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Nnedi Okorafor at the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest providing tips on how to start writing.

The Sport of Writing by Nnedi Okorafor

Originally published in Writers of the Future Volume 29, this article written by Nnedi Okorafor provides useful writing tips on how to start writing and even more specifically how to start a story. She discusses her personal story beginning with a career as a professional tennis player and how this provided her greatest writing lesson learned. Nnedi explains the battle she fights when beginning a new story, when facing the dreaded blank page and her ultimate triumph that has made her one of today’s most successful fantasy writers.

“The Writers of the Future experience played a pivotal role during a most impressionable time in my writing career. Everyone was so welcoming. And afterwards, the WotF folks were always around when I had questions or needed help. It was all far more than a mere writing contest.” —Nnedi Okorafor


When I was sixteen years old, I learned one of the greatest lessons I could learn as a writer. This was four years before I wrote my first creative work, so I didn’t know this at the time. I was barely paying attention, really. I was too busy trying to win. I was in San Diego, California on the hot tennis court, Wilson tennis racquet in hand, Reebok tennis shoes on my feet. These were from my corporate sponsors, but I loved their products, too.

I was playing in one of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) junior national tournaments. These were where the top young players in the country battled it out. I wasn’t a top seed. Neither was my opponent. I don’t even remember her name. However, she and I were evenly matched and for this reason, our match was long. Where most tennis matches took about an hour, ours had stretched to five and a half.

I’d lost the first set 6–7, won the second set 7–6 and because of this, we had to play a third. The score was 6–6 and we were playing a tiebreaker. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky or a person on the sidelines. We had no audience. Both of us had flown to California alone, so neither of us had parents there to watch.

Regardless, we were two teenagers at war, slugging that ball back and forth, diving for drop-shots, acing serves, really digging into the root of the sport.

All the other girls had finished playing their matches. Everyone but the officials at the front desk had gone home for the day. Finally, after about five hours and forty-five minutes, I won the match. There was no burst of applause. I hadn’t advanced to any namable position like the finals or the semifinals. I didn’t scream or fall to my knees with elation. And if I had, there was no photographer to catch that moment.

Nevertheless, I felt I’d reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro; I experienced the purest form of success. This had nothing to do with winning and everything to do with loving the game and playing it well after being blessed with a formidable opponent. She and I shook hands and then sat in the shade and drank lots of water. We didn’t talk. We had nothing to say. We went to the front desk and reported our score. That was it.

Nearly a decade passed before I realized the lesson in this experience. Just as in sports, when writing creatively, if you don’t love the craft and art of it, you’ll never experience this pure form of success. Yet when you do have this love, you realize that pure success does not come from fame or fortune, it grows from that love.

Too often athletes and writers are seen as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, culturally, socially and in practice. The seed of this separation is planted early. In elementary and high school, there are “the jocks” who are the athletes and “the nerds” who are the academics (this group more often than not includes those who seek to and will become creative writers). Writers are stereotyped as sedentary people who loathe exercise; their movement is in their heads. Athletes are stereotyped as being anything but academics and thinkers. It is brains versus brawn.

How to Start Writing

Both groups miss out on valuable lessons by being so separated. The fact is that there are many parallels between the worlds of sports and creative writing. In my experience, they are nearly interchangeable. They are both forms of craft and art. Since I am speaking to writers, I’d like to share some of the lessons I learned from sports that are perfectly applicable to writing.

One of the greatest lessons is how to gracefully, bravely face fear. I remember vividly those matches where I had to play against someone ranked just below me. These were matches where I had nothing to gain and everything to lose. One of the unique things about tennis is that it is a very mental sport. The best player does not always win. All it takes is a small distraction and next thing you know, you’ve lost.

For example, I was playing a girl in a tournament when I was about fourteen. I was winning easily. I’d won the first set 6–2 and I was up 5–3. I was about to wrap things up. Then during one of the changeovers (every two games you switch sides), I noticed her left hand. It was prosthetic. I was only about fourteen years old and this killed my concentration. I went on to lose the match because I couldn’t stop looking at her hand and marveling at the fact that she could compensate so well.

Loss of concentration is not the only type of mental struggle when playing someone ranked below you. I was immature and highly competitive and such matches sparked sharp nervous fear. Despite this, I had to go out there. The walk out to the court was like a death sentence. The warm-up was torture. When I began playing the first point, I would find that I had to either curl up and lose or stand up and fight.

This is a battle I fight when beginning a new story when facing the dreaded blank page. There’s a voice in my head saying, “There’s nothing there! How can you create something from nothing? Where do I begin? There’s no instruction manual or guide I can Google.” That blank page is like the opponent who has everything to gain from me and nothing to lose.

Though I feel this fear every time, I have never walked away from it. I stand and face the monster, then I dance with it and it is exhilarating. “If you fear something you give it power over you,” says a North African proverb. And if you conquer that fear, you are rewarded with power and joy.

For one year, between the high school tennis season and my first (and only) year playing college tennis, I joined my high school’s track team. I went on to win over twenty-two medals and compete and place in the state championship in multiple events. My best event was the 400m. This race was once around the track; it is the longest sprint. Whenever I ran this race, something peculiar happened. I’d black out from the hundred-meter mark to the three-hundred-meter mark. Then I’d return to myself in that last hundred meters. The sound of the crowd would burst back into my ears as if it had been on mute and I’d speed up all the way to the finish line.

How to Start a Story

At first, I was disturbed by this blacking out. These were moments where I had no control of what was happening. However, after winning a few races, I learned to stop questioning and just trust in it. This is something I’ve applied to writing many, many times. Practically every successful story I’ve written grew from a “blackout” moment where I would fall into a creative zone. During these times, no matter how hard I try, I cannot recall how I came up with what I wrote. When I first began writing, these moments scared me. I didn’t like the idea of not knowing precisely where something came from or how I wrote it. Nonetheless, many novels and short stories later, I’ve learned not to question, fear, deconstruct or try to remember these blackouts.

There is a side of creativity that defies logic. This is the side that is no longer craft, but art. Imagine driving your car. Now, remove your hands from the wheel. Or imagine running. Now, shut your eyes. Now trust that you will not crash or fall. These are mystical moments for a mystical practice. Both athlete and writer are better off accepting these moments, welcoming them, even seeking to evoke them.

When life happens, certain emotions can cripple progress … like rage. There is one particular tennis match where I was being eaten alive by rage just before I went out onto the court. It was the state championship and I was tired of everything—the constant matches, nosy reporters, trash talking and pressure.

I felt burned out and generally angry at my existence. I just wanted to go home and sleep.

Instead, I had to play a girl who was just below me in rank, one of those “everything to lose and nothing to gain” situations. However, instead of letting that hold me down, I went out there and focused my rage to a razor-sharp edge. Then I used this weapon to demolish my opponent in a half hour. I beat her 6–0,

6–0, acing nearly every serve. I didn’t care about winning; I just wanted to get off the court so I could go relax.

Rage and writing can be enemies or friends. One can be so angry that she walks away from the page because she can’t focus enough to write. The words fall apart when she looks at them. Her eyes cloud with tears so that she can’t see them. The angry throb in her head is too loud for clear thinking. Or one can use that rage to sharpen her pen. Rage can be a great blade sharpener. It doesn’t feel good but it’s burning inside you, so you might as well use it. Don’t let it stop you from producing; channel it into your work instead. Let it serve a purpose. Produce something positive.

My Greatest Lesson

Possibly the greatest lesson that I took directly from sports and brought to writing was stamina. The stamina needed to practice day in, day out and then prove one’s worth in a tournament or track competition is the exact same stamina needed to navigate one’s way through the mental and physical obstacle course of finishing a novel. My days of training for the nationals and state championships helped me tackle the challenges of my first novel, Zahrah the Windseeker. Right after I sold this novel to Houghton Mifflin, my editor asked me to change it from third to first person.

On the tennis court, I’d tell myself, “One point at a time.” When writing, I tell myself, “One page at a time.” One of my favorite Nigerian proverbs is, “Little by little the bird builds its nest.” I used this proverb to create Nnedi Rule Number One: Don’t look a novel in the eye until you are done with the first draft. Focus on the journey, not the destination. This is the best way to reach your destination. Understand that the journey will be tough, perilous and sometimes painful. Never give up, but be willing to change and listen. Finish what you start. I’ve written over twenty novels and there has only been one that I have not finished.

The body and the mind are deeply connected. Writing is a mental and spiritual art but there is a physical side to it, too. One must have the stamina to sit and focus for long periods of time. There’s the physical act of the fingers flying across the keys or the hand holding the pen as it dances across the paper and the mouth moving as it exhales the story. Part of my own writing process includes working out at the gym. My muse sends me many of my finest ideas while at the gym, sweating and breathing hard, blood pumping. Exercise keeps my body fit and I therefore have more energy to burn writing.

It’s all connected.


Nnedi Okorafor

Dr. Nnedi Okorafor is a speculative fiction novelist of Nigerian descent. Her novels include Who Fears Death (winner of the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel), Akata Witch (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (winner of the Parallax Award). Her children’s book Long Juju Man won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa. Her short story “Windseekers” was a Writers of the Future Contest finalist in 2001 and was published in Vol. 18.

Dr. Okorafor holds a Ph.D. in literature and is a Full Professor at the University of Buffalo, New York (SUNY). She became a Writers of the Future judge in 2013.

Find out more at: nnedi.com

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Brand New Science Fiction

Looking for brand new science fiction and fantasy? You are in the right place.

These science fiction and fantasy books have been written by the Writers of the Future award-winning authors and contest judges over the last year (along with a few coming out soon). The Writers of the Future program was created by L. Ron Hubbard to provide a chance for aspiring authors and their works to be seen and acknowledged. To receive information about the program click here.

Discover the cutting edge of speculative fiction, from space opera to hard science fiction, and urban fantasy to dark fantasy fiction, in both epic books and short stories.

Note: The anthologies below include one or more stories by Writers of the Future winners, judges, and L. Ron Hubbard (authors are bolded), and many include stories written by other authors as well.

 

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35

  • Writer winners: Christopher Baker, Carrie Callahan, David Cleden, Preston Dennett, Andrew Dykstal, John Haas, Kyle Kirrin, Mica Scotti Kole, Rustin Lovewell, Wulf Moon, Elise Stephens, and Kai Wolden

  • Illustrators winners: Aliya Chen, Alexander Gustafson, Yingying Jiang, Sam Kemp, Qianjiao Ma, Allen Morris, Jennifer Ober, Josh Pemberton, Emerson Rabbitt, Christine Rhee, Vytas Vasiliauskas, and Alice Wang

  • Accompanied by: L. Ron Hubbard, Rebecca Moesta, Mike Resnick, Dean Wesley Smith, David Farland (editor), Echo Chernik, Bob Eggleton, Rob Prior, David Furnal (illustrator), and Brian C. Hailes (illustrator)

Brand new science fiction and fantasy authors and illustrators make their debut in the 35th international bestselling anthology of award-winning short stories, spanning from hardcore sci-fi to epic fantasy. Discover stories so fresh and new, they’re years ahead of the curve. Order now and receive an additional book in the series free.

“Hot new talent.” —Locus

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35

28 Minutes into the Future

Chrome Oxide

In a time when we need to laugh more than ever, here are nine hilarious (and irreverent) short stories that blow political correctness to smithereens.

“2018 Recommended Reading List” —Tangent Online

28 Minutes into the Future by Chrome Oxide

A.I. Void Ship (A.I. Series Book 6)

Vaughn Heppner

Humanity’s war for survival against the galactic machines is coming to a grim end—our extinction has been given top priority by the main A.I. brain-core. While desperate tactics have kept us alive so far, we’d better find some strong allies fast or we’ll be another extinct species.

“Expertly crafted. Its wit and brutality conveys the reality of a stellar humanity in the near future.” —Amazon Reviewer

A.I. Void Ship by Vaughn Heppner

All the Plagues of Hell

Eric Flint and Dave Freer

In a complex web of enemies, the usurper of Milan, also known to friend and foe as the Wolf of the North, must use the cunning and skill of his physician to neutralize the Venetian hostilities. But will it be enough to save him as Orkise, the snake-god of plague, uncoils its venomous magic in a plague of hell across northern Italy?

All the Plagues of Hell by Eric Flint and Dave Freer

Alternate Routes

Tim Powers

A fast-paced supernatural adventure from the labyrinth of Los Angeles freeways to a horrifying alternate world out of Greek Mythology. Sebastian Vickery, a disgraced ex-Secret Service agent and Agent Ingrid Castine must learn to trust each other if they are to survive, despite their old loyalties.

