L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39

The Best New SF & Fantasy of the Year

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Pub Date 16 May 2023 | Archive Date 7 Sep 2023

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In the world of speculative fiction…

Your favorite authors…

Have selected best new voices of the year.

24 Award-winning Authors and Illustrators

3 Bonus Short Stories by Kevin J. Anderson L. Ron Hubbard S. M. Stirling

Art and Writing Tips by Lazarus Chernik L. Ron Hubbard Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Edited by Dean Wesley Smith Jody Lynn Nye

Narrated by Jim Meskimen Taylor Meskimen Tamra Meskimen

Check out the stories Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card, Nnedi Okorafor, Robert J. Sawyer, Kevin J. Anderson, Jody Lynn Nye and others chose as the best of the best.

Be amazed. Be amused. Be transported … by stories that take you by surprise and take you further and deeper into new worlds and new ideas than you’ve ever gone before….

Twelve captivating tales from the most exciting new voices in science fiction and fantasy accompanied by three from masters of the genre.

A miracle? An omen? Or something else? One day, they arrived in droves—the foxes of the desert, the field, the imagination….—“Kitsune” by Devon Bohm

When a vampire, a dragon and a shape-shifting Chihuahua meet on a beach in Key West, fireworks go off! But that’s just the background. —“Moonlight and Funk” by Marianne Xenos

Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., faces one of his funniest and most perplexing cases ever—an enlightened ogre, a salamander with low self-esteem, and a raging fire dragon terrorizing the Unnatural Quarter! —“Fire in the Hole” by Kevin J. Anderson

The Grim Reaper, trapped in an IRS agent’s dying body, must regain his powers before he dies and faces judgment for his original sin.—“Death and the Taxman” by David Hankins

In a metaverse future, a woman who exposes falseness in others must decide what is real to her—the love she lost or the love she may have found.—“Under My Cypresses” by Jason Palmatier

Vic Harden wasn’t lured by glory on a daring mission into the reaches of outer space—he was ordered out there by his editor.—“The Unwilling Hero” by L. Ron Hubbard

Dangerous opportunities present themselves when an alien ship arrives in the solar system seeking repairs.—“White Elephant” by David K. Henrickson

With her spaceship at the wrong end of a pirate’s guns, a former war hero must face down her enemies and demons to save Earth’s last best chance for peace.—“Piracy for Beginners” by J. R. Johnson

Years after the Second Holocaust, the last surviving Jews on earth attempt to rewrite the past.—“A Trickle in History” by Elaine Midcoh

When I said I’d do anything to pay off my debts and get back home to Earth, I didn’t mean survey a derelict spaceship at the edge of the solar system—but here I am.—“The Withering Sky” by Arthur H. Manner

High-powered telescopes bring galactic life to our TVs, and network tuner Hank Enos figures he’s seen everything—until the day an alien boy stares back.—“The Fall of Crodendra M.” by T. J. Knight

Knights, damsels and dragons, curses and fates foretold—the stuff of legends and stories, but unexpectedly perverse.—“Constant Never” by S. M. Stirling

Determined to save his wife, Tumelo takes an unlikely client through South Africa’s ruins to the heart of the Desolation—a journey that will cost or save everything.—“The Children of Desolation” by Spencer Sekulin

When a terrorist smuggles a nuclear weapon into London, a team regresses in time to AD 1093 to assassinate a knight on the battlefield, thereby eliminating the terrorist a millennia before his birth.—“Timelines and Bloodlines” by L. H. Davis

The Grand Exam, a gateway to power for one, likely death for all others—its entrants include ambitious nobles, desperate peasants, and Quiet Gate, an old woman with nothing left to lose.—“The Last History” by Samuel Parr

You will love this collection of the best new voices because, as Locus magazine puts it, “Excellent writing…extremely varied. There’s a lot of hot new talent.”

Get it now.


  • L. Ron Hubbard
  • Kevin J Anderson
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • S. M Stirling
  • Lazarus Chernik
  • Samuel Parr
  • Spencer Sekulin
  • L. H. Davis
  • Devon Bohm
  • Arthur H. Manners
  • David Hankins
  • David K. Henrickson
  • J. R. Johnson
  • Elaine Midcoh
  • Marianne Xenos
  • Jason Palmatier
  • T. J. Knight

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

NOTICE: This is 3/4s of the full collection. Due to Net Galley file size restrictions we were not able to include all of the stories and articles on this Net Galley review copy.

In the world of speculative fiction…

Your favorite authors…

Have selected best new voices of the year.

