Review of Writers of the Future, (Volume 29)

Book Cover

Official Release Date: June 24, 2013

Purchase on Amazon:Writers of the Future Volume 29 (L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future)

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future (Volume 29) Editor: Dave Wolverton

Book Description (From Goodreads)

Turn the page…open your eyes…and look into the future  

They unleash the power of dreams and unlock the secrets of the universe.

 They bend time, twist perception, and put a new spin on the laws of physics.

 They show us who we are, what we may become, and how far we can go.

 They are the Writers of the Future.

 Experience their vision.

 “Keep the Writers of the Future going. It’s what keeps sci-fi alive.” —ORSON SCOTT CARD

*****

Praise for Writers of the Future (Volume 29)

A Starred Review in Publisher’s weekly posted May 30, 2013:

“Selected by a panel of judges and edited into a cohesive collection by Wolverton, this year’s Writers of the Future collection is exciting and engrossing, with stories that range across the spectrum of SF and fantasy. Eschewing tried-and-true space opera and epic fantasy, these stories explore new mysteries and ideas. Death takes a bride in Marilyn Guttridge’s “The Ghost Wife of Arlington.” The secrets of the clock that powers the world are revealed in Christopher Reynaga’s “The Grande Complication.” Shannon Peavey’s “Scavengers” introduces the Vulture Lady and explains why no one who leaves her domain ever returns. Adventurous, lighthearted, thought-provoking, and grim, these stories cover a wide range of science and magic, each unique, refreshing, and innovative in a variety of different ways. The anthology is fleshed out by essays from the late Hubbard, Nnedi Okorafor, and artist Larry Elmore. This book is not to be missed, full of exciting new writers to watch. (July) (From Amazon & Goodreads)

*****

Book Review

This exciting anthology is a collection of science fiction stories by talented, new writers and illustrators who were selected from The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests.
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These original stories and illustrations are a fine example of what readers can anticipate in the future of the science fiction genre. This stories in this collection are imaginative, and some provide glimpses into an advanced future world and its repercussions on the existence of our society and our humanity.  At times, some of the stores made me cringe, thinking…this could really happen.  Here are some of the stories that lingered in my mind after reading this latest volume of works. The beautiful illustrations that accompany the stories helped me to really grasp the visions of a different type of world.
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Two stories that deal with future worlds and government greed and corruption are “Planetary Scouts” and “Cop for a Day.”  Aiden, a seasoned scout breaks in Lester, his new partner in “Planetary Scouts.”  Numerous planets exist, and humans want to venture beyond Earth and explore possible places for settlement and expansion.  As a result, scouts are sent out to foreign planets to observe and provide feedback on whether the planet is suitable for habitation. The story is filled with action and suspense as Aiden and Lester struggle to survive in unchartered terrain. The sacrifices made by scouts provide an alarming look at the potential for devastation as a consequence of someone’s territorial greed.

“Cop for a Day” describes a world where government controls and restrains capitalism. Citizens are forced to rely on government aid and intervention that is meager and sub-standard. The protagonist, Mark, a convicted felon gets a probationary job that requires him to roam the streets and enforce “asset forfeiture.” While on the job, he partners with a highly intelligent car and by the end of his first day on the job, Mark has the potential to change his current situation.  The story made me think hard about governmental control and human rights.

The concept of death is presented from different angles in some of the stories. Imagine a world where death no longer is exists. “The War Hero” depicts the notion of body regeneration with minds even swapping bodies as needed or desired in order to facilitate covert operations.  On a different, note, consider the possibility of the dying able to communicate the final twelve seconds of their lives to officials.  “Twelve Seconds” reflects the point-of-view of Howard, a man with autism who also suffers from PTSD. He works in the homicide department viewing the last seconds of murdered victims. Precision is a must for Howard, who becomes suspicious of those whose deaths do not meet the 12 second standard showing their last memories before death.  This was one of my favorite stories showing Howard’s perseverance in solving the mystery behind these particular deaths. Although the story involves tragic events, the ending left me hopeful about Howard’s future.

If Death were a live entity, what would he or she be like? “The Ghost Wife of Arlington” is a paranormal romance that personifies Death, an immortal who has taken a “shade,” a mortal woman who is known as the “Ghost Wife.” She walks down “Bone Rattler Street” leaving various gifts for the ghosts who reside there in the city of Arlington.  I enjoyed analyzing this story, looking at the overt and subtle symbolism found throughout that strengthens and unifies the plot.

A final favorite of mine is “Dreameater,” a disturbing  and suspenseful tale of a prostitute mother who craves men’s dreams to the point she eats their brains. This zombiesh tale is told from her young daughter’s point-of-view as she gradually learns the truth about her mother and the genetic impact on her future.

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Expository essays that offer tips and advice for aspiring writers are also included in this anthology.  One of my favorites is the essay, “The Manuscript Factory” by L. Ron Hubbard where he describes the economics of writing and offers advice on how authors can examine their creative writing from a business perspective. “The Sport of Writing” shows that writing and sports have many similarities, an unusual comparison that I hadn’t considered.

The captivating tales in this anthology are insightful, stimulating, thought-provoking and a thoroughly enjoyable read!

I received a copy of this book from Galaxy Press in exchange for an honest review.

Rating

top of the mountain copy40

*****

About  L. Ron Hubbard

Hubbard

March 13-1911-January 24, 1986

With 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 325 million copies of his works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard is among the most acclaimed and widely read authors of our time. As a leading light of American Pulp Fiction through the 1930s and ’40s, he is further among the most influential authors of the modern age. Indeed, from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, there is scarcely a master of imaginative tales who has not paid tribute to L. Ron Hubbard. (From Amazon)

Goodreads Profile | Official Website

About Dave Wolverton

Wolverton

Dave Wolverton (born 1957) is a science fiction author who also goes under the pseudonym David Farland for his fantasy works. He currently lives in St. George, Utah with his wife and five children. (from Goodreads)

Goodreads Profile | Author Website

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