Writing Science Fiction
Book Editors for Fantasy, Horror, Speculative Fiction, Alien Fiction, and Science Fiction Writers
You've carefully constructed your alien planet, lovingly invented alien beings, and painstakingly developed the alien society in which they live. Or perhaps you've extrapolated from current human technology and developed a vision of North America in A.D. 3050. Is the gravity appropriate for the size of your planet? Does your travel time match your speed and distance? You've worked hard to create a cohesive future Earth, alternate history, or extraterrestrial civilization, but the last thing you want to do is turn your manuscript over to an editor who doesn't know the difference between a light year and a light beer. As a science fiction writer you need to ensure that the editor to whom you're entrusting your work shares your mindset. You need an editor who understands that Sol III is Earth while Sal III Jr. may be the natural son of Sal's third clone. You need an editor who recognizes the difference between typos and alien vocabulary.
Choosing an Editor for Your Science Fiction Manuscript
By Arlene W. Robinson with Terry Robinson
Musings on Science Fiction
By Stephen MacEachern
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Substantive editing, copyediting, rewriting
Fiction and nonfiction: literary, how-to, psychology, self-help, crime fiction, adult, young adult, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, true crime, international relations, current affairs, nature and science, military history, forensic science, travel
MICHAEL CARR has edited or copyedited 300+ fiction and nonfiction titles for major publishers and authors. Notable nonfiction authors include Bernard Goldberg (NY Times best-seller Arrogance), CNN anchor Lou Dobbs (Exporting America), Rev. Al Sharpton (Al on America), and CNN Crossfire host Tucker Carlson (Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites). Michael edits most fiction genres but specializes in literary and historical, crime/mystery, drama, fantasy, and science fiction.
Notable fiction authors include Brad Meltzer (#3 NY Times best-seller The Zero Game), NY Times Notable Book of the Year author Archer Mayor (The Surrogate Thief, Gatekeeper, The Second Mouse), crime grandmaster Donald Westlake (the Dortmunder series), and the fantasy master Michael Moorcock (The White Wolf's Son).
Michael has also edited eight published volumes on world affairs and some twenty self-help books (medical, psychological, personal growth, and business) and has translated a dozen novels and other literary works from Spanish to English.
Lurps, Nominated for the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award, 2006 and 2009
"Michael, the rewrite is spot-on. You made us look good. We plan to have you canonized.” – Sara Ann Freed, Ellery Queen Award–winning crime fiction editor, Time Warner Books
“Michael Carr is one of the sharpest, most conscientious and diligent editors I have encountered in the more than ten years I have worked as a writer and publisher. His knack for finding the precise words and turns of phrase is exceeded perhaps only by his wisdom as a human being. Whatever the subject at hand, he has displayed a priceless ability to make writers better.” – Adam Gamble, On Cape Publications, Dennis, Massachusetts
"Michael Carr did a great job cutting the fat and increasing the tension. I imagine there are a lot of good editors who deal effectively with sentence-by-sentence editing for typos, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but a gifted editor puts fresh eyes on a piece of fiction and sees problems and stylistic opportunities that the author misses. Carr is a gifted editor. The story was all there when I sent it to him, but when I got it back, less had become more-the prose was so much cleaner and clearer. Before, it moved; now it races. Judicious cutting also added to consistency of voice and thereby to dramatic unity. Even though I had written the book, I got deeply into reading the edited version because I wanted to know what happens next. I was so engrossed, I forgot that I already knew. Oh, yes, right, wow!" - George Davis, author of The Melting Points, and also of Coming Home, on which the movie starring Jane Fonda and John Voight was based.
ROSANNE CORNBROOKS CATALANO specializes in children's and young adult books, fantasy novels, and Christian/inspirational manuscripts. Prompt and professional, Rosanne works well with any author's voice, providing clarity and punch while respecting the integrity of the work.
In books for younger readers, every word counts—more than usual! Rosanne has worked with picture books, early reader books, middle grade books, and young adult books in all stages of development. She understands the multiple factors that go into each type of writing: reading level, book length, and age appropriate content, as well as the artistic and grammatical aspects of writing.
She gives each author's work the care it deserves, drawing on her diverse life experiences and knowledge in many fields like period clothing, genetics, all aspects of theater, Celtic legends, rustic camping, the martial arts, architecture and languages (Latin, French, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, a little Welsh and Japanese).
Add that to the marketplace savvy she learned working in publishing houses, and you have an experienced editor who can polish a manuscript and get it past that crucial first reader!
