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L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 36

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Soar to new heights of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Who are the top science fiction writers and illustrators of the future? The answer is here. Get to know tomorrow’s brightest creative talents chosen by some of today’s bestselling authors and celebrated artists including Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Larry Elmore, Brandon Sanderson, Dan dos Santos, and Robert J. Saw Soar to new heights of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Who are the top science fiction writers and illustrators of the future? The answer is here. Get to know tomorrow’s brightest creative talents chosen by some of today’s bestselling authors and celebrated artists including Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Larry Elmore, Brandon Sanderson, Dan dos Santos, and Robert J. Sawyer. Enter brilliantly realized worlds of dystopian politics, magical realism, post-apocalyptic adventure and romance, dark fantasy and more. Explore universes of unlimited possibility in which a cereal box becomes a Pandora’s box of good and evil . . . a troupe of artistic androids risk everything to catch the eye of a critic . . . and the foundation of a family, the very key to their existence, is not only inhabiting a home, but becoming it. Discover the writers who push the boundaries—and break beyond them . . . the illustrators who envision the impossible—and render it real . . . the stories that challenge the way we see ourselves—and see the world in a new way. The future of science fiction and fantasy is in your hands. Anthology includes: 12 award-winning stories, 16 full-color illustrations, 4 bonus stories, and 4 articles offering art and writing tips.___________________________ 4 bonus short stories: “Borrowed Glory” by L. Ron Hubbard: For a single day of glory and the settlement of a dispute among immortals, a life can be a satisfactory price. “The Green Tower” by Katherine Kurtz: The magic is strong in the Green Tower, and two young girls struggle to discover its secrets. “The Phoenix’s Peace” by Jody Lynn Nye: The Phoenix has always been the guardian of Dembia. Now there’s trouble in the land, and mysteriously, the Phoenix has left two golden eggs. “The Winds of Harmattan” by Nnedi Okorafor: A young woman seeks her destiny in the African winds of Harmattan.___________________________ Art and writing tips: “The Illustrators of the Future Contest and the Art of This Anthology” by Echo Chernik: As a successful advertising and publishing illustrator, Illustrators of the Future Coordinating Judge and art director, Echo gives the story behind the cherished art included in this anthology. “Steps in the Right Direction” by L. Ron Hubbard: In this interview, Ron describes the practical philosophy and energetic disciplines he applied with such telling success to his own career as a professional author. “Breaking In” by Mike Perkins: Marvel and DC artist for Captain America, Thor, and Spider-Man shares valuable advice for anyone wanting to make it as a professional artist and illustrator. “Making Collaboration Work for You or Co-writing with Larry and Sean” by Sean Williams: New York Times bestselling author, provides insight on the pitfalls and advantages of collaborating with another author.___________________________ “Science fiction as a genre has always looked to the future and the Writers of the Future looks to the future of science fiction.” —Kevin J.


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Soar to new heights of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Who are the top science fiction writers and illustrators of the future? The answer is here. Get to know tomorrow’s brightest creative talents chosen by some of today’s bestselling authors and celebrated artists including Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Larry Elmore, Brandon Sanderson, Dan dos Santos, and Robert J. Saw Soar to new heights of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Who are the top science fiction writers and illustrators of the future? The answer is here. Get to know tomorrow’s brightest creative talents chosen by some of today’s bestselling authors and celebrated artists including Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Larry Elmore, Brandon Sanderson, Dan dos Santos, and Robert J. Sawyer. Enter brilliantly realized worlds of dystopian politics, magical realism, post-apocalyptic adventure and romance, dark fantasy and more. Explore universes of unlimited possibility in which a cereal box becomes a Pandora’s box of good and evil . . . a troupe of artistic androids risk everything to catch the eye of a critic . . . and the foundation of a family, the very key to their existence, is not only inhabiting a home, but becoming it. Discover the writers who push the boundaries—and break beyond them . . . the illustrators who envision the impossible—and render it real . . . the stories that challenge the way we see ourselves—and see the world in a new way. The future of science fiction and fantasy is in your hands. Anthology includes: 12 award-winning stories, 16 full-color illustrations, 4 bonus stories, and 4 articles offering art and writing tips.___________________________ 4 bonus short stories: “Borrowed Glory” by L. Ron Hubbard: For a single day of glory and the settlement of a dispute among immortals, a life can be a satisfactory price. “The Green Tower” by Katherine Kurtz: The magic is strong in the Green Tower, and two young girls struggle to discover its secrets. “The Phoenix’s Peace” by Jody Lynn Nye: The Phoenix has always been the guardian of Dembia. Now there’s trouble in the land, and mysteriously, the Phoenix has left two golden eggs. “The Winds of Harmattan” by Nnedi Okorafor: A young woman seeks her destiny in the African winds of Harmattan.___________________________ Art and writing tips: “The Illustrators of the Future Contest and the Art of This Anthology” by Echo Chernik: As a successful advertising and publishing illustrator, Illustrators of the Future Coordinating Judge and art director, Echo gives the story behind the cherished art included in this anthology. “Steps in the Right Direction” by L. Ron Hubbard: In this interview, Ron describes the practical philosophy and energetic disciplines he applied with such telling success to his own career as a professional author. “Breaking In” by Mike Perkins: Marvel and DC artist for Captain America, Thor, and Spider-Man shares valuable advice for anyone wanting to make it as a professional artist and illustrator. “Making Collaboration Work for You or Co-writing with Larry and Sean” by Sean Williams: New York Times bestselling author, provides insight on the pitfalls and advantages of collaborating with another author.___________________________ “Science fiction as a genre has always looked to the future and the Writers of the Future looks to the future of science fiction.” —Kevin J.

