Viable Paradise: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop

Instructors' Works and Picks


To know the artist, know the work. We are, first off, writers and editors. We write and edit books, professionally. We like to think that we're good at it. Readers in the bookstores seem to agree.

Some Books By The Instructors
Elizabeth Bear [By the Mountain Bound] By the Mountain Bound (author) [Ink and Steel] Ink and Steel (author) [Grail] Grail (author)
Steven Brust [Tiassa] Tiassa (author) [Five Hundred Years After] Five Hundred Years After (author) [The Book of Jhereg] The Book of Jhereg (author)
Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald [The Apocalypse Door] The Apocalypse Door (author) [Lincoln's Sword] Lincoln's Sword (co-authors) [Land of Mist and Snow] Land of Mist and Snow (co-authors)
Steven Gould [Blind Waves] Blind Waves (author) [Jumper] Jumper (author) [Wildside] Wildside (author)
Patrick Nielsen Hayden [New Skies] New Skies (editor) [New Magics] New Magics (editor) [Starlight 3] Starlight 3 (editor)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden [Making Book] Making Book (essays) [Spin] Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (editor) [Grease Monkey] Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred (editor)
Sherwood Smith [Coronets and Steel] Coronets and Steel (author) [Inda] Inda (author) [Crown Duel] Crown Duel (author)

Some Books By Past Instructors
[China Mountain Zhang]China Mountain Zhang
by Maureen F. McHugh
[Victory Conditions] Victory Conditions
by Elizabeth Moon
[Touched by the Gods] The Lure of the Basilisk
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
[Think Like a Dinosaur]Think Like a Dinosaur
by James Patrick Kelly
[Little Brother]Little Brother
by Cory Doctorow
[Old Man's War]Old Man's War by John Scalzi [Burning the Ice]Burning The Ice by Laura Mixon

So how do you learn to write? The first, obvious, answer is that one learns to write by writing. Then there are some books that talk about writing, other books that are so well-written that they're an education in themselves. Here are books which, if an aspiring writer walked up to you and said "I want to be a writer. What should I read?" you'd say: "This will get you going." No limit to F&SF. Half—or more—of what you read should be outside of the genre.

The Instructors Recommend
Jim M Recommends: [Logical Chess]Logical Chess: Move by Move (Irving Chernev) [Magic and Showmanship]Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurors (Henning Nelms) [Victorian Cottage]Cut & Assemble a Victorian Cottage (Edmund V. Gillon, Jr.)
Teresa Recommends: [Modern English Usage] A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (H. W. Fowler) [Diaries] Diaries (Alan Clark) [One Writer's Beginnings} One Writer's Beginnings (Eudora Welty)
Debra Recommends: [The Face in the Frost] The Face in the Frost (John Bellairs) [Moby Dick] Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (Herman Melville) [Mjal's Saga] Njal's Saga
Patrick Recommends: [A Deepness in the Sky] A Deepness in the Sky (Vernor Vinge) [Understanding Comics] Understanding Comics (Scott McCloud) [Master and Commander] Master and Commander (Patrick O'Brian)
Steven Recommends: [Making Time to Write]A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write (Kenneth J. Atchity) [The Burnished Blade]The Burnished Blade
(Lawrence Schoonover)
Laura Recommends: Creating Short Fiction by Damon KnightCreating Short Fiction (Damon Knight) Storyteller by Kate WilhelmStoryteller (Kate Wilhelm) The Poetics by AristotleThe Poetics (Aristotle)
Jim K Recommends: [Paragons]Paragons: Twelve Master Science Fiction Writers Ply Their Crafts (Robin Scott Wilson) [Intersections]Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology (Kessel, Van Name, Butner, eds.) [Year's Best Fantasy and Horror]The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Thirteenth Annual Collection (Datlow, Windling, eds.)
Maureen Recommends: [The Things They Carried] The Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien) [Bird by Bird]Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott) [Guns, Germs, and Steel] Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies (Jared Diamond)
Elizabeth M Recommends: [The Mind of the Maker] The Mind of the Maker (Dorothy L. Sayers) [Giving Good Weight]Giving Good Weight (John McPhee) [Language of the Night]The Language of the Night (Ursula K. LeGuin)
Lawrence Recommends: [Life in an English Country House]Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History (Mark Girouard) [Ship of the Line] Ship of the Line (C. S. Forester) [The Elements of Style] The Elements of Style (Strunk & White)
Jay Recommends: [The Fifth Head of Cerberus] The Fifth Head of Cerberus (Gene Wolfe) [House of Leaves] House of Leaves (Mark Danielewski) [The Wandering Jew] The Wandering Jew (Eugene Sue)
Sherwood Recommends: [About Writing] About Writing (Samuel R. Delany) [The Birth of the Modern] The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 (Paul Johnson) [Pride and Prejudice] Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Bear Recommends: [On Becoming a Novelist] On Becoming a Novelist (John Gardner) [The Chronicles of Ambern] The Chronicles of Amber (Roger Zelazny) [The Transitive Vampire] The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed (Karen Elizab Gordon)

It's all conversation.



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