Thursday, March 4, 2021


Available on Paperback and Kindle.

It's taken me nearly a year to read the anthology WRITERS OF THE FUTURE - VOLUME 36 by Galaxy Press. Why did it take me so long to finish it? There are many reasons why, including procrastination, depression, stress, allergies, and the pandemic. Then again, maybe part of me wasn't in the mood to read an anthology.

Writers of the Future is a yearly science fiction and fantasy writing contest. It was founded in the early 1980s by the late pulp author L. Ron Hubbard. The contest Illustrations of the Future started in 1988. The winning stories and illustrations appear in the annual L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future.  

The stories included in VOLUME 36 are by C. Winspear, Michael Gardner, Andy Dibble, J. L. George, F. J. Bergmann, Leah Ning, Katie Livingston, David A. Elsensohn, Storm Humbert, Mike Perkins, Zack Be, Tim Boiteau, and Sonny Zae. Included with each short story is an illustration by one of the artist winners. The illustrators are Arthur Bowling, Aidin Andrews, Heather A. Laurence, Kaitlyn Goldberg, Ben Hill, Irmak Cavun, John Dale Javier, Mason Matak, Anh Le, Brock Aguirre, Daniel Bitton, and Phoebe Rothfield.

Also, there's an introduction by editor David Farland and art & writing tips by Echo Chernik, Mike Perkins, and Sean Williams. There are three bonus stories by Katherine Kurtz, Jody Lynn Nye, and Nnedi Okorafor. Last but not least are two reprinted writings by L. Ron Hubbard - the essay "Steps in the Right Direction" and the short story "Borrowed Glory."

Final Thoughts

The short stories were a mixed bag for me. A few were well-written, such as Stolen Sky by Storm Humbert, A Price in Every Box by F. J. Bergmann, and Catching My Breath by J. L. George, and the others were more on the dull side. Don't get me wrong - it's not like the stories are bad. I just didn't connect with the narrations and characters. The biggest issue I have with anthologies is that some stories keep my interest and the others don't. 

The illustrations throughout the anthology are all exceptionally crafted by talented artists. I didn't have a favorite because all are equally beautiful.

Overall, I'm rating WRITERS OF THE FUTURE - VOLUME 36 a three out of five. Yes, that might seem low to science fiction readers, but as a whole, this anthology was lackluster at best. Here's hoping VOLUME 37 (set to be released this Fall) will be better.

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