Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Turkey City Lexicon

This week's tool has been in the making since the 70's, and is a fun read, aside from being a handy tool for workshops.

The Turkey City Lexicon

Developed over the years during meetings of the Turkey City Writer's Workshop, the lexicon is a collection of terms used to describe various tropes and gaffs that tend to come up in science fiction writing.  A lot of the information contained within is mostly related to sci-fi, but a lot can also be applied to different genres.

The Facts:

Type: PDF
Maker/Publisher: Lewis Shiner, Bruce Sterling/Flash Fiction Online
Price: Free!
Length: 10 pages
Year Created: Unknown


What I liked most:

  • It's Fun: The Lexicon is not just a dull list of boring, scholarly terms.  It was written with a sense of humor.  It's sometimes a little harsh, but generally interesting just to read, let alone discuss.
  • It's Compact:  It's only ten pages long.  This would definitely come in handy if you were to say, distribute it at your own writing workshop, which you could, since it's copyright free.
  • Its History:  The Lexicon dates from a writing group that met in Texas in the 70's containing many successful sci-fi writers, and supposedly saw the birth of the cyberpunk subgenre.  It's been passed around and republished for almost 50 years.

What I liked least:

  • Limitations: The Lexicon is only ten pages long, so it obviously doesn't cover everything.  This is okay though, TV Tropes picks up the slack pretty well.
  • Vague:  Occasionally, definitions might be a little vague, or go over the heads of some writers who haven't been in the sci-fi trenches for very long.

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