Written by one of the leading authorities on writing, publishing and teaching science fiction, The Science of Science Fiction Writing offers the opportunity to share in the knowledge James Gunn has acquired over the past forty years. He reflects on the fiction-writing process and how to teach it, and the ideas he has shared with his students about how to do it effectively and how to get it published afterwards.
The first section discusses why people read fiction, the parts of the short story, the strategy of the science fiction author, scene as the smallest dramatic unit, how to speak well in print, suspense in fiction, how to say the right thing, and how to give constructive criticism. The second section takes a more philosophical approach. Here, Gunn elaborates on the origins of science fiction, its definition, the worldview of science fiction, and the characters that appear in science fiction novels. The third section highlights well-known sci-fi authors: H.G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, and others, and the impact they have had on the development and progression of science fiction.