“Powers continues his run of smashing expectations and then playing with the pieces in this entertaining urban fantasy. More than a dash of the bizarre.” —Publishers Weekly

Alternate Routes by Tim Powers

Amazons: Daughters of Artemis

Lisa Smedman

After being sacrificed to Poseidon, the young princess managed to survive and was washed ashore. She was adopted by the Amazons—legendary female warriors. She was granted a unique talent by the gods to catch glimpses of the future and hopes to use these visions to be reunited with her family. But was Artemis, patron of the Amazons and goddess of the hunt, simply using her as a tool to reach her own ends?

“Descriptions of the Amazons are really interesting.” —Amazon Reviewer

Amazons: Daughters of Artemis by Lisa Smedman

Analog Science Fiction and Fact (Vol 137)

Howard V. Hendrix, Julie Novakova, Jay Werkeiser, Trevor Quachri (editor)

This issue of Analog includes finalist for Best Novella, “The Girls with Kaleidoscope Eyes” where Ciera learns that the A.I. at NSA has created some human avatars that gained the ability to manipulate people’s minds. While it drives its enemies to suicide, it doesn’t realize she’s an enemy until too late. Also included are “To See the Elephant” and “Kepler’s Law” and several more.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact (Vol 137) by Howard V. Hendrix, Julie Novakova, Jay Werkeiser, Trevor Quachri (editor)

Angels Don’t Have Dark Hair

Brennan Harvey

In this original short story, the ghost of Phil’s ex-girlfriend makes him an offer that will make his life better. Will he take her advice … or remain a slacker forever?

Angels Don't Have Dark Hair by Brennan Harvey

Apex Magazine (Issue 114)

Gary Kloster, Gary A. Braunbeck, Storm Humbert, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Paul Jessup, Andrea Johnson, Russell Dickerson, and Jason Sizemore (editor)

Apex Magazine features original mind-bending short stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror, including the emotionally stirring dark fantasy “Godzilla vs. Buster Keaton, Or: I Didn’t Even Need a Map,” “Master Brahms” tackling the concept of identity with a new twist, the fast-paced heroic story of a word witch using her powers for good in “Toward a New Lexicon of Augury,” and the short story “Riding the Signal.” There are also author interviews and an insightful non-fiction article.

Apex Magazine (Issue 114)

Arabella the Traitor of Mars (Adventures of Arabella Ashby Book 3)

David D. Levine

The Crown, the Galaxy’s last superpower, has turned its sights on Mars. Arabella is torn between the loyalties of her new husband and love, who fights for the Crown, and that of the Martians. And while the resistance of Mars is hopeless, she has many friends there—will she abandon them or fight along with them?

“Sci-fi steampunk at its best. Strong storyline and characters.” —Amazon Reviewer

Arabella the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine

Asimov’s Science Fiction (July-August 2017)

R. Garcia y Robertson, Alexander Jablokov, David Gerrold, Rudy Rucker, Marc Laidlaw, Michael Bishop, Lisa Goldstein, Cadwell Turnbull, Rich Larson, James Gunn, Sheila Finch, Michael Bishop, and Sheila Williams (editor)

This issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction includes the finalist for Best Novella, “The Girl Who Stole Herself” where Amanda is a proud space princess in V3, however, she’s a 17-year-old high school dropout who lives with her mom in the real world. Some parts of the V3 world are more real than they ought to be—the slavers are after her.

“A balance of fast-paced, high-tech adventure stories and intimate character studies.” —Tangent Online

Asimov’s Science Fiction (July-August 2017)

Asimov’s Science Fiction (May-June 2017)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Karen Joy Fowler, James E. Gunn, Leah Cypess, Dale Bailey, William Preston, Will Ludwigsen, Peter Wood, Jay O’Connell, and Ian McHugh

Included in this issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction is Best Novella finalist “The Runabout” where in the Boneyard—the graveyard of spaceships abandoned by the mysterious Fleet thousands of years earlier—the boss searches to expand her work for the Lost Souls Corporation. Also includes the eerie story “Persephone of the Crows” and an intriguing series concerning pilgrims in “The Escape of the Adastra: Asha’s Story,” and many more original short stories and novellas.

“I have enjoyed this issue. Truly a welcome stellar journey. I look forward to another in the near future!” —Tangent Online

Asimov’s Science Fiction (May-June 2017)

The Assassination of Billy Jeeling

Brian Herbert

Billy Jeeling, after life-long service of cleaning up and repairing the atmosphere with the creation of the Skyship and its secret technologies, is under attack by the AmEarth Empire. They consider his old age a threat and have asked him to step down and turn over his technology. When he won’t, they launch a full-scale propaganda machine, resulting in massive demonstrations against him; and one officer who will stop at nothing to bring him down. However, Jeeling has even bigger secrets (and personal demons) that threaten himself and every living creature­—and he is the only one that can save them.

“A good read.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Assassination of Billy Jeeling by Brian Herbert

Bards and Sages Quarterly (Volume 10, Issue 3)

Sean Patrick Hazlett, Dawn Vogel, Eugen Bacon, Gustavo Bondoni, Kyla Chapek, Aaron DaMommio, Sarah Milne Das, Steve DuBois, David Fisher, and Julie Ann Dawson

Bards and Sages Quarterly is a celebration of science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction short stories. It showcases amazing voices that otherwise might be missed. Discover both new and established writers is this collection of original work. This issue is a winner of their Reader’s Choice Awards.

Bards and Sages Quarterly (Volume 10, Issue 3)

Binti: The Night Masquerade

Nnedi Okorafor

Believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind, Binti has returned to her home planet. While her people are peaceful on the whole, the Khoush continue to fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse. Before Binti can get to her village, the anger and resentment have already claimed the lives of many close to her. It is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people once and for all, in this epic conclusion of the sci-fi trilogy that began with the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Binti.

“Nnedi Okorafor writes glorious futures and fabulous fantasies. Her worlds open your mind to new things, always rooted in the red clay of reality. Prepare to fall in love with Binti.” ―Neil Gaiman, New York Times bestselling author of American Gods

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Blue Collar Space

Martin L. Shoemaker

Award-winning author of “Today I am Paul,” Martin L. Shoemaker, presents stories of everyday people, doing extraordinary things in interstellar situations. These are the people planning, constructing, exploring—living and dying—across the galaxy. The future doesn’t just happen … somebody has to build it.

“My only real complaint is that I want more stories.” —Amazon Reviewer

Blue Collar Space by Martin L. Shoemaker

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation

Ken Liu

Edited by award-winning author Ken Liu, Broken Stars is a collection of Chinese science fiction and fantasy short stories that evoke the full emotional spectrum. They demonstrate the diversity and vibrancy of the genre, spanning from hard SF to cyberpunk, science fantasy to space opera, and showcasing stories with deeper Chinese culture.

“This anthology is a must-read.” ―Booklist (starred review)

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by Ken Liu

Choosing Names (Man-Kzin Wars Series Book 8)

Larry Niven

The Kzinti learned the hard way that the reason humanity was no longer studying war, was because they were so good at it. Larry Niven’s Known Space is at war, the Man-Kzin Wars, and the Kzinti are getting another dose of why they should be respectful to the hairless Earthlings.

“Good addition to Niven’s Known Universe.” —Amazon Reviewer

Choosing Names (Man-Kzin Wars Series Book 8)

Crazy Town: Rogue Blades Dark Anthology of Fantastical Crime Noir

Julie Frost, Peter McLean, Michael Ehart, Patrick Thomas, Matt Abraham, Milo James Fowler, Jennifer Rachel Baumer, Douglas Smith, Jason M. Waltz, and Peter Gnas

Crazy Town knows no limits. Thirteen daring authors step into the dark and deliver explosive, haunted action: sin, shots, and secrets. This is Mike Hammer meets Roger Rabbit, with another notch closer to crazy.

“You will find a solid mix of nearly all types of speculative fiction, from fantasy to dark fantasy and on to science fiction, a superhero tale, and perhaps a touch of horror here and there.” —Amazon Reviewer

Crazy Town: Rogue Blades Dark Anthology of Fantastical Crime Noir

Dead But Once (Saga of the Redeemed Book 3)

Auston Habershaw

Arch-criminal Tyvian Reldamar has gotten complacent, which could prove to be very dangerous for him and his family and loyal friends. The city is known for its genteel aristocracy as much as its diabolical scheming. The ruling families are scrabbling for control with ‘polite’ but cruel tactics, waging war on one another, and Tyvian is being drawn into it. With swashbuckling flare, you will be swept up into a world of crime, magic, and political intrigue where life is cheap and justice is expensive.

“Habershaw’s most thrilling Reldamar adventure yet, with high stakes and dire threats.” —Amazon Reviewer

Dead But Once (Saga of the Redeemed Book 3) by Auston Habershaw

Deep Magic (Issue 60)

Ken Liu, Christoph Weber, Jeff Wheeler, T.E. Bradford, Christopher Baxter, Charlie N. Holmberg, Obert Skye, and Micah Hyatt

Deep Magic, the e-zine of clean fantasy and science fiction, brings you five amazing short stories, including Ken Liu’s “The Ten Suns”, the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, Charlie N. Holmberg’s “The Plastic Magician,” and Obert Skye’s “Wizard for Hire.”

“Delightful refuge with spellbinding creativity and unbounded variety. These short stories are truly gifts of magic.” —Amazon Reviewer

Deep Magic (Issue 60)

The Devil’s Thief (Last Magician Book 2)

Lisa Maxwell

To save the future of magic, Esta and Harte set off through time to steal back the elemental stones. The Book of Mysteries was supposed to hold the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but now the book’s furious power lives inside Harte. And if he loses control, the power will rip the world apart—and will use Esta to do it. Only the elemental stones can bind the power. Time is running out as the past and future collide, even for these time-traveling thieves.

“A marvelous book, richly imagined, skillfully plotted, and densely peopled with both real and imaginary figures from a variety of historical times and places.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Devil’s Thief (Last Magician Book 2) by Lisa Maxwell

Divergent Fates Anthology

Robert J. Defendi, Matthew S. Cox, J.S. Hughes, Mark W. Woodring, J.P. Sloan, James Wymore, Wilbert Stanton, Patrick Burdine, and Benjamin Sperduto

Eleven unique stories in the Divergent Fates universe from nine daring authors: from the cyber-enhanced world of West City to 2418 Korea to the neo-feudal Japan, onto Allied Corporate Council territory, and straight into the Badlands.

“Well-written for the ever-expanding Divergent Fates universe. This collection of stories was all one could ask for.” —Amazon Reviewer

Divergent Fates Anthology

Dragon’s Hand

David VonAllmen

Grand-prize winner of the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. David VonAllen grabs you from the star with this opening, “The Chained King. Flaming Goat. Moon of Day. Jane pinched the squares of heavy paper hard enough to turn her fingertips white. She’d finally drawn the hand of cards that would end her years of searching… ”

BAEN Free Stories

Dry Creek Crossing: A Thunder Mountain Novel

Dean Wesley Smith

While Colfax Shaw and Anna Tabor were born a hundred years apart, they find a compatible interest in one old Concord Coach. An exciting novel in the Thunder Mountain series, where both math and history become erratic—all because of a Concord stagecoach.

“Great novel combining time travel with a very interesting historical look at the earlier times.” —Amazon Reviewer on Thunder Mountain

Dry Creek Crossing: A Thunder Mountain Novel by Dean Wesley Smith

Eagle and Empire (The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book 3)

Alan Smale

A masterly conclusion of the alternate-history saga of the Roman invasion of North America. As the Mongol cavalry forges east, leaving destruction in their path, Roman Praetor Marcellinus and his Native American friends must summon all their allies in preparation for the dramatic final battle for the future of North America.

“Breathless and relentless. A satisfying culmination to the adventures of a Roman warrior in the New World.” —Kirkus Reviews

Eagle and Empire (The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book 3) by Alan Smale

Ecopunk! Speculative Tales of Radical Futures

Shauna O’Meara, Jason Fischer, Liz Grzyb, Janeen Webb, Jane Routley, Jane Rawson, Tess Williams, Rivqa Rafael, Marian Womack, Jason Nahrung, Claire McKenna, D.K. Mok, Adam Browne, R. Jean Mathieu, Thomas Benjamin Guerney, Emilie Collyer, Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Chrulew, Ian Nichols, Corey J. White, and Cat Sparks (Editor)

Ecopunk! Speculative Tales of Radical Futures examines how humanity might adjust to new versions of normal to cope with dramatic changes in nature, using innovative technologies and fresh attitudes to make the world sustainable. Enjoy nineteen stories of agricultural, meteorological, and biological technologies, alternative histories, archaeologies, beauty in flooded cities, animals on the verge of extinction, innovations in cross-continental travel, friendship, family, and love. Includes the Aurealis Award-winning “Island Green.”

