Books of Imaginary Facts.
I finished reading Flatland - A Romance of Many Dimensions a couple of weeks ago. Flatland is the memoirs of a square (the two dimensional geometrical figure, rather than an un-hip person), his home world, and his adventures through worlds of fewer and greater dimensions.
The square spent a good amount of time describing the culture of his two dimensional own world. These were the sections that I found most intriguing. It struck me that a formula was at play for these sections: the telling of imaginary facts. There are other books of the same format that are similarly engrossing: John Hodgeman's The Areas of My Expertise, and Max Brook's Zombie Survival Guide. For certain ideas, "a book of imaginary facts" could well be a more engrossing storytelling method than straight fictional prose.
Tags: reviews scifi