Putting the Science in Fiction

Putting the Science in Fiction : Expert Advice for Writing with Authenticity in Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Other Genres

4.43 (113 ratings by Goodreads)
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Science and technology have starring roles in a wide range of genres--science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of technical subjects in literature, film, and television are pure fiction. A basic understanding of biology, physics, engineering, and medicine will help you create more realistic stories that satisfy discerning readers.

This book brings together scientists, physicians, engineers, and other experts to help you:

Understand the basic principles of science, technology, and medicine that are frequently featured in fiction.
Avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions to ensure technical accuracy.
Write realistic and compelling scientific elements that will captivate readers.
Brainstorm and develop new science- and technology-based story ideas.

Whether writing about mutant monsters, rogue viruses, giant spaceships, or even murders and espionage, Putting the Science in Fiction will have something to help every writer craft better fiction.

Putting the Science in Fiction collects articles from "Science in Sci-fi, Fact in Fantasy," Dan Koboldt's popular blog series for authors and fans of speculative fiction (dankoboldt.com/science-in-scifi). Each article discusses an element of sci-fi or fantasy with an expert in that field. Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others share their insights in order to debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, and offer advice on getting the details right.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 140 x 214 x 22.86mm | 385.55g
  • Writer's Digest Books
  • Ohio, United States
  • English
  • 1440353387
  • 9781440353383
  • 235,610

Review quote

"This book is a collection of blog posts by Dan Koboldt, who has been feeding writers excellent scientific information for a long time... Every writer should have a copy on his or her bookshelf." --Seattle Book Review, 5-star review

"Koboldt has gathered experts in medicine, genetics, neurology, zoology, technology, and astronomy to correct the inaccurate depictions of science that often occur in fiction...The entries are brief, knowledgeable, and highly entertaining, like hearing an exasperated friend rant about his or her area of expertise." --Booklist

"This book is a must-have for authors and aspiring authors." --Sequential Tart, 9/10 rating

"This book is a natural choice for writers of medical dramas and science fiction, but even writers of historical fiction will find important advice within its pages. Putting the Science in Fiction is definitely a resource every writer should have in their toolbox." --Girl Who Reads

"This is a really good book with essays penned by an eclectic range of authors on a broad range of subjects...as a resource I will be referring to it for a long time to come." --Crime Novel Reader

"The basic information is here as jumping off points, some delve into much more detail, and many offer up other resources to dig into the topics more deeply...a useful, well-written resource. And for those with less familiarity with some of the topics, that would be only more true. Recommended." --Fantasy Literature

"This book is a brilliant resource, both for writers and for those with a more general interest in science. The authors are hugely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects, and there's so much in here to teach you and provide inspiration for writing and further learning." --Books at the End of the Alphabet
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About Dan Koboldt

Dan Koboldt has worked as a research scientist for 14 years. Currently, he is a Principal Investigator for Nationwide Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics for The Ohio State University. He and his colleagues use next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to uncover the genetic basis of birth defects and rare pediatric disorders. He has co-authored more than seventy publications in Nature, Cell, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. He is a member of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and routinely presents his research at international conferences.

Dan is also a science fiction and fantasy author. His debut novel, The Rogue Retrieval, was published by Harper Voyager in January 2016, with a sequel due out in April 2017. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the World Fantasy Convention, the World Science Fiction Convention, and the Codex Writers group.

Dan is also well known in the community of aspiring and emerging authors through pitching contests. He is the founder of #SFFpit, a twice-annual Twitter pitching event in which authors seeking representation and publication pitch their completed manuscripts to literary agents and small-press editors under the #SFFpit hashtag. The most recent event drew 550 participating SF/F authors and more than 30 literary agents and editors who specialize in SF/F.

Dan also volunteers as a mentor for the Pitch Wars contest, an annual event in which agented authors serve as mentors to writers who are seeking representation. Pitch Wars drew 1,600 applicants in 2016 and resulted in more than 50 offers of representation. Although it's open to all fiction categories, fantasy and science fiction were the most and third-most popular genres, respectively. Both Pitch Wars and #SFFpit have increased Dan's visibility in the SF/F writing community, particularly among the aspiring authors who represent this book's core audience.
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Rating details

113 ratings
4.43 out of 5 stars
5 54% (61)
4 37% (42)
3 7% (8)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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