“What a refreshing change! These tales are filled with hope and possibilities and brighter futures for us all. Highly recommended.” —Amazon Reviewer

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Enter the Aftermath (Book 2)

Matthew Rotundo, Julie Frost, Hunter Nedland, Lizz Shepherd, Rei Rosenquist, Kate Kelly, Barry McConatha, Evan Dicken, Robert Madison, Lee French, Jon Gauthier, Heather Steadham, Gareth Gray, Emily Devenport, Samantha Bister, Sanet Schoeman, Madison Keller, Elizabeth Hosang, Tabatha Stirling, Ken Green, Eddie Newton, Madison Estes, E.J. Shumak, James Van Pelt, Aspen Hougen, Stephanie Losi, David Hoenig, Michael Sano, Joachim Heijndermans, John Sanders, John Carlo, Samuel Van Pelt, G.G. Silverman, Katherine Fox, Dale McMurray, Eric Blair, Matthew Timmins, Jack Bates, and Kevin Stadt

Thirty-eight international authors bring you original dystopian stories of the end of mankind as we know it. Explore the burnout and height of disaster, meet dominating warlocks, misbehaving aliens, thoughtless kaiji, and survival mutations, and get their desperate takes on artificial intelligence. Enjoy the humor and darkness of Enter the Aftermath.

“One emotional punch after another.” —Amazon Reviewer

Enter the Aftermath (Book 2)

Eradications

William Mitchell

The Moon experiment into self-replicating systems has gone wrong, very wrong. A once-thriving colony lies in ruin, while the machines continue to take over the Moon, already infesting more than two hundred miles and growing. The one man who could stop it is hiding, as the world holds him responsible. Now there are powers at work that would rather control this new machine outbreak than eliminate it. The battle to clean up the operation is turning into an all-out war.

“Action packed and with a lead that is easy to sympathize with. I highly recommend it.” —Amazon Reviewer

Eradications by William Mitchell

Faery Prophet: Awakened Magic Saga (Faery Chronicles Book 2)

Leslie Claire Walker

A faery seerʼs apprentice, training to enforce magical law, gets in over his head when a troubled girl asks for help with her supernatural emergency. To save his friends, he must organize the resistance as hell arrives on Earth. He must face his own demons at the risk of becoming one. If you like hidden worlds and star-crossed romance at a fast pace, you’ll love this magical series.

“The stakes are higher than ever, and it’s not clear who can be trusted. Highly recommended!” —Amazon Reviewer

Faery Prophet: Awakened Magic Saga (Faery Chronicles Book 2) by Leslie Claire Walker

Fairy Infestation (LaZelle Family Magic Series)

Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Just coming into his magical power, Jasper LaZelle finds himself in unexpected trouble—a resentful cousin has cast a curse on him. He’ll need the help of his family to fight off the fairy infestation in this original story from Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

“Hoffmanʼs usual haunting and beautiful work. Fairies are something other than what you might expect!” —Amazon Reviewer

Fairy Infestation (LaZelle Family Magic Series) by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Fiction River: Wishes (Book 28)

Ron Collins, Leslie Claire Walker, Fiction River, Diana Deverell, Robert Jeschonek, Lisa Silverthorne, Annie Reed, Eric Kent Edstrom, Dayle A. Dermatis, and Alexandra Brandt

Fiction River, an original anthology magazine, offers sixteen unique stories centered on the power of making a wish, including a crash course in wishery to save a life, the victim of someone else’s wish, teens trying to wish away their problems only to achieve unexpected results, and many more. These stories offer just the right amount of magic, heart, pathos, and hope—no matter the trouble, these stories will lift your spirit and remind you there is still magic in the world.

“Makes great reading.” —Tangent Online

Fiction River: Wishes (Book 28)

The Final Summons: A New England Speculative Writers Anthology

D.A. DAmico, Chris Philbrook, E.J. Stevens, Scott Goudsward, Morgan Sylvia, Michael Bailey, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Rachel Menard, Steve Van Samson, Emma Lowry, Dave Pasquantonio, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Peter N. Dudar, Errick A. Nunnally, Jeremy Flagg, C.H. Duryea, C.L. Alden, and Craig Martelle

Final Summons showcases fourteen brilliant speculative fiction writers and their mind-bending stories. Join assassins and improbable saviors as they battle for survival and strike deals with the Devil. Experience a planet-wide apocalypse and intimate tales of heart-wrenching sacrifice in this provocative short-story collection.

“Great new anthology. Different stories and styles.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Final Summons: A New England Speculative Writers Anthology

For All Mankind

C. Stuart Hardwick

Analog Award Best Novelette. Experience the triumph of humanity over Cold War paranoia, in this heart-rending story of the Apollo Program, the Tsar Bomba.

“Real and well-told. A great story. Well done!” —SFRevu

For All Mankind by C. Stuart Hardwick

Frozen Sky (Twin Soul Series Book 3)

Todd McCaffrey, Brianna Winner, and Brittany Winner

“Krea was bored and when she was bored, bad things always followed.” Welcome to the Twin Souls Series, a gaslamp fantasy world of magic, wyverns, dragons, airships, mechanical men, and mayhem. Newly-returned from the maiden voyage of the royal airship Spite, and tasked with a new and more dangerous voyage, Captain Ford and his crew are forced to choose between king and queen, glory or survival, and loyalty or greed, as they sail to the bitter north to bring back the winter wyvern—dead or alive. With adventure, romance, witchcraft, meddlesome gods, and danger around every corner, Frozen Sky is the thrilling sequel to Cloud Conqueror.

“Phenomenal at keeping the reader in anticipation.” —Amazon Reviewer

Frozen Sky (Twin Soul Series Book 3) by Todd McCaffrey, Brianna Winner, and Brittany Winner

The Future is Nigh: A Treasury of Science Fiction & Fantasy

C.L. Holland, Martin L. Shoemaker, C. Hardwick, Matthew S. Rotundo, William Ledbetter, L.D. Colter, and Brian Trent

What happens when winners of the Writers of the Future Contest come together? They bring you truly exceptional stories: from lab rats on the run to rocket-borne dreams and weird casualty loops to Serlingesque kismet. These talented authors have just begun to receive accolades: two Golden Pen Awards, a Jim Baen Memorial Award finalist, a Nebula Award nominee, a Tangent Online Recommended Reading List selection, and a Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award.

“A marvelous collection of stories. Each story steps outside the walls of this world and shows us why these tremendous talents won Writers of the Future.” —Peter Wacks, co-author of the Heroes Reborn Series

The Future is Nigh: A Treasury of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Future Visions (Vol 2)

Fiona Lehn, Brian J. Walton, J. Scott Worthington, Bill Hackenberger, Allison Spooner, R.K. Nickel, Mark Keigley, Judith Baron, Julianne Q. Johnson, Lynette Mejía, Nestor Delfino, Ellen Denton, and Andrea Kriz

Future Visions presents twelve visional tales of the future—visions of heartbreak, horror, and humor with the common thread that despite the infinite possibilities we are still human. These future visions include a horrifying scientific discovery about the common house cat and a mother forced to listen to the sounds of her dying child every night. These are just a glimpse of what you will discover in this collection.

“These stories are windows into our possible future.” —Amazon Reviewer

Future Visions (Vol 2)

Galaxy’s Edge Magazine (Issue 36)

  • Editor: Mike Resnick

  • Stories: Robert Silverberg, Todd McCaffrey, Elly Bangs, Austin DeMarco, Dan Koboldt, Edward M. Lerner, Jane Yolen, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Thomas K. Carpenter, Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, Joy Kennedy-O’Neill, Christopher Blake, Joe Haldeman, and Charles Sheffield

  • Columns, articles, and interviews: Robert J. Sawyer, Gregory Benford, Jody Lynn Nye, Bill Fawcett, and Joy Ward (interviewing F. Paul Wilson)

Galaxy’s Edge is a bi-monthly magazine of science fiction and fantasy. It features some fine stories by new and newer writers, plus old friends. Also included are the recommended books column, the science column, the literary column, an interview with F. Paul Wilson, and part three of Tomorrow and Tomorrow. The enthusiasm for the magazine has kept it going strong for six-years, now celebrating with issue 36!

Galaxy’s Edge Magazine (Issue 36)

Half-Witch: A Novel

John Schoffstall

An NPR Book Concierge selection (best books 2018). Lizbet embarks on an impossible journey to find a mysterious book, a book that will free her father from a terrible tyrant. To get it she must enlist the help of Strix, a sarcastic young witch. Together they must cross the Montagnes du Monde, globe-girdling mountains that reach to the sky, and outrun powerful witches, goblins, and criminals. But to her horror, Lizbet realizes that Strixʼs magic is turning her into a witch too.

“Genuinely thrilling, unexpectedly poignant, and oddly reverent. Powerful female friendship.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Half-Witch: A Novel by John Schoffstall

HALO: The Cole Protocol

Tobias S. Buckell

New York Times bestseller based on the award-winning video game series Halo. It is 2535. Entrusted with a top-secret mission by the Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Lieutenant Jacob Keyes heads to a remote corner of the galaxy where nothing is as it seems. He must rid the galaxy of navigational data that could potentially reveal the location of Earth, which would lead to the destruction of humanity.

“The richness of the Halo universe is developed even further in this amazing novel by an amazing author, Tobias Bucknell, who really seems to understand the tone and energy of the Halo lore. Cole Protocol is one of the most gripping tales.” —Amazon Reviewer

HALO: The Cole Protocol

Hymn: The Final Volume of the Psalms of Isaak

Ken Scholes

A riveting climatic conclusion to the five-book epic battle for control of the Named Lands. The struggle between the Y’Zirite Empire and the Andro-Francine Order of the Named Lands has reached a terrible turning point. Believing that his son is dead, Rudolfo has pretended to join with the Y’Zirite forces and Jin Li Tam is fighting a war against her own father in Y’Zir. While on the Moon, Neb takes the power of the Last Home Temple as his own.

“Science fiction and fantasy elements overlap seamlessly, bringing Scholesʼs far-future post-apocalyptic world to life in captivating detail.” ―Publishers Weekly

Hymn: The Final Volume of the Psalms of Isaak by Ken Scholes

In the Vanishers’ Palace

Aliette de Bodard

A dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In a devastated world, where beings of nightmares roam the land, Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons on the Earth. She becomes dangerously attracted to the dragon, who is her jailer and master. The question is whether her attraction will survive the revelation of Vu Cônʼs dark and unspeakable secrets.

“Emotionally complex relationships interweave with richly drawn and deftly nuanced world-building.” —Kate Elliott, author of the Kings Dragon

In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

The Innocence Treatment

Ari Goelman

A compelling young adult debut thriller, both speculative fiction and a shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets—a propulsive, electrifying, and spine-tingling read. Realizing her innocence and naivety puts her at constant risk, Lauren agrees to an operation to correct her condition. The difference is so dramatic it is not certain if she has become a paranoid lunatic or a clear-eyed observer. The story is told in a series of session transcripts and journal entries annotated by her sister long after they happened.

“VERDICT: A fresh take on futuristic psychological thrillers.” —School Library Journal

The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman

Intergalactic Medicine Show (Book 65)

Tony Pi, Steve Pantazis, K.G. Jewell, Jonathan Edelstein, and Megan Lee Beals

Orson Scott Cardʼs InterGalactic Medicine Show is an online science fiction and fantasy magazine. This eclectic caravan of wonder brings you the sci-fi short story “God of Warˮ and fantasy short stories “The Late Mr. Folsom’s Luminosity Shop,ˮ “Nwanyi Enwe Eze,ˮ and “Coachwhip and Wade, Hex Tamers for Hire.”

Intergalactic Medicine Show (Book 65)

Killing it Softly 2: Horror Fiction Anthology (Best by Women in Horror)

L.D. Colter, Laurie Tom, Amanda J. Spedding, Jenny Blackford, Tonia Brown, Lillian Csernica, Diana Catt, Rie Sheridan Rose, H.R. Boldwood, Holly Newstein, Nancy Holder, Stacey Longo, Chantal Boudreau, Debra Robinson, Jennifer Brozek, M.J. Sydney, Karen Heuler, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Elaine Cunningham, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Barb Goffman, Julie Travis, Shannon Connor Winward, Jean Graham, Lindsey Goddard, Rebecca J. Allred, Lena Ng, Deborah Sheldon, Airika Sneve, Christine Morgan, Donna J.W. Munro, Tina Rath, Rebecca Fraser, Gerri Leen, Suzie Lockhart, Barbara A. Barnett, Rebecca Snow, and Rachel Caine

Thirty-eight of the best women horror writers unleash the hell-fire they suppress in the real world. Fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and romance intertwine with unsettling horror stories, including tales of witches, werewolves, vampires, and zombies told in ways that will shock and unnerve you. Hoarding, anorexia, mental health, and post-partum depression will be viewed through the shadowy perspective of cognitive deception. Discover that women not only write good horror, sometimes they do it better.