DAVID A. CATHCART has worked as a writer, editor, publisher, journalist, screenwriter, blogger, copyeditor, copywriter, art director, and proofreader for almost 20 years. He has written, co-written and edited over 40 published books, both fiction and non-fiction. He has also written, co-written, and/or directed a dozen films and has shepherded dozens of writers through the editing and publishing process.
David's areas of specialty include Christian fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy, literary fiction, screenplays, creative nonfiction, business writing, how-to/self-help, autobiography and historical fiction. His clients appreciate his extensive knowledge of story structure, his attention to detail, his knowledge and experience of the marketplace and his friendly, honest approach.
Services offered: Writing, Ghostwriting, Manuscript Evaluation, Developmental/Substantive Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Book Proposal Development
CAROLINE HILEY is a full-service editor who specializes in copyediting novels, particularly in the science fiction/fantasy categories. She works with both traditional publishers and independent authors to help make their stories shine.
Whether for stand-alone titles or series, she focuses on consistency, accuracy, and clarity, so that authors can successfully connect with their readers (while avoiding any embarrassing bloopers). Because she writes fiction and nonfiction herself, she knows the creative process from both sides and understands how editing can help or hinder.
Caroline thoroughly grooms a manuscript, checking spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, and style; tracking character traits and story timeline; confirming proper names, dates, places, and other technical or historical elements; flagging any spots that may raise a question in the reader’s mind. Authors then accept or reject the revisions, and move on to the next stage in their story’s progression.
In addition to copyediting, Caroline offers substantive editing (also called line editing), a more detailed work-through of a manuscript without the full immersion that goes with developmental editing. For authors seeking guidance for their own revisions, she also offers manuscript evaluation.
ANA HOWARD is the author of eight published novels. Her books include contemporary and historical children's, young adult, and adult literature.
Water at the Blue Earth, young adult historical fiction (Roberts Rinehart, 1998)
A Ceiling of Stars, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl, 1999)
Nowhere, Now Here, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl, 2000)
The Magic of Ordinary Days, adult historical fiction (Viking Penguin, 2001)
Under a Stand Still Moon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books, 2005)
Call Me the Canyon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books, 2006)
Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl, 2007)
Thanks to Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl, 2008)
She has seen one of her novels made into film (for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions) and has won numerous literary awards. She believes that even in today's tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of other writers and/or editors.
"If I’d thought to special order an editor for this project, I couldn’t have done better than Ana. Her feedback was clear, concise, and just what I needed to move this book forward. She manages to be supportive and encouraging while offering detailed critiques. She exceeded my expectations not only with regards to the time frame, delivering the edits early, but also with her availability for feedback on revisions and my query letter. I don’t know when my money for personal and professional development has been better spent. I can’t say enough good things about Ana." Vicki Righettini
"Ana's goal was to help me turn my manuscript into a polished final work that could be published. Her critique of my work was honest and professional. Her editing is very detailed and I found the extensive editorial summary she provided very useful during the rewrite. Most importantly, I always felt like Ana cared about the story that I had written and the work that I put into it. I am certain that her efforts have given me a much greater chance of getting my work published. I cannot thank her enough." - Scott Miller
SANDRA JUDD is an editor, proofreader, and indexer with more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Her clients have included university presses, large, mainstream publishers, and smaller presses and professional organizations. She has edited or proofread over 300 published books, on topics that include politics, history, business, literary criticism, ethnic history, anthropology, science and medicine, industry manuals, memoirs, Christian and inspirational, parenting and relationships, humor, and fiction.
She has edited 20+ volumes in the Health Reference Series published by Omnigraphics, all published under her name as editor.
She has also edited professional journals and newsletters, business plans, scholarly articles being prepared for publication, economic plans to be distributed to the state legislature, and a number of dissertations.
She has prepared indexes for more than 30 published books.
She strives for precision in language and is devoted to making the author's voice heard.
- Proofreading and copyediting
- Stylistic editing
- Substantive editing
- Fiction: Thrillers, mysteries, Christian, historical fiction
- Nonfiction: Inspirational, self-help, business, science and medicine, ethnology, history, political science, memoirs, scholarly/textbooks
JOHN DAVID KUDRICK (MA in Journalism, Professional Writing: Fiction).
Christian Fiction (all genres - for both adults and young adults), Action, Military, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Contemporary/Mainstream
You are sitting at your computer, smiling, with an incredible sense of satisfaction in your heart. After more hours than you can count, you've finally finished your novel - a story from deep inside your soul that you want to share with the world.
