I have several volumes of this series, but this is the only one I’ve read — probably because a review was expected since I got it from the publisher via LibraryThing.
A retro review from February 16, 2013.
Review: Writers of the Future, Volume XXVIII, ed. K. D. Wentworth, 2012.
Don’t think of this as a collection of amateur stories. These stories are as proficient as those you will find in any anthology, more than many I’d say. Many of these stories are not even the first publication of their authors.
And don’t think of this as some sort of talent-spotting exercise, a dutiful survey to see who might be the subject of “buzz” in the future. As with past winners, some of these authors will go on to distinguished careers. Others will fade away.
There is something here for most tastes in the fantastic: fantasy, surrealism, a bit of steampunk, and military and straight science fiction.
Some of that science fiction is conceptually inventive. If it isn’t entirely groundbreaking, it at least looks at some old ideas in a new way. Three stories in this category were my favorites.
Actually, my favorite, Gerald Warfield’s “The Poly Islands“, may do something completely new in its setting – the famed island of floating garbage in the Pacific Ocean. Here, it’s populated by criminal gangs, those on the run from those gangs like protagonist Liyang, and political refugees. Add in the mysterious nature of the Crab, leader of the Poly Island community, some intrigue, and the well-worked out details of living on an unstable platform of plastic garbage, and you have a winning story marred only a tiny bit by a somewhat schmaltzy ending. Continue reading