Advanced Scifi & Fantasy

Writing the 21st century myth

Advanced techniques for writers of Science Fiction & Fantasy, used by today’s most successful storytellers and myth makers

When Damien Walter asked his twitter followers to name the greatest 21st century myth he got an unexpected answer – from Neil Gaiman himself

What makes a great scifi / fantasy story? As a writer I’ve spent a LOT of time looking for the answer. Then I learned it from Neil Gaiman.

As my instructor at the Clarion writer’s workshop I’ve learned a lot from Neil. But I was still surprised when he answered my question about the greatest 20th century myth.

“When the 21st century myth comes along, we will know.”

Neil Gaiman

The best sci-fi & fantasy stories, the ones we love and remember for generations, are powerful myths for our age.

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Learn the techniques of today’s top scifi & fantasy storytellers

  • Eternal Questions – tell stories that ask – and answer – the deep questions of human life and experience.
  • The Novum – the secret storytelling tool of Stanley Kubrick and other great scifi myth makers.
  • Cognitive Science – dig into the cogsci of scifi, how our brain and psychology are shaped by mythic stories.
  • Beyond The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell’s essential guide to mythic storytelling…and how to go beyond it.
  • Archetypes – work with the archetypal human personality types – shadow, anima, trickster – discovered by Carl Jung.
  • Metanarratives – how to tell stories that cross between multiple movies, books, games and comics, and form the multi-billion dollar MARVEL franchise.
  • Ergodic Storytelling – use fascinating and cryptic secondary material – maps, invented texts and illustrations – to help immerse the audience in your world.

“Science fiction is our modern mythology.”

Damien Walter

Damien Walter is a writer, storyteller and scifi critic for The Guardian, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. He teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide, and is the host of the Science Fiction podcast.

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Advanced Sci-fi & Fantasy

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Introduction :

Some opening thoughts on Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Part One

Frankenstein : how a teenage goth invented science fiction.

Part Two

2001 A Space Odyssey : how Stanley Kubrick rewrote science fiction.

Part Three

Star Wars : why do the movies get worse and worser?

Interview :

John Vervaeke – cognitive scientist

Part Four

The hidden meaning of Blade Runner 2049


How the original Blade Runner creates an empathy test…for the audience.

Part Five

MARVEL and the Supergods


Why do we love a trickster?