But soon the questions start hitting your mind: Is it the very best that it can be? Will anyone even want to read it? Will an agent or publisher want to look at it?
With more than a decade of experience as an editor, John David understands the gamut of feelings that comes with getting your novel from your hard drive onto the shelf at your local bookstore. That's why he'd love to partner with you in getting your novel to the next level, whatever stage you may be at after you've written it.
Developmental Editing - With a detailed evaluation document and page-by-page comments/suggestions throughout your novel, find out exactly how you can make your good story evenbetter.
Substantive Editing - Receive guidance and hands-on editorial help from John David in reorganizing and revising your story to take care of style, structure, content, plotting, character, story flow, and point-of-view issues. Also includes copyediting and proofreading.
Copyediting - Got the big-picture stuff down already? Then let John David take care of grammar, word usage, tone, format, and more with a copyedit that will add a shine to your story. Also includes proofreading.
Proofreading - Don't let your story get tossed aside because of a misspelled word or misplaced punctuation. Get your novel as clean as can be by allowing John David to read through it and fix typos, inconsistencies, misspellings, and punctuation problems.
Book Proposal Development - Novel ready for submission? Then you're ready to develop your book proposal. Together, you and John David will create a compelling, well-crafted document that's a necessity in getting published.
FLOYD LARGENT specializes in history, natural history, anthropology and the sciences on the non-fiction front, and speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and allied fields) otherwise. He's published his own e-book on fiction marketing (100 Great Places to Sell Your Short Stories, Both On and Off the Web), and is intimately familiar with technical writing, having worked as a technical writer and editor for ten years. He's also been published in most of the popular American history magazines, including American History, America's Civil War, Old West, and True West. Mr. Largent can provide publishing assistance (especially with short stories and journal articles), content development, manuscript evaluation, and mentoring services, supplemented with advice concerning manuscript mechanics, query letters, book synopses, and proposals.
"I handed Floyd my 65,000 word manuscript on June 6th and got it back, polished to within an inch of its life, on July 25th. Floyd did a fantastic job."
"I've been going through the story and I'm about halfway through the review.... So far, the work is incredible. I really like what you've done with it to say the least. Satisfaction would be an understatement."
"Floyd Largent did an outstanding job with my manuscript. [H]is attention to detail, knowledge, and professionalism surpassed my expectations. I could not have been happier with the final product, or picked a more qualified editor to work with."
Developmental content editing
Paranormal romance | psychic/supernatural phenomena | science fiction | fantasy | speculative fiction | western romance | young adult
KELLY LYNNE is the proud "auntie" to over 50 published novels, novellas and short stories, which have sold to Kensington Publishing, Carina Press, Cerridwen Press, Awe-Struck Publishing, Samhain Publishing, Wings ePress, Bradley Publishing, and The Wild Rose Press as well as author self-published titles. These books have gone on to earn high praise from reviewers and readers, as well as multiple awards and contest wins. As an editor for The Wild Rose Press, she edited contemporary western and light paranormal romances, with heat ratings from sweet to spicy. Outside of romance, her fiction fortes include sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, young adult, and stories of psychic or supernatural phenomena.
Empathic about the "feel" of a story, Kelly provides suggestions so that authors may revise with their own style in mind, preserving the individual voice, while alerting authors to current trends in publishable styles. Developmental fiction editing requires an emotional investment in the work - an investment of time and effort that Kelly is happy to make.
Kelly has published over 100 non-fiction articles, two short stories, and a novel. She knows the hoops authors are expected to jump through and helps authors polish their submission packets. Query letters, synopses and professional quality formatting are as important as a well-polished manuscript.
Specialties: style-sheet to track continuity, character traits, and plot aspects | critique of story plot, character believability and setting | weeding out clichés, redundancies, wordiness, triteness and vague generalizations
THEODORA O'BRIEN focuses on mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, adventure, and horror titles. She has considerable experience with trade non-fiction. As Editorial Director of her own publishing house, Theodora published almost 100 titles, garnering several awards in "Best Of" categories. Almost half of the titles were bought for paperback reprints, and two were optioned for TV/movies. She has invaluable knowledge about the industry, the type of people who run it, how to work within it, and tips for getting your foot in the door. She's reviewed, evaluated, and edited thousands of manuscripts through the years, and uses that knowledge to help her clients produce results-driven manuscripts, query letters, and synopses. She works particularly hard at staying in the author's "voice," making sure the facts and dialogue match the time period in which the book is set, and "losing" excess verbiage. She's a good mentor, hard worker, and in many cases, has ultimately become a good friend.