24 Award-winning Authors and Illustrators

3 Bonus Short Stories by Kevin J. Anderson L. Ron...

Advance Praise

"“Outstanding new voices, telling stories that cover the range of speculative fiction. There’s something for every genre reader among this year’s winners, as well as stories from established writers Kevin J, Anderson and S.M. Stirling and two how-to essays for hopeful SF Writers and illustrators. “VERDICT This collection of winners will satisfy readers of SF, Epic and urban fantasy” —Library Journal


“No corner of the speculative fiction genre has been left untouched with these epic stories. This book represents the best and brightest upcoming authors and illustrators within the genre. I completely loved it!” —The International Review of Books

 “This is a treasure of extraordinary journeys beyond the boundaries of imagination. L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future volume 39 is a ʻmust-readʼ for science fiction and fantasy connoisseurs. Highly recommended!” —Midwest Book Review

“Enjoyable. An early glance at writers who may become major talents in the future. A strikingly original and intricately imagined fantasy world. Unusually vivid and convincing cyberpunk.” —Tangent Online

“Perfect 5 out of 5 stars. This volume definitely inspired me. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the short stories. There is literally something for everyone, and the illustrations linked with each short story were mesmerizing. They fit perfectly.” —OnlineBookClub.org

“Riveting. An epic collection with beautiful new voices, bonus stories, and remarkable artwork.” —Readers’ Favorite

"“Outstanding new voices, telling stories that cover the range of speculative fiction. There’s something for every genre reader among this year’s winners, as well as stories from established writers...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781619867703
PRICE US$34.29 (USD)
DURATION 18 Hours, 20 Minutes, 10 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 23 members

Featured Reviews

Heartiest gratitude to Bookinfluencers.com, Netgalley and @galaxy_press for the amazing book! ❤️

🦾 Title : Writers of the Future - Volume 39.
🦾 Genre : Science Fiction.
🦾 Overall Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5.

* Kitsune - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* Moonlight and Funk - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* Death and the Taxman - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* Under My Cypresses - ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫
* White Elephant - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* Piracy for Beginners - ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫
* A Trickle in History - ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫
* The Withering Sky - ⭐⭐⭐💫
* The Fall of Crodendra M - ⭐⭐⭐💫
* Timelines and Bloodlines - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* The Children of Desolation - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* The Last History - ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

The illustrations are hands-down gorgeous 😭 I can't literally choose a favourite. They are out of the world and too pretty to miss out ❤️

Now, audiobooks are a bit difficult for me. Not being a native English speaker, I have to give full concentration while listening to one and it kinda weighs me down. But I loved listening to this one! It was easy to understand even when I was working and the tone, delivery - everything about it was perfect. Highly recommended!

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I can't believe that I have never heard of this analogy. It was a fantastic read. I have told all my friends and fellow authors about it. They can't wait until they get their hands on it. Now I am going to have to find all the previous ones and give them a read also.

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L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39 was a collection of short stories from the best tales of The Writers of the Future program. These short stories ranged from tales of space and space travel, to other worlds, to tales of zombie PIs, or a tale of the grim reaper. I don't get a chance to read short stories often, but all of these were wonderful tales that gave you brief stories filled with fantastic writing and adventure.

One of my favorite things about this collection of stories were the various sci-fi short stories. Sci-fi is a genre that I love but can feel very daunting to read with the science heavy world building. With these short stories, they were a wonderful introduction to sci-fi and some sci-fi writers. Several of the stories including White Elephant, Piracy for Beginners, and Fall of Crodendra M will stay with me for years to come. The rich world building and characters were hard to part from at the conclusion of the story and made me want to read more. However, these stories felt complete and finished at the same time.

The audiobook narration of these stories was also well done. The audiobook narrators were articulate with very soothing voices that made the reader want to continue. They gave life to the characters in the stories and kept me glued to the narratives.

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This collection is amazing now matter what year you buy it. Always a must have for any science fiction fan.

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L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39

Dean Wesley Smith (Editor)Jody Lynn Nye (Editor), Tom Wood (Illustrator), Dao Vi (Illustrator),
Alexandra Albu (Illustrator), Clarence Bateman (Illustrator), Sarah Morrison (Illustrator), Ximing Luo (Illustrator) Alaya Knowlton (Illustrator), José Sánchez (Illustrator), Kristen Hadaway(Illustrator), Chris Binns (Illustrator), Chris Arias (Illustrator), Helen Yi (Illustrator), April Solomon (Illustrator), Bruce Brenneise (Illustrator), Nick Jizba (Illustrator), L. Ron Hubbard,
Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, S.M. Stirling, Lazarus Chernik, Samuel Parr, Spencer Sekulin, Devon Bohm, Arthur H. Manners, L.H. Davis, David Hankins, David K. Henrickson, J.R. Johnson, Marianne Xenos, Elaine Midcoh, Jason Palmatier, T.J. Knight

Kitsune by Devon Bohm
Mystical look at meaning and how people view their world. From New Mexico, Georgia O’Keefe, and the idea of women's lib, and freedom. The cross cultural look at need and desire, and freedom. A beautiful idea.

Moonlight and funk By Marianne Xenos

Death And the taxman by David Hankins
Started as stories he made up for his daughter at bed time. What a hilarious beginning. I loved the humor and the ideas shown by the characters that create amazing puns, and hilarious episodes.

Under my cypresses by Jason Palmatier

Circulate by L. Ron Hubbard

The unwilling hero L. Ron Hibbard

White Elephant by David k. Henrickson
Given warning of alien contact and possible invasion how would a Space faring earth respond.

