Writers and Writing

In my web surfing I've found quite a few sites that are filled with information about writing and writers. Much of it is of value to the professional, as much or even more is equally valuable for readers. Here are some of my favorite sites, places I visit time and again because I keep getting something new from them. I've also begun a list of writers' URLs.



Del Rey Books is a leading Science Fiction publisher -- and the publisher of STARFIST. Has information about upcoming books, brief bios of their editors, and some author page links. Also offers a free, monthly internet newsletter. You can find sample chapters of the Starfist books on the Del Rey site.

SFF.Net. This is a source for scads of information about Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Military, Romance, and the people who write in those genres. There are links to the pages of many writers, not to mention newsgroups on SF, Fantasy, and horror topics, books and authors.

SciFan is another site filled with information about the literature and science of SF, and links to a large number of writer sites. Has better aesthetics and navigation than SFF.NET.

SFWA, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is the organization for writers of science fiction and fantasy. Their site has information on writing, publishering contracts, member news, awards, and many other topics of interest to writers and readers of science fiction and fantasy.

Wildside is a leading publisher of Print-on-Demand books, mostly reissues of SF, Fantasy, and Horror books that are otherwise unavailable except in used bookstores. It also has links to the pages of more than 200 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and horror authors -- and Harlan Ellison -- as well as links to bookstores and publishers. And a wonderful collection of articles for writers -- including gonnabees and wannabees.

Pure Fiction is a British site with tons of information about writing and writers, as well as being a source for books (some are giveaways, some are contests, some are for purchase). The way they put it is, "Bestselling novels and how to write them... with secure online ordering of over 850,000 books." Has links to many writer pages. An interesting side note; it carries a series of articles on Web Page design and construction.

Science Fiction Resource Guide is large, inclusive information site for science fiction. In addition to information on the site, it has links to SF writers' sites, publishers' sites, and many other sites of interest to SF readers and writers. It has far too much for me to easily summarize here.

The Writer's Toolbox is an absolutely facinating site. It has a wealth of information, not only for writers and those who want to write, but for those interested in writers as well. Actually, it's main value isn't so much in its own content, of which there is plenty, as it is in the links it has. I've spent many hours following its links and plan to spend many more.

The Word Museum is a site dedicated to genre writing. The people who run it go about looking for authors they think are interesting and try to promote their works. I'm flattered that they found me interesting. Among things they do is post interviews with willing authors. I'm willing in lots of ways, believe me. There's an interview on that site that tells a lot more about me than the bio on this site does. The interview also tells things about my writing that I don't say here or in my Amazon.Com interview.

BooksNBytes is a marvelous site about genre writing. It has pages of fairly exhaustive information on authors. How exhaustive? It is one of the few sites I've seen that lists my Vietnam War novels as well as the Starfist series.

Will Greenway has an interesting site, ParadoxConcepts, that has scads of information for new writers, including some contacts I hadn't seen before. Also links to author sites. It's nicely laid out and I was positively impressed -- despite the fact that the site has those damn time wasting frames.



Catherine Asaro is a theoretical physicist, works with NASA and the Max Planck Institute, is a former ballerina, runs her own physics research company, and is currently writing two or three books a year. To top it off you should see how she looks. As a novelist, I wouldn't come up with a character like her, nobody would believe me. Anyone this widely accomplished is too scary to be real. If I was a woman, I'd probably hate her. But I'm not a woman and so what if I can't invent characters like her? She's real, so I can simply enjoy the fact of her existence.

Camille Bacon-Smith describes herself as a "supernatural mystery writer," though her books are found in the SF sections of bookstores. I simply couldn't believe the premise of Eye of the Daemon, the first of her books I read, but the characters were all very believable. It's characterization I'm primarily concerned with, not believable situations. Her Eyes of the Empress was even better. Don't take my word for the quality of her writing, visit her site and read the sample chapters she's got posted. Camille is also the force behind "Philadelphia Fantastic." Even if I didn't have to be nice to her on that score, I'd read and recommend her books. She's good.

I guess just about everybody who writes in the arena of speculative fiction knows other writers who he or she met before either of them started writing. Susan Casper fills that bill for me. Can't say where I first met her other than it was in conjunction with Gardner Dozois, who she later married. (And is still married to.) She's got a sardonic view of life and a wry sense of humor, which are reflected in her writing. Pay her a visit -- and read the short story she has posted on her site. Neat lady who I don't see often enough even though we only live a mile or so apart.

I've known Hugo nominee Tom Purdom for a long time. Not only was he one of the first people I met when I moved to Philadelphia, he was also the first honest-to-god writer I'd ever met. He was then a long-time science fiction writer -- a "pro" as it's called in SF fandom -- and still is. Years later when I started writing, Tom read my first serious effort (an almost unpublishably long essay), then sat down with me and went over it page by page pointing out just about everything, from structure to things that didn't belong, to punctuation that needed attention. Not many writers will do that for a wannabee. Tom's stories appear frequently in SF magazines and original anthologies. He makes his living as a freelance writer.

Carolyn West is a wonderfully talented writer I know from The Brick Playhouse. She specializes in short works -- a twenty minute one-act is a long play for her, ten pages is about as long a short story manuscript as she ever writes. I used to be able to say that I've seen most of her produced plays, but now that her work is being produced in such far-flung venues as Seattle, Washington, that's no longer true. But I have heard most of her plays in readings at the Brick, and read some of her short stories. Check out her page and look for her work. And if you're involved with a theater that is looking for short works, you can't do better than put on one of her plays.