Are you looking for a fresh voice in speculative fiction? If so, I have a recommendation for you.
Every year, the John W. Campbell Award is given to the “best” new writer in the speculative fiction genre—you know, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. What exactly is meant by “best” isn’t really clear to me, but that’s besides the point because all of the nominees bring serious writing chops to the table. But who will those nominees be? Good question because it’s not always clear who is a new writer (as opposed to a infrequently published one) and it’s not always easy to find their stories.
In recent years it’s gotten easier with “Campbellian” anthologies. Started in 2013 by M. David Blake and originally published through Rampant Loon Media (who also publish Stupefying Stories), the Campbellian anthologies were a showcase for John W. Campbell Award eligible writers (I had a few of stories in the 2013 edition, but I’m no longer eligible). Its purpose was to expose the writers and their stories to potential award voters who otherwise might not have been aware of them. The anthologies also happened to collect together some great fiction from up and coming writers—for example, the 2013 anthology contained early stories by several of this year’s Nebula Award nominees!
Mr. Blake decided not to assemble the anthology this year (he had concerns related to slate voting, and giving last year’s Hugo Award fiasco . . . .), but with his blessing, S. L. Huang and Kurt Hunt have taken up his idea and assembled “Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors.” Packed with 120 new writers and coming in at a hefty 1.1 million words, it’s sure to contain a new voice (heck, voices!) in science fiction, fantasy or horror that sings to you. And it’s free to download until March 31st (when the Campbell Award voting closes). So don’t miss a chance to read some of the new voices of speculative fiction, and if that’s not enticing enough, remember that there’s a good chance that someone in this year’s anthology will likely be a household name in the not too distant future.