Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Writers of the Future Volume 31 Review

Tomoson.com provided me with this item in exchange for an honest review. Image source Amazon.com

 Last year I was introduced to L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future when I was sent Volume 30 to review. I wasn't sure what to expect exactly, but I was surprised and impressed with the quality of the stories I found in the small volume. When I received a request to review this year's volume, I was excited and I jumped at the opportunity.

Blurb



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.

Review

Writers of the Future is a contest for aspiring authors, but it is also an illustrator's contest. Before reading each story, I looked at it's illustration to get a feel for what the story would be about, and to judge how effective the illustrations were. With this in mind, let me review the illustrators first.

While all of the artwork is of good quality, a hand full stand out at me and drew my eyes every time I flipped through the images. Michelle  Lockamy's artwork is a prime example of this; I was especially drawn to the piece, as I love the style and colors. Quinlan Septer, Trevor Smith and Megan Kelchner are my other favorite illustrators from this collection because their work jumps out at me and something about it just speaks to me.

Some of the illustrations remind me of other artists styles such as Tony DiTerlizzi (Choong Yoon and Megan Kelchner) and Josh Kirby (Emily Siu.) Greg Opalinski, Daniel Tyka, Shuangjian Liu, Trevor Smith accomplished the goal of making me want to read the accompanying story.

Switch by Steve Pantazis I found to be disturbing yet interesting. It was reminiscent of the Matrix if Morpheus hand simply given Neo street drugs to turn him into a drug addict super hero.

The God Whisperer by Daniel J Davis I found be funny, enjoyable, and while short and to the point, a great read.

Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light by Sharon Joss was excellent. I loved this story as it kept me on the edge, kept me expecting something terrible to happen and yet it ended nicely. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Art by L. Ron Hubbard logically made sense and yet to me it wasn't one of the easier reads. It came across to me as being full of double speak, snarky and insincere.

When Shadows Fall by L. Ron Hubbard was an inspirational, positive perspective of mankind's inherit nature.

A Revolutionary’s Guide to Practical Conjuration by Auston Habershaw was funny, quite good with an unexpected ending.

Planar Ghosts by Krystal Claxton was really good, an enjoyable post-apocalyptic view and left me with a lot of questions.

Fiction Without Paper by Orson Scott Card I felt was very informative for the novice writer. Appreciated!

Rough Draft by Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta was probably one of my favorites in this volume, and I found myself telling others about this story which is something I normally wouldn't do. It was interesting, thought provoking and inspiring.

Between Screens by Zach Chapman I found to be dark, disturbing and surprising.

Unrefined by Marin L. Shoemaker was well written but definitely not a favorite.

Half Past by Samantha Murray was a very quick, interesting and thought provoking read. I found the plot concept quite different and creative.

Purposes Made for Alien Minds by Scott R Parkin, sadly I couldn't read. Let me explain that each sentence is made of 5 words which I understand the author was going for a certain style but quite frankly I found it to be rather irritating. Each time I tried to read this one I walked away with a tension headache until I eventually gave up on trying to read it.

Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven was a fun, easy and interesting read with an ending which left the reader wondering what really happened.

The Graver by Amy M. Hughes was an easy read. Although full of clich├ęs, it was interesting with a good ending.

Wisteria Melancholy by Michael T Banker was excellent and I felt it was easily the most creative among the stories. I found it to be quite different and enjoyed it very much.

Lastly, I found Poseidon's Eyes by Kary English to be quite different from what I expected based on the artwork alone. The story was good, and I found the process of the artist within to be quite true of real life.

This volume offers many different unique, enjoyable stories for fans of science fiction and fantasy alike. My thanks to Tomoson.com and Writers of the Future for giving me the chance to review it.

You can purchase Writers of the Future Volume 31 on Amazon.com in paperback ($11.87) or ebook format ($5.38.) For more information about Writers of the Future, including full contest rules and author updates, check out www.WritersoftheFuture.com

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