“While every one of these stories is cringe-worthy and will make your skin crawl, some will also bring you to tears and some will make you cheer. Bloody amazing and highly recommended!” —Amazon Reviewer

Killing it Softly 2: Horror Fiction Anthology (Best by Women in Horror)Killing it Softly 2: Horror Fiction Anthology (Best by Women in Horror)

Little Things (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Book 26)

Rebecca Moesta

Buffy is having a hard time keeping her chin up and taking responsibility for Dawn since the death of her mom—even the little things are getting her down. When evil mini-monsters are discovered in Weatherly Park wreaking havoc, Buffy and the Slayers have mega-trouble on their hands, and little things take on new meaning. If the Slayers are going to stop this economy-sized evil, they are going to have think small!

“It’s got all the makings for a real Buffy episode: drama, horror, humor … and Spike!” —Amazon Reviewer

Little Things (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Book 26) by Rebecca Moesta

Lotus Blue

Cat Sparks

Aurealis and Ditmar Award finalist. Powerful war machines of the far-future collide across a barren desert world in this post-apocalyptic debut novel. Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, traveling the Sand Road with a caravan of nomadic traders when the relic-Angel satellite unexpectedly crashed to Earth. A chain of events begins a journey that leads her far away from the world she knows, and she is forced to place her trust in both thieves and priestesses while coming to terms with the grim reality of her past—and the horror of her unfolding destiny. Meanwhile, something powerful has woken in the desert: a Lotus Blue, the deadliest of all the ancient war machines, and it’s programmed to wipe-out humanity.

“Imaginative and richly rendered. Sparks frames all of this in haunting, near-poetic detail. Sparks’s post-apocalyptic chaos is fresh.” —The New York Times

Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks

Made in L.A.: Stories Rooted in the City of Angels (Book 1)

Amy Sterling Casil, Cody Sisco, Dario Ciriello, Allison Rose, Gabi Lorino, Jude-Marie Green, Andre Hardy, and Bonnie Randall

Los Angeles-based authors bring a diverse range of genres and voices. Nothing is off-limits. Contemporary, noir, literary, science fiction, and ghost stories that will forever change the way you look at this iconic metropolis. For example, in Amy Sterling Casil’s “Chromosome Circus” a circus of genetic freaks must care for an abandoned furry boy who shows up out of the blue.

“Vibrant. The voices on display are as diverse as the people who call this grand, sprawling, intimate place home.” —Dan Lopez, author of Keep Your Eyes Open Till Morning Light

Made in L.A.: Stories Rooted in the City of Angels (Book 1)

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (Book 134)

William Ledbetter, C.C. Finlay, Gordon Van Gelder, Andy Stewart, Charlotte Ashley, Chi Hui, Susan Palwick, Marc Laidlaw, Charles de Lint, Paul Di Filippo, and Michelle West

These amazing authors bring you original works of science fiction and fantasy, exploring the dangers of the faery world colliding with the mortal realm, a moving story about acceptance and healing, a hunt for the beast from below, a young girl in Nigeria and the cost of social protest, a dark fantasy about being caught between the ocean and the cliffs, and a hard science fiction short story about the exploration of Titan. Read these short captivating tales and many more.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (Book 134)

Man-Kzin Wars XV (Man-Kzin Wars Series Book 15)

Larry Niven, Brad R. Torgersen, Martin L. Shoemaker, Brendan DuBois, Hal Colebach, Jessica Q. Fox, and Jason Fregeau

The Man-Kzin Wars have been going for years, and despite the series of battles, neither side has ever been able to declare victory once and for all. The humans should have been easy prey with their small stature and lack of claws for the predatory catlike warrior race known as the Kzin. They have encountered and conquered many alien worlds with little effort; however, the war with humanity rages on in these short stories by award-winning authors.

“Wonderful job of covering new territory, while reading EXACTLY like Niven. It is UTTERLY faithful to the entire series. Recommended without reservation.” —Amazon Reviewer

Man-Kzin Wars XV (Man-Kzin Wars Series Book 15)

Mars Girls: A Novel

Mary A. Turzillo

A heady mix of Amie Kaufman’s high-tech escapades and Ursula K. Le Guin’s imagination. This fast-paced young adult science fiction adventure novel is set on Mars.

“An extraordinary tale of teenage adventure on a harsh planet. Heroines Nanoannie and Kapera use bravery and ingenuity to survive on a vividly imagined future Mars.” —Brenda Coope, author of Wilders

Mars Girls: A Novel by Mary A. Turzillo

Mary Rose

Geoffrey Girard

Geoffrey Girard’s modern and chilling version of the ghost story originally written by J.M. Barrie. Mary Rose’s concerned husband, intrigued by an early disappearance in her childhood, is determined to discover what happened during these mysterious three days. When they arrive at the island where she originally disappeared, her behavior grows stranger and his urgency to unlock the truth mounts—but is he ready for the terrifying truth?

“Perfect blend of a domestic psychological-suspense frame and a compelling, supernatural-horror plot.” —Booklist (starred review)

Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard

Mirages and Speculations: Science Fiction and Fantasy from the Desert

Julia H. West, Julie Frost, Lyn Worthen, Annie Reed, D.J. Butler, Gama Ray Martinez, Johnny Worthen, Melva L. Gifford, Virginia Baker, Leigh Saunders, Jay Barnson, Paul Genesse, David J. West, Susan Kroupa, M. Shayne Bell, Diann T. Read, Mary Pletsch, and Voss Foster

Mirages and Speculations present seventeen science fiction and fantasy stories of imagination baked under the desert skies that will make you both laugh and cry. Are the swirling dust clouds djinn or devils? Is the glimmer on the horizon a flying saucer visiting from a distant planet or just a lake, shimmering under the hot desert sun?

“An amazing collection—wonderfully eclectic. The underlying theme of the desert brings them all together into a beautifully coherent whole.” —Amazon Reviewer

Mirages and Speculations: Science Fiction and Fantasy from the Desert

Moon Tracks (Bright Sparks Book 2)

Jody Lynn Nye and Travis S. Taylor

A teenage girl and her fellow Bright Sparks, along with twenty-five other teams, are making the first race around the Moon—counting on one another as they face thousands of kilometers of unknown dangers, where even a simple accident can have fatal consequences. While Dr. Bright is searching for rare minerals underneath a crater on the far side of the Moon, disaster strikes and only the Bright Sparks are close enough help him. Now the young scientists are not only racing for victory, but to save their beloved mentor.

“Fun and plausible futuristic elements. This science-fueled race around the moon is a nerdy Fast and the Furious.” —Booklist

Pack Dynamics: A Price to Pay

Julie Frost

Private eye Ben Lockwood, recently infected with lycanthropy, finds peace in his werewolf state. When one of his past horrors comes back into his life, armed with werewolf nanotech and determined to seek revenge, Ben is given a chance at payback of his own—his own inner demons may be a far graver threat than a nanotech-enhanced werewolf nearly twice his size.

“Frost’s newest book really keeps up the tension throughout. You won’t be able to stop turning pages.” —Amazon Reviewer

Pack Dynamics: A Price to Pay by Julie Frost

Passages: Best of NewMyths Anthology (Vol 1)

Scott T. Barnes, Marta Tanrikulu, Brent C. Smith, Delaney Green, Adele Gardner, Andy Oldfield, Susan Shell Winston, Andrew L. Roberts, Jennifer Winston, Bob Sojka, Toby MacNutt, Lisa Timpf, Ellen Denham, Vanessa Fogg, Aaron Zimmerman, R.W.W. Greene, Kathryn Yelinek, Gunnar De Winter, Christina Sng, Ann K. Schwader, Marge Simon, Rebecca Roland, Michelle Kaseler, Steven L. Peck, Ronald D. Ferguson, Jordan Taylor, Beth Cato, David Bowles, Stephen S. Power, Mike O’Reilly, Mark Arvind White, Doug Tierney, and Susan Winston (editor)

Passages by NewMyths e-zine presents twenty-five speculative stories and eight poems on the triumphs and losses, hopes and fears of entering—and surviving—every stage of life, from the magic of childhood to the struggles at the end. Contributing authors include award-winners of the NewMyths Reader’s Choice, Rhysling, Bram Stoker, and Writers of the Future along with other bonus and original material.

Passages: Best of NewMyths Anthology (Vol 1)

The Post-Apocalyptic Tourist’s Guide to Mammoth Cave (Series 2, Book 5)

Stephen Lawson, M.T. Reiten, Andrew Peery, and Ville Meriläinen

Oliver Lawrence searched for survivors in the depths of Mammoth Cave many years before Thursday Forrester made a desperate trek across the states. With an invisible monster haunting him, Oliver uses his ever-dwindling resources—and his wit—to keep his team alive.

“Another great installment in The Post-Apocalyptic Tourist’s Guide series. I love the premise of the series and the group of authors who are contributing their talents to the story.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Post-Apocalyptic Tourist’s Guide to Mammoth Cave (Series 2, Book 5)

Price Of Eden

Brian Burt

Ravaged by global warming, continuous plagues, and viruses unleashed, the surviving Humans battle the humanoid subspecies who have inherited the aftermath. There is one final desperate chance to avert global catastrophe. Ocypode and his comrades must fulfill the prophecy of the Storm-Slayer and prevent the storm of storms from wiping out all humanoid life on Earth.

Price of Eden evolves beyond bloodlust and outrage to walk a delicate line between a survival story and a political sci-fi thriller. And the price all will pay to forge new paths towards peace.” —Midwest Book Review

Price Of Eden by Brian Burt

The Prometheus Objective: The Morpheus Initiative (Book 5)

David Sakmyster

In a world on the brink of devastation, with the population reeling from psychic visions, a team of remote viewers must find a way to reverse the damage. The team has one chance, and one choice—in their secret base under the Antarctic ice they have access to the wisdom from the dawn of time: will they accept this gift … and the consequences?

“An excellent read. Fun, suspenseful, terrifying, and thrilling at times.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Prometheus Objective: The Morpheus Initiative (Book 5) by David Sakmyster

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine (Issue 4)

Mike Resnick, Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, J. Steven York, Robert Jeschonek, Kent Patterson, M. L. Buchman, Chuck Heintzelman, Michael Kowal, Jerry Oltion, Mary Jo Rabe, O’Neil De Noux, Ray Vukcevich, Sabrina Chase, David Stier, Valerie Brook, Stephanie Writt, and Annie Reed

Hugo Award-nominated magazine. As the cutting edge of modern short fiction, Pulphouse presents eighteen imaginative stories by some of the leading authors in contemporary short fiction. Just great stories, no topic or genre limitations. Feel, attitude, and high-quality fiction equals Pulphouse.

“All the stories have a lot of life to them.” —Tangent Online

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine (Issue 4)

The Queen of Crows (Sacred Throne Book 2)

Myke Cole

Heloise is no longer a shell-shocked girl, but a figure of revolution. Crippling injuries and religious tyrants, make her cause grow stronger. With the help of alchemically-empowered armor and an unbreakable spirit, she must rise to greatness and face the tyrannical Order to win freedom for her people.

“A heart-wrenching, blood-racing, all-around page-turner. Spare, vivid and surprisingly sensual, with a small, fierce heroine who will stick in your mind and live in your soul. ” —Diana Gabaldon, author of New York Times bestselling Outlander

The Queen of Crows (Sacred Throne Book 2) by Myke Cole

The Queen’s Adepts

Daniel J. Davis

A fast-paced adventure fantasy set in a city of flintlock firearms, sorcery, and steam-powered machines, in the tradition of Fritz Leiber. When a supernatural monster tries to assassinate the queen, two unlikely heroes need to uncover the truth—an ex-magician, aging war hero, and once a member of the legendary Queen’s Adepts, and the “Holy Roller,” a prizefighting priest. However, the corrupt Homeguards plan to pin the crime on them and the Cardinal of the Church silences those who ask too many questions.