30 review for L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 36

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anna Tan

    As anthologies go, I really, really like this one. I don't think I'll talk about every single story--there are 4 additional/commissioned stories and 3 articles PLUS the 12 winners for the year--but I can safely say I did not dislike any one of them. At most, there were maybe two or three which just left me puzzled. Here are the ones I loved the most: A Word That Means Everything (Andy Dibble) THIS was an unexpected gem. I started it a little warily, wondering if it was going to be a bad take on Chr As anthologies go, I really, really like this one. I don't think I'll talk about every single story--there are 4 additional/commissioned stories and 3 articles PLUS the 12 winners for the year--but I can safely say I did not dislike any one of them. At most, there were maybe two or three which just left me puzzled. Here are the ones I loved the most: A Word That Means Everything (Andy Dibble) THIS was an unexpected gem. I started it a little warily, wondering if it was going to be a bad take on Christian mission work, but ended up with a very intricately written story on cross-cultural missions and Bible translation... to aliens, of course. While trying not to be eaten by lamprey. Stolen Sky (Storm Humbert) This starts off with so much hope, so much joy and wonder at discovering new things, but ends on such a bittersweet note. That last line... oof. Yellow and Pink (Leah Ning) How many times would you be willing to reset your life to be with the one that you love? This story takes a look at grief and letting go, and the things people will do out of desperation. Foundations (Michael Gardner) I found this beautiful and yet a little eerie. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Galaxy Press. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Catalina

    Each story has a new feel, an original idea, and each new story is my new favourite. I particularly loved “Educational tapes” however, a dystopian tale that unfolds in intriguing ways and plays well to the readers imagination, as well as being in a creative format. “A prize in every box” is also a great favourite, for completely different reasons, told from a child’s fun and accepting point of view. This is one of the first Writers of the Future volumes I’ve read, and I will be coming back for mo Each story has a new feel, an original idea, and each new story is my new favourite. I particularly loved “Educational tapes” however, a dystopian tale that unfolds in intriguing ways and plays well to the readers imagination, as well as being in a creative format. “A prize in every box” is also a great favourite, for completely different reasons, told from a child’s fun and accepting point of view. This is one of the first Writers of the Future volumes I’ve read, and I will be coming back for more quality and sheer creativity. The fact that this is a competition anthology rather than a commissioned one makes all the difference to the energy that these stories carry.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Evans

    I found this installment of The Writers of the Future to be exceptional! The stories are incredibly written, showcasing the talent of these new authors. Having read each release over the past several years I believe that this collection of stories may be one of the best ever. This installment is a must read for those who love exploring the thoughts of new science fiction authors. I highly recommend reading it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cat Girczyc

    I was pleased to be an ARC reader for WOTF #36. Edited by Dave Wolverton and featuring wonderful illustrations by the winners of the illustration area, it's an incredibly fine volume of short stories, illos, and advice. Usually, in a collection of short stories, there are a few 'duds' but this one is the exception in that all of them rated 8 out of 10 or above in my estimation. There is a variety of themes and subject matter. I particularly enjoyed the takes on religion and philosophy in "A Word I was pleased to be an ARC reader for WOTF #36. Edited by Dave Wolverton and featuring wonderful illustrations by the winners of the illustration area, it's an incredibly fine volume of short stories, illos, and advice. Usually, in a collection of short stories, there are a few 'duds' but this one is the exception in that all of them rated 8 out of 10 or above in my estimation. There is a variety of themes and subject matter. I particularly enjoyed the takes on religion and philosophy in "A Word that Means Everything" by Andy Dibble. The first story, "The Trade" by C. Winspear was deftly done and poignant. "Trading Ghosts" by David A. Elsonsohn set in a universe where we see ghosts and angels was a gritty but satisfying read. I'm still thinking about "As Able as The Air" by Zack Be which is set in a military future where AIs become necessary to work-life. "Yellow and Pink" by Leah Ning is sad, lovely, and romantic. "Catching my Death" by JL George is gothic, scary and intense. The new stories are rounded out by stories and advice written by industry greats,, plus fresh new illustrations. The cover is gorgeous as is the story by Jody Lynn Nye that accompanies it “The Phoenix’s Peace.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I have had the pleasure to do an advance read of this volume reading it cover to cover in just a couple of days it was great entertainment. For those who enjoy speculative fiction and well written prose, several helpful essays for those wanting to know more about the bones of writing and illustrating plus three bonus stories, this is a great volume to read. I enjoyed the quality of writing in every story. Jody Lynn Nye's , Nnedi Okorafor and Katherine Kurtz are three of my favourite writers. Jody I have had the pleasure to do an advance read of this volume reading it cover to cover in just a couple of days it was great entertainment. For those who enjoy speculative fiction and well written prose, several helpful essays for those wanting to know more about the bones of writing and illustrating plus three bonus stories, this is a great volume to read. I enjoyed the quality of writing in every story. Jody Lynn Nye's , Nnedi Okorafor and Katherine Kurtz are three of my favourite writers. Jody's story about a phoenix re-awaking to save a young priestess and her land ended with a real surprise. Nnedi Okrafor's compelling mythology of a wind sprite and the being she loves was so compelling it will stay with me for a very long time. Katherine Kurtz Deryni story brought me back to a long loved universe and a return to a story of a mysterious disappearance mentioned in her books. While I enjoyed all of the winning stories and illustrations, what amazing talent they all have, my favourite stories in the bunch were the ones that kindled wonder in me. Of these, 'A Prize In Every Box' by F. J. Bergman details the pleasure of cereal box treasures that do extraordinary things. 'Yellow and Pink" by Leah Ning explores a theme reminiscent of Groundhog Day where true love never dies. 'Foundations' by Michael Gardner explores Houses and what remains within them when a person dies--or do they? As with the stories, all of the illustrations are compelling and well worthy of prizes. Once the book is released and the writers get to see which image goes with their story I will say more here about these. This book is well worth five stars and I wish all of the new writers and illustrators in this volume all the success they deserve.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Candice Lisle

