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Writers of the Future: 13 [Paperback]

Algis Budrys
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1997 Writers of the Future (Book 13)
For almost 15 years, this widely heralded, award-winning anthology series has been propelling readers into realms beyond time and space, parallel worlds and alternate realities and place at the infinite edges of the imagination. The impetus for these startling voyages has come from the best new writers of speculative fiction--the winners of the internationally acclaimed Writers of the Future Contest.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Bridge Publications (CA) (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573180645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573180641
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,172,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Author

Cyberpunk is not dead!
As one of the authors who won a place in this anthology, I'd like to recommend it to all science fiction and fantasy readers. From alternate history, to cyberpunk, to fantasy, this volume has it all. The track record of this contest for discovering new talent is unmatched. Buy it now and read the first stories by people who will, in the years to come, become household names in the science fiction and fantasy fields.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How to See the Future of Science Fiction 10 Jan 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 13 is a truly superb and solid collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories by some of the most talented and visionary new writers of our time. From the opening tale by Bo Griffin about a man who draws women to him with "The Scent of Desire," only to have them burn up in his arms from the heat of his passion, to the alternate history tale in which the Mormon War of 1857 takes an unexpected turn in "For the Strength of the Hills," by Lee Allred, these stories are well-written, engaging, and as innovative as they are varied in style and subject matter. Come, learn what it's like to be accused of murder for liking the color orange, explore the final resting place of a mighty emperor in the company of his favorite female assassin and concubine, or place your bet on the Norse god of your choice when "The Gods Perspire." There's great fun to be had here, and some delightful food for thought, as well.

When you turn these pages, be prepared to look into many futures -- including the future of science fiction and fantasy itself. The names in front of the stories are new, but many of them are likely to become as familiar to the readers of tommorow, as the judges who chose these stories for inclusion in this anthology are to today's readers. Judges like Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Frederik Pohl, Robert Silverberg, Jack Williamson, Dave Wolverton, and others, all stellar -- even legendary -- figures in their own right. Read and I think you'll agree: they chose these Writers of the Future carefully and well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars WoTF's Vol. 13 has something for everybody. 8 April 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The book rates an 8 instead of a 9 or 10 because it could have had at least one startling story in it. Since Stanley's short story, CHILDREN OF CRECHE, back in another earlier volume, there have been some near-contenders to such a slam-bang ending, but none have come even close. Still this omnibus offers some above-average short stories -- stories without the gum-smacking, philosophically idiotic messages that the previous three volumes were heavily caught up in. There's more intelligent stories evident in this volume than in the previous three volumes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some incredible writing (and some bad) 18 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
WotF XIX is a compilation of excellent stories (with a few, notable exceptions) spanning the genre range from historical fiction through horror and fantasy to science fiction. Despite the ever-present copy-editing errors, this was a very good read.
I would put the stories in four categories of excellence (well, three of excellence and one of crap).
Group One: The best
Walking Rain - Ian Keane's tale of supernatural beings in present day America, reminiscent (but not derivative) of American Gods, is compelling. The writing is lush, the characterizations beautiful. Hands down the best of the best. I can't say enough about this story. The book is worth buying for this story alone.
Into The Gardens of Sweet Night - Algis Budrys weaves a fairy tale-like tapestry of words as a boy takes a fantastic journey into the sky looking for the fabled gardens. Sometimes the discussions on freedom get a bit thick, but still great.
Blood and Horses - Myke Cole brings us a story of military sf where rebels riding horses seek the oil that gives life, losing their own blood fighting against a technically far superior opponent.
Group Two: The very excellent (in no particular order)
From All the Work Which He Had Made - Michael Churchman's style is strikingly odd at first, but within a page he had made me a convert with this interesting tale about the development of a humanoid robot exploring the questions of his soul.
Dark Harvest - Geoffrey Girard brings us a story about what happens when you find your worst nightmare dying in a field, and it becomes a tourist attraction. Excellent writing, and a wonderful story.
Beautiful Singer - Steve Bein's story of a haunted sword is elegant in its way of presenting feudal Japanese culture and characters. Every word of this story echoes with the culture of the samurai. The only thing holding back this most savory of writing from the top slot was the way the ending rushed together (a common difficulty in short-story writing).
A Few Days North of Vienna - Brandon Butler takes us along as a band of thieves join up with a group of vampire hunters to eradicate those evil creatures. The plot is nothing new or innovative, but the writing is top notch, and that's more important anyway.
Group Three: The still excellent (still in no particular order)
A Ship That Bends - whatever Butler lacked in innovation, Luc Reid makes up for in spades with his characters who live on a flat world and must build a bending ship if they wish to sail to the other side without falling off. The ending is its great weakness, suddenly ending the story before it really reaches its climax. Fun world, great writing, but it just stops cold.
A Silky Touch to No Man - a weak ending is also the problem with Robert J. Defendi's exploration of life in the near future where virtual reality has become the only reality. For a murder mystery, it was painfully apparent "whodunit" from the very beginning. But the writing is strong and the world well conceived (almost scary, actually) which makes it fun anyway.
Gossamer - Ken Liu offers a scenario where Earth finally makes contact with an alien species, and has no idea if they can even communicate. Art seems to be the only thing the Gossamers are interested in, but what does that mean? Interesting twist on the first contact plot.
Numbers - Joel Best brings us a stark account of a world where mathematicians can do almost anything, including make animals and people. In this world one woman seeks to create the perfect mate, but learns that perfection (and creation) are about more than doing everything flawlessly.
Group Four: The stories that really don't belong
Trust Is A Child - Matthew Candelaria's overly long story of negotiations with aliens is really just a painful rehash of about a thousand other identical stories, offering no new slants or anything. That alone wouldn't make it so horrible, but the main character is painfully stupid, and the plot has a hole in it the size of a small star system (it has to do with her being stopped by Marine guards while the aliens can just cruise on by and enter her private quarters without explanation). Also, her solution to being stopped is just horrible (apparently the guard is even dumber than she is). Still, with a good edit and re-write, I think it could have been decent, so I wouldn't write off the author.
A Boy and His Bicycle - Carl Frederick offers a story about just that: a boy and his bike. They don't do anything interesting, or go anywhere fun, or give us any reason not to hope that they just crash into a bus and die. The only saving grace is that it's short and over quickly. And to think this story got first place that quarter...
Bury My Heart At the Garrick - Steve Savile takes the prize for plodding, pointlessness. This story of Houdini was confusing, but not in that good way where you want to know what's going on, more in the way where you just don't care and want to skip to the next story. I kept reading to see if it would get better (imagine a short story that took me a week to read!). It didn't.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good story weaving 20 Sep 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's not perfect but I found this anthology very satisfying. When every single one of the stories is able to take me somewhere interesting, then the anthology is worth the money.. Favorite stories: Graveyard Tea, Windseekers, and Origami Cranes.
5.0 out of 5 stars How to See the Future of Science Fiction 10 Jan 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 13 is a truly superb and solid collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories by some of the most talented and visionary new writers of our time. From the opening tale by Bo Griffin about a man who draws women to him with "The Scent of Desire," only to have them burn up in his arms from the heat of his passion, to the alternate history tale in which the Mormon War of 1857 takes an unexpected turn in "For the Strength of the Hills," by Lee Allred, these stories are well-written, engaging, and as innovative as they are varied in style and subject matter. Come, learn what it's like to be accused of murder for liking the color orange, explore the final resting place of a mighty emperor in the company of his favorite female assassin and concubine, or place your bet on the Norse god of your choice when "The Gods Perspire." There's great fun to be had here, and some delightful food for thought, as well.

