I recently picked up a copy of The Technical Pen by Gary Simmons. I hesitated to get it because I already have Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur Guptill. But, as Simmons book is focused on radiograph/technical pens, as opposed to pens with nibs, I thought it might be worth it.
I haven't been disappointed. It's been a great read. In the beginning he goes through a couple of the big name pens. It should be noted that he is regularly employed by one of the makers. He refers to the "disposable" kind of pen, e.g. Micron, as a pen marker. Lately, I've been running through pens quickly, so if anyone else wants to weigh in on radiograph/technical pens and their preference, I'd love to hear it.
He has the standard section on different types of strokes, useful but not evolutionary. He has an interesting section where he does one drawing in 24 different ways. He spends the chapter talking about how the different strokes are successful, or unsuccessful and why. Throughout the book he comments on the tension in pen and ink work where the stroke choice can affect value and texture. Sometimes, you want texture, sometimes you don't. I found this ongoing theme very thought-provoking and stimulating.
His final three chapters are on sketching loosely, producing a "tight" (or careful, deliberate) work, and color and the pen. The first two of these sections are thorough - they have exercises and ideas on how to progress through a work. He has several good thoughts about sketching on the spot with the limitations of a pen. He also has a nice process laid out for producing very exact, detailed pen and ink work. The final section looks fascinating to me (I've only glanced through it). I haven't really considered using colored inks before, but with the illustrations included here, I may have to try that. He achieves some things that I didn't really think were possible.
In short, I'm thoroughly pleased with this book. It doesn't seem to be in print anymore, but should you run across a copy in a used bookstore and you're interested in pen and ink, I'd definitely recommend getting it.
If I had to rate it, I'd give it 4 pencils. (I'd like to say 5, but I think the audience for it is rather small.) It's not really for a beginner, I think you do need to be interested in pen and ink and have some experience. At times, I think it is written almost like an instruction manual. That appeals to me, but I don't think it appeals to most people. It's not a comprehensive treatise on creativity, or drawing. It's a thorough explanation of all the different ways to make marks with a technical pen and the effects that are achieved.
Above is a 30 min sketch exercise from a reference by kuntal on morguefile.com. Done with no outlining, approx. 6 in x 10 in.