Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 40 @WotFContest @RABTBookTours


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Short Stories

Date Published:  May 7, 2024






Experience these powerful new voices—vivid, visceral, and visionary—as they explore uncharted worlds and reveal unlimited possibilities.

Open the Writers of the Future and be carried away by stories—and illustrations—that will make you think, make you laugh, and make you see the world in ways you never imagined.

Twelve captivating tales from the best new writers of the year as selected by Writers of the Future Contest judges accompanied by three more from L. Ron Hubbard, Nancy Kress, S.M. Stirling. Each is accompanied by a full-color illustration.

Plus Bonus Art and Writing Tips  from Gregory Benford, Bob Eggleton, L. Ron Hubbard, Dean Wesley Smith

“When her owner goes missing, a digital housecat must become more than simulation to find her dearest companion through the virtual world.—“The Edge of Where My Light Is Cast” by Sky McKinnon, art by Carina Zhang

No one came to his brother’s funeral. Not even the spirits. Étienne knew it was his fault.—“Son, Spirit, Snake” by Jack Nash, art by Pedro N.

Man overboard is a nightmare scenario for any sailor, but Lieutenant Susan Guidry is also running out of air—and the nearest help is light years away.—“Nonzero” by Tom Vandermolen, art by Jennifer Mellen

Mac wanted to invent a cocktail to burn itself upon the pages of history—but this one had some unexpected side effects.—“The Last Drop” by L. Ron Hubbard and L. Sprague de Camp, art by Chris Arias

Dementia has landed Dan Kennedy in Graydon Manor, and what’s left of his life ahead seems dismal, but a pair of impossible visitors bring unexpected hope.—“The Imagalisk” by Galen Westlake, art by Arthur Haywood

When a teenage swamp witch fears her mama will be killed, she utilizes her wits and the magic of the bayou—no matter the cost to her own soul.—“Life and Death and Love in the Bayou” by Stephannie Tallent, art by Ashley Cassaday

Our exodus family awoke on the new world—a paradise inexplicably teeming with Earth life, the Promise fulfilled. But 154 of us are missing.…—“Five Days Until Sunset” by Lance Robinson, art by Steve Bentley

Spirits were supposed to lurk beneath the Lake of Death, hungry and patient and hostile to all life.—“Shaman Dreams” by S.M. Stirling, art by Dan dos Santos

A new app lets users see through the eyes of any human in history, but it’s not long before the secrets of the past catch up with the present.—“The Wall Isn’t a Circle” by Rosalyn Robilliard, art by Guelly Rivera

In the shadows of Teddy Roosevelt’s wendigo hunt, a Native American boy resolves to turn the tables on his captors, setting his sights on the ultimate prey—America’s Great Chief.—“Da-ko-ta” by Amir Agoora, art by Connor Chamberlain

When squids from outer space take over, a punk-rock P.I. must crawl out of her own miserable existence to find her client’s daughter—and maybe a way out.—“Squiddy” by John Eric Schleicher, art by Tyler Vail

Another outbreak? This time it’s a virus with an eighty percent infection rate that affects personality changes … permanently.—“Halo” by Nancy Kress, art by Lucas Durham

Planet K2-18b is almost dead, humanity is enslaved, and it’s Rickard’s fault. Now in his twilight years, he’d give an arm and a leg for redemption. Literally.—“Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber” by James Davies, art by May Zheng

What if magic could undo the unthinkable, and undo Death itself? Would you use it no matter the cost? What would you sacrifice for love?—“Summer of Thirty Years” by Lisa Silverthorne, art by Gigi Hooper

Joe is a prospector tasked with exploring the cosmos on behalf of an all-powerful government. Breadna is a toaster. There have been weirder love stories, but that’s unlikely.—“Butter Side Down” by Kal M, art by Selena Meraki




Once again, I am proud to present to you twelve brand-new stories that will delight you, expose you to new ideas, drag you through harrowing trials, make you think, cry, and laugh. The variety of stories, from time travel to dystopia to the memory of a child’s imagination, is like a library between two covers. You have a treat waiting for you.

Every year that I have been involved in the Writers of the Future Contest, I have been impressed by the talent of up-and-coming writers. They have a vision, they explore it through the eyes of well drawn characters in a world made vivid by their words, and they bring the plot to a conclusion that satisfies the reader’s desire for adventure. It’s hard to choose the finalists because there are always more than the eight per quarter that I am allowed to select from the myriad we receive, and just as hard to pick the three winners from that group. These are the best of the best.

Another important facet is their perseverance. In some cases, the success of these twelve writers is the result of years of submitting to the Contest. When one story didn’t make the cut, they tried a fresh idea. In this year, each of them succeeded. I enjoyed each of these stories, and I am proud to have been a part of bringing the world’s attention to these new writers.

I know there are many hopeful writers who want to join the ranks of Contest winners, and I encourage you to keep trying. One thing that I have noticed over the last couple of years is that some writers keep sending me the same stories over and over again. Once in a very great while, a story will move up in rank, achieving notice as an honorable mention, to silver honorable mention, to semifinalist, or even finalist. If a story that you send me has received the same ranking for three or more quarters, it is unlikely ever to be considered for a higher prize. I beseech you to put that story aside, sell it elsewhere, and send me something else. The Writers of the Future Contest wants to help you achieve a writing career, and a career is not made on a single story. It’s like trying keys in a lock. If one key doesn’t work, try others until one of them opens the door.

What am I looking for? I want a story with a beginning, middle, and end. I want your protagonist to grow in some fashion, whether or not s/he succeeds at the goal. Speculative fiction is about extrapolating on things that already exist. Show me new ideas. Don’t retread ground that has been trampled by thousands of others. Let me hear your voice. Tickle my imagination. Introduce me to new people, new cultures. I want excellent storytelling with great characters and imaginative world-building. You can enter once a quarter, with no entrance fee, with a story that can range in length from flash fiction (yes! we accept flash fiction) up to seventeen thousand words, in any subgenre of science fiction or fantasy, even light horror. Please read the guidelines carefully, and send me your stories!

The rewards for becoming a winner of the Contest are worthwhile. The twelve writer winners are flown into Hollywood, California, from wherever they are in the world, for a grand black-tie, red-carpet gala, given beautiful trophies and checks for winning. Winners from each quarter receive US$500 for third place, US$750 for second place, and US$1,000 for first. Each of their stories has also been handed off to the winners of the Illustrators of the Future Contest to create a unique and original piece of art to accompany it in the anthology. Thousands of longtime professional writers have never had a published story of theirs illustrated in full color, so this is a great honor and a pleasure. The anthologies themselves often become national bestsellers, a terrific thing to have on your bibliography.

The next year’s Contest is already under way. Join us, and let us see your vision.


L. Ron Hubbard, Nancy Kress, S. M. Stirling, Gregory Benford, Bob Eggleton, Dean Amir Agoora, James Davies, Kal M, Sky McKinnon, Jack Nash, Rosalyn Robilliard, Lance Robinson, John Eric Schleicher, Lisa Silverthorne, Stephannie Tallent, Tom Vandermolen, and Galen Westlake.

Illustrators: Dan dos Santos, Ashley Cassaday, Gigi Hooper, Jennifer Mellen, Pedro Nascimento, Steve Bentley, Connor Chamberlain, Selena Meraki, Guelly Rivera, Tyler Vail, Carina Zhang, May Zheng, Lucas Durham, and Chris Arias.


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Marcy Meyer said...

The cover art looks great. Sounds like a good story.

Michael Law said...

This looks like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.