Writers of the Future Volume 30 : Collection

Book review for : Writers of the Future Volume 30
Author : various; short story collection
Rating : 4 stars
Series : Volume 30 of the publication but it doesn’t matter.

Sparklies

I’ve read a couple Writers of the Future collections, and I can’t say this one is very different. It seems most of the stories carry a message — i.e. a good portion of the stories take place after humans have destroyed their world and its habitat. Yippee.

That said, the stories I enjoyed outnumber the ones I didn’t.

Another Range of Mountains: fantasy based on the cool concept of people who can draw and read reflections (on mirrored surfaces). Nice idea, but the plot was lacking and I didn’t feel sorry for the characters at all. I think the concept deserves a book of its own.

Shifter: kind of creepy but very well done, about a family of immortals who can write themselves new identities at any time. Interesting concept, good execution, strong ending.

Shaadi Exile: good concept, good execution. I could definitely have read more, felt the ending was a bit too quick. Brides are sent light-years away to share cultures, with the disadvantage of essentially traveling to the future and never seeing their families again.

The Pushbike Legion: another one I REALLY want there to be more of, as it felt like the first few chapters of a book. This Land is a circle of grassy/farm/roads/normal lands, surrounded by a desert that disintegrates anything leaving town. How did it come to be, and where will it go? These questions aren’t quite answered by the story. It’s a good story by itself but… I want more….

Memories Bleed Beneath the Mask: memories are handed down through the generations and are the wealth of the society. Cool. Just cool. We get a small piece of that concept here in a good story, but I was confused by the last 2 paragraphs as to how the character came to the conclusions he did.

Giants at the End of the World was well-done and easy to read.
The Clouds in Her Eyes and These Walls of Despair had interesting worlds I don’t necessarily need more of but they made for good stories.
Robots Don’t Cry (Resnick) and Carousel (Card) were touching well-contained short stories.

I admit I don’t read short stories much, I prefer longer works that can really dive into the world and characters, and while I found the above entertaining, none of the rest of the stories captured my interest. I applaud all the entrants for their hard work, and will say the writing was good and easy to read.
Then I must also admit I’ve never read anything by Hubbard… and have found that’s ok. His inspirational article confused me, his story (Beyond All Weapons) was almost interesting, with a tragic yet predictable ending, but I don’t care for his dramatic style.

The illustrations were all beautiful, and complemented the stories well. This larger style of publication is MUCH better for viewing the artwork. They give you full color at the end of the book, I’m tempted to cut these out and put them on my wall. Sadly they are two-sided so I would need to choose!

All in all it’s fun to be introduced to these authors and the worlds they’ve created.

 

Originally reviewed on Amazon in 2014. I did receive a copy of this book for free in exchange for a review.

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