    As an advance reader, I was thrilled when I saw the beautiful illustrations in volume 36. Each story by an up-and-coming writer, has a full-color illustration. I tried to guess what the story was about from its accompanying picture. I never guessed right! But that's the fun of it! The stories are amazing and will transport you into a magical place and time. You will not be disappointed. I found myself savoring each story like a favorite chocolate. Then I would read it again. As an advance reader, I was thrilled when I saw the beautiful illustrations in volume 36. Each story by an up-and-coming writer, has a full-color illustration. I tried to guess what the story was about from its accompanying picture. I never guessed right! But that's the fun of it! The stories are amazing and will transport you into a magical place and time. You will not be disappointed. I found myself savoring each story like a favorite chocolate. Then I would read it again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    W G

    As a member of Galaxy Press’s advanced reader team, I was privileged to be given an advance copy of their latest book, Writers of the Future Vol 36 and what a book it is. From start to the finish I was impressed with the superb quality of speculative story telling by a variety of highly talented authors who entered L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction contest and have had their story published. This wonderful anthology contains the winning entries by 12 authors plus great stories from established au As a member of Galaxy Press’s advanced reader team, I was privileged to be given an advance copy of their latest book, Writers of the Future Vol 36 and what a book it is. From start to the finish I was impressed with the superb quality of speculative story telling by a variety of highly talented authors who entered L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction contest and have had their story published. This wonderful anthology contains the winning entries by 12 authors plus great stories from established authors including a classic from the founder of the competition called Borrowed Glory. Yes, some stories are stronger than others, but I put this done to my own personal choice. To summarise, this excellent compilation is a must read for any reader who enjoys short speculative fiction at its best. I highly recommend that you invest in a copy of this book, it’s another classic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claire Keogh

    I loved the artwork and stories in this beautifully produced book. The stories are well written and interesting, and the artwork really captured my attention. The series really gives the opportunity for new and emerging writers to showcase their work in an international competition and one day I hope to be published in this anthology.

  9. 4 out of 5

    R.J.K. Lee

    I'm a big fan of short story anthologies, as they're often packed with so much power from start to finish when done right, and this particular anthology knocks you off your feet. The diversity of stories contained within is one of the big pros of reading this. Sci-fi, fantasy, dark fantasy, weird, and even horror, but all of it pumped full of emotion and meaningful exploration of their themes. So much fragility and sacrifice in these stories. So much immersion, often deeper than you find elsewhe I'm a big fan of short story anthologies, as they're often packed with so much power from start to finish when done right, and this particular anthology knocks you off your feet. The diversity of stories contained within is one of the big pros of reading this. Sci-fi, fantasy, dark fantasy, weird, and even horror, but all of it pumped full of emotion and meaningful exploration of their themes. So much fragility and sacrifice in these stories. So much immersion, often deeper than you find elsewhere. There's even some wonderful comic moments tucked within the collection, though I suppose overall this volume leaned a bit darker than other Writers of the Future volumes. Too many must-reads within, such as "Educational Tapes" (2nd-person collection of tapes that ask you to make the right choice, and perhaps you will--fans of Welcome to Night Vale would love this, though it's a bit darker than that to be honest), "Molting Season" (alien poetry leads you to question the sad world around you; full of some fantastic parallels and symbolism and consideration of society and the roles people find themselves stuck in--fans of noir horror and weird fiction will likely love this), "Yellow and Pink" (a smart take on time travel that might just make you cry; it did make my eyes moist, I'll admit to that), "A Word That Means Everything" (an amusing, oddball yet thoughtful take on Lovecraftian creatures; it's playful yet dives into a conversation obsessing over religious and linguistic contemplation), "Catching My Death" (hits you with a solid first line and doesn't let you down), "Foundations" (talk about sad family house drama but done in a very heartfelt manner), "A Prize in Every Box" (bunch of kids get their hands on some awesome cereal box toys--reminds me of some of those sharp and well-paced Ray Bradbury or Joe Hill short stories), and more! I may add all the stories to my review at a later to date, but I'd definitely grab yourself a copy of this. I'm excited to read what these authors come out with next.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tim Emery

