Writers of the Future (WOTF) is a science fiction and fantasy story contest that was originated by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1980s. Hubbard characterized the contest as a way of "giving back" to the field that had defined his professional writing life. The contest has no entry fee and is the highest-paying contest for amateur science-fiction and fantasy writers. Notable past winners of WOTF 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 and David Zindell. The winning stories are published in the yearly anthology L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of Future.
I adore short story anthologies, especially when multiple authors are involved, but I avoided this series for a long time because L Ron Hubbard's religious cult scares me. Then, I received two volumes (29 and 30) in exchange for reviews and now I'm reading the series backwards. I described the Volume 26 as my least favorite volume (to date) but it's now tied with this one.
What I like about this book/series is the exposure to authors that I haven't read before but this book, like Vol. 26, is dull. Many of these short stories revolve around the same themes so the stories began to feel repetitive as I read on and, maybe because I'm reading this volume years after its publication date, none of the ideas felt new. I needed several weeks to get through this volume because I kept putting the book aside in favor of other books. I will pick up Volume 24 - I am eager to read some of the older volumes, to see the earlier works of authors I may already be familiar with - but it will be at my leisure.
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