REVIEW SUMMARY: A diverse and well-balanced anthology that delivers on its promises.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An anthology of 24 military science fiction stories.
PROS: Excellent stories with highlights by Karin Lowachee, Linda Nagata, and Yoon Ha lee; beautiful Galen Dara Cover art.
CONS: As always with an anthology, some stories stronger than others; story order imperfect.
BOTTOM LINE: An essential set of stories for readers interested in military science fiction.
In episode 236 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Karin Lowachee, Richard Dansky, Jaym Gates, and Myke Cole discuss Military Science Fiction.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Getting introduced to a book discovered by my now-adult son turns the tables, as he matches my enjoyment of military history, historical figures and strategy with a series that lays out all of these factors in a future 100-year war between the Alliance and the Syndics.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Captain John “Black Jack” Geary, awakened after 100-years spent in an escape pod, finds himself in mid-battle and in charge of the Fleet, fighting the same opponent as he was 100-years ago, but with a chance to turn the tide and end the long war.
PROS: Builds believable rules of warfare and technology; explains the thought process of the strategies without bogging down the pacing of the story; flawed characters, even the legendary Geary.
CONS: A series, that might not end? Never explains why the 100-year war began (perhaps later in the series?).
BOTTOM LINE: Mixing a believable set of technological rules with complex characters, The Lost Fleet: Dauntless is fast-paced military SF that my son calls “believable.”
The War Stories anthology officially tipped over the 100% mark on its Kickstarter! As of this morning, it’s reached 104% of our goal, and with just over a day left to go, we’re hoping to hit a couple of additional goals above and beyond that.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of our 323 backers who’ve pledged thus far. This is going to be an excellent book, and it’s because of all of our backers that we’re able to produce it.
Here’s where we want to go next:
- Stretch Goal target: $12,000: Additional Art unlocked. We’d like to break the stories into thematic sections, and provide art for each section.
- Stretch Goal target: $13,000: 20,000 words unlocked. This will allow us to include several additional stories we have under consideration at the moment, which will make this book all the better.
So, if you’ve been holding off, rest assured that this is now a pre-order for the book. Backers at the $15 level and above will receive a copy of WAR STORIES! You’ve got until November 14th at 6:00 pm to back it!
Larger book cover after the break!
David Weber is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Honor Harrington space opera novels from Baen Books. The series is 26 books long so far and has its own cosplay uniforms, props and annual Con. From On Basilisk Station to A Beautiful Friendship and Shadow Of Freedom, the adventures of Honor and friends are action packed fun. With Steve White, he wrote the successful Starfire tie-in novels based on the game which continue now from Baen Books. He’s also authored six Safehold novels for Tor Books, four Empire Of Man books with John Ringo and coauthored two 1632-verse novels with fellow Baen Books author Eric Flint as well. A lay Methodist minister, he’s worked as a copywriter and other kinds of writing since her was seventeen. He’s also worked in game design and has a masters in history and teaches history at the college level. He lives in South Carolina with his wife and family. The latest Honorverse books are Shadow Of Freedom from Baen Books & House Of Steel: The Honorverse Companion. David can be found on Goodreads, Twitter as @DavidWeber1 and via his website at DavidWeber.net.
SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?
David Weber: It started when I was ten and read Legion of Space by Jack Williamson. I had a broken arm and had already read all my books, so I tried my dad’s. After that, I was off and running with Heinlein, E.E. Smith, and Asimov. I met H. Beam Piper and Anne McCaffrey later. A lot of my interest has to do with my interest in history. I see Science Fiction as history that hasn’t happened yet.
Fellow SF Signal irregular Jaym Gates and I have a project that we’ve collaborated on that we’d like to share with everyone: War Stories, an anthology of military speculative fiction.
Jack Campbell (the pen name of John G. Hemry) writes the New York Times bestselling SF series The Lost Fleet (Dauntless, Fearless, Courageous, Valiant, Relentless, and Victorious) which has been published in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, China, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Israel. He also writes the follow-on series The Lost Fleet – Beyond the Frontier (Dreadnaught, Invincible, and Guardian) and the spin-off series The Lost Stars (Tarnished Knight and the upcoming Perilous Shield). John is also the author of the Sinclair (JAG in Space) series and the Stark’s War series. His short fiction has appeared in places as varied as the last Chicks in Chainmail anthology (Turn the Other Chick), and Analog magazine (which published his award winning stories). His non-fiction on topics ranging from Interstellar Navigation to the Legion of Superheroes has been in (among other places) the Sequart anthology Teenagers From the Future, and anthologies on Charmed, Star Wars, and Superman. John had the opportunity to live on Midway Island for a while during the 1960s, then later attended the US Naval Academy. He served in a variety of jobs including gunnery officer and navigator on a destroyer, with an amphibious squadron, and at the Navy’s anti-terrorism center. He speaks the remnants of Russian pounded into him by the perseverance of Professor Vladimir Tolstoy. After retiring from the US Navy and settling in Maryland, John began writing. He lives with his amazing wife (the indomitable S) and three great kids. His daughter and two sons are diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. He can be found on Facebook and via his website at jack-campbell.com/.
