Everything I know about writing spec fiction I learned from…

bravenewworld_firsteditionThree small words:




By Aldous Huxley. Please, tell me you’ve read it. And if you haven’t, then get thee to the library immediately and check this novel out. Consider it a homework assignment.

To me, this novel opened up the world of spec fiction. Every concept in it challenged society, even back in the 80s when it came my way. And when was the book written? 1931. Um, wow.

Let’s see, there was:

1) Genetically engineered babies

2) Random sex (and birth control)

3) Reservations for people unwilling to change

4) No marriage

5) No regular births

6) A firm caste system

7) And no challenging the system

Oy, what else am I leaving out?

So what did I learn from Brave New World?

Push your limits.

Don’t be afraid to write something controversial. In fact, many times it’s the more controversial writing which will be remembered. (Now where is that work-in-progress of mine?)

Classics can actually be interesting after all (which up until this point was totally not the case to me).

Science fiction ROCKS!

I can’t say that I’ve read anything else by Aldous Huxley. Anyone else have something they want to recommend? Or is this one of those things better left untouched?


PJ Hoover at one point thought living in the world of Brave New World would be cool. Of course, that was assuming she would be an Alpha.


Filed under P. J. Hoover

4 responses to “Everything I know about writing spec fiction I learned from…

  1. Ironically enough, I don’t even remember the most important quote I learned about writing spec fiction. I know I read it somewhere, in a magazine, I think, but who/when is lost.

    The crux of the quote, though, was that with spec fiction, it’s much better show the new world than tell it. The quote-ee said something along the lines of how the best SF writing was when an author said the doors swished open (or something), instead of saying that they just opened. That gave a sense of the world better than pages of description–just building the new world into the regular description and perverting the norm was the most essential writing.

    OK, now I’m rambling, and I’m tempted to delete all that because it doesn’t make entire sense to me….but I’m secretly hoping that someone else knows that quote so I can re-read it and get the magic of it back.

  2. Parker Peevyhouse

    I love this book too, PJ. The Shakespeare guy cracks me up. But yeah, it’s pretty disturbing at the same time.

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