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Science Fiction Short Stories, Writers of the Future (vol 29) Writing Contest Anthology (L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future) Kindle Edition
|Length: 492 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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I got this thru bookbub for maybe 1.99. At that price, there were enough really interesting and intriguing stories to make it worth while. Paying full price? Don't bother. Going back to re-read? Probably not. But at 1-2 bucks.... It's worth it.
Imagine, then, what it’s like to find one book with 12 interesting new authors, all at once. It’s exactly what you get with Writers of the Future Volume 29. As a collection of the fiction, it’s a cornucopia of clever tales and excellent writing, and you won’t even need to buy 12 different books to enjoy each author.
Perhaps only slightly hyperbolically, the cover says that the stories “show us who we are, what we may become, and how far we can go.” Indeed, the stories may be more imaginative than predictive, but it does nothing to diminish their ability to convey the reader away from the ordinary and to lands and worlds unbounded by time or physics. And, eschewing the cliches even as it embraces them, the stories prove that science fiction and its close cousin fantasy are just as much about people and relationships as spaceships and magic.
The Writers of the Future contest is unique among collections of short stories. Where others focus on a topic, share a single author, or even share the same imaginary world, the commonality between tales in Writers of the Future Volume 29 is in their selection by a panel of judges comprised of the who’s who of science fiction and fantasy authors and headed by Dave Wolverton. Authors submit their work to the panel and their submissions are reviewed blind.
In other words, the only commonality is the genre and the high level of writing. Only the best selections win, and it shows. Each tale is carefully crafted, from “cut to the chase” openings that thrust the reader right in the middle of the action, to heart breaking conclusions that both satisfy and leave you wanting more. In addition to the tales, the contest features art from the parallel contest for art, as well as essays on writing by L.Ron Hubbard, Dave Wolverton, and others.
One of my favorite s was “Planetary Scouts” by Stephen Sottong. In the far future, he writes, technology has taken humanity to the stars, but only to confront the harsh reality that many of the planets we might colonize are already occupied, often by forms of life not welcoming to our exploration.
Another exciting tale by Brian Trent is “Hero,” a fast paced story about a young man who must face his nemesis not once, but twice, in a revolution that sweeps the peaks of Mars.
“Dreameater” by Andrea Stewart is a clever and horrifying story about a girl coming to grip with the terrible legacy that may become her future.
And there are more. Writers of the Future Volume 29 is replete with great writing and good stories. If you want a bead on tomorrows great writers, this is the place to start reading.
On the whole I enjoyed the stories. They are well written and promising, though some of them suffer from logic problems that suggest they weren't thought through all the way before they were written down. I thought most of these stories were written by beginning writers because of the straight linearity of the stories and their simple story arcs. There isn't the complexity you see with more experienced writers who are looking to surprise the reader a little. This led to the stories being a bit predictable. This didn't turn me off to the stories, I still had a good time with the collection and look forward to reading more WotF in the future. The artwork is quite good as well and gave the stories a booster shot that enhanced the words. The essay by L. Ron Hubbard was refreshingly mercenary in its content, and it reminded me that writing is a business as well as a creative endeavor, which I can sometimes lose sight of as I work on stories and novels all day. This book is a good value for its money, which is the highest praise I can give a book; at eight bucks for 13 pieces you're getting a bargain here.
I purchased this book because I wanted an idea as to what stories were accepted, as I too have been submitting to the quarterly Writers of the Future contest.
Like most anthologies or short story collections, not all stories connected with me. But, what few I didn't like someone else undoubtedly will, and the ones I liked outweighted the ones that didn't. Hence the 5-star rating.
Among some of my favorites were "Cop for a Day" by Chrome Oxide (love that pen name!), "War Hero" by Brian Trent, "Master Belladino's Mask" by Marina J. Lostetter, and the grand-prize winning "Twelve Seconds" by Tina Gower.
Aside from the wonderful stories, the illustrations were well-worth the price of admission.
Tucked within the book were also essays by Dave Wolverton, L. Ron Hubbard, and others. Hubbard's "The Manuscript Factory" was sheer brilliant, and Nnedi Okorafor's "The Sport of Writing" put a unique perspective on the craft of writing.(
Only problem is...he was talking about a different kind of fantasy.
It has a few "Amazing Stories" style modern fantasies in it, that some might even call sci-fi.
Gave it 5 stars because the writing is superb...just was hoping I might find a new voice in Sword and Sorcery in one of these volumes, or an up-and-coming "G.R.R.M."