GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy editor Michael Knost | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Review: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy editor Michael Knost

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy
Michael Knost (Editor),
Matthew Perry (Illustrator),
Bonnie Wasson (Illustrator)

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy is a collection of essays and interviews by and with many of the movers-and-shakers in the industry. Each contributor covers the specific element of craft he or she excels in. Expect to find varying perspectives and viewpoints, which is why the reader will find many find differing opinions on any particular subject. It is a book with something to offer all levels of writers, from those seeking to get published for the first time to others who have numerous releases to their credit. 

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy features essays and interviews with: 

Neil Gaiman 
Orson Scott Card 
Ursula K. Le Guin 
Alan Dean Foster 
James Gunn 
Tim Powers 
Harry Turtledove 
Larry Niven 
Joe Haldeman 
Kevin J. Anderson 
Elizabeth Bear 
Jay Lake 
Nancy Kress 
George Zebrowski 
Pamela Sargent 
Mike Resnick 
Ellen Datlow 
James Patrick Kelly 
Jo Fletcher 
Stanley Schmidt 
Gordon Van Gelder 
Lou Anders 
Peter Crowther 
Ann VanderMeer 
John Joseph Adams 
Nick Mamatas 
Lucy A. Snyder 
Alethea Kontis 
Nisi Shawl 
Jude-Marie Green 
Nayad A. Monroe 
G. Cameron Fuller 
Jackie Gamber 
Amanda DeBord 
Max Miller 
Jason Sizemore 

I loved this book! It was fascinating to get a peek into the minds of some of the big names in the genre. I wasn’t familiar with many of the authors because I haven’t done extensive reading in the sci-fi/fantasy genre but every one of the essays was impressive and easy to become engaged in. Michael Knost obviously knows what he is doing. Don’t let the title fool you, this book is for writers and readers of any genre. I am not a writer so I can’t tell you how useful this book would be for one, but as a reviewer and avid reader I found all the essays informative. It will also give you a new appreciation for what it takes to be a writer. I have never really toyed with the idea of writing a story and after reading this there is no way in hell I would try! <G>. One of the big lessons you will take away from this is writing is work and you have to write and read (outside your genre too) every day.

I really liked how Editor Michael Knost put the book together. Each author took a different aspect/technique of writing. Starting with Neil Gaiman’s essay on where ideas come from, to Orson Scott Card’s on rhetoric and style, to Elizabeth Bear’s tactics on world building. The last two chapters are a Q&A with editors about what they look for in short stories and novels. If you are a novice at the whole publishing thing then you might be surprised by the process for picking stories.

Seventh Star Press has two amazing artists that do commissioned work for their titles. You can go to the SSP website to see some of it. The paperback version of The Writers Workshop that I have contains three beautiful black and white illustrations, but unfortunately some quality is lost in the printing. If you purchase the special editions from the SSP website I think the pictures are a better quality. I can’t forget to mention the amazing cover art by Mathew Perry. He captured the essence of the book perfectly.

If you are a lover of speculative fiction or just curious about the process of writing then definitely pick this book up.

5 “weird” Sheep

Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)

Seventh Star Press
Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher located in Lexington, KY. SSP specializes in speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and horror). The company was established in October of 2008.

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