Piracy for beginners by J. R. Johnson
An adventure into space, finding out how to use her personal skills to evade space pirates. Her choice was not supported by the company, but it worked that she saved her ship and her crew. An interesting look at rules of corporations and independent actions.

Prioritize to increase your writing by kristine kathryn Rusch
A short personal story of the struggles we all have with obligations and motivations.

Fire in the hole
By Kevin J. Anderson
The story of a young monster who has to face his family and take his own life in hand. A twist on mythological monsters with humor and the gumshoe investigations.

A Trickle in history by Elaine Midcoh
The last of the Jews in Europe are hidden behind false papers and ideology. The propaganda and prejudice affect every part of their lives. This book shows the sad image of a possible history. Time travel has circumstances for change but it erases those things that happen after they change.

The Withering Sky by Arthur H. Manners

The fall of Crodendra M T. J. Knight
We are responsible for our existence. That if family calls we are to go. We are to be there. If we do not we find regret. It's a poignant story of regret and goodbye.

What is art direction? By Lazarus Chernik

Constant Never by s.m. Stirling

The children of desolation by Spencer Skulin
A dark look at the future, our current fears of destruction and apocalyptic results. Based in South Africa this story looks at misconception and propaganda as one side plays the other.

Timelines and bloodlines by L. H. Davis

The last history by Samuel Parr

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Loved this.
Super f*cked up stories that completely blew my mind.
Perfect narrators too.

If you're not a Fantasy fan steer clear!

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These collections of stories are a great way to find new authors and test to see if their writing style fits what you're looking for. Not everything will hit, but this collection has a wide variety.

Audio narrator preference is very subjective, but for me both the narrators fell a bit flat in this one. It often became very monotone and I felt my attention slip.

Overall it's absolutely worth a read if you're looking for new authors to explore in the genre.

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I was given the opportunity to review this audiobook via NetGalley. I enjoyed the audiobook immensely. The narrators did a good job and I was drawn into the stories. All the stories are great but the following ones really captured my attention. "Death and the Taxman" had me chuckling, while I wondered how the characters would get out of their situation. "The Fall of Crodendra" was very engrossing and I was on the edge of my seat at the end. "The Children of Desolation" had some interesting characters and delightful twists and turns. I stayed up late just to hear the end of the story. The stories are not doom and gloom but rather explore various aspects of humanity. I would recommend this to anyone interested in Science Fiction.

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Short story collections are some of my favorite ways to consume speculative fiction, and this collection was no different. A number of the stories were fantastic, while others were good but not memorable.

I do wish that the audiobook included all the stories, as I wonder if some of the best ones were left out. I highly recommend the audiobook, but be sure to check out the physical copy to see the artwork and the stories that were not included in the arc.

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L. Ron Hubbard's “Writers of the Future” is a contest for hopeful writers of Science Fiction or Fantasy. The contest also includes “Illustrators of the Future”. Notable former winners of the contest include Stephen Baxter, Patrick Rothfuss, and James Alan Gardner. The 39th selection will undoubtably send more writers to the top of the list of well known, well-loved authors. The audiobook narrators, Jim Meskimen, Taylor Meskimen and Tamera Meskimen, do an excellent job of bringing the stories to life.

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I enjoyed every story in here. Narrator was great throughout and great authors chosen to be included.

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This is my first time coming across the ‘Writers of the future’ compilation. I wasn’t sure entirely what to expect but i loved it! I loved each beautiful story written by every single author. My favourite was “The Unwilling Hero”. I am now on the search for the previous 38 volumes as they are perfect for short bursts of imagination. These are perfect for sci fi lovers or stories that are truly out of this world.

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My first experience with writers of the future was with volume 37 that I also reviewed for NetGalley, and you know what, this one didn’t disappoint, this time I got to listen to the audiobook version, and you had 3 different people reading the stories, each read a different story, I really enjoy when we have more than one reading, even thou, they didn’t collaborate in the different stories, but each read in their own the story and that was enjoyable.

Like I always say, an anthology is always worth the experience, because you always find something you really love and others you really like and others that are ok, even if they didn’t make you dream, this is a sound anthology, my favourite story in the book was “a trickle in history” trying to change history sometimes only need an artificial diamond, and you know what, the author had also a story in volume 37, things always come around I tell you, also another of my favourites was “Death and the taxman” where one tries to cheat death, “fire in the hole” a zombie detective with a vampire stepdaughter and more to the mix and it was overall a very interesting take on emancipation” yeah I will just throw it out there, you need to read this stories, it seems shorter than it actually is.

Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial Audio, thank you for the AAC and this is my honest opinion.

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I’m always excited when the new Writers of the Future compilation comes out and this volume did not disappoint. I have been amazed at the quality of these books for years and this selection of winners are authors I look forward to reading more about in the future. My favorite was Death and the Taxman but in all honesty I loved them all and recommend them to anyone who wants some fun science fiction reading and fantasy reading.

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