When you turn these pages, be prepared to look into many futures -- including the future of science fiction and fantasy itself. The names in front of the stories are new, but many of them are likely to become as familiar to the readers of tommorow, as the judges who chose these stories for inclusion in this anthology are to today's readers. Judges like Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Frederik Pohl, Robert Silverberg, Jack Williamson, Dave Wolverton, and others, all stellar -- even legendary -- figures in their own right. Read and I think you'll agree: they chose these Writers of the Future carefully and well.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOTF Vol. XV is very exciting. 1 Nov 1999
By Mike Varela - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Though I thought Vol. XIII was tepid, Vol. XV is anything but! Being a jaded scifi/horror/mystery reader, if an anthology doesn't have kick-ass short stories as openers, middlers, and closers as well, then I generally rate it below a two.
Fortunately, this volume is one of the rare exceptions. Boy does it have terrific stories!
I too am also a contestant trying to get into this superb anthology. I've read and entered since the beginning, though with inconsistent output. Let's hope I and the others who haven't gotten a chance yet to be recognized for their writing/yarning talent will be in next year's anthology.
There's only one niggling afterthought that I have to express here. Is it me, or have the L. Ron Hubbard "How to write" articles within the newer volumes become increasingly obscure and irrelevant? Bring back the more basic articles that graced the first ten volumes of this anthology series, please!
Overall, top-notch work!
4.0 out of 5 stars WoTF's Vol. 13 has something for everybody. 8 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book rates an 8 instead of a 9 or 10 because it could have had at least one startling story in it. Since Stanley's short story, CHILDREN OF CRECHE, back in another earlier volume, there have been some near-contenders to such a slam-bang ending, but none have come even close. Still this omnibus offers some above-average short stories -- stories without the gum-smacking, philosophically idiotic messages that the previous three volumes were heavily caught up in. There's more intelligent stories evident in this volume than in the previous three volumes.
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