“Great book from a new author. If you like steampunk and fantasy mix, check it out.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Queen’s Adepts by Daniel J. Davis

The Realms of God: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Shards of Heaven Book 3)

Michael Livingston

From the fabled Temple Mount of Jerusalem to Rome and on to the very gates of heaven itself, the forces of good and evil collide in an epic battle that threatens the very fabric of creation. Read this thrilling conclusion to Michael Livingston’s historical fantasy trilogy.

“Livingston has a talent for storytelling that will keep readers immersed in the complex tale.” ―Library Journal

The Realms of God: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Shards of Heaven Book 3) by Michael Livingston

Release the Virgins

Jody Lynn Nye, Brian Trent, Michael Ventrella, David Gerrold, Allen M. Steele, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Daniel M. Kimmel, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Shariann Lewitt, Alex Shvartsman, Matt Becthel, Shariann Lewitt, Gordon Linzner, Gail Z. Martin, Beth W. Patterson, Hildy Silverman, Patrick Thomas, and Cecilia Tan

Creative and varied fantasy, science fiction, outright comedy, and serious imaginings inspired by the concept: Release the Virgins. You’ll meet Manhattan gangsters, computer hackers, marathon-running aliens, teenage Cthulhu worshippers, sad superheroes, ghost dinosaurs, and even a unicorn or two.

“This collection keeps you guessing and grinning. Fantastic collection of well-known and respected authors who clearly enjoyed writing their short stories. Highly recommend.” —Amazon Reviewer

Release the Virgins

The Reluctant Barbarian

John Haas

Arthur made a wish as a kid, and it’s a doozy. After he dies, an angel decides it is time for his wish to be granted. And despite the fact that he doesn’t want it anymore—to be a barbarian hero!—he’s getting it anyway. Angels have quotas too, you know! Join Arthur, Valeria the Paladin, and Dead Mike on a hilarious quest across the land, with loads of unwanted adventures … all while looking for a comfy place to sit.

“It is a light-hearted, witty, and sarcastic read that moves along swiftly and entertains delightfully.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Reluctant Barbarian by John Haas

Re-Quest: Dark Fantasy Stories of Quests & Searches (Book 3)

Doug C. Souza, Douglas Smith, Robert E. Howard, James Dorr, Gregory L. Norris, Jonathan Shipley, Kelly A. Harmon, Dennis Mombauer, C.B. Droege, Jennifer Rachel Baumer, Dale W. Glaser, Jeremy Zimmerman, Christine Lucas, Bradley Sinor, Chris Kuriata, and Vonnie Crist (editor)

Wander magical worlds in sixteen fantasy tales, from old gods outwitted by heroes, dragons roaming the earth, magical weapons that bring good and evil, a wizard witnessing endless battles, and much, much more. Re-Quest will take you on fantastical quests filled with magic, adventure, and danger.

Re-Quest: Dark Fantasy Stories of Quests & Searches (Book 3)

Revelation: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Thriller (Arize Book 2)

Scott Nicholson

A zombie outbreak, with storms, earthquakes, and devastating plagues appear to support the enigmatic Rev. Cameron Ingram’s claim that this is a biblical apocalypse. He is rapidly forcing the world to submit to his authority. Dr. Meg Perriman and a group of survivors head for the BioGenix research lab in hopes to find a cure, but getting there is nearly impossible with the dead rising from their graves … and Meg isn’t sure that science can explain these sinister mysteries.

“His unique storyteller abilities bring this story to life. This is a must read for sci-fi horror fans.” —Amazon Reviewer

Revelation: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Thriller (Arize Book 2) by Scott Nicholson

Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape

Gregory Benford

A sequel to Gregory Benford’s award-winning bestseller Timescape. In this clever thriller, a history professor travels back to 1968, the year he was sixteen, where he finds a slew of others with the same ability, including Philip K. Dick, Albert Einstein, and Robert Heinlein. When he discovers this is a time loop, he tries to change one of the events of 1968, and not be self-indulgent—until some wicked time-travelers try to subvert him.

“Neatly balancing high concept hard SF with a humanistic appeal has made for a broadly accessible story that works well across the entire sci-fi spectrum.” —Amazon Reviewer

Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape by Gregory Benford

Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons (Book 3)

Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Zub, and Troy Little

Dungeons & Dragons paradigms are real, and until Rick and Morty made their mark, the rules were absolute. You will plead the fifth (edition) as this chaotically evil story of family friction and fantasy frolics immerse you. Reality’s most dysfunctional animated series. The world’s greatest role-playing game. What could go wrong?

“Tons of fun and for DnD players, it is full of laughs. You don’t even have to be a Rick and Morty fan to love this one. And the art is really, really well done.” —Amazon Reviewer

Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons (Book 3)

The Search for Santa Claus: Chronicles of Thomas Christensen

Michelle Lavigne

A little boy named Thomas sets out on a quest to find Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. He ends up in another world full of mystical creatures like elves, reindeer, giants, and fairies. His quest leads him through the nine worlds of the World Tree and brings him face to face with the terrifying Krumpas, the half-goat and half-demon, who punishes children who have misbehaved. Making many friends along the way, he learns about giving and loyalty—and that he is far braver than he thought.

The Search for Santa Claus: Chronicles of Thomas Christensen by Michelle Lavigne

Searching for the Fleet: A Diving Novel (Book 7)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

An epic search is sparked by a dangerous hope. The crew of the Ivoire is inspired by the hope that the Fleet still exists. Captain Cooper and Engineer Zarlengo know the dangers hope can pose—but this time it might lead them somewhere no one predicted.

“By mixing cerebral and investigative elements, emotional character segments, and the adrenaline of action, Rusch tells a complete yet varied tale that will please science fiction readers looking for something different from the usual fare.” —Publishers Weekly

Searching for the Fleet: A Diving Novel (Book 7) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Services Rendered: The Cases of Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.

Kevin J. Anderson

Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., has teamed up with a human lawyer who battles injustice for monsters, his ghost girlfriend, and a police officer to solve the bizarre mysteries in the Unnatural Quarter, where the monsters have gathered. Even death can’t keep a good detective down as he tackles cases from mysterious to absurd, from a book collector who finds deadly curses instead of valuable autographs to a headless man who is sure his head has been kidnapped. From a medusa who battles stringent beauty contest rules to an infernal monster cooking contest, and more!

“Kevin J. Anderson has a gift for writing fantasy that leaves you laughing out loud.” —Amazon Reviewer

Shards: A Noblebright Fantasy Anthology (Lucent Anthologies Book 3)

Ville Meriläinen, B. Morris Allen, J.E. Bates, Jade Black, Gustavo Bondoni, Bokerah Brumley, Stephen Case, R.K. Duncan, M.C. Dwyer, Chloe Garner, Kelly A. Harmon, Pete Alex Harris, Ben Howels, Tom Jolly, Brandon M. Lindsay, Alice Loweecey, Jason J. McCuiston, Alex McGilvery, Jennifer R. Povey, Holly Lyn Walrath, Pat Woods, and Richard Zwicker, C.J. Brightley (editor)

This is an exciting collection of noblebright fantasy inspired by shards of myth and memory, the shards of life, shards of broken pottery or glass, and shards of a broken heart. The grimbright and nobledark stories included explore themes of brokenness tempered by redemption and despair tempered by hope. (‘Noblebright’ comes from gaming, taking noble +‎ bright; opposite of grimdark. It is a fantasy fiction subgenre involving good triumphing over evil and often a heroic quest.)

“Wonderfully unique tales. Amazing world-building and storytelling.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Shredded Tapestry: A Gothic Horror Story

Ryan Harvey

A thrilling Gothic horror story in the classical English tradition. On the run and accepting shelter from an old monastery, Richard Davey’s nightmare amps up when he comes face to face with the diabolic vengeance in feline shape that has haunted the monks for over two centuries, seeking redress for a crime committed long ago.

“Modern Gothic horror which actually entertained me.” —Amazon Reviewer

Skyward

Brandon Sanderson

New York Times bestseller. Spensa’s dream to become a pilot and soar skyward to fight for her people seems hopeless, as the betrayal of her father has left a mark of disgrace that takes her chances for flight school from slim to none. However, fate works in mysterious ways … she may yet find a way to claim the stars when she stumbles into a long-forgotten cavern.

“A resourceful, fearless heroine and a memorable cast. The pulse-pounding story intensifies as it reveals its secrets.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Soldier’s Heart (Brotherhood Protectors World Part 4)

Ilsa J. Bick and Brotherhood Protectors World

The killers are en route with a Special Ops team to recapture Kate McEvoy. She reluctantly joins forces with Wynn, though she suspects a double-cross. Though it will mean recapture, she tries to signal her minders only to discover that she has not only lost access, but the biobots and Jack are battling to take control. The clock is ticking. It’s a fight for life. Or death for all of them.

“Outstanding book. This was a much-anticipated book that surpassed what I could even imagine it would be.” —Amazon Reviewer

The Speed of Belief: A Great Ship Novella

Robert Reed

Asimovs Best Novella finalist. An alien world inhabited by highly-intelligent—and living—rivers, made a deal with the Great Ship: humanity will be given moons and planets as gifts IF they send a mortal human as a sacrifice. Amund unexpectedly volunteers. Now this ordinary mortal holds the lives of billions in his grasp.

“A very rich story and an interesting exploration of what life really is.” —SFRevu

Spirit Seeker: The Kassandra Leyden Adventures

Jeff Young

Kassandra strives to defend both the living and the departed, with the whispers of spirits in her ear and unlikely allies at her back. She’s inherited the extraordinary talents of her parents, and when her mother vanishes and her father turns to drinking, she must navigate her own way. There is as much intrigue as adventure when she learns that not all those she’s had faith in are to be trusted.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron

Elizabeth E. Wein and Phil Noto

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron is the harrowing story of Rose and her sister Paige and the Cobalt Squadron. Experience the hardship and courage of the bomber pilots and technicians and their daring exploits, as they lead directly into the first scenes of The Last Jedi.

“A must-read.” —Amazon Reviewer

 

 

A Star-Wheeled Sky

Brad R. Torgersen

The surviving factions of humanity are on the brink of war—a democracy vs. a totalitarian nightmare. The race to take control of the new Waywork intergalactic superhighway, and whatever revelation or power lies on the other side, will determine Humanity’s fate­—freedom or endless dictatorship.

“Solid hard sci-fi with the frisson of well thought through action. Much to enjoy!” —Gregory Benford, author of Timescape

Stellar Glory

Scot Noel and Frank Schurter (illustrator)

The crew of the Intrepid, while responding to a distress call from an isolated colony, encounter the impossible—a winged god leading demonic warriors that can change shape and command great energies at will. This is just the beginning of their desperate mission, where through struggle and sacrifice, they risk their souls, challenge their beliefs, and suffer the loss of loved ones to stop psychotic alien renegades from establishing an eternal abyss among the stars. Stellar Glory is space opera in the tradition of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Babylon 5, where flawed but heroic characters face overwhelming powers of destruction while bringing meaning and value to the world, whose actions are of consequence, and whose dreams are the vanguard of things to come.

The Stone Mage and the Sea: First Book of the Change

Sean Williams

In a world where Stone Mages rule the huge, red-sanded deserts, and the Sky Wardens control vast coastlines, children with magic ability are taken away to be trained in the Change. Sal must discover the connection between his new teacher and his mother—and learn to channel the magic of the Change—in order to escape the destiny that was chosen for him before he was born.

“An alchemical blend of elemental magic, tragic romance, and the coming of age of a young boy who is yet to come into his own power, poised between Earthsea and Mad Max, where the magic of fantasy meets the wonder of science fiction.” —Locus

The Stone Mage and the Sea: First Book of the Change by Sean WilliamsThe Stone Mage and the Sea: First Book of the Change by Sean Williams

The Supernatural Codex: Season 1

Paula R. Stiles and Mikhail Stiles

Two brothers hunt down monsters and urban legends in the back roads of America. In search of their missing father, they’ll destroy any supernatural evil they encounter—if it doesn’t kill them first. The Supernatural Codex covers each season one episode of the much-loved WB/CW show. Come along for the ride.

“Includes a detailed recap and review of each episode. The author’s background in medieval history gives her a fascinating perspective on the material.” —Amazon Reviewer

Sword and Sorceress (Volume 32)

Michael H. Payne, Julia H. West, Pauline J. Alama, Marian Allen, Robin Wayne Bailey, Lorie Calkins, Steve Chapman, Elaine Cunningham, Suzan Harden, Mercedes Lackey, Catherine Mintz, Kevin L. O’Brien, Deborah J. Ross, L.S. Patton, Jonathan Shipley, Dave Smeds, Michael Spence, Elisabeth Waters, and Rose Strickman

Eighteen original stories of sorcery and courage in the wondrous Marion Zimmer Bradley universe. For over two decades, she discovered and nurtured a new generation of authors whose voices would be heard again and again. Here are strong heroines facing overwhelming forces rising from the dead, witches conjuring magic, stories of zombies and ghosts, and several humorous stories.

