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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Writing Quote: Background in Science Fiction

In each and every science fiction story, the entire background must be supplied to the reader. The writer cannot say, "You know what I mean," when he mentions a laser handgun, even though he could simply use the word pistol in a detective story and the reader would instantly know what he meant. This is one reason why science fiction short stories are so difficult to do well. More often, the writer will start out to produce a short story and end up with a novelette--about twenty thousand words instead of five to seven thousand.

Ben Bova, Notes to a Science Fiction Writer, 1975 

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