1. I read Fantasy ever since I can remember. 2. My guilty pleasure is chick lit. And 3. You can call me Nya.
I have first heard of Writers of the Future thanks to Orson Scott Card’s amazing book ‘How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy’. In hopes of grasping what would be needed to succeed in such contest, I have, of course, bought one of the volumes. I admit I have taken quite a while to finish reading this anthology. When I was then asked by the publisher to write a review, I decided to finally finish it. So here it goes.
I won’t rate the illustrations, even though they were amazing and somehow, fit perfectly the stories. Also, I am not going to analyze each single story individually. Instead, I will be just giving my overall opinion of what I thought of the stories included in this anthology. Being this contest considered one of the most prestigious ones, of course, I had high expectations and was hoping to absorb at least some knowledge from the experience of reading the winner stories. The fact that I didn’t feel intrigued enough by the stories doesn’t mean they are bad. They are amazingly well written, and I am sure the experts know better than me. However, considering that some of the stories were more interesting than others (to me), overall the anthology simply didn’t grab enough of my attention. This is merely personal.
Themes: While there is not a common theme, I have noted that this SF anthology is mostly focused on Science fiction rather than Fantasy (at least considering my parameters). This is not necessarily bad, but it would be nice to see some balance, variety. I am unsure at this point of how unbiased I can be due to me being clearly drawn to Fantasy.
Plot: The stories all follow a structured plot but I thought many were unnecessarily long, relying on ‘conflict after conflict’ to delay the ending – if there was a clear ending, which was not always the case.
Writing: When a book doesn’t grasp my interest, I usually blame writing. Well, I don’t think this was the case. The stories were very well written, even if I wasn’t a particular fan of the fact that most of them were in the First Person (nothing against it, only would like to see a bit more of variety – again).
Overall, great selection of well-written stories, which somehow didn’t manage to grab me. I will, however, be reading more of Writers of the Future and I completely support their initiative.