“Another stellar collection of fantasy stories with a female protagonist who is either witch, warrior, or sorceress, or a combination of them all.” —Amazon Reviewer

Tales of Ruma

Jody Lynn Nye, Dave Farland, Julie Frost, D.J. Butler, Don Perrin, Aaron Michael Ritchey, Quincy J. Allen, Steve Diamond, R. Jon Rock, John D. Payne, Ethan Hedman, Robert Bagnall, Kristin Janz, Andrew Dunlop, and Daniel Hand

Welcome to a world where mythology and magic are real. Tales of Ruma is a collection of seventeen stories inspired by Roman and Greek mythology, which include stories of brave men and women fighting alongside majestic unicorns, elite soldiers striving to bring civilization to the savages, and massive kaiju struggling for supremacy. Some stories are set in Ruma, the alternate Roman Empire, while others are in worlds similar to our own but with a flair for the fantastic.

“Amazing stories.” —Amazon Reviewer

Ten Thousand Thunders

Brian Trent

InterPlanetary Council puts investigator Gethin Bryce to the task of uncovering the truth behind unexplained anomalies that lie outside their control. His investigation takes him from the battered Wastelands beyond civilization’s protection to the luxurious enclaves of Earth’s elite. He befriends a reluctant outlander who has an important piece of the puzzle—evidence of a sadistic entity which threatens not just civilization, but all life.

“A remarkable book. A believable and fascinating future, and he populated it with believable, motivated characters. Hats off to the new kid on the science fiction block!” —Mike Resnick, author of Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge

Terran Tomorrow: Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy Book 3

Nancy Kress

Due to the transit time lapse, twenty-eight-years pass before the disastrous diplomatic mission returns to Earth from World. There are only a few million survivors in the aftermath of the spore plague cloud, and the knowledge brought back by Marianne Jenner and her staff are the only hope in turning the tide of this overwhelming biological warfare.

“Kress mixes contemporary issues of isolationism and refugee status with classic SF first-contact tropes, threaded neatly with solid scientific theory and speculation.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded

James Alan Gardner

Just days after a freak accident grants superhuman powers to Jools and her friends, they are on the hunt for a mad genius’s misplaced super-weapon. Jools falls in with a modern-day Robin Hood and his band of super-powered Merry Men, and soon realizes the line between the good guys and bad guys, is no longer clear—or on which side she truly belongs. Especially since nobody knows exactly what the super-weapon gun does.

“This book is packed with fun action, intelligent plotting, and likable characters.” —Amazon Reviewer

Today I Am Carey

Martin L. Shoemaker

Carey takes care of Mildred as her everyday memories fade. She requires the aid of a full-time android to assist her in everyday life, but Carey’s true mission is to fill in the gaps in Mildred’s past; to bring yesterday into today by becoming a copy, a copy from the inside out. After Mildred passes, Carey must find a new purpose. That purpose is Mildred’s family for a time. Carey struggles, he seeks to understand life’s challenges, and to make its own path. Carey must learn to live. To care. To grow. To survive. To be.

“Takes readers on a journey of self-discovery, coming of age, and ultimately life itself. VERDICT: This exploration of artificial life in the vein of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot provides fresh insight into the human experience.” —Library Journal

A Town Divided by Christmas

Orson Scott Card

The quarrel over which newborn would be the baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant tore the town apart. Some decades later, a small-town genetic study being done by two scientists, runs directly up against the invisible walls that split the leading citizens into two congregations. The only way to join them is through love and forgiveness … and maybe a little deception—there are a few things that people just don’t need to know.

“Quirky enough to be thoroughly entertaining.” —Greensboro News and Record

Trace the Stars (LTUE Benefit Anthologies Book 1)

Kevin J. Anderson, Brad R. Torgersen, Eric James Stone, David Farland, Wulf Moon, Julia H. West, Joe Monson, Nancy Fulda, Sandra Tayler, M.K. Hutchins, Daniel Friend, Emily Martha Sorensen, John M. Olsen, James Wymore, Eric G. Swedin, Paul Genesse, Beth Buck, and Jaleta Clegg (editor)

Trace the Stars was created in honor of Marion K. “Doc” Smith, the original faculty mentor behind the creation of Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE), the annual science fiction and fantasy academic symposium. These exciting hard science fiction and space opera stories include a consultant who discovers how to communicate effectively with ancient, alien beings, a human becomes a hero for his actions … after his death, hard choices that must be made to save loved ones, when insanity becomes an asset in trying to prevent imminent death, and many, many more amazing stories. Proceeds support their mission of educating writers, artists, and editors to become successful in the speculative fiction field.

The Truth Undiscovered (The Golden City)

J. Kathleen Cheney

In this astounding prequel to The Golden City, The Lady was to weld the four most powerful witches in the world into a team that would investigate the Northern Portugal Special Police. However, they must first hunt for an assassin, deal with demons, and break a prison not meant for mankind.

“A wonderful addition to the Golden City series.” —Amazon Reviewer

Twisted Fairy Tales

Doug C. Souza, Mary E. Merrell, S.A. Stovall, Tiffany O’Haro, Dana Ardis, and B.B. Swann

The Aeon Writers Group proudly presents Twisted Fairy Tales, original works that make you fall in love these timeless classics all over again. Time-honored fairy tales have reversed their roles in these twisted versions of the classics. Some are in space, others in the modern world, somewhere the villains are the heroes, and one where the wicked witch is not so wicked. Rediscover the magic from a new perspective.

Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath

Jody Lynn Nye, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Kary English, L.D. Colter, Steve Pantazis, Terry Madden, Lisa Mangum, Jessica Guernsey, Kristin Luna, Chris Mandeville, Lauren A. Lang, and Joy Dawn Johnson

Twelve short stories capturing the essence of what lies beneath. Creatures of classic mythology, mermaids, sirens, and sea serpents, swim alongside more unusual beasts, including underwater cats and singing whirlpools. A giant Kraken rules the deepest ocean. The smallest puffer fish creates intricate works of underwater art. Stories that dive deep into the fears, losses, death, and physical or emotional danger that we bury beneath the surface. When these fears rise up and threaten to consume us, we must make a choice: be conquered or conquer the fear.

“Full of fascinating, imaginative, and thrilling stories. Some of them are incredibly dark. Some are profoundly hopeful. And some are just weird and thought-provoking.” —Amazon Reviewer

War and Craft: A Novel (American Craft Series Book 3)

Tom Doyle

America, land of the free and home of the warlocks. This triumphant conclusion of the American Craft Series takes our American magical shock troops from Tokyo to India to battle against the vilest monsters of the Left Hand Path. Things come to a boiling point in the mountains of Kashmir. It’s Armageddon in Shangri-La and the end of the world as we know it.

“An exciting cross between dark urban fantasy and special ops thrillers. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” ―Eric Flint, author of 1632, Ring of Fire Series

A Wasteland of My God’s Own Making: A Shattered Sands Novella

Bradley P. Beaulieu

With dark shameful secrets behind her, Djaga creates a new life in the Sharakhai fighting pits, rising as the famed Lion of Kundhun. However, her sister Afua tracks her down and threatens to reveal her past, which would not only ruin her new life but shatter the relationship with her new companion. Can Djaga face her past? And if she does, will she lose the one she loves?

“An exceedingly inventive story.” —Glen Cook, author of Chronicles of the Black Company

White Trash Zombie Unchained

Diana Rowland

A new kind of zombie has arrived: mindless shamblers, ravenous, and infectious. The threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic is looming, and one of her loved ones has been stricken. While scrambling to come up with a cure, Angel discovers why the plague is spreading so quickly and adds revenge to the list. Angel is busting her butt dealing with shambling hordes, government jerks, zombie gators, and way too many mosquitoes—but this white trash chick ain’t giving up. Good thing, since on her undead shoulders rests the fate of the world.

“Rowland is a hilarious writer, and her White Trash Zombie series shines in a crowded genre.” —USA Today


Xeelee: Redemption

Stephen Baxter

Michael Poole finds himself in a very strange landscape—the center of the Galaxy. The Xeelee have had time to build an immense structure here, without war or interference from humans. The Xeelee Belt has a radius ten thousand times Earth’s orbital distance, and its purpose is to preserve a community of Xeelee into the very far future. Poole and his party must explore the artifact and survive encounters with its alien inhabitants, before he, at last, finds the Xeelee who led to the destruction of Earth.

“A sense of grandeur few other SF novelists can even hope to match.” ―SFX Magazine

Xeelee: Redemption by Stephen Baxter

 


This impressive variety of sci-fi and fantasy novels and short stories shows why the Writers of the Future is acclaimed as the leading speculative fiction contest for new talent, helping authors and illustrators to launch careers with a success record like no other.

“A culture is as rich and as capable of surviving as it has imaginative artists. The artist is looked upon to start things. The artist injects the spirit of life into a culture. And through his creative endeavors, the writer works continually to give tomorrow a new form.

“In these modern times, there are many communication lines for works of art. Because a few works of art can be shown so easily to so many, there may even be fewer artists. The competition is very keen and even dagger sharp.

“It is with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” —L. Ron Hubbard, in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 1

 

To learn about the program and get the latest news and special offers click here.

WHY ONLY BRAND NEW SCIENCE FICTION?

We have limited this list to books that have come out since 2018, with a couple of exceptions, where the author’s most recent release was in 2017. The winning authors and judges of Writers of the Future have written thousands of science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels and short stories (all genres and sub-genres of speculative fiction and beyond). If you notice we are missing any of their brand new books, please let us know (it would be impossible to find them all).

We will update this list periodically as new books become available, so check back regularly.

For more information about the contest or the annual anthology L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future check out these links:

About the Contest

Writer Judges

Illustrator Judges

Newsletter

Writers of the Future Titles

“L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Vol 34” made it to the Best New Short Stories Books

New Year's resolution

The Future of Short Stories: A New Year’s Resolution

Writers of the Future is a contest built upon short stories, inspired by the days of pulp fiction, where short was de rigueur, whether science fiction short stories or fantasy short stories.

So we want to help you start off the New Year by keeping with the original goal for Writers of the Future as stated by L. Ron Hubbard when he launched the Contest in 1983, to “provide a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.”

What better way to make a New Year’s resolution than to ask some of the top names in publishing their thoughts on the future of short stories. Allow them to help you reaffirm your goal to be a published author of fantasy short stories or science fiction short stories!

Bill Fawcett

Bill Fawcett“I see short fiction and media merging with cut scenes and videos weaved into eBook formatted stories and audio read stories … Multifiction format.”

Bill Fawcett, an American editor, anthologist, game designer, book packager, fiction writer, and historian.


David Farland

David Farland“The future for short fiction has never been brighter. With a plethora of new online magazines, it’s now cheaper to produce and distribute great short fiction than ever before, and so I see a burgeoning market over the next decade or two!”

David Farland, an international bestselling author, a writing instructor, and the Coordinating Judge for Writers of the Future.


Mike Resnick

Mike Resnick“The short story, as has been shown over the past couple of centuries, can be as powerful as the novel. It’s quicker to write, easier and cheaper to publish, takes less of a time commitment on the part of the reader (and usually, though not always, the author), and there’s no question that it’s here to stay. I would guesstimate that there are more short stories in print from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s than there are novels in print from that same time period.”

Mike Resnick, has sold 69 science fiction novels and more than 250 short stories and edited 40 anthologies, and is Editor of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine.


Jody Lynn Nye

Jody Lynn Nye“With a single plot and a world drawn with rapid strokes, short fiction has a flexibility that long fiction does not. Readers can have the pleasure of downloading a piece to enjoy with their lunch, during a commute, or just standing in line. Writers have been experimenting with the explosion in social media and new technology to get their work into the hands of more readers than ever before. We’re already seeing short stories being posted on websites, transmitted over Twitter, or downloaded on cell phones (especially in Japan), in both text and audio formats. Every advance in communication is an opportunity for writers to offer their ideas, their characters, their worlds to readers. Short stories are those bite-sized pieces ready for those eager consumers.”

Jody Lynn Nye, the author or co-author of approximately 40 published novels and more than 100 short stories.


Dean Wesley Smith

Dean Wesley Smith“I think in this new world of indie publishing, short fiction will play a major part in a lot of different areas, from increased cash flow to promotions to discoverability of a writer’s work. In essence, I think any writer working into the future must know short fiction and make it a regular part of their writing.”