Doctor Charles E. Gannon is a Distinguished Professor of English at St. Bonaventure University. A Fulbright Senior Specialist in American Literature and Culture 2004-2009, his most recent non-fiction book won the 2006 ALA Award for Outstanding Book and was discussed on NPR’s Morning Edition when he was interviewed. He’s also appeared on Discovery Channel and is a member of SIGMA, a Science Fiction think tank of which clients include the Air Force, the Pentagon, and NATO. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Gannon worked eight years as a scriptwriter and producer in New York City. His latest novel is Fire With Fire, others are Extremis with Steve White and 1635: The Papal Stakes with Eric Flint, all from Baen Books. A happily married father of five, he lives north of Annapolis and can be found on twitter as @cegannon1, on Facebook and via his website at CharleseGannon.com.
SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?
Charles E. Gannon: Where? Dunno. When? The cradle, I think. When I was three, I loved dinosaurs. So I wanted to be a paleontologist and write about it. When I was seven, it was zoology, and I wanted to write about it. At about nine, it was astronomy, then being an astronaut. But then I learned that space travel was still dangerous, so it was back to astronomy. And of course, write about it. You spent long, preparatory years doing immense amounts of number crunching, often living a dull existence, all so you’d get to do something uberkewl for a few days. That was not satisfying to me. But writing about it? I got to virtually live all those lives, whenever I wanted. And dive into the topix. Now that was kewl!
REVIEW SUMMARY: The Hurt Locker meets Apocalypse Now in a science fiction setting.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Stan Resnick is a man at home on the battlefield, a special operative charged with tracking and eliminating rogue super soldiers. Now he has been given his most dangerous mission yet – infiltrating enemy territory and discovering the purpose of Project Sunshine.
PROS: Well developed protagonist, intense and relentless action, and an absorbing near future setting.
CONS: Ancillary characters could use further development.
BOTTOM LINE: McCarthy closes out the Subterrene War trilogy with this largely satisfactory military adventure.
The Subterrene War is over but Stan Resnick’s duty is far from done. Resnick is responsible for killing rogue Germline soldiers, a job he has done well for close to two decades now. Aggression is escalating in Asia and another war is right around the corner. The unstoppable juggernaut that is China has defeated Russia and now turns its attention elsewhere. The secret to slowing a Chinese invasion lies with Project Sunshine and a rogue Germline named Margaret. Resnick will have to risk everything in the jungles of Thailand to recover information on Project Sunshine and find Margaret. But will even that be enough to fight China?
In episode 123 of the Hugo Nominated SF Signal Podcast, Andrew Liptak takes the helm to chat with Myke Cole, Joe Haldeman and David J. Williams about military science fiction.
Recent Philip K. Dick Award nominee Jean Johnson co-headlined a new anthology edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt called Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6, writing in her Theirs Not To Reason Why military science fiction universe from which a series of novels are being released by Ace. A Soldier’s Duty came out last year and An Officer’s Duty will be out in July. “It’s Not A Game” from the Space Grunts: Full-Throttle Space Tales #3 anthology was also set in this universe. She’s also the author of The Sword, The Wolf, The Cat and The Mage, amongst other bestselling fantasy romances. To check out more of her works, visit her at www.jeanjohnson.net.
Jean wishes to acknowledge everyone who has given support to their loved ones in the military, as well as to the soldiers themselves for serving.
BTS: How did you find out about the Space Battles anthology and what made you decide to submit?
Jean Johnson: I was invited back to submit again, which was an honor. I’d originally been published before by Flying Pen Press in #3, Space Grunts, with a story set in the same universe as this one. As for how I got into Space Grunts… You know, I can’t remember? I think it was through a friend of a friend.
In episode 113 of the SF Signal Podcast, Andrew Liptak takes the helm to chat with Myke Cole, Jean Johnson and T.C. McCarthy about military science fiction.
In episode 113 of the SF Signal Podcast, Andrew Liptak takes the helm to chat with authors about military science fiction.
This week’s panel:
© 2011 SFSignal.com
Featuring original music by John Anealio
REVIEW SUMMARY: Cybernetically strung-out freedom fighter leads a too-large cast in a too-small book that fires and…misses.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In Ragamuffin, Nashara is a last ditch effort, centuries in the making, to usurp the yoke of alien rule by the pirate-like force of terran traditionalists, that refuse to submit to the masters of humanity.
PROS