setting out of invented newsclips, advertisements, and video scripts, the way he did in _Stand on Zanzibar_.

Or creating a new twist on a familiar future the way Phillip K. Dick did in _The Man in the High Castle_, or William Gibson's _Neuromancer_, both of which depict an America on the decline while other nations and cultures around it are on the rise.

Or creating a novel environment, the way that Frank Herbert did with the planet Arrakis, known as "Dune," a desert planet with a unique and mysterious desert planet and a desert people trained for an unusual destiny.

These stories used ideas that had been thought of before. But they each used an unusual, creative "twist" to make their ideas novel and unusual, and thus fascinating to us.
Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
Users Online
Currently online: 74 members 235 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: