Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Building

World Building
by Stephen L. Gillett [808.3 Gil]

Another book in the Science Fiction Writing Series, put out by Writers Digest. Geologist and astronomer Dr. Stephen Gillett approaches the science of creating planets in other solar systems in a fairly simple, easy-to-understand method for the layman. Chapters in this helpful volume include Why World-Build?, The Astronomical Setting, Making a Planet, The Earth, The Ancient Earth, The Other Planets, Stars and Suns, and Not As We Know It. Although a little understanding of geology, astrophysics and general physics helps to start with, this writers' guide really breaks down the science needed to accurately portray the development of alien species on life-supporting planets that differ dramatically from Earth. I particularly appreciated the final chapter, dealing with non-traditional life-supporting worlds -- water worlds, worlds heavy in nitrogen atmosphere, and what Gillett refers to as "Brimstone worlds". Also helpful, especially for those of us not well-versed in scientific minutiae, is an extensive glossary of scientific terminology, a bibliography of sources for additional research, and an index to science fiction stories that Gillett cites as examples of the various scientific principles he's explaining. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month.

No comments: