I read that in the 70's Ursula K Le Guin had read EM Forster's"Aspects of the Novel" and that is was her go-to resource whenwriting.
Having just finished it, I think A) Forster read a lot of non-Science Fiction (it was 1927), and B) this isn't a "how to" manual.
I wish he had spoken more about HG Wells or Frankenstein, because I would have liked to see more examples of applying "Aspects" to science fiction novels. What was useful about "Aspects" is that Forster is always returning to the relationship between the novel and the reader, and the demands each make on the other.
The last three aspects Forster writes about (see summary below) wereparticularly vague, and Forster is using the terms prophecy, pattern, and rhythm in idiosyncratic ways. In a conversation I'm having, someone has said that rhythm (and prophecy and pattern) are British and particularly Fosterian ways of approaching the (Science Fiction) novel.
The Aspects of the Novel Are:
Story Curiosity: "And then?" Sense of time Sense of space Story voice: for the eye, for the ear? People human feeling and a sense of values
Surprising -> Round character Convincing -> Round character Plot "Why?" Intelligence -> Mystery Memory Fantasy things which are not and implying the supernatural
mixing the ordinary and the extraordinary Prophecy "Prophecy - in our sense - is a tone of voice."
Universal themes Requires the reader's Humility
Suspension of the Sense of Humor Pattern The shape of the story, plot, and characters. Rhythm The gestalt expression of the novel which