Inner Workings

A young girl who can communicate with the creatures of the forest faces hunting season in her hometown; a stranded explorer in a high-tech skinsuit fights for survival on a treacherous world; two soul-devouring possessor spirits find themselves locked in a mystic battle between bodies; and trouble erupts on a world where everyone will live forever—except you! These are just a few of the stories in this diverse collection of science fiction and fantasy tales from award-winning authors. Their accompanying essays draw back the curtain to reveal the hidden techniques that produced these compelling stories.

Along with twelve original short stories and essays by recent Writers of the Future winners are four reprinted stories and essays from acclaimed authors Martin L. Shoemaker, Kary English, Eric James Stone, and Wulf Moon. In addition, Kevin J. Anderson and James A. Owen contributed bonus essays on writing.

Aspiring writers commonly read excellent stories, but the inner workings of how a writer conceives and executes such stories can be difficult to parse just by reading. Newer writers might be uncertain how to begin, or they’re practiced at producing words but don’t know how to bring those words together into a cohesive story that carries readers along and leaves a strong payoff at the end.

Inner Workings offers insight on some of the processes that go into producing compelling fiction. Craft essays are included that engage each story’s core devices or concepts, helping readers and aspiring writers understand how such things work and how to go about crafting them effectively.

In this anthology, we and our highly esteemed guest authors want not only to give you a bunch of great, fun stories, but also teach the skills we found ourselves good at. We want to take the bright little community we’ve forged and widen its borders to include aspiring writers looking to take the next step.

Stories and Craft Essays by:

  • A. X. Ander
  • Kevin J. Anderson
  • Zack Be
  • F.J. Bergmann
  • John M. Campbell
  • Andy Dibble
  • David A. Elsensohn
  • Kary English
  • Storm Humbert
  • Erik Lynd
  • Wulf Moon
  • James A. Owen
  • Martin L. Shoemaker
  • Eric James Stone
  • M. Elizabeth Ticknor
  • Rebecca E. Treasure
  • Edited by Zack Be