Writer's Digest Digital Archive Collection: Science Fiction Legends

Writer's Digest Digital Archive Collection: Science Fiction Legends

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For nearly 100 years, Writer’s Digest magazine has been the leading authority for writers of all genres and career levels. And now, for the first time ever, we’ve digitized decades of issues from our prestigious archives to share with the world. In this archive collection, discover five full issues from our vault, each of which includes exclusive historic interviews and columns from science fiction writing legends including H.G. Wells, Octavia E. Butler, Ray Bradbury, Terry Brooks—and even Stan Lee. Featuring five stunning issues spanning more than 60 years, this collection is perfec¬t for writers, literary enthusiasts, educators and historians. ¬¬

Writer’s Digest February 1932, Featuring H.G. Wells
Format: PDF

The prolific author of sci-fi classics including The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, as well as dozens more novels, short stories, social commentary essays and more, H.G. Wells is a household name. In this 1932 issue of Writer’s Digest, he discusses his take on “The Future of the Novel.” Discover whether his predictions played out as expected.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Writing True Crime Stories” by Douglas Lurton
  • ““Writing True Crime Stories” by Douglas Lurton
  • An instructive article on writing celebrity interviews by Lou Myrtis Vining
  • … And more!

Writer’s Digest November 1947, Featuring Stan Lee
Format: PDF

Stan Lee is the legendary co-creator of comic book characters and franchises including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, X-Men, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, Black Panther and more. In the November 1947 issue of Writer’s Digest, when comics had only been common for a decade and Lee himself was merely the young editor and art director of Timely Comics, Inc., he headlined the magazine with an article called “There’s Money in Comics!” This illustrated historic gem explains how to write and plan dialogue for comics, how to work with illustrators, how to build suspense and how to write a great ending.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “James Carroll, Moment by Critical Moment,” an iconic interview of the poet/playwright by Gary Provost
  • “Let Your Feeling Show” by Colleen L. Reece
  • "The Three R’s for Revitalizing Article Sales” (Recycle, Rejuventate, Revamp) by Larry Holden
  • … And more!

Writer’s Digest January 1980, Featuring Larry Niven
Format PDF

Widely acclaimed and awarded for his best-known science fiction novel Ringworld, Larry Niven has been honored especially for his work in hard science fiction based in theoretical physics, as well as rational fantasy. In this issue, you’ll find “Around the Worlds in 80 Ways (Starring Larry Niven)” in which Niven discusses his process for world-building and other aspects of sci-fi-writing. “I want my reader to daydream in color and three dimensions.” This issue is also the 60th Anniversary issue of Writer’s Digest, featuring “The Best, Worst and Wackiest in American Writing”—full of fun and weird facts about authors from history.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Chronicle: How the Hell Did I Write a Book?” by Barry Manilow (yes, that Barry Manilow)
  • “Six Classic Elements of the Bestselling Novel” by Evan Marshall
  • A series of seven games for writers by Doug Donaldson
  • … And more!

Writer’s Digest February 1986, Featuring Ray Bradbury
Format PDF

Ray Bradbury’s influence on the literary world was revolutionary. The breadth of genres and styles he covered in his novels, screenplays, television scripts, and dozens more collections of short stories is astounding, but he’s best known for his iconic work in dystopian fiction (Fahrenheit 451) and science fiction (The Martian Chronicles)—as well as horror. In this issue of Writer’s Digest, Bradbury takes the stage in a cover interview about leveraging nostalgia when writing about a fictional future.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Anatomy of a Short Story” by James Gunn
  • “The Basics of Successful Fiction: Choosing Your Storyteller” by Joel Rosenberg
  • "10 Ways to Get to Know Your Market Better Than Its Editor Does” by John Wood
  • … And more!

Writer’s Digest June 1999, Featuring Terry Brooks and Octavia E. Butler
Format: PDF

Terry Brooks is an icon in the fantasy fiction world, but not everyone knows that he wrote the novelization of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. In this 1999 issue’s cover interview, upon the release of the film and the book, Terry Brooks he talks about working with George Lucas, what it takes to turn a movie into a novel, and the demands of the writing life. And if that isn’t enough, science fiction legend Octavia E. Butler penned a feature herself for this issue, discussing how she turned writer’s blocks into the foundation of two of her bestselling novels..

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Writing Science Articles Without a Ph.D.” by Malcolm Ritterl
  • “The Right Way to Use Interior Monologue” by Gayle Moses and David King
  • "Investigative Research Secrets You Can Use” by Gerald Posner
  • … And more!