Writers of the Future Brings Out the Stars of Science Fiction

L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of the Future Volume 31

A nearly 500 page collection of the best science fiction authors and illustrators selected as winners from the “Writers of the Future Contest” and “Illustrators of the Future Contest” for 2015, The “Writers of the Future Volume 31” book was exciting to receive in the mail to review. Having grown up reading and loving sci-fi as a child, including H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury among more, as well as loving Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone,” “Lost in Space,” and “Star Trek” re-runs on T.V., I love science fiction. Who doesn’t love films including “Minority Report,” or “Star Wars?” In a time or land where truly ‘anything is possible’ and anything can and does happen, science fiction pushes the bounds of what we consider ‘reality,’ and stretches ones imagination beyond its self imposed limits – to eternity.

L. Ron Hubbard: World Record Holder

The most prolific author of all time, as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records; L. Ron Hubbard began his legendary career in science fiction during the birth of the modern industrial era, when a new society of machines that began replacing man, and a new atomic bomb, loomed large. Mr. Hubbard stormed through the science fiction world at a furious pace, churning out story after quality story in countless magazines, pulp books, hardback novels, anthologies, and more. Befriending some of the other top science fiction writers of all time including Isac Asimov, he gained the respect of his peers not only for his workmanship, but equally, their jealousy for the prolific output of his mind on paper.

His science fiction alone would have cemented L. Ron Hubbard in the pages of history as a major sci-fi author of the ages, yet for Hubbard, that wasn’t enough. He went on to write the heaving “Science of Survival,” and another massive book he called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health,” which rocked the world. Touring the world with lectures concerning this book, L. Ron Hubbard started a world wide religion – and thus, Scientology was born. Controversial, record breaking, and unarguably a fascinating man, L. Ron Hubbard later decided to pay his respects back to the science fiction community from whence he began.

Writers of the Future Soars in Science Fiction Community

writers of the future

“Writers of the Future” (WOTF) is a science fiction and fantasy story contest that was established by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1980s. An associated contest, “Illustrators of the Future,” presents awards for science fiction art. Mr, Hubbard characterized the contest as a way of “giving back” to the genre his professional writing career began in. The contest has no entry fee and is reportedly the highest-paying contest for amateur science-fiction and fantasy writers.

Notable past winners of Writers of the Future include Stephen Baxter, Karen Joy Fowler, James Alan Gardner, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Jay Lake, Michael H. Payne, Patrick Rothfuss, Robert Reed, Dean Wesley Smith, Sean Williams, Dave Wolverton, Nancy Farmer, and David Zindell, among more. The winning stories are published in the yearly anthology, “L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of Future.” And, also according to Wikipedia, “the contest enjoys a favorable reputation in the science fiction community.” (*i)

Orson Scott Card: Science Fiction Star

One of the top stars of the current Writers of the Future Contest, is Orson Scott Card. “Orson Scott Card is an American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist and columnist. He writes in several genres but is known best for science fiction. His novel “Ender’s Game” (1985) and its sequel “Speaker for the Dead” (1986) both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win both science fiction’s top U.S. prizes in consecutive years. A feature film adaptation of “Ender’s Game,” which Orson Scott Card co-produced, was released in 2013.” Orson Scott Card hosts writing bootcamps and workshops through Writers of the Future, and serves as a judge for the Writers of the Future contest. Orson Scott Card, a recognized member of the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, says of the contest – which does not promulgate Scientology or any other religion; “Writers of the Future is the best way to launch a career. It’s one of the forces that keeps science fiction alive.” (*ii)

Neil Gaiman Gives Praise

Publishers weekly states of Writers of the Future Contest that it is “Always a glimpse of tomorrow’s stars.” While author Neil Gaiman states, “The Writers of the Future Contest has not only provided a place where new writers could break into print for the first time, but it also has a record of nurturing and discovering writers who have gone on to make their mark in the science fiction field. Long may it continue!”

