Contributor: George S. Karagiannis

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Of vital significance for your narrative is and will always be the way you visualize the futuristic and utopian or dystopian world where real action is taking place, along with its very details. Just to toy with the idea you are on the safe side, you may describe ‘your world’ as a philip dickish setting with post-apocalyptic, totalitarian surroundings or with humanity drawn to its endmost humiliation suppressing any specified freedom all along. The philip dickish environments render flexible access to shifted realities, sociopolitical hysterias, religious inconsistencies and paradoxical behaviors by authority-doubted human entities, thus yielding a user-friendly framework to build up the most non-comprehensive, deteriorated, knotty or psychopathic character you’ve ever imagined.

Of course, there could be numerous alternatives in the world you might envision for your story. For instance, you may purely formulate it as peter hamiltonish if you tend to describe events with their consequences in large scale impact; however in this case, avoid generating dramatis personae of more than two-hundred characters, should you wish your audience being able to follow you through your warily-crafted, space opera pages. In yet other cases, you might seek for a brian aldissish surrogate world, whereby you describe strange prospective fates for humanity, with human leftovers typically struggling for survival in a hostile plant- or insect-dominated planet; however in this case, avoid establishing cliché tribal organizations living in caves –or obsolete nuclear stations they are unaware of– and deploying cliché myths and prophecies that one divinely chosen man –usually naming him or her as ‘the light-bringer’, ‘the plague-hunter’, ‘the child of the dawn’ or something relevant– will bring an end to this wretchedness. Also, unless you keep in possession a far better idea than internet obtaining some level of self-consciousness, artificial intelligence coming into conflict with human neuroethics, and virtual realities intermixing with the present so-called human realities in a Matrix fashion, do not attempt to give your story a william gibsonish or tony ballantyneish tone. Finally, unless your mind shovels up a fascinating medical thriller, or at least a thought-provoking and dogma-challenging biological premise –almost to the level of integrating Darwin’s evolutionary theories with genetic bioengineering– it wouldn’t be advised to adopt a robin cookish, greg bearish or nancy kressish technique.

Improper character development that would not serve the purpose of your story would be an added constraint for a successful outcome; therefore, implementing the finest characters in your given world should not be circumstantial at all, but thoroughly designed. To avoid stereotypic ‘implants’ in your story, you may have to create characters that will question the unquestionable on a –preferably– paragon bureaucratic State, haunted from the ghosts of a previous or potential socioeconomic rupture or perhaps female characters seeking for their sexual orientation in a philosophical perspective; in such case you should concentrate on an ursula le guinish pattern. Upon wishing to involve characters that will deal with a crisis or dilemma in your story, guided by scientific rationales, research-based hypotheses and address the questions as reasoning-oriented puzzles –who are most probably also involved in academia– then an isaac asimovish character profiling is the most suitable fit. But, unless you have to offer a fresh challenge for the three laws of robotics, do not even bother to consider a robot character encompassed by bioethical issues. If your character personalities are tailored as interstellar spies, mercenaries, detectives or even lovers, then a lois mcmaster bujoldish style could efficiently do the job for you. If you are inclined to develop charismatic leaders followed by slavish human cohorts, then a frank herbertish milieu could easily be applied to your character panel; however, in this case, try to avoid positioning these leaders in deserted dune-resembling planets with lack of water, because you will end up repeating the story all over again. Finally, are you in need of a superhero for your story? Just bring into play the orson scott cardish spirit, as long as it is at least an adult one this time!

If the perspective of your story will be first-person, then it should always follow a gene wolfeish method of development, for it will be safeguarding reader’s suspense throughout. For the rest narrative modes or in cases of attempted literary experimentation, you should always keep to the robert heinleinish and theodore sturgeonish paradigms as they have fairly defined the existing standards for the science fiction school.

Salt and pepper is an essential evil for a good science fiction story! So, never ever forget to also introduce diminutive amounts of douglas adamish elements, since spicy or satiric humor is always highly-appreciated in a broad sci-fi readership. It is not highly-recommended, but upon your own volition of spreading an aura of bizarro in your story, you may attempt to provide a carlton melick IIIish texture in it; however, you should steer clear of the Satan’s successful attempts of conquering Earth, Jesus figures participating in porn movies, excessive descriptions of sexual orgies ending up in abdominal penetrations with splatter-like consequences, and attacks of highly-intelligent zombies flying with helicopters and jumping out of them with parachutes in case of an imminent crash.

Last but not least, you should always bear in mind to bring into context a personal signature in your work –in my case to allow for a george karagiannisish color to be penciled all over my novel– or else your story will be accused of being in fact non-authentic or even worse a stolen concept. And as an amateur author, you wouldn’t want that happening, now, would you?

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George S. Karagiannis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece at 1984. He finished the School of Veterinary Medicine and is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto in Canada, studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis. He enjoys writing science fiction, mainly in the sub-genres of (1) hard science fiction, (2) bizarro and horror sci-fi and (3) apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, but more often blending all those, together! His favorite science fiction author is Philip K. Dick, whom he has been reading since he was introduced in the field. He is also an abstractionist/surreal artist and his blog can be found here: http://abstractsur.blogspot.com/
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