    Anthologies are great for providing a variety of styles and types of story. With tales from 12 new writers, plus stories from L.Ron Hubbard and Nnedi Okorafor, and advice pieces, WotF never disappoints. Catching My Death, Foundations and Stolen Sky left the biggest impressions on me along with Yellow and Pink which provides a lesson in how to hook from the first few lines. I’ll have to revisit two of the first place winners which didn’t keep my attention on first read, but then I will no doubt r Anthologies are great for providing a variety of styles and types of story. With tales from 12 new writers, plus stories from L.Ron Hubbard and Nnedi Okorafor, and advice pieces, WotF never disappoints. Catching My Death, Foundations and Stolen Sky left the biggest impressions on me along with Yellow and Pink which provides a lesson in how to hook from the first few lines. I’ll have to revisit two of the first place winners which didn’t keep my attention on first read, but then I will no doubt re-read all of the stories a few times, finding more in them each time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Full of imaginative worlds and wonderful illustrations! In particular, my favorites were “Yellow and Pink” by Leah Ning and “Stolen Sky” by Storm Humbert. The craft of these stories really stood out to me, and their authors showcased a tangible depth to their narratives. I’ll remember them both well. This collection would be great in the hands of a Young Adult reader. The fiction is quite clean. I felt a couple stories had a touch too much telling, or—at times—a bit too much info dumping, but oth Full of imaginative worlds and wonderful illustrations! In particular, my favorites were “Yellow and Pink” by Leah Ning and “Stolen Sky” by Storm Humbert. The craft of these stories really stood out to me, and their authors showcased a tangible depth to their narratives. I’ll remember them both well. This collection would be great in the hands of a Young Adult reader. The fiction is quite clean. I felt a couple stories had a touch too much telling, or—at times—a bit too much info dumping, but otherwise, there is a nice varied range here, with solid prose, unique worlds, and interesting, likeable characters. I’m grateful to Galaxy Press for sending me an advanced copy of Volume 36 in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie

    4.5 stars. As expected, this was yet another very impressive anthology. So many of the winners were quite young - I suspect some will become big names in the future. The stories toward the beginning were stronger than the end in my opinion, but I'm quite excited about some of these new (to me) writers on my radar! I'm ashamed to admit that one of those is Nnedi Okorafor, who I've heard nothing but great things about but had not gotten around to until her story here, "The Winds of Harmattan." I w 4.5 stars. As expected, this was yet another very impressive anthology. So many of the winners were quite young - I suspect some will become big names in the future. The stories toward the beginning were stronger than the end in my opinion, but I'm quite excited about some of these new (to me) writers on my radar! I'm ashamed to admit that one of those is Nnedi Okorafor, who I've heard nothing but great things about but had not gotten around to until her story here, "The Winds of Harmattan." I was blown away and hope to read more by her soon. Some of my favorite stories: "The Trade" by C. Winspear - a familiar ethical question of sacrifice done in a refreshingly adventurous way "A Prize in Every Box" by F. J. Bergman - a very engaging tale that I found difficult to predict "As Able the Air" by Zack Be - any story that explores humanity's curious attachment to AI manages to win me over "Educational Tapes" by Katie Livingston - MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. Wow, what a wonderful addition. Brilliantly written despite my initial worry that the dystopian backdrop was a little played out. I cannot believe the writer's still getting her undergrad! Some of my favorite illustrators: Arthur Bowling (from "The Trade") John Dale Javier (from "Educational Tapes" and "The Green Tower") Phoebe Rothfeld (from "Automated Everyman Migrant Theater")

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hinkle

    I've read many great WOTF anthologies over the years and I'm pleased to report Volume 36 delivers yet again. Thus far, two stories have really stood out for me. Firstly, “The Trade” by C. Winspear. Wow! This is, beyond a doubt, the best science fiction short story I've read in years (closely followed by Wulf Moon's, Super Duper Moon Girl story in volume 35)! Yes, it is that damn good. The story held my interest from the first paragraph all the way through to the very last word. Start here. You w I've read many great WOTF anthologies over the years and I'm pleased to report Volume 36 delivers yet again. Thus far, two stories have really stood out for me. Firstly, “The Trade” by C. Winspear. Wow! This is, beyond a doubt, the best science fiction short story I've read in years (closely followed by Wulf Moon's, Super Duper Moon Girl story in volume 35)! Yes, it is that damn good. The story held my interest from the first paragraph all the way through to the very last word. Start here. You won’t be disappointed. Secondly, “Yellow and Pink” by Leak Ning. If you're a fan of the movies "Memento" and "Butterfly Effect", then this is the story for you. The story has a well-executed tricky plot driven by a uniquely motivated character.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I received an early reading copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Like all anthologies, some stories I enjoyed much more than others. To name a few of my favourites: "Yellow and Pink" and "Borrowed Glory" broke my heart, truly! And "A Prize in Every Box" could well have been a Twilight Zone episode. "The Winds of Harmattan" was thought-provoking, and touched on the ever-present propensity that humans have of hating what they don't understand. But again, like a I received an early reading copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Like all anthologies, some stories I enjoyed much more than others. To name a few of my favourites: "Yellow and Pink" and "Borrowed Glory" broke my heart, truly! And "A Prize in Every Box" could well have been a Twilight Zone episode. "The Winds of Harmattan" was thought-provoking, and touched on the ever-present propensity that humans have of hating what they don't understand. But again, like all anthologies, there are a few that I didn't like as much as the others. "A Word that Means Everything" bothered me, mostly due to the fact that a certain religion was trying to force itself on a whole different planet/species, and "Molting Season" didn't seem to give enough information for it to be a full story. All in all, I'd give it 4 1/2 stars out of five--I tried to give it the extra half star, but either it's not possible or I'm not doing it right, this being my very first review for Goodreads :o).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan Qrose

