Amazing Books vs Good Books: What Makes a Fantasy or Sci-fi Novel Great?

Most of us could probably list a few fantasy or science fiction books we’d dub amazing, or add to our all-time favourites list. These are books that hook us, keep us drawn tight with suspense or fascination or wonder, tear us through to their endings, then leave us either in a state of catatonic awe, overflowing with enthusiasm or simply scrambling to get our hands on the next one in the series. If we’re lucky, these books come along often, and remind us how wonderful the experience of reading can be.

By the same token, we have probably all read a few good books too: Continue reading

Great Books About Writing

About four or so years ago, I read a large number of “how to” books about creative writing. I read them because I was a new writer wanting to hone my craft, but also because I was writing my master’s thesis at the time. It involved analysing existing writing advice about world-building… in short, seeing what other writers had to say about inventing and describing fictional settings. Some of the books I read were very useful, others not so much.

Continue reading