L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Vol. 40: The Best New SF & Fantasy of the Year

Galaxy. May 2024. 448p. ed. by Jody Lynn Nye. ISBN 9781619867741. pap. $22.95. SF
In this 40th volume, 12 outstanding new voices in fantasy and science fiction take center stage, along with excellent contributions from two veterans, Nancy Kress (“Halo”) and S.M. Stirling (“Shaman Dreams”). The stories cover the full range of speculative fiction, from space flight gone terribly wrong in Tom Vandermolen’s “Nonzero,” to the necessity for a colony ship’s crew to drastically adjust their expectations in “Five Days Until Sunset” by Lance Robinson. Artificial intelligence eschews destroying the universe in the surprisingly lighthearted “Butter Side Down” by Kal M, even as virtual reality preserves more than one light in Sky McKinnon’s “The Edge of Where My Light Is Cast,” while a story of time travel morphs into a question about the point at which the pursuit of justice becomes revenge in Rosalyn Robilliard’s SF mystery “The Wall Isn’t a Circle.” Even SF horror has its dystopian day in John Eric Schleicher’s “Squiddy.” Two stories, “Life and Death and Love in the Bayou” by Stephannie Tallent and “Summer of Thirty Years” by Lisa Silverthorne, explore the magic of sacrifice and the cost of power.
VERDICT The latest entry in this annual series has something for every SF and fantasy reader, from the blackness of space to the power of magic and all of the places and planes in between.
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