Writers of the Future volume 31, edited by David Farland is a collection of 13 short stories by new authors, peppered with bits of wisdom from established giants throughout.
My main point of interest for this anthology will hinge primarily on the stories by newer authors, as I believe that science fiction big-hitters like Hubbard and Card require little introduction. The anthology presents an interesting variety of genres, ranging from dystopian cyberpunk to space opera with just the right amount of hard science fiction, so some hardcore fantasy. My personal favorites (Tim Napper’s Twelve Minutes to Vinh Quangh and Scotr Parkins’ Purposes made for Alien Minds) fall into the extremes of the science fiction spectrum and worked as great introductions to weird new worlds. I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of the flashing new ideas that were brought to the table, from temporary human augmentation all the way to police-car chases at trans-light velocities.
The fantasy part of the anthology was a harder sell for me, but I still found some favorites. Davis’ The God Whisperer stood out the most for me, even if I did find its ending to be a bit too abrupt in what I considered to the most memorable fantasy story in the volume. Auston Habershaw’s Revolutionary’s Guide To Practical Conjuration was another interesting example, as it added an interesting noir twist to the ‘secondary world’ fantasy genre.
Perhaps one of the most striking features of the volume however, is its art. From Bob Eggleton’s classic SF cover art all the way to Tung Chi Lee’s impressive artwork, the illustrations in the volume make for a great argument toward buying a physical copy of the book. Daniel Tyka’s cyberpunk overtones and Shuangjian Liu’s triple-A videogame fantasy artwork were the ones that mostly stood out for me. I am looking forward to seeing more of their work with published book covers, or outright comic books.
Wirters of the Future Volume 31 is published by Galaxy Press, Inc.