    I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of Writers of the Future Vol. 36. Since the demise of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror in 2008, WotF is the only anthology I buy every year. It is always filled with stories told in exciting new voices, and the 36th volume lived up to my expectations. With all the superb stories to choose from, I had a difficult time keeping to just three to highlight. One of my favorites is Foundations by Michael Gardner. Skipping out on her babysitting duti I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of Writers of the Future Vol. 36. Since the demise of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror in 2008, WotF is the only anthology I buy every year. It is always filled with stories told in exciting new voices, and the 36th volume lived up to my expectations. With all the superb stories to choose from, I had a difficult time keeping to just three to highlight. One of my favorites is Foundations by Michael Gardner. Skipping out on her babysitting duties threatens teenage Poppy, her family, their home and livelihood. This is one of those stories where I didn't stop reading until I got to the end. Although the use of a 2nd person POV in Educational Tapes by Katie Livingston is unusual, it is the perfect perspective for this story. A deceptively powerful tale. Both the consequences of the I accept and I decline options are offered to the reader/citizen in a Big Brother type world. Zack Be's As Able the Air made me care for the characters from the beginning. I shared Airto's sense of dread about the consequences for his friend. It's a fascinating tale of attempting to hang on to one's humanity while isolated. So many of today's big names got their break when they won this competition. If you're writing in the genre, this book is a must have.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Crawford

    Loved it This year's stories are incredible. Every single one is well worth the read, but my favorite was Leah Ning's "Yellow and Pink." Loved it This year's stories are incredible. Every single one is well worth the read, but my favorite was Leah Ning's "Yellow and Pink."

  17. 4 out of 5

    giftedteacher

    This year's anthology is even better than prior years' anthologies (which is saying a lot, because all of them are excellent)! Every year I look forward to the "Writers of the Future" anthology, and every year it is wonderful! Each story in here is a gem, and each one is very original. I look forward to reading more by all of these authors in the future! This year's anthology is even better than prior years' anthologies (which is saying a lot, because all of them are excellent)! Every year I look forward to the "Writers of the Future" anthology, and every year it is wonderful! Each story in here is a gem, and each one is very original. I look forward to reading more by all of these authors in the future!

  18. 4 out of 5

    BookmarkedOne

    Quite glad to have gotten an ARC for this one! I fell in love with "Borrowed Glory" and "Yellow and Pink." And please note every story has an accompanying full color illustration! So beautiful. Some of the stories weren't quite to my taste (don't particularly appreciate too much sexual content), but there are always a few in anthologies I love and a few I don't. A full review in two parts here where I rant a little about each story: https://bookmarkedone.home.blog/2020/..., and https://bookmarkedo Quite glad to have gotten an ARC for this one! I fell in love with "Borrowed Glory" and "Yellow and Pink." And please note every story has an accompanying full color illustration! So beautiful. Some of the stories weren't quite to my taste (don't particularly appreciate too much sexual content), but there are always a few in anthologies I love and a few I don't. A full review in two parts here where I rant a little about each story: https://bookmarkedone.home.blog/2020/..., and https://bookmarkedone.home.blog/2020/.... Happy reading!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Norabele

    More new horizons to explore in Writers of the Future Volume 36 Reading an anthology is always an interesting experience—like stepping out of rush hour and standing in front of an old New York brownstone on a hot summer day, and watching as residents, one by one, leave the chaotic city streets behind, and open the windows upon worlds of their own making. Standing there, on the sidewalk, you are tantalized by the scents of myriad cuisines; you hear snatches of conversations in various tongues, cat More new horizons to explore in Writers of the Future Volume 36 Reading an anthology is always an interesting experience—like stepping out of rush hour and standing in front of an old New York brownstone on a hot summer day, and watching as residents, one by one, leave the chaotic city streets behind, and open the windows upon worlds of their own making. Standing there, on the sidewalk, you are tantalized by the scents of myriad cuisines; you hear snatches of conversations in various tongues, catch sight of laundry being aired, lives being lived. Old, established residents move with well-practiced ease, sure of their steps, confident of the outcomes. Newer residents jostle about with less finesse, but everyone focuses on settling into life as they know it, for the moment. There are nineteen titles in Writers of the Future volume 36—nineteen windows opening upon engaging characters, plots, languages, and worlds of Science Fiction, penned by newcomers and seasoned authors alike, with original illustrations by winning artists selected from an international pool of entrants. A few of my favorite short-stories and illustrations included“The Winds of Harmattan” by Nnedi Okorafor (a WOTF finalist in 2001/Volume 18), illustrated by Brittany “Bea” Jackson. Nnedi is, now, a seasoned author and WOTF judge; Bea is a former grand prize winner (WOTF Volume 24). “The Winds of Harmattan” is a tale folded within, and out of, a legend; the writing is engaging, the illustration extraordinary. Most of the stories in WOTF Volume 36 are the work of emerging authors. They are not perfect; some end abruptly, when I would gladly have read further; some are too long; but all the stories are fun to read in their own way—as invigorating as an invitation to enter fully into a world only glimpsed through the window of its title. Among the many other entertaining stories of WOTF Volume 36, “Catching My Death” offers a flip-side view of that old aphorism not to go out in the rain lest you ‘catch your death’ (of cold) with a glimpse of what might happen if members of a society actually wanted to catch a death… The illustration balances well with the upbeat energy of the ‘going on a bear hunt’-style start of the story. “A Word That Means Everything” by looks at how translator-missionaries might spread the Word in civilizations where words are not the primary means of communication. The layered colors and small, detailed figures of the companion drawing seems a fitting choice to illustrate the deceptive simplicity of a primarily non-verbal society. “Stolen Sky” offers a view of exported colonialism as seen through the eyes of a neophyte native performer offered the promises of inter-galactic stardom, who begins to learn which way the wind blows from two much more seasoned performers. “Trading Ghosts” depicts a broken-down former spaceship captain, memories drowned in alcohol, choices and possibilities, ghosts and angels, and trades made along the periphery of the great Unknown. The essays on writing, collaboration, and illustration provide useful insights to the worlds of writing, illustration, and publishing. All in all, Writers of the Future Volume 36 is well worth the price of purchase; exploring the minds of new creatives through perusing, and revisiting, the stories and illustrations is time well spent.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Haas

