How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card: I’ve read a lot of books about writing, and while this one does not say anything I didn’t already know, it does go into more detail specifically regarding the speculative fiction genre. For example, Card explains things like the use of metaphor in science fiction (very tricky); the importance of backstory, world history, and even alien evolution (and what happens if you skimp on it); and developing the rules of the universe you’ve created. This is a good book as far as writing speculative fiction goes, but it assumes you already know something about fiction writing in general. I would recommend it as a companion or secondary book on writing, not the very first thing you pick up upon making the decision to try your hand at the craft.
Also posted on BookCrossing.