Science fiction space operas are stories told at an epic scale. How can you make such a vast world accessible to readers? How can you ground these fantastical and strange new worlds in a sense of realism?
Balancing the epic with the human is perhaps the greatest strength of Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (first book in The Expanse). Today’s show dives deep into analysing how characters are they key to guiding readers through epic stories.
The Language of Dying is an elegiac, emotionally moving novella, about a woman whose father is dying. In today’s episode, I dive deep into analysing how the author crafted such a profound emotional experience. If you want your words to move your readers, this episode explains how.
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a 1959 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel by Walter M. Miller Jr. It’s often described as one of the first post-apocalyptic stories. Without it, there would be no Book of Eli, The Stand, or most other post-apocalyptic tales.
Don’t just take my word for it. It won the 1961 Hugo Award – one of science fiction’s highest honours. Legendary scientist Carl Sagan described it as: “so tautly constructed, so rich in the accommodating details of an unfamiliar society that [it] sweep me along before I have even a chance to be critical”.
It’s a remarkable novel. I don’t have the space in one episode to fully analyse it, so today I’m focusing on just one thing: how it uses an unconventional structure to explore the theme and emotionally gut-punch readers. Enjoy!
This absurdly funny sci-fi comedy is a fantastic example of how you don’t always need amazing characters to create an amazing story. Buckle up as we use Orson Scott Card’s MICE quotient to analyse what makes this novel work. And remember: don’t panic!
Fitzgerald’s classic chronicle of the Jazz age is often praised for its wonderful prose. In this episode, I examine what makes his prose so stylistically appealing – and we look at how you can write better prose. Keep beating on, boats against the current!