    Writers of the Future 36 is a great anthology and has a little something for everyone. Personally, my favorite stories (a category I admit is completely subjective) were "A Prize in Every Box" which got me nostalgic for the breakfast cereals I had as a kid and those prizes which seemed so cool, and "Yellow and Pink" which is a bittersweet story that kept me pulled in until the end. The other stories were also quite good, but those two struck a chord with me. I also devoured and appreciated the "ho Writers of the Future 36 is a great anthology and has a little something for everyone. Personally, my favorite stories (a category I admit is completely subjective) were "A Prize in Every Box" which got me nostalgic for the breakfast cereals I had as a kid and those prizes which seemed so cool, and "Yellow and Pink" which is a bittersweet story that kept me pulled in until the end. The other stories were also quite good, but those two struck a chord with me. I also devoured and appreciated the "how to" essays on writing included in this volume. Great advice for all aspiring writers. Well worth a read, and certainly the reader will get their money's worth.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Iacovino

    Writers of the Future, Vol 36, is a collection of stimulating stories by promising new writers intersprinkled with stories from professional writers. There are also some articles of advice on writing and illustrating. While the stories are quite imaginative, remember that the writers are new and sometimes have a little to learn. The professional writers, however, are simply delightful. The articles of advice serve as solid foundations for readers of the book who might also be writers of sci-fi. Writers of the Future, Vol 36, is a collection of stimulating stories by promising new writers intersprinkled with stories from professional writers. There are also some articles of advice on writing and illustrating. While the stories are quite imaginative, remember that the writers are new and sometimes have a little to learn. The professional writers, however, are simply delightful. The articles of advice serve as solid foundations for readers of the book who might also be writers of sci-fi. This collection is not light and fluffy by any means. Picking it up on an afternoon will not only transport you to worlds both marvellous and bizarre but also give you a little laugh now and then. Just the right tonic for this time of coronavirus seclusion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Len Gizinski

    I have always enjoyed the Writers of the Future anthologies, and this year’s collection was no different. As you might expect from such an eclectic collection of fantasy, science or otherwise, not every story and artwork was my favorite, but from the pseudo-Egyptian fantasy of The Phoenix’s Peace (Jody Lynn Nye) through the contemplative sci-fi of The Trade (C. Winspear), the urban fantasy of Catching My Death (J.L. George), and the chilling dystopia of Educational Tapes (Katie Livingston) – no I have always enjoyed the Writers of the Future anthologies, and this year’s collection was no different. As you might expect from such an eclectic collection of fantasy, science or otherwise, not every story and artwork was my favorite, but from the pseudo-Egyptian fantasy of The Phoenix’s Peace (Jody Lynn Nye) through the contemplative sci-fi of The Trade (C. Winspear), the urban fantasy of Catching My Death (J.L. George), and the chilling dystopia of Educational Tapes (Katie Livingston) – not to mention a host of other great stories along the way - the stories and their art were both intriguing and well written. Add to that the sage counsel of Echo Chernick, L. Ron Hubbard, Sean Williams, and Mike Perkins, and you have not only an excellent collection of stories for readers but helpful tips for writers and illustrators as well. If you are a fan of the series, you will not be disappointed in Volume 36, and if you’re not already a fan, this would be a choice volume to cut your teeth on. Thank you Galaxy Press, Inc., for bringing forth yet another great year of new talent!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Goolsby

    Grab Bag of Goodies I was given an advanced reader copy and asked only for an honest review. Everything written here is solely my opinion. Starting off strong with an intense tory about three astronauts faced with an impossible choice, the 36th edition of the Writers of the Future anthology truly inspires. Each story was a labor of love, and the judges chose well to bring these nineteen stories together. Particularly shining examples are The Trade by C. Winspear, a funny and fast paced story leavi Grab Bag of Goodies I was given an advanced reader copy and asked only for an honest review. Everything written here is solely my opinion. Starting off strong with an intense tory about three astronauts faced with an impossible choice, the 36th edition of the Writers of the Future anthology truly inspires. Each story was a labor of love, and the judges chose well to bring these nineteen stories together. Particularly shining examples are The Trade by C. Winspear, a funny and fast paced story leaving you wishing there was more, Catching My Death by J.L. George, an insightful and clear piece with a gut-punch ending, and the chilling Educational Tapes by Katie Livingston, which made me close the book for the rest of the day in order to think through what I'd read. Equally, the illustrations are beautiful and poignant, tying together the stories wonderfully. As an anthology, the book shines, each story, essay, and illustration standing perfectly on their own while helping the others shine. I look forward to adding the physical copy to my shelf, and reading next year's stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liz Busby