Owner, award-winning publishing company, 1994-2001
Freelance editor (with this network only) since 2002
Critiqued and edited hundreds of manuscripts
Dozens of authors now happily selling their books
Detailed written critique/evaluation of your manuscript that asks questions, points out conflicts, confused timelines, characterization difficulties, etc., in the manuscript itself so the guide is always there for you to follow as you rework it.
Mentor you with creative ideas, and guide you through the whole gamut of what’s what in the publishing industry (i.e.: whether traditional or self-publishing is best for you).
Hands on content edit (aka copy-edit, aka line edit), structural/stylistic edit of your manuscript, doing everything to get your manuscript ready for a traditional agent, a traditional editor, a self-publishing company, or ready for submission to an e-publisher.
Work with you on a query and/or synopsis when the manuscript is ready for publication, should you want that.
MARK ORRIN, M.A. Seventeen published books (Doubleday, etc., all not self-published by me, some “for hire”). Most recently, Orrin’s medical mystery-expose, The Chickenpox Vaccine: A New Epidemic of Disease and Corruption, was named a 2007 Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist and won a Mom’s Choice Foundation 2008 Silver Award (in both cases, for Adult Non-Fiction). In 2008, one Orrin-mentored author’s “Southern gothic” novel was released to stellar reviews by a major publisher; another author’s (first) sci-fi novel was named a 2008 Amazon Breakthrough novel; still another Orrin-mentored author contracted with a rising on-line publisher. Orrin has published poetry, on and off-line, and served as a judge of international poetry contests. His personally authored work comprises “non-fiction novels” (twice Hollywood-optioned), inspirational-motivational, and public affairs (distribution of 2-3 million copies). As publications director, mentor-”daddy,” and senior freelance writer-editor, found, fueled, and freed scores of successful authors.
Have evaluated, mentored and edited fiction, including science fiction and fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, Westerns, mysteries, action-suspense, and non-fiction, including memoirs, inspirational, Christian, and self-help books.
Mark has authored the brochure titled “Authors! How to Leap the Slush Pile to Non-Subsidy Print” and offers a free copy to each of his clients.
"Throughout our work and rework on my manuscript, Mark was encouraging and kind, and he never made me feel like the rookie I am (was). He never left me feeling like he knew more about the publishing industry than I did - he just continued to teach me in an incredibly thoughtful and gentle way, fine-tuning my work and imploring me to be the best I could be. ... At the moment there are ten agencies and two publishers who have responded favorably to my query (which you taught me how to write, I might add) about my novel. " Gary Kaschak
“Writers’ egos, I’m finding out, are very fragile. You have a way about you that’s very soothing on my fragile ego; while you teach and correct the work, you never forget the writer, and that’s a gift. I know you’ve helped me through a lot, and I will tell you honestly: Without your guidance, friendship and patience, I would still be writing only for myself; I’d never have had the guts to take it this far.” – Petra Ruck, fantasy novelist
ANGELLE PINGTON has been a professional children's book editor since 2001. She was an in-house acquisitions/development editor for Penguin Young Readers Group (Puffin/Speak) before becoming a full-time freelance editor of children, juvenile, and young adult fiction. She has edited award-winning young adult novels and series, middle grade novels and series, middle grade nonfiction, illustrated chapter books, and illustrated picture books.
Angelle has a positive, professional demeanor; a straightforward, kind approach to editorial feedback; and a meticulous eye for detail and accuracy. She truly enjoys helping authors shape their work, encouraging them to learn more about their characters, to explore something unexpected with their plotline, and to strive to inspire emotion (of any type!) in even the youngest of readers.
She offers developmental/substantive editing, line editing, copyediting, proofreading, and manuscript/query letter critique.
Specialties include: young adult fiction, middle grade (ages 8-12) fiction and nonfiction, leveled/early reader (ages 5-8) fiction and nonfiction, picture books, lift-the-flaps, series fiction
FICTION AND NONFICTION BOOKS, MEMOIRS, THESES, DISSERTATIONS (APA Format)
JAMES N. POWELLis "a good literary surgeon," as one of his accomplished clients noted. As an editor of fiction and non-fiction, he views manuscripts with comprehensive vision and an eye for detail. He will read your fiction with an eye to making it believable and your non-fiction with a knack for making it both convincing and engaging.
