Previous recipient of the award, K.D. Wentworth (The Course of Empire, Stars Over Stars) returns to edit this top-notch anthology of this year's winners in the contest's 25th year. The collection offers a dozen strong stories that range from well-conceived fantasy to classic science fiction reworked. Standout stories include Donald Mead's touching ""The Shadow Man,"" with its lingering postwar ghosts in Hiroshima; Matthew S. Rotundo's exploration of the ethical boundaries of military intelligence in ""Gone Black""; and Jordan Lapp's portrayal of the short, fiery life of a phoenix in ""After the Final Sunset, Again."" Other featured writers such as Emery Huang, Fiona Lehn, and Mike Wood depict the rise of mega-corporations with paramilitary patent enforcers, for example; or competition for government financing turned into a dangerous sporting event; and computerized risk management taken to dangerous extremes. Each of the 12 stories is paired with the work of one of the winning illustrators from L. Ron Hubbard's companion contest. Several essays round out this volume, complimented by noted author and perennial judge Robert Silverberg's piece on the history of the contest. Always a glimpse of tomorrow's stars, this year's anthology is definitely a must-have for the genre reader.
Reviewed on: 09/14/2009 Release date: 09/01/2009 Genre: Fiction