I don’t think I’ve ever read Writers of the Future

I’ve been an avid devourer of science fiction for decades, so it’s a little odd that I’ve missed out on this anthology, Writers of the Future. It’s been cruising along for 34 years, and apparently they throw a colossal, glitzy gala in Hollywood every year, flying in the authors and partying…for a week? Jeeez, writers…so spoiled, they’re all just rolling in the dough.

And here I’ve never even seen the books, let alone paid for one. How are the publishers paying for this? Oh, here’s the answer.

Yikes. “L. Ron Hubbard presents…” — that’s as good as slapping a glowing green Mr Yuck sticker on the cover as far as I’m concerned. No way would I ever pick up something like that, but at least we know how a few authors can get treated swankily. It’s by selling out to a corrupt criminal cult. Tony Ortega has been writing about this PR gimmick for years, but still authors fall for it and still participate, and they should be embarrassed. Also because paying homage to an extraordinarily schlocky pulp author who founded a religion should be something to be ashamed of.

The bad news is that if you get published in Writers of the Future, no one will read it except Scientologists, and everyone who sees your name listed there will know you’re a sellout. The good news is that no one will crack the cover to see your name on the roll of the shameful.


  1. Mobius says

    I read one Hubbard book, Battlefield Earth. I was so underwhelmed that I have no desire to read anything else by him, or even anything associated with his name. So I will be giving this book a pass.

  2. doubtthat says

    Man, I get it. Hubbard poisons everything he touches. But as a person dipping his toes in getting some stories published…..If they wanted to print something I wrote, I’d probably be overjoyed.

    It’s tough out there. I have a full time job, so I’m not desperate, but I do give a lot of margin to anyone writing and looking for publishers.

  3. KG says

    By coincidence, I’ve just been rereading parts of Russell Miller’s Bare-Faced Messiah, an extremely unauthorised biography of Hubbard, available free online here. Hubbard probably wrote more fiction about his own life than about anything else, and as for the real thing, well as they say, you couldn’t make it up. His resemblance in character to Trump is uncanny, although Hubbard at least had a degree of originality in his scams. But an “alternate history” in which Hubbard became President, and Trump founded his own religion, might look just as realistic as what has (allegedly) actually happened.

  4. says

    I’m noticing a trend when looking at the “judges” on the back of that. Mostly men, mostly normal sounding. A couple I even like as authors, but seems pretty set as to who gets to contribute.

  5. davidk44 says

    Not that it excuses the existence of the book series, but the first fiction publication for Patrick Rothfuss and his Kingkiller Chronicles was in the 2002 Writers of the Future.

  6. microraptor says

    I read a couple of those anthologies back when I was too young to know anything about Scientology or L Ron Hubbard.

    “They were okay” is the level that the best stories in the books rose to.

  7. Rob Bos says

    I’ve read a couple of these anthologies. They’re not terrible. I think Scientologists may have a soft spot for science fiction.

    I mean, for instance, Christians fund all sorts of great things. If you keep their motivations in mind and are aware of their slant, then you can still appreciate a good story for what it is.

    If you’re an author, you publish where you can and take every dollar you can scrape. :)

  8. jrkrideau says

    @ 10 Rob Bos

    I think Scientologists may have a soft spot for science fiction.

    I have never read any of the Writers of the Future books but given Scientology’s beliefs and behaviours they may think than Writers of the Future are either history or books of prophesy.

  9. says

    Hubbard was a decent writer for the pulps, complete with a customized IBM Selectric that had extra keys for short, commonly-used words like “and” and “but”, before he went the why-not-found-my-own-religion route. Not great, but decent, and firmly of his time. Those who are curious to know about Hubbard’s works might be well-advised to check out the stuff he wrote before 1950 (the year he wrote Dianetics).

  10. freddy72nz says

    I have the full Decalogy of Mission Earth, in hardback (got them for a song in my 20’s), and I think they are a fun read. I read them every few years for entertainment.
    I have no opinion of Mr Hubbards religious leanings, however he could write an entertaining story.
    Don’t let the actions of a bunch of loonies, that follow his teachings that came later in life, detract from his science fiction writings. That’s just stupid.

    Have a good one,

  11. freddy72nz says

    Doh! just found out that the religious BS came earlier. Never mind, that are still a fun read IMHO.