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for Writing Speculative Fiction: A Nerd's Guide

8/13/2005 c12 Arkash
Now that you dissed almost all types of aliens, it will be hart to come up with something genuine. Check out my Medysta/Prodysta in "Quest and Wrath" I like to think they're unique.

I agree that there are some awful stand-ins in stories.

After reading this, I will pay even more attention to my cadre of aliens. I love to create different species, so I will not stop.

Good piece, I hope certain writers read this and take a look at their aliens.*_*
8/9/2005 c1 3Imperator Magnus

I thought that this series was informative and very approachable by individuals new to the field; however, I found your analysis lacking in some areas.

Could you eventually go over in-depth analysis of the character's setting? Some information is provided, but there are countless exercises and criteria that potential authors can use.

But, other than that small sticking point, I thought that this was a comprehensive and easily readable guide. It listed cliches and commonly used literary devices, and, unlike others whom have tried to write guides, you provide examples and ways to fix these overtried devices.

Good work and continue helping those whom need it!
7/28/2005 c2 7Alankria

An interesting idea you've got going here, though the Robbie thing has cliches of its own. But I understand what you were going for there. My internet's on the fritz at the moment so I'll read more of this soon. I skimmed through your story list and you have some interesting story ideas. When I have better internet when I'm back in London in September I'll check them out ... And that's London, UK. I think the Americans have a London. Copycats.

I totally understand what you're attacking and hopeing to change with this. I go through the scifi section and it's all the damned same story. So I've moved onto crime stories. It's why I'm looking forward to Alnitak's story coming out. Btw, if you want a good scifi story that's *really* original, go to your bookstore and get C. Friedman's 'This Alien Shore'. It is so good. And read Dan Simmons' 'Hyperion' as well. Also amazing.

I write a bit of scifi myself, though not at the moment. My main scifi idea (which has the sucky name of 'Rebel Heart', which is definitely changing) isn't worth looking at right now. I need to cut out pretty much everything that's shown up on the site, as it's not the core plot and I think it's too much of something else at the beginning of the story. So don't check that out.

If you do fancy checking out something of mine and don't mind it not being scifi, could you check out my story 'One Finger on the Trigger'. It's the one story I've ever finished and my mission for this summer is to rewrite (I wrote it when I was 14 and the original is appalling). I'm posting it on FP as I rewrite and I really need some feedback. I think I've got all the typos pointed out now but if there are any plot faults please point them out. Also, Alnitak says you have lots of weapon knowledge. The few times weapons come into the story, could you check I'm not saying really dumb stuff. I don't want to go technical but I don't want to look like an eejit either.

Just to reassure you, it's not romance or anything like that. It's a mixture between crime and thriller.

7/26/2005 c21 35Scraper
I have missed so much already! I havent been able to go on the internet because high school is piling impossible amounts of homework on us. I shall try to find more time to write, however, I dont think I would be able to produce more than just a few chapters per month.

Like always, your essays are well thought of and take good care to attack every detail of the sci-fi genre and point them out to the readers. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on horror and vampires, merely because that one struck some pretty hard blows on me since I am guilty of some of the cliches mentioned there. But I write as a vent for my emotions and cooped up musings, so I really dont mind the similarities between certain literary elements. (The first chapter for Waiting for Hell for example, was first written when I felt particularly crappy with a friend of mine).

I also like your mention of the martial arts and the way Japanese names are overused for character stereotypes. I have always despised that one. Oh yes, you failed to mention that here in fictionpress, there are barely ANY vampire person in third person narrative! It had always been in first person, and frankly I have only seen three stories that dont tell the story from either the vampire's or its victim's point of view.

Good mention on Arnis, I am a practioner of that particular art (At beginners level only though).

