Basically, it's essays from a number of lights in the science fiction universe on why good science fiction is good and why bad science fiction is bad.
I'm only one third of the way through the book, and I'm already ruined for life. The essay by Orson Scott Card alone did me in.
As I had written in a post yesterday on my Christian Fic mailing list, I was all set to cash in in on Hollywood's need for cookie cutter, derivative SF scripts and revive Paris Hilton's career, but that idea has been basically shot out the window as I now see a much, much bigger universe.
This is going right next to Stephen King's On Writing and Ray Bradbury's Zen In The Art of Writing when I'm done with it; that section of the library that we all have that we will never loan out to anybody.
"I wanted film sci-fi that had the characterization of good science fiction. It didn't have to be obsessive, but I needed to have a sense that these people had a life before they arrived in their spaceship, and that their personal relationships were changing over time. I didn't want stories that hinged on getting away from monsters or on becoming an adept of some mystical religion; I didn't want them to feel like the characters were moving through space in order to have adventures. I wanted the characters to have individual motives and purposes; I wanted the stories to take place in real-seeming cultures that might actually exist." ~ Orson Scott Card
Thanks, Ken. Good call.