A Massive Collection of Talent

“L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of the Future, Volume 31” is the latest collection of 2015 winners from the contest. This massive, nearly 500 page book includes the year’s thirteen best tales from the Writers of the Future international writers’ program, and is illustrated by winners in the Illustrators of the Future international illustrators’ program. Three short stories are featured here from authors L. Ron Hubbard, Orson Scott Card, and Mike Resnick, along with essays on writing and illustration by L. Ron Hubbard, Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, and Larry Niven.

Edited by Dave Farland, with Illustrations Art Directed by Bob Eggleton, the Contents includes: “Introduction” by Dave Farland “Another Range of Mountains” by Megan E. O’Keefe, Illustrated by Sarah Webb, “Switch” by Steve Pantazis, Illustrated by Daniel Tyka, “The God Whisperer” by Daniel J. Davis, Illustrated by Alex Brock, and “Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light” by Sharon Joss, Illustrated by Choong Yoon.

Also featured is the essay titled “Art” by L. Ron Hubbard, and “When Shadows Fall” by L. Ron Hubbard, Illustrated by Greg Opalinski, “A Revolutionary’s Guide to Practical Conjuration” by Auston Habershaw, Illustrated by Shuangjian Liu, “Twelve Minutes to Vinh Quang” by Tim Napper, Illustrated by Quinlan Septer, “Planar Ghosts” by Krystal Claxton, Illustrated by Amit Dutta, “Fiction without Paper” by Orson Scott Card, “Rough Draft” by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, Illustrated by Daniel Tyka, “Between Screens” by Zach Chapman.

Illustrated by Trevor Smith, “Unrefined” by Martin L. Shoemaker, Illustrated by Tung Chi Lee, “Half Past” by Samantha Murray, Illustrated by Megan Kelchner, “Purposes Made for Alien Minds” by Scott R. Parkin, Illustrated by Emily Siu, “Inconstant Moon” by Larry Niven, Illustrated by Bernardo Mota, “The Illustrators of the Future” by Bob Eggleton, and “The Graver” by Amy M. Hughes, Illustrated by Taylor Payton.

This massive collection also includes; “Wisteria Melancholy” by Michael T. Banker, Illustrated by Michelle Lockamy, “Poseidon’s Eyes” by Kary English, Illustrated by Megen Nelson, and “On the Direction of Art” by Bob Eggleton.

Award Winning Stories and Illustrations

Publishers notes concerning this collection states that this collection includes “Thirteen Award-Winning Stories take you to places you’ve never been before.” They further suggest readers to “Experience the thrills, laughs, heartbreak and tears that can all be found in this fabulous new anthology.” And they add, “We’ve scoured the globe to find the most powerful new writers, and then paired them with the most gifted new illustrators to bring you L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 31.”

One couldn’t really argue these points. Press notes also detail several of the stories plots which detail as follows; “One young man’s hallucination might be a ghost – or the key to survival.” And, “A girl named Elizabeth is haunted by ghostly echoes from her past,” Another, “A writer who gets to see what he could have created, if he’d only found the courage.”

Worth the Small Price

Writers of the Future Volume 31 is quite a collection, and priced at just $15.95, it is really a bargain. For anyone that appreciates science fiction and the sense of wonderment that it brings, this is the perfect book to curl up with in bed on a cozy night for some good stories. This Volume comes highly recommended, as do the other volumes in this collection.

Writers of the Future Contest

Lastly, for those that live in Los Angeles, or are visiting L.A., if you thought the big awards shows like the Writers of the Future Contest were out of your realm, think again. For select friends of The Hollywood Sentinel, you may have the opportunity to attend this very special event.

April 10, 2016

Mark the date for April 10th, 2016, for the next Annual Awards Ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, with the exciting ceremony, author and illustrator signing, and Awards Party immediately follow. Readers of The Hollywood Sentinel, RSVP by calling
323-466-3310 or 800-624-7907, or E-mail: [email protected], and mention you got the invitation from The Hollywood Sentinel when you call.

The Sci-Fi Twins

Check out the official video of the event here, and visit the official website of The Writers of the Future here below. And of course, if you want to really impress us, perhaps “you” will be the next writer or illustrator competing or even winning next years contest. If so, be sure to tell us so!