I've been following the Writers of the Future science fiction contest since it began some thirty-odd years ago. L. Ron Hubbard (a particularly colorful character in a field known for its colorful characters) developed a contest to help new and aspiring writers-- and illustrators-- break into the speculative fiction genre. L. Ron has passed away since then, but the program is still going strong, each year helping to expose the best of the up-and-coming writers and illustrators to the established professionals in the industry and to the population of readers at large.
Volume 32 is out and as fate would have it, not one but *two* of the stories included are by writers here in my own stomping grounds of Reno, Nev. :) Christoph Weber's "Mobius" and J.D. Kulicher's "Swords Like Lightning, Hooves Like Thunder"-- along with artwork specially commissioned for the stories-- grace the pages of this year's book, which is currently available for purchase at the B&N on South Virginia.
I picked up my copy yesterday during the authors' book signing event and it was a real pleasure to meet Weber and Kulicher. Not only are their stories a pair of good reads, but they are both really great people, and it is super cool that the Biggest Little City and the Silver State can increase our Spec-Fic cred by claiming them as our own... #GushingFanboy
(And just as I was writing this post, I got an e-mail from Joni Labaqui over at the Writers of the Future organization (We do communicate back and forth a few times each year and I do get invited to the awards ceremony each year (#namedropper), but I keep putting it off, hoping to one day attend as an honoree!) and it seems that WotF #32 is currently #1 on the B&N Science Fiction Fantasy list and #1 on the Amazon Hot New Releases list...)