by Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder

We get a lot of nice remarks about our guidelines. They've been passed around the net a bit, and somebody over at Aphelion once said they were the Most Brutal Guidelines they'd ever see--but they meant it in a nice way. We do think they're helpful, if you use them, although it seems many of our potential contributors have yet to give them a look, judging from the number of manuscripts we receive that clearly violate those guidelines. (Those are the manuscripts that Sullydog rejects without a second glance. A word to the wise is sufficient.)

But when you get right down to it, those guidelines are really just a page and a half of Sullydog ranting. For somethinge substantial, you can try one of the many fine books available on the art of writing, submitting and publishing sf. And you could do a lot worse than this offering by Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder, two of the genre's rising stars.

I love this book! It's fun, eminently readable, and packed with info. Following the usual format of Complete Idiots/For Dummies books, it's peppered with little themed boxes--Factoids, Danger! Danger!, and Infodump--containing particularly important scoop, and each chapter is neatly summarized with its own little box, The Least You Need to Know. So one way to read the book is to just flip through and look at the boxes. But you'll also want to read it cover to cover, as Doctorow and Schroeder take you from a quick overview of our genre, on to brainstorming, plotting, characteization, formatting, submitting, publication, promotion, contracts, taxes, writing habits--everything. Unless you're already a well-established pro, there's something for you here. If you want to write for NeverWorlds--or anybody else--then you want this book. Get it.

Sullydog approves.

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