Also, I was flattered that my story had a mention in one of the chapters. Thank you for that. Oh, and please dont think that I have forgotten about the Platform Anthology because I haven't. It's just that I had no time eversince school started.
7/24/2005 c18 12Cam S
I think you're being slightly unfair to Mage: The Ascension. The point isn't to reject science, it's to reject banality. Think about it, White Wolf included the Sons of Ether and the Virtual Adepts, as well as House Thig (part of the Order of Hermes). The point isn't that "Science is bad! Faith Healing is good!" In game terms, Nicola Tesla would have been a Son of Ether. Besides, the Technocracy isn't a coroporation; think more like the Illuminati.
7/17/2005 c20 Appreciative Reader
Hi. I've been reading your wonderful column for quite a while, and agree with most of what you've said so far. However, I find that I need to offer a correction regarding your definition of Muay Thai, also called Thai Boxing. Muay Thai is not a form of grappling, but a form of kickboxing. (Not to be confused with the American-Japanese version of kickboxing). All of the moves in Muay Thai involve staying on one's feet, rather than on the ground. The only thing that could be considered 'wrestling' in Muay Thai is the clinch, where the boxer grabs his/her opponent by the neck and executes knee strikes to the body.
7/16/2005 c1 sdlfsjlfsdl
"2) I am bored and have no social life, plus lots of free time."

You should find a better way to spend all that free time than making lists, which are specifically prohibited by FictionPress. Funny work but not appropriate for this site.
7/16/2005 c20 Mbwun
Good chapter, but you're wrong on one point: Equilibrium and the gun katas were fucking awesome. :)

~He Who Walks On All Fours
7/12/2005 c19 Le Creature
I think you slightly misunderstood memetics. Memetics is, like genetics, merely a method of understanding natural phenomenon. Memetics, admittedly, don't "exist" in the same sense as genes, or at least not in the same form. While perhaps memes can be controlled, memes are inherently altered or spread whenever one person communicates with another. Genetic structures don't just change when scientists modify them; people have a part in genetics, too.
7/11/2005 c18 Saint Iwan
Heh heh...I'm not exactly a new-ageist myself, although I'd like to think of myself as a fan of them. However, I can see your viewpoint as the all-powerful scientist polluter you are (just kidding :P). I'm a huge fan of things such as cabbalism, Druidism etc but I can see where you're coming from.
7/11/2005 c18 8Zygnus Windell
Perhaps you should write a seperate essay on New Age? Might be interesting.

diseases are paranormal,” and only “desiring it to go away will alter the currents of your reality to do it.” Faith healing by any other name.

L. Ron's a big fan of that one.
7/7/2005 c17 Some Guy
You seem to have really over estimated Quantum computers there, mate. Quantum computers can do nothing as much as you say they merely act like a regular computer on a much smaller scale. The reason the the Quantum computer is so much faster is because it can hold more information with no margin of error- it is simply one atom (usually Flourine) that exists in one of four states- 1,0, both a 1 and a 0 or as a state between. Quantum computers exist already, and the only reason I'm not using one right now is because with technology existing today, Quantum computers are only up to the 7-bit level of computing that cannont handle complex equations. Really Quantum computers are just infinitely faster computers.

And, as someone metioned before, the brain does not use "11-13" of it's power. At any given time, your brain is only using about 10% of it's power, but that is because it is using different parts for different things.You need al of your brain to think normally. The brain is actually more efficient- it utilises many seperate parts for different things rather than trying to do everthing with one 'processor' like a computer. Actually, in thinking about it, the computer analogy is not really suited to the human brain, because it operates in entirely different ways.
7/7/2005 c14 Some Guy
Wormholes are even sketchier than near light acceleration. A theory known as Zero Point energy says that there is a way to avoid the G-forces of this acceleration by harnessing the energy present in the universe that supplies inertia, and by using Zero point technology, removing it from an area, thus preventing or limiting the g-force on someone or something.

This theory may be highly theoretical but it is more based in fact than wormholes.
7/7/2005 c13 Some Guy
"-People collect in ethnic pockets and have planets dominated specifically to certain ethnic groups."

This would really happen, and happens today. I believe the technical term is "Spatial Inequality" where class and other factors force a group of people to live in a certain area. Due to the racism still present in todays society, one of those factors may be race.
7/7/2005 c11 Some Guy
the "Rail" guns you mention that use electro magnetic forces to fire bullets is also an Australian invention, and works slightly different to the way you have described. The name for it that the inventor used, I believe, was the Electrostatic cannon. It actually fires stacked metal cones that would hit in the same place so fast that it could easily pierce armour on a tank.

Another thing is 'gravitic' weapons- they usually don't work by creating a false mass but by changing or adding gravity fields to distort the area, in at least the majority of scientific theory I've read and come to understand on my own.
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