    Review from my blog: https://lizbusby.com/writers-of-the-f... Either I’m getting better at reading short stories, or the Writers of the Future contest for 2019 had truly epic submissions, because I found almost every story in volume 36 compelling. I am not usually a short story reader, but I am trying to become one to expose myself to more ideas in my limited reading time. Volumes like this give me great motivation to continue in that endeavor. Cover for Writers of the Future volume 36 Notes on ind Review from my blog: https://lizbusby.com/writers-of-the-f... Either I’m getting better at reading short stories, or the Writers of the Future contest for 2019 had truly epic submissions, because I found almost every story in volume 36 compelling. I am not usually a short story reader, but I am trying to become one to expose myself to more ideas in my limited reading time. Volumes like this give me great motivation to continue in that endeavor. Cover for Writers of the Future volume 36 Notes on individual stories, attempting to be spoiler free: “The Trade” by C. Winspear – This story felt like a classic sci-fi short story: human meet an alien who has them out technology-ed and proceed to outsmart them. I really liked the flow of this story; the plot keep humming right along, never outstaying its welcome. The intro gave just the right amount of foreshadowing of the ending that its inevitability hit you right before the characters realize what they will do. “Foundations” by Michael Gardner – Holy crap, this story was haunting. The imagery of the house and its occupants was so vivid that I was freaking out a little. A great example of how extensive world-building can take place with very few words, the central conceit is never explained, yet you accept it. “A Word That Means Everything” by Andy Dibble – Easily one of my two favorites in the collection, probably because I am a sucker for any speculative fiction that deals with religion in a serious way. That plus linguistics and translation questions just made my day. Some of the invented languages in this story blew my mind; I had never heard similar ones before. Excellent story! “Borrowed Glory” by L Ron Hubbard – A perfect tragedy in the Greek sense. “Catching my Death” by J. L. George – I want to read a whole young adult novel set in this world, ala The Giver. The whole concept of catching your death has so many implications, many of which the author only has the chance to hint at. Another world-building marvel here. “A Prize in Every Box” by F. J. Bergman – Another very creepy story. It had a very Stranger Things feel to it–kids who get in over their heads with something they thought was fun. “Yellow and Pink” by Leah Ning – This time travel story had me thinking a lot, since I’m plotting one myself. Often we focus on the effect that time travel has on the world, but this story went in deep on what time travel does to us and our relationships. Thoughtful, horrible, and wonderful. “The Phoenix’s Peace” by Jody Lynn Nye – This story lagged a little bit. There was a lot of set-up, and the author didn’t throw us into the action as much as the other stories in the collection. But the resolution was interesting. “Educational Tapes” by Katie Livingston – My other favorite of the collection. This story is the holy grail of creative writing classes: a story in second person that works. I loved the conceit of being the listener to these educational tapes trying to brainwash me, while subtly a story is building in the background. I’m still not exactly sure what happened in the end, which is positive because that means I can think about the story more. The plotting for this story boggles my mind: how would you even plan something like this out? Five stars, will read again. “Trading Ghosts” by David A Elsensohn – This story had a Good Omens feel to it, though I felt its interaction with religion was a little shallow, especially compared to “A Word That Means Everything.” There’s an existential heaviness and grief to this story that isn’t my particular favorite either, so maybe this story is just not for me. “Stolen Sky” by Storm Humbert – A great moral fairytale on colonization, giving a snapshot of how it might feel to be completely dominated by another race, or in this case species. Sad ending. I wish there was some hope brought in here, but given what the story is, I suppose that’s not to be expected. “The Winds of Harmattan” by Nnedi Okorafor – I was about halfway through this story before I remembered that I had listened to Lavar Burton read it on his podcast. The story is so evocative of setting and character that you don’t notice the lack of a story plot much. I was still heartbroken by the ending. “As Able As Air” by Zack Be – Speaking of heartbroken, this story wrecked me. This author had an impeccable sense of timing for their deviously horrible deeds, which is all I can say without spoiling the story. Although I did call the final twist about the girlfriend. “Molting Season” by Tim Boiteau – I picture this story as playing out as a Black Mirror episode, where you know doom is coming but are completely powerless to stop it. I wanted just a touch more world building to explain mechanisms, but as an atmospheric story, it hits it out of the park. “Automated Everyman Migrant Theater” by Sonny Zae – This author was clearly having the time of his life writing the central play of this epic piece of fiction. The robots were hilarious, with lots of inside jokes and strange “how in the world” moments. I was thrown out a few times by the lack of world building, and the final twist didn’t land for me because the premise it was based on didn’t quite occur to me. Overall this was a great collection of short stories. I truly flew through most of them, which is not normal for me. I’m excited to find out who wins the grand prize in August.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wulf Moon

    Every year for the past 36 years, Writers of the Future combs the world for the best new science fiction and fantasy stories from the best new speculative fiction writers. The results year after year are stunning. With prizes, pay, and honors higher than any other contest in the industry, the anthologies attract the very best of the best, and Volume 36 is no exception. Best, not only in writing quality, but best in originality as well. These are avant-garde thinkers and creators—they must be to Every year for the past 36 years, Writers of the Future combs the world for the best new science fiction and fantasy stories from the best new speculative fiction writers. The results year after year are stunning. With prizes, pay, and honors higher than any other contest in the industry, the anthologies attract the very best of the best, and Volume 36 is no exception. Best, not only in writing quality, but best in originality as well. These are avant-garde thinkers and creators—they must be to win against the thousands upon thousands of stories submitted every year. Fresh ideas told in fresh ways with characters that will take you on spellbinding journeys into strange and mysterious worlds…isn’t that what you seek in escape fiction? Stories hand-picked by a panel of judges comprised of some of the highest-ranking names in speculative fiction. That fact alone should tell you everything you need to know. Discover the truth for yourself. Writers of the Future delivers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Oaks

