Writers of the Future Volume 31


Writers of the Future Volume 31


Thirteen Award-Winning Stories take you to places you’ve never been before …

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 science fiction and fantasy.

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Thirteen award-winning stories, illustrated by award-winning artists.

Also features articles and short stories from New York Times bestselling authors: Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Larry Niven and L. Ron Hubbard. Edited by David Farland.

“Switch” by Steve Pantazis, illustrated by Daniel Tyka. Go to a future where a cop’s performance depends upon the quality of his illegal brain-enhancing drugs.

“The God Whisperer” by Daniel J. Davis, illustratred by Alex Brock. Visit the home of Jack, who is troubled by a misbehaving pet Death God name Zu’ar.

“Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light” by Sharon Joss, illustrated by Choong Yoon. Go to the planet Hesperidee, where one girl is on the brink of becoming something other than human.

“A Revolutionary’s Guild to Practical Conjuration” by Auston Habershaw, illustrated by Shuangjian Liu. Meet the spirit in Abe’s magical book who makes big promises, but will only deliver at a tremendous cost.

“Twelve Minutes to Vinh Quang” by Tim Napper, illustrated by Quinlan Septer. The mobsters in Vinh Quang hope to purchase freedom for entire families—if they can just avoid the cops.

“Planar Ghosts” by Krystal Claxton, illustrated by Amit Dutta. One young man’s hallucination might be a ghost—or the key to survival.

“Half Past” by Samantha Murray, illustrated by Megan Kelchner. Meet a girl named Elizabeth who is haunted by ghostly echoes from her past.

“Purposes Made for Alien Minds” by Scott R. Parkin, illustrated by Emily Siu. A person whose genetic upgrades let him speak only in five-word sentences.

“Wisteria Melancholy” by Michael T. Banker, illustrated by Michelle Lockamy. The kids at Kessington House—a dorm for the psychomorphically unstable.

“The Graver” by Amy M. Hughes, illustrated by Taylor Payton. Daniel’s neighbors want your life—but only because they need it to get your soul.

“Poseidon’s Eyes” by Kary English, illustrated by Megen Nelson. In the seaside resort of Summerland, a young artist struggles to complete a mural, and mend broken spirits.

“Between Screens” by Zach Chapman, illustrated by Trevor Smith. Hop between doomed planets … and celebrate each one’s apocalypse.

“Unrefined” by Martin L. Shoemaker, illustrated by Tung Chi Lee. Sam is trapped on a refinery in space and his fusion reactor is about to blow—and that’s just the first of his problems.

Plus three bonus stories and articles:

“When Shadows Fall” by L. Ron Hubbard, illustrated by Greg Opalinski. Mankind’s sins must be forgiven, lest it be doomed.

“Rough Draft” by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, illustrated by Daniel Tyka. A writer gets to see what he could have created, if he’d only found the courage.

“Inconstant Moon” by Larry Niven, illustrated by Bernardo Mota. It seems that our sun has just exploded.

“Art” by L. Ron Hubbard

“Fiction without Paper” by Orson Scott Card

“The Illustrators of the Future” by Bob Eggleton

496 pages
trade paperback size
16-page full-color insert of artwork
Cover art by Bob Eggleton
Writers and Illustrators Contest Rules included

ISBN 978-1-61986-322-4 print version
ISBN 978-1-61986-319-4 digital version

#7 on Publishers Weekly Sci-Fi Bestseller List: July 6, 2015

Library Journal Starred Review:

“This 31st volume of the winners of the Writers of the Future contest also marks the 75th anniversary of L. Ron Hubbard’s first writing competition and these writers, by and large, fit well into the august company of past winners. The collection starts strongly with a drug-infused cyberpunkish policy story by Steve Pantazis and ends equally well with Kary English’s modern fantasy tale, “Poseidon’s Eyes.” In between, readers are treated to everything from space commerce to psychomorphs…. There are pieces by Larry Niven and Hubbard himself, which feel a bit dated, but the overall package is a delight. Winners of the simultaneous Illustrators of the Future contest are also featured with both monochrome and colored plates and work as varied and as exciting as the authors.

Verdict: Speculative fiction fans will welcome this showcase of new talent and should not be surprised to see more work by man of these names in years to come.” —Eric Norton, McMillan Melmorial Lib., Wisconsin Rapids

Booklist Review:

“Writers of the Future is a literary contest originally established by the late L. Ron Hubbard to encourage young sf/fantasy authors. Past winners have included some notable names in the genre, and the contest is widely regarded as one of the better ways for new voices to be heard. This latest volume features stories about space colonies, magic, crime, high fantasy, hard sf—and about as many variations as one can imagine. It also features a classic Hubbard pulp-fiction story from 1948, “When Shadows Fall”; an essay by Orson Scott Card about the value of short fiction to the sf genre; and—perhaps the book’s most unexpected and interesting offering—a little-known early-1970s story by genre giant Larry Niven (which is, at its heart, a love story). Fans of sf anthologies would be well advised to seek this one out.” — David Pitt