Paragons: Twelve Master Science Fiction Writers Ply Their Craft

Robin S. Wilson, Editor
Robin S. Wilson, Editor St. Martin's Press $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14023-6
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The perspiration as well as the inspiration that goes into good fiction is put under the critical microscope in this collection that presents 12 exemplary SF stories with commentary by their creators. Wilson, himself a mystery novelist (Death by Degrees) groups the stories by twos, according to six aspects of fiction: plot, character, setting, theme, point of view and style. The authors are either influential in the field (Greg Bear, Bruce Sterling, Joe Haldeman) or are known as writers' writers (Kim Stanley Robinson, John Kessel, Howard Waldrop). The tales range from symbolic imagery or magic realism (Lucius Shepherd, Karen Joy Fowler, James Patrick Kelly) to mainstream SF (Pat Cadigan, Greg Bear). Most, like Nancy Kress's ""The Price of Oranges"" or Pat Murphy's ""Rachel in Love,"" combine SF and mainstream literary conventions. Each pairing is introduced by an essay from Wilson, and the book concludes with a lexicon of SF workshop terms from Bruce Sterling. SF fans and writers alike will find much of value here. (Apr.)
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