    Another fantastic anthology! From cover to cover, the stories, advice, and illustrations are amazing! The stories will stick with you long after you've read them. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything. Part of the joy of these stories is in discovering them for yourself. Not only are the stories and art amazing, but the advice for writers and artists is, too. In an interview with L. Ron Hubbard titled, "Steps in the Right Direction," we're given the advice to "Write while the idea's hot, while the Another fantastic anthology! From cover to cover, the stories, advice, and illustrations are amazing! The stories will stick with you long after you've read them. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything. Part of the joy of these stories is in discovering them for yourself. Not only are the stories and art amazing, but the advice for writers and artists is, too. In an interview with L. Ron Hubbard titled, "Steps in the Right Direction," we're given the advice to "Write while the idea's hot, while the desire to do that story is still there to help you with the story." Also, in "Breaking In" by Mike Perkins, a comic-book illustrator, he says to attempt to be a unicorn. (Read his article to find out why ;)) I highly recommend this book, not only for artists and writers, but also for fantasy and science fiction lovers everywhere! And if you're new to the genre, this book is for you, too! Happy reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Juan Andres

    Fantastic Read! I've been reading this collection for years and I have never been let down. Fresh stories, each with a unique flavor that remind you why you love fantasy and Sci-Fi in the first place. This year's selection is one of the finest I've seen. Slightly longer stories (But still not too long) so the subjects can be developed more in depth. There is fantasy, sci-fi, weird sci-fi and a plethora of subjects that surprise you, in a good way. The only downside is that you finish the book much Fantastic Read! I've been reading this collection for years and I have never been let down. Fresh stories, each with a unique flavor that remind you why you love fantasy and Sci-Fi in the first place. This year's selection is one of the finest I've seen. Slightly longer stories (But still not too long) so the subjects can be developed more in depth. There is fantasy, sci-fi, weird sci-fi and a plethora of subjects that surprise you, in a good way. The only downside is that you finish the book much too soon, and then there's a full year wait for the next one. Unmissable! You will not be disappointed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maryse Alexander

    Great! The stories are diverse and each one unique. Creative plots and beautiful illustrations. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves short fiction and is interested in discovering upcoming big authors. The bonus story from Nnedi Okorafor in particular was beautiful with a special ending. And then I learned from advice as a writer and artist myself. I shared those with friends. All in all, worthy the acquisition.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James Mourgos

    Writers of the Future Volume 36 General Impressions: As you may know the Writers of the Future is the definitive writing contest for new writers. I’ve been reading this since Volume One, finding many of the new authors fascinating and make a fun read. Not all of them mind you but that’s a matter of personal preference. Volume 36 took out all the stops with a proper taste of science fiction (robots putting on Shakespeare’s plays, sort of) and a touch of fantasy (young girls on the cusp of womanhood Writers of the Future Volume 36 General Impressions: As you may know the Writers of the Future is the definitive writing contest for new writers. I’ve been reading this since Volume One, finding many of the new authors fascinating and make a fun read. Not all of them mind you but that’s a matter of personal preference. Volume 36 took out all the stops with a proper taste of science fiction (robots putting on Shakespeare’s plays, sort of) and a touch of fantasy (young girls on the cusp of womanhood and who have a magic touch), that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The cover is a masterpiece, (by Echo Chernik, illustrating the story The Phoenix’s Peace). The book starts with a few tips from the top jockeys of the illustrator, the writer (by Andy Dibble and L. Ron Hubbard) and collaborative writing (Sean Williams). My fav stories were Educational Tapes by Katie Livingston, a future time where a student is warned to comply or else; the Automated Everyman Migrant Theater, where robots can alter their forms to present plays in their moving theater, the Avon on Strat Ford (get it?). The Green Tower by Katherine Kurtz was a fun fantasy, makes me want to read her fantasy novels in her “Deryni” Universe. Final Thought: As far as anthologies go, this has to be the best one I’ve read in 35 volumes. The stories grab you to the end, the tales are funny, or thought-provoking, or the author makes a point of what life might be like if we’re not too careful. Highly recommended. I won’t write out all the rules for the new writer or illustrator who wants to enter this contest, so see www.writersofthefuture.com.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Stuart

    Depth & Poignancy: This is one of those reads when I wish I had a Kindle that did colour. The combination of illustrations with each story is brilliant. As an aspiring writer, I thoroughly enjoyed the volume. The combination of new writers and old along with advice from L R Hubbard makes Writers of the Future a superb buy. My absolute favourite story was The Trade by C. Winspear. It had a touch of humour wrapped in pathos and a very satisfying ending. This story was more sci-fi than fantasy and Depth & Poignancy: This is one of those reads when I wish I had a Kindle that did colour. The combination of illustrations with each story is brilliant. As an aspiring writer, I thoroughly enjoyed the volume. The combination of new writers and old along with advice from L R Hubbard makes Writers of the Future a superb buy. My absolute favourite story was The Trade by C. Winspear. It had a touch of humour wrapped in pathos and a very satisfying ending. This story was more sci-fi than fantasy and I usually read more fantasy but the plot involving the meeting of a human with an alien for the first time, but set in space with a very whacky alien worthy of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. Most of the other short stories were far more serious as well as touching, like Trading Ghosts. The other humorous story was Automated Everyman Migrant Theater by Sonny Zae, which was fun and touched on what it might be like to be a transforming robot in a society with strict rules for what robots can and can't do in emulating humans. This story would make a brilliant animation though the ending felt a little flat. Borrowed Glory by Hubbard was a treat. I'll say no more, but that like most of the stories in this volume there is a depth and a poignancy that leaves the reader satisfied while pondering still. The greatest disappointment for me was delivered by Jody Lynn Nye an established author. Her story about Phoenixes was full-on fantasy, which I thoroughly enjoyed until the ending. I don't wish to spoil the ending for any reader, but after writing a wonderful story about a society that upholds peaceful values, this is turned on its head and not in my opinion in a good way.

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