Dean Wesley Smith, has published almost 200 novels in 40 years, and hundreds and hundreds of short stories across many genres.


Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress“In science fiction, short fiction has gotten increasingly sophisticated and literary, and as a new generation writes, its social concerns will be reflected in fiction’s themes, as has always been true.”

Nancy Kress, bestselling author of 26 novels and four collections of short stories.


Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card“The investment a writer makes in a novel is staggering. For months or years of their lives, writers concentrate on a single story, usually a complex one, with many threads. Living inside that world, it becomes familiar and, when the books emerge, they are self-consistent exactly to the degree that the writers disciplined themselves to stay within the bounds of that fictional reality.

“In short fiction, however, the investment of time is far less burdensome. The writers have room to play, to explore. If they come upon an idea that contradicts what they said earlier, it’s a simple thing to go back and revise in order to fit in the new idea—because they will be revising here and there among 20 pages, not 200 or 1,000.

“Creativity, not consistency, is the river that spawns short fiction. Short fiction can make nonce rivulets that flow where there has been no stream before. It is in short fiction that genres are defined and redefined, banks and boundaries oversplashed and, in some cases, eroded away, to move the community of writers and readers into new channels and new possibilities.

“No television show can ever take the place of short narrative fiction, because the huge budgets required even for the cheapest storytelling podcast or vlog, compared to the cost of purveying short fiction, make it commercially impossible to create screen stories that do not meet audience expectations and follow the tropes and obey the parameters of existing genres.

“Even though television and its stepchildren on other screens have largely replaced short fiction in the attention of the vast public, there remains a select audience that recognizes that in the text of short fictional narratives, the best writers are carving out new territory. It won’t be ready for television for decades, in all likelihood—yet through that select audience, the influence of the short fiction will spread, opening the minds of the wider audience until they are ready to receive the new worlds and ways invented and discovered by the writers of short stories, novelettes, and novellas.”

Orson Scott Card, international bestselling author (Ender’s Game) and publisher of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show


As we enter 2019, the future of short stories, whether science fiction short stories or fantasy short stories, looks brighter than ever. So if your dream is to be a published writer, then heed what these top authors above have said and avail yourself the opportunity provided by the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.

Make your New Year’s resolution. Enter the Contest. And allow your creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.

 

 

"One of Our Robots Is Missing" painted by Bob Eggleton

How Bob Eggleton Created the Cover Art for Writers of the Future Volume 35

The cover for L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35 is not one, but two paintings by world-renowned artist Bob Eggleton.

We found a piece of art that Bob had painted years ago which had never been on a book cover. The painting itself is a perfect example of the power of illustration and one we really wanted to use for the book cover. But, there wasn’t enough art to be able to wrap around a book.

Super 7 Robot by Bob Eggleton

Original artwork “Super 7 Robot” painted by Bob Eggleton.

WOTF 35 cover sketch

Working together with Bob, we sketched out how his art could be transformed into a cover for Writers of the Future.

Detail of sky and clouds

Based on this sketch, Bob painted a second piece of art to be combined with the original.


Detail of water and waves

Detail had to be given to match the waves and sky to the original art while expanding the dimension of the overall painting.

The two paintings are merged

The two paintings combined provided sufficient art to wrap around the entire Writers of the Future book.

"One of Our Robots Is Missing" painted by Bob Eggleton

Finally, we matched the colors to make it a seamless combining of the two images. The result is the painting “One of Our Robots Is Missing” by Bob Eggleton.


Bob said, “It was fun to revisit a painting I did 12 years ago and expand on it. It was a wonderful job melding two paintings together to make a wholly new one.”

And with this final art, we are able to reveal the cover for L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35.

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35


Bob Eggleton

Bob Eggleton was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1960 and became interested in science fiction art at an early age. Today he is a successful science fiction, fantasy, and landscape artist.

Winner of seven Hugo Awards and eleven Chesley Awards, his art can be seen on the covers of numerous magazines, professional publications, and books in the world of science fiction, fantasy, and horror across the world including several volumes of his own work. He has also worked as a conceptual illustrator for movies and thrill rides.

Of late, Eggleton has focused more on private commissions and self-commissioned work. He is an elected Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists and is a Fellow of the New England Science Fiction Association.

He has been an Illustrators of the Future judge since 1988 when the Contest first started.

Another article you may be interested in: Sci-Fi Robots

Walter Dinjos

“View from a Hill”

by Martin L. Shoemaker

A tall, strong, young man stood on the crest of a hill, looking out over the green-brown plain below. A slight breeze ruffled the collar of his dark blue shirt. The air bore the sweet scent of the Maringa trees behind him and the musical chattering of the dabchicks in the ponds. The sun warmed his head through his short, curly locks. He held a long, straight, roughly shaped staff. But he did not lean upon it. He stood strong.

A short, gnarled old woman, old as the land itself, emerged from the trees and stood next to him. She also stood unbowed, and she gave the impression that she was larger than him in a way that the eye could not see. “You are audacious,” she said, “to bear a stick to meet me.”

He shook his head. “It is not a stick, it is a scepter.”

“I am the Woman of the Wood,” she answered. “I know this stick. I can name the tree from which it broke, and the stories of that tree, and of the seed from which it grew, and of the tree which dropped those seeds. Your eyes lie to you. It is a stick.”

“I do not see with my eyes, old mother, but with my spirit. As you have taught me. And my spirit knows that this is a scepter, and it marks me as king of all that I see.”

The woman chuckled softly as they looked out over the plain, with its stagnant ponds, sparse grasses, clumps of withered trees, and goats idly grazing. “And what do you see, O king?”

The young man shielded his eyes and looked out where she did. “I see rich fields where our people will someday grow sweet berries and yams and rice. We will plant vast crops to feed ourselves, and more. We shall feed a hungry world.”

She shook her head. “Once these lands were enough to feed our people, so they did not ask for food from others. Your spirit sees the past, before the wasters and the troubles, not the future. These lands were rich once.”

“And they shall be again! We bear burdens, but we do not sink beneath them. Someday we shall be rid of those who threaten the people and the land. We shall not break, we shall grow.”

“All I see is struggling grasses and goats wandering among them. And dirty little children,” she added, though she smiled when she did. “Children all around the field, if you know where they play.”

“And not just in the field,” the man answered. He glanced over his shoulder where bushes rustled, and he heard one small child’s voice gasp, while another giggled.

“They are brave, but foolish to approach me.”

“As was I,” the man answered. “Brave. Foolish. Burning with a hunger that food could not fill. I had to know. I had to know your ways.”

“And so it is with these? They come to learn of the Woman of the Wood?” Her eyes grew moist. “They still know of me?”

“No. They do not see you. Not yet.”

“I know,” she said, and a tear ran down the furrows of her face. “They do not know me anymore.”

“They will! It’s my turn now. I will teach them. They will know you, and they will know this future. That is what draws them today.” He lifted the stick and grasped it by the end. “They come to hear tales of my star sword!”

That turned the old woman’s frown into a smile. “I thought it was a scepter.”

“It is a star sword, won on the field of battle! You see?” He gestured across the plain with the stick. “Out there, beyond our rich fields, is the spaceport! There we shall build our own space program, with our own strong hands and our own bright minds. There we shall build rockets that shall take Nigerians to other planets. To the Moon and to Mars. To the stars!”

The woman’s dark lips parted, her mouth gaping. Finally, she said, “You’ve given me a gift. Now I know that even I, Oldest, can still wish. I wish that I could see that.”

“You will,” the man said. “My spirit sees it. We will go places that can only be seen in the imagination today; and wherever we go, we will take your stories. We will take you with us. I will tell your stories.”

“No,” the woman said softly. “I’m sorry. Not you.”

He turned to her. “So soon?” She nodded. “But I have so much to do. So many stories to tell. My children must learn. They must have this future.”

“You’ve made me believe, king of the world. They will. But you? Your spirit shall be freed to go many places, worlds even I have never imagined. And that journey starts today.”

The Woman of the Wood loomed tall over the man, her true majesty revealed at last as she reached out a hand and gently cupped his shoulder. He collapsed against her, strong until the final moment. And then he faded on the wind until all that remained was spirit, which she clasped to her breast.

And then she too was gone, and the old stick clattered to the ground, the only sign that the tall man had ever stood there.

The bushes rustled once more. After several minutes, the bravest of the two little boys came forward, looking around the hill and out over the plains. In the distance, he saw the silver towers of the spaceport. He picked up the stick. As a rocket blazed into the sky, the boy held up the sword and pointed it to the stars.


Emeka Walter Dinjos, 7 Dec 1984 – 12 Dec 2018

You saw far, but too briefly.


Walter Dinjos introducing himself as a Writers of the Future winner.

Walter Dinjos acceptance speech shown at the Writers of the Future Volume 33 awards event.

Walter Dinjos award-winning story “The Woodcutters Deity” was published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 33.

 


Martin L. ShoemakerMartin L. Shoemaker is a programmer who writes on the side… or maybe it’s the other way around. Programming pays the bills, but a second place story in the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest earned him lunch with Buzz Aldrin. Programming never did that!

Martin’s work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, Galaxy’s Edge, Digital Science Fiction, Forever Magazine, Humanity 2.0, The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 4, Writers of the Future Volume 31, Time Travel Tales, Trajectories, Little Green Men: Attack!, The Glass Parachute, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection.

Martin had become very good friends with Walter and so originated this tribute.

Writers of the Future 4th Quarter Winners

Writers of the Future 4th Quarter Standings for Year 35


Of all the writing contests out there, this one launches careers!

 

And the Winners are:

First Place – Andrew Dykstal from Virginia

Second Place – Wulf Moon from Washington

Third Place – John Haas from Canada

 


Finalists:

Nathan Dodge from Texas
John Lacist from Illinois
John D. Payne from New Mexico
Brittany Rainsdon from Idaho
Thomas White from West Virginia

Semi-Finalists:

James Blakey from Pennsylvania
Rob Bleckly from Australia
K.L. Evangelista from Australia
Jason Evans from Illinois
Kevin McGinn from New York
N.J. Morris from Idaho
Cassiopeia Mulholland from Arizona
William Stewart from New York

Silver Honorable Mentions:

Yuk Chi Chan from Singapore
Jordan Chase from Oregon
Jeremiah Christie from Florida
Russ Colson from Minnesota
Paulo da Silva from Germany
David Eyk from Washington
Justin Ferguson from Kansas
Kevin Folkman from Washington
Henry Gasko from Australia
Amanda Geard from South Africa
Ken Hoover from New Mexico
Gregory R. Hyde from Colorado
Christopher A. Jos from Canada
Carolyn Kay from Colorado
Jennie J. Keyes from Idaho
Kari Kilgore from Virginia
Anike Kirsten from South Africa
Amber Knoles from California
A.J. Lee from Canada
Roger Mannon from Colorado
Brad McNaughton from Australia
Charles Mears from California
Stephanie Mirro from Virginia
Marian Rakestraw from Missouri
Jared Schmitz from Kansas
Jerod Scott from West Virginia
Dillan Smith from Georgia
Michelle Staloff from Florida
Jessica Staricka from Minnesota
Robert Stephenson from Australia
Todd Sullivan from Georgia
Morgan Welch from the United Kingdom
David Williams from Ohio
Elisa Winther from the Netherlands

Honorable Mentions:

