Monday, June 24, 2013

Writers of the Future Volume 29 Review and Giveaway

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

Writers of the Future Volume 29 officially releases today, and in honor of it's release I've been given the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy. Galaxy Press has even agreed to give two of you wonderful people a copy as well! 

The Writers of the Future contest has apparently been going on for awhile, but this is actually the first edition I've read. It's a wonderful opportunity for new and amateur writers to get recognition and exposure for their short stories and novelettes. It also comes with a cash prize, so if you qualify it may be something to look in to! It's an opportunity for illustrators as well, as each story that makes it into the book comes with an illustration of a scene from the story (some of which you can take a peek at in the video above). I really enjoyed the stories in this book, and I'm not just saying that because they gave me a free copy! You can tell by looking at all the dog-eared pages which contain quotes and passages I've highlighted to enjoy again later.

Along with the stories you also get a short bio of the authors and illustrators. I'll be honest, at first I skipped those. I've never been one to read author bios. However, when I saw the name Chrome Oxide, author of "Cop for a Day", I just had know how he came up with that pen name. The bio revealed a sense of humor I couldn't wait to see more of in his story. Near the end, after accidentally becoming a recording engineer, it explains that "[r]ecently, because of inadequate discouragement, he started writing science fiction and fantasy." Don't you just love that? "Cop for a Day" did not disappoint, including various government programs and agencies with hilarious acronyms. Sovereign Laborers And Valued Employees can be found eating their Government Regulated Uniform Edible Lumps in their Simple Living Urban Modules, for instance. I will definitely be looking for more from Chrome Oxide and hoping he doesn't get adequately discouraged anytime soon.

I think my favorite is a tie between "Holy Days" by Kodiak Julian and "The Ghost Wife of Arlington" by Marilyn Guttridge, which coincidentally are placed right next to each other. "Holy Days" follows a family on the four different Holy Days of the universe they live in. Unlike in this universe where we're required to go to Mass, reality is changed during these days in a different manner each time. I'm afraid of going into more detail as I don't want to spoil it! I couldn't help but wonder what life would be like if our own Holy Days were the same. "The Ghost Wife of Arlington" on the other hand is about... Death's personal assistant, for lack of a better description. Each city has it's own Eternal and they usually have a helper, sometimes called a Shade. In Arlington it's always a woman and they call her the Ghost Wife. I can't put my finger on why I loved this one so much, I just did.

While I liked some more than others, there weren't any stories I didn't like. These authors definitely earned their place in this edition. It did seem more science fiction than fantasy to me, so if you love fantasy but don't care for scifi you might not enjoy it as much as I did. I would certainly recommend Writers of the Future Volume 29 to lovers of both. You can pick up a copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or enter my giveaway below!

Giveaway Closed

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