His books and short stories have been translated into many languages and are known throughout the world. His list of publications includes The Tao of Symbols (Morrow 1982), Energy and Eros (Morrow 1985), The Prentice Hall Global Employment Guide (Prentice Hall 1983), Mandalas: The Dynamics of Vedic Symbolism (Sterling 1980), Derrida for Beginners (Writers and Readers 1996), Postmodernism for Beginners (Writers and Readers 1998), Eastern Philosophy for Beginners (2000), Deconstruction for Beginners (2005), and Slow Love: A Polynesian Pillow Book (2008).
His short story "The Silence of the Hummingbird" was published in Spanish in Revista Katharsis, in Malaga, Spain, and his journalism has appeared in Spirituality & Health, Tahiti Beach Press, the Santa Barbara Independent, and Montecito Journal.
ARLENE W. ROBINSON has developed and edited 500+ full-length manuscripts in a variety of genres since 1996. Her clients include women's fiction author Angie Daniels, London Times best-selling nonfiction author Catherine G. McCall, Bram Stoker Award-long listed Sue Dent, award-winning Young Adult author Hannah R. Goodman, AFCW-nominated Christian fiction author Laura Frantz, and award-winning journalist and Huffington Post contributor Daleen Berry.
Arlene welcomes new or published authors as clients, and enjoys helping journalistic, business and academic writers transform their writings into marketable, polished products for mainstream readers. Arlene's area of expertise include:
- Substantive and Structural editing and Critique (nonfiction)
- Developmental editing and Critique (fiction)
- Stylistic editing and style conversions (fiction and nonfiction)
- Copyediting and Proofreading (fiction and nonfiction)
"This was my first time using an editor, and boy did I hit the jackpot! Arlene not only obviously knows her stuff, she is a pleasure to work with."
"Arlene is everything you want in an editor: thorough, timely and accommodating. If it weren't for her, I certainly would not have landed a publisher for my manuscript. Not only was her editing topnotch, her advice on everything about publishing was very helpful. Arlene really cares about the work she does and it shows!"
"Every writer needs an editor—even someone like me who teaches journalism at the University of Washington and spent a career in newspapers."
Manuscript Evaluations, Critiques, Organizational and Developmental Editing, Line Editing
ANGELA ROSE is a publishing industry insider whose most recent in-house position was at Random House’s Ballantine Bantam Dell imprint, where she worked for five years. While in this position, she edited a wide variety of commercial fiction and non-fiction, including several books for the Loveswept digital publishing line, and provided editorial support for a list of acclaimed, bestselling authors that included Mary Balogh, Barbara O’Neal, Suzanne Brockmann, and H. P. Mallory. She also evaluated hundreds of manuscripts and book proposals in the following categories: general fiction, women’s fiction, romance, science fiction and fantasy, young adult fiction, memoir, narrative non-fiction, and self-help. In addition, Angela has done freelance editorial work for Amazon’s 47North imprint, working with a wide variety of successful science fiction, fantasy, and horror authors including Denise Grover Swank, Jodi McIsaac, and Scott Nicholson. She has also edited paranormal romance and urban fantasy as a freelancer for Harlequin E, working with a list of authors that includes Lisa Medley and Misty Simon.
As an editor, Angela addresses both big picture issues and minute details. She gives writers in-depth suggestions on how to fix problems with plot, structure, characterization, pacing, and more, and is also a pro at catching inconsistencies, repetitions, errors, and fixing clunky dialogue and prose. To her, there is nothing more satisfying than helping an author produce his or her dream book.
Before embarking upon her career as an editor, Angela earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors in English from the College of William and Mary and attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City. She is also a published freelance writer.
“Angela has been a dream to work with. Insightful, fast, competent, and responsive. I could not be happier!” –Ava Miles, author of Nora Roberts Land
“Angela did a great job editing my work, providing me with an enhanced, polished manuscript as well as a positive learning experience. In addition to editing, Angela provided comments throughout my work, including recommendations on how to enrich my storyline. She also created an amazing (and highly compelling) query letter for me to use in solicitation. I truly appreciate the outstanding work and would highly recommend Angela to others.” –Christina Clifford, author of Happily Ever After
“Angela is an editing genius; she’ll make your books sing!” –Sue Grimshaw, Category Specialist & Editor at Large, Random House Publishing Group
“Angela Rose has been a valued reader and editor for our online literary journal. We especially appreciate her perceptive and clear comments on the writings presented to her.” –Rick Rofihe, Anderbo Publisher and Editor-in-Chief