K.C. Aegis from California
B. Morris Allen from Oregon
J.W. Allen from the United Kingdom
Steve Arensberg from Texas
Tim Asay from Oregon
Zack Be from Maryland
Josh Beals from Georgia
Joe Benet from North Carolina
Derek Benson from Florida
Len Berry from Missouri
Paul Bianchetti from Montana
Michael W. Boggs from the Philippines
Gustavo Bondoni from Argentina
Ezekiel James Boston from Nevada
L.R. Braden from Colorado
Madison Brake from Florida
J. Leigh Bralick from Texas
S.R. Brandt from Louisiana
Jonathan Bronico from Massachusetts
Collin Brown from California
Gregg Brownell from Ohio
Bokerah Brumley from Texas
Jacob Byers from Massachusetts
Brennan C. Caldwell from California
Tom Camozzi from California
Cody Campbell from Oregon
Anna Cates from Ohio
Alicia Cay from Colorado
Grace Chan from Australia
Joanne Chapman from Utah
Dantzel Cherry from Texas
Myles Christensen from Utah
Rui Cid from Portugal
C L Clickard from Florida
Thom Connors from Texas
Rob Cornell from Michigan
David Costa from Portugal
Kody Cowell from California
E.L.V. Cowen from Australia
Crystal Crawford from Florida
Richard Crawford from California
Sarina Dahlan from California
Kayla Dailey from California
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Kyle de Waal from Canada
Benjamin DeHaan from Illinois
Elizabeth Delafield from Pennsylvania
Nestor Delfino from Canada
FR di Brozolo from California
Peter Diamantopoulos from Virginia
Caroline Donica from Texas
Mira Dover from Virginia
Em Dupre from New York
J.W. Elliot from Massachusetts
David A. Elsensohn from California
Matan Elul from Australia
Tim Emery from the United Kingdom
Jon Eno from Texas
Tim Fenner from Wisconsin
Neil Wesley Flinchbaugh from Illinois
Aiki Flinthart from Australia
Jacob Flowers-Olnowich from North Carolina
Tim Fox from Oregon
Nick Franco from California
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Adam Friedma from California
Urania Fung from Texas
Simon R. Gardner from the United Kingdom
Michael Gardner from Australia
Katharina Gerlach from Germany
Grant Gerwatowski from Michigan
Michelle F. Goddard from Canada
Barry Goldsmith from Arizona
Ian Gonzales from Washington
Mark A. Gordon from Florida
Erin Grant from California
Barry Gregory from Florida
A.D. Guzman from Texas
Anaïd Haen from the Netherlands
Pam Hage from the Netherlands
Kevin Hallett from Texas
Laura Handley from Virginia
Dan Hankner from Iowa
Karissa Harlow from Arizona
Kelly A. Harmon from Maryland
Vanessa C. Hawkins from Canada
James A. Hearn from Texas
Alexandra Holbrook from New York
Keith Hoskins from Maryland
Matthew House from North Carolina
Chip Houser from Missouri
Celesta Hubner from Maryland
Scott Hughey from North Carolina
Corinne Hurlbert from Texas
Carolyn Jew from Maryland
Jessica Johnson from Virginia
K.D. Julicher from Nevada
Brandie June from California
William Kalb from Massachusetts
Joshua Kapusinski from California
Dave Kavanaugh from the Netherlands
Seth W. Kennedy from California
R.W. Kerry from Ohio
D.M. Kiely from Florida
Marjorie King from Texas
Ness Kingsley from the United Kingdom
Michael Kingswood from California
Megan Kraus from Connecticut
Andrea Kristeller from Argentina
M. Kuriel from Virginia
Eli Landes from New York
Alon Lankri from Israel
Alexis Lantgen from Texas
Laura Lavelle from New York
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Adrian Law from New Mexico
Ricky Lawhon from Florida
J. Lyon Layden from Georgia
Michael Lee from Florida
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Misha Liu from Canada
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Durwood MacCool from Washington
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Robert J. McCarter from Arizona
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Kenneth Meade from Georgia
Assaph Mehr from Australia
Jessica Miller from New York
Mark Minson from Utah
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Vincent Morgan from Canada
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V.E.W. Navarra from Georgia
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Andrew J. Savage from Japan
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caroline sciriha from Malta
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Jessie Thomas from Kansas
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Rebecca E. Treasure from Texas
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KT Wagner from Canada
Hetty White from Tennessee
Luke Wildman from Indiana
JM Williams from South Korea
Cliff Winnig from California
Thomas Woodward from Minnesota
Claire Wrenwood from North Carolina
Tannara Young from California

International Writers of the Future 35th Awards Ceremony Set for Live Worldwide Broadcast

Writers of the Future volume 34 wins best anthology in NYC Big Book Award competitionL. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 34 was announced as the winner in the “anthology” category for the New York City Big Book Award by awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak. Book submissions were collected from six continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

The New York City Big Book Award is one of the newer book awards created with the purpose of recognizing quality writing from around the world. Olczak noted, “Submissions came from the imprints of large traditional publishers such as HarperCollins and Random House; large independent press publishers such as Galaxy Press, Roman & Littlefield, and Wiley; small press and independent authors such as Marti MacGibbon to Sahar Aref.”

“What is very special with book awards,” noted John Goodwin President Galaxy Press, “is that they fully align with the purpose as laid out by the Contest’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard to provide a means for the aspiring artist to be seen and acknowledged.” Not only are the published winners in volume 34 national bestselling authors and artists due to sales, but they are also now authors of a national award-winning book as well. Based on the sequence in the book, these writers and corresponding illustrators are:

Writers of the Future Volume 34 cover

Writer Winner

Erik Bundy
Erin Cairns
Jonathan Ficke
Jeremy TeGrotenhuis
Vida Cruz
Darci Stone
Cole Hehr
Janey Bell
Eneasz Brodski
N.R.M. Roshak
Diana Hart
Amy Henrie Gillett

Illustrator Winner

Adar Darnov
Kyna Tek
Sidney Lugo
Brenda Rodriguez
Reyna Rochin
Quintin Gleim
Maksym Polishchuk
Bruce Brenneise
Alana Fletcher
Jazmen Richardson
Anthony Moravian
Duncan Halleck

Over its 34 year history, the Contest has recognized 404 winners who have gone on to publish 1,150 novels and 4,450 short stories. Of these, 192 are still active with a writing career—that’s over 40%. Twelve of these Contest winners have gone on to become NYT bestselling authors: Dave Wolverton (aka David Farland), Sean Williams, Jo Beverly, Nancy Farmer, Lisa Smedman, Karen Joy Fowler, Patrick Rothfuss, Tim Myers, Eric Flint, Dean Wesley Smith, Tobias Buckell, and Elizabeth Wein. And Contest winners have garnered 155 major awards.

And with the last four volumes of Writers of the Future hitting national bestseller lists—and each of the winners becoming national bestselling authors and illustrators as a result—Contest entries continue to increase each quarter with entries from around the world.

For more information, go to www.writersofthefuture.com.

Katherine Kurtz with her bestselling Deryni Rising

Writers of the Future Welcomes Bestselling Author Katherine Kurtz as its Newest Judge

It is with considerable enthusiasm that we announce Katherine Kurtz as the newest judge in the Writers of the Future Contest.

Katherine, known for her fantasy writings, is the author of sixteen historical fantasy novels in the Deryni series. She is also known for her alternate history Templar series and urban fantasy Adept series.

I Always Try to Help

We were introduced to Katherine at Dragon Con by Writers of the Future judge Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett. It rapidly became apparent that Katherine would be perfect as a judge as she brings with her a strong desire to help aspiring writers—stating, “I always try to help up and coming writers and am delighted to be able to judge in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.”

Also discovering that Katherine was great friends with Anne McCaffrey, who had been a Contest judge until her passing in 2011, even living near Anne in Ireland, made her all the more desirous to have on board.

World Fantasy Award-winning author Tim Powers and longtime Writers of the Future judge was enthusiastic about the prospect of Katherine coming on board and stated, “Katherine Kurtz has written some of the finest fantasies of our time.”

When L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future Contest, he wanted to provide a “means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” So it was important to provide the best possible opportunity for writers to pursue their dream however envisioned. We wanted top brand judges who, combined, specialized in all aspects of speculative fiction.

About Katherine

Katherine sold her first novel, Deryni Rising (actually, the first trilogy, The Chronicles of the Deryni) on her first submission attempt! She completed her second two novels, Deryni Checkmate and High Deryni, while completing her MA in medieval English history at UCLA and writing instructional materials for the Los Angeles Police Department. Her early work built on the popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but she soon defined and established her own sub-genre of “historical fantasy” set in close parallels to our own medieval period and featuring “magic” that much resembles what some of us might call extrasensory perception.

Internationally Acclaimed Author, Katherine Kurtz, Named as Judge for Writers of the Future

New Writers of the Future Contest Judge, Katherine KurtzHistorical fantasy author of the Deryni series, Katherine Kurtz, is the newest judge to join the ranks of the internationally-acclaimed L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, now in its 35th year.

Kurtz is now amongst a blue-ribbon panel of 23 judges, including Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card, Nnedi Okorafor, Tim Powers, Jody Lynn Nye, and Robert Silverberg.

Kurtz most notable works include the Deryni series, the Templar series, and the Adept series.

“Katherine Kurtz has written some of the finest fantasies of our time,” said longtime judge and bestselling author Tim Powers.

She sold her first novel, Deryni Rising to Ballantine Books and wrote her second two novels, Deryni Checkmate, and High Deryni while completing her MA in medieval English history at UCLA and writing instructional materials for the Los Angeles Police Department. She created her own sub-genres of “historical fantasy” and “crypto-history.”

She created Deryni Archives: The Magazine, which contains stories, articles, and artwork by fans, of which she edited the first several issues.

Kurtz will now lend her talents in discovering new authors in one of the leading writing contests in the world. “I always try to help up and coming writers and am delighted to be able to judge in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.”

The Writers of the Future Contest was initiated by L. Ron Hubbard in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers to get that much-needed break.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The nearly 400 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 838 novels and over 4,000 short stories. They have produced 27 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 50 million copies.

For more information or to enter the contest, go to writersofthefuture.com.

Elise Stephens

This Just Happened: A Writer’s Dream Come True

It was late April 2018. James and I were hiking Little Si, a small mountain near North Bend, WA. We navigated wet dripping branches and slick tree roots as we tried to rouse our minds and spirits from a season of mental fog that had engulfed us while my husband studied fervently for his Structural Engineer licensing exam.

Elise with husband in Spain

I just love this guy. Spain vacation.

He’d taken the test a few weeks before and would have to wait several weeks for his results. We’d left the kids with my parents and retreated for a one-night stay at a bed and breakfast to heal, spend time together, and catch up on many neglected conversations.

Amongst discussions of our families, hopes, and dreams, James and I also did some goal setting. James’ goal was to pass this SE test. It boasts a statistical 30% pass rate. It might take him more than one try.

At the beach with the young’uns!

At the beach with the young’uns!

My goal was to place among the winner’s ranks in Writers of the Future–a global Sci-Fi and Fantasy short competition. I thought I should give myself five years, vowing to submit one short story for every quarter. If by the end, I still hadn’t won, I’d at least have honed my writing skills with small, specific projects on which I could focus on while our kids are young.

October 4, 2018. I was standing by my front picture window when I got the call.

I dropped into the black IKEA armchair from my grandfather, shaky with anxiety. The woman on the phone informed me that I was a Writers of the Future finalist. I was shocked. I actually thought I’d made no headway in the contest. Now I was being told I’d made it to the top eight stories.

And then? Hurry up and wait. I waited three weeks.

About to fly internationally for 15 hours…

About to fly internationally for 15 hours…

My first week of waiting I was an anxious, sweaty wreck. I slept 3-4 hours a night. The second week, I started to lock down into tight-fisted anxiety. By the beginning of the third week, I heard God say, “I’ve heard your prayers. I know what you want, Elise. Now let me take care of it.” I taped Exodus 14:14 on my bathroom mirror. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. I transitioned into a place of precarious peace, but it was infinitely better than the sleepless wreck of the first week.

As I waited for the news of whether or not I’d win the contest that I’d made into my all-encompassing writing goal, I imagined myself as Schrodinger’s cat. Both alive with joy and dead with despair. (Yes, I’m dramatic with my analogies. That should come as no surprise by now).

Finally, on the morning of October 26th, I received another call. Poetically, I was standing beside that same, sun-streaming window. And no, I hadn’t been rooted there for three weeks, you smart-ass. It was poetic like I said.

I took this pic the day I got the call!

I took this pic the day I got the call!

She told me I’d won first place for the quarter. My little story, read by kind critics and harsh critics, read on my laptop screen till my eyes burned, read out loud to my husband until my throat was dry…that little story had turned heads enough to be awarded a prize in an international contest. It didn’t feel real, but there it was, my name displayed for the world to see as if to say:

This girl can write.

A new chapter is opening. You guys, I’m going to be published in a sci-fi and fantasy anthology that hits national bestseller lists each year! I’ll attend a fancy awards gala (I’ll probably trip on my dress and laugh when we’re all supposed to be quiet, but that should make everyone more comfortable, right?)

They’ll give us writer winners a special writing class and fly us down to Los Angeles for everything.

Yes, it feels like a dream. I’m honored by the favor, overwhelmed by its magnitude. Very grateful to my friends who have supported me and read my drafts and encouraged me in so many ways. Thankful to my God who continues to show that he has some great plans that involve my writing.

It’s time for victory dancing, you guys! In April, I’m going to Hollywood!!

 


Elise Stephens

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. She is a recipient of the Eugene Van Buren prize for fiction. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), and Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015, INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist). She lives in Seattle with her family.

Find her on Twitter @elisestephens and Facebook.

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