There's a lot of very competent fiction around these days -- we're a very professional bunch, us SF writers. And sometimes I'll come across a story that's perfectly-paced, which has clearly-distinguished characters, strong settings and lots of surprises, written in sentences that are never badly-formed, with not a single word out of place. And they're soulless. Sometimes I think writers can be far too good, if you see what I mean. But then I'll come across a story that might be full of rough edges but which just leaps out from the page: a distinctive voice, a quirky take on the world, a way with words that's like no other. I'd choose spark over polish every time. It's probably invidious to name names, so I'll skip over the established writers who are most likely to do this for me, but some of the newer writers I'm particularly excited about include Neil Williamson, Anna Tambour, Chris Dolley, Jason Erik Lundberg, and Lavie Tidhar.