Summary from Publisher:
The future is here…the future is now! Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson and Larry Niven have seen the future. Now, you can, too.
A constellation of the brightest lights in the Science Fiction and Fantasy firmament have judged these authors to be the best, the brightest, the truest emerging stars in the field.
From Alien Invasion to Alternate History, from Cyberpunk to Comic Fantasy to Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, these are the winning writers who have mastered every version and vision of sci-fi and fantasy.
Don’t be left behind. Get a read on what’s next.
“The Writers of the Future contest looks for people with the best imaginations who can see through the possibilities of the strangest and best ideas and tell stories that intrigue us and involve us.” —ORSON SCOTT CARD
Celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Writers of the Future contest and the 26th anniversary of the Illustrators of the Future contest
Once again I was asked by Galaxy Press to join in on the review team for the Writers of the Future Project and of course I said YES! I loved last year’s edition and was very anxious to get my hands on this years edition! I am not normally one for anything Science Fiction-Fantasy, but this collection of short stories engage the readers in a way that is unlike anything I’ve read before pulling your emotional strings in all directions! I am going to highlight just my favorite stories in this engaging book here:
Switch written by Steve Pantazis, Illustrated by Daniel Tyka
Switch, a mind altering drug with the capability of super-human strength, ability to multi-task with just a thought in your mind, and the ability to counteract everything negative or positive in your mind. Temporal Lobe Implant, TLI, a techno-biological implant that allows the owner to access the internet with just a thought across their mind, it’s said to replace computers and smartphones – can you imagine that?
A police detective investigating the death of a teenage user of Switch all the while hiding his own addiction to the same drug that caused this young man to go on a shooting spree – how can he hide his own addiction while working as a police detective investigating the same crimes he himself is purporting?
A short story that packs a lot of punch in just 45 pages! Amazingly the author is able to develop a modern world inside our seemingly simple one – technology overlaying drugs overlaying everyday life.
The God Whisperer written by Daniel J. Davis, Illustrated by Alex Brock
Imagine being able to walk into the Humane Society and instead of adopting a furry four-legged friend you could adopt a God from another planet? What is that same God was a “bad God” and one that no matter what you’ve tried – training classes, dominance training, peaceful training, etc. just would not cooperate and you needed the Cesar Milan of the God World! That’s exactly what happens in this cute story of a single young man named Jack, who adopts a God aptly named, Zu’ar, that is more than a handful for him to handle alone. He destroys his garden, has attacked the neighbors, destroys his home, and just all around does not cooperate – that is until Jack calls in the God Whisperer, Doris. She comes and does her overall introduction and they immediately get to work.
A fun filled story that takes me back to watching episodes of the Dog Whisperer with my kids on television – time and time again we watched Cesar Milan work his magic on troublesome dogs and never in a million years thought someone would write a story like this one that packs a punch!
Stars that Make Dark Heaven Light written by Sharon Joss, Illustrated by Choong Yoon
Life on a distant planet, somewhere in the future as seen through the eyes of a 17yr old woman-child who longs to become a woman. However, something in her DNA has prevented that from happening, a mutation that has occurred to those children born on the Dominion Colony – not every female child matures to become a woman able to bear children, for Netta that is the one thing she yearns for the most – to be more than the Nanny to the colonies children – she yearns for the unconditional love that that someone special would bring into her life. Then one day while digging up Lapids with the children of the colony she finds a rare one that has a yellow strip – there are only four others unlike the other Lapids – four with yellow stripes. And as they begin to grow and develop they turn out to be much more than Lapids, they are Tok, members of a culture long forgotten on the planet Dominion currently inhabits – as they grow and change – Netta does as well – she learns to love – more than the parent-child love she’s experienced – but the romantic love she’s yearned for all of her life. And she goes to the ends of her world to protect that love.
The author managed to develop a life, a world, and an entire culture in this short novella – as I cannot call it a short story sitting at 17 chapters – it’s a story told beautifully through the eyes of Netta, not in her first person, but narrated as she sees it! Her love for Vox goes to the realm of almost impossible in her culture, but the bond forged between him in his pupae stage is one that is completely undeniable. I can’t stop thinking about this story and only yearn for more from Sharon Joss!
About the Contest (borrowed from the Website)
In 1983, philosopher and best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future, a competition that would find and encourage the next generation of writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, followed in 1988 by the creation of a sister contest, Illustrators of the Future, to do the same for aspiring artists.
A seminal version of the Writers of the Future Contest began in 1940, when Hubbard inaugurated “The Golden Pen” hour and an attendant contest for aspiring authors on radio station KGBU in Ketchikan, Alaska, a contest designed to create a level playing field for newcomers. “Anyone but professional writers may participate.” That was the rule.
More than four decades later, in 1983, L. Ron Hubbard created and endowed the Writers of the Future Contest as a means to discover and nurture new talent in science fiction.
“It was with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” — L. Ron Hubbard
The Contest is very much an extension of a well-established and demonstrated philosophy of “paying it forward” to help new generations of writers.
There is no entry fee, and winners receive cash prizes of up to $5,000. Each quarter, thousands of submissions come in from across the globe. The contests have received entries from 147 countries.
The stories, all of them anonymous, are read by a blue-ribbon panel of judges that include some of the greatest luminaries in science fiction and fantasy. Art pieces by the illustrator entrants are similarly judged by powerhouse artists in the field. And out of thousands of submissions, the judges each quarter choose the top three, the very best.
All of the quarterly winners are invited to attend an intensive, five-day master-class workshop where they are taught the skills and techniques to become true professionals.
The winners are celebrated at a gala awards event that has been held in prestigious venues across the United States.
Their winning stories, along with accompanying illustrations, are published in an annual anthology with wide distribution to bookstores nationwide and abroad. For many, this is just the first step in a long and successful career.
Past winners of the Writers of the Future Contest have gone on to publish well over 700 novels and 3000 short stories; they have become international bestsellers and have won the most prestigious accolades in the field—the Hugo, the Nebula, the John W. Campbell, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus Award—and even mainstream literary awards such as the National Book Award, the Newbery and the Pushcart Prize. The Illustrators of the Future winners have gone on to publish millions of illustrations in the field.
Each year the Contests welcome a dozen talented new writers and illustrators into the field as published professionals. And countless others have been inspired to keep writing, keep creating, keep entering and keep dreaming their creative visions.
Writers and Illustrators of the Future are the most enduring and influential contests in the history of science fiction and fantasy.
“Science fiction does not come after the fact of a scientific discovery or development. It is the herald of possibility.” — L. Ron Hubbard
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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review*