Brian's Reviews > How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction

How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction by J.N. Williamson
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Oct 25, 2011

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Recommended for: Aspiring horror, fantasy, or sf authors
Read in May, 2012 — I own a copy

What sets this book apart is that rather being a advice from a single author it's a collection of essays by prominent authors. The introduction alone, by Robert Bloch, was a wonderfully written and entertaining read. I think that's the first time I've ever said that about an introduction. The contributors consist of a Who's Who of speculative fiction circa 1987. Science fiction, fantasy and horror all get attention. There seemed to be a little extra attention paid to horror. It seems it was undergoing a bit of an identity crisis and wanted to be referred to as "dark fantasy".

The end of the book, while valuable, will drag on if you're trying to read it straight through. The last 40 pages are lists of recommended and best-loved novels and short stories. A good reference for choosing something to read next.

Really this is the kind of book you pick up and read an essay here or there rather than read in a linear fashion. It's an entertaining look into the minds of well known authors and a peek back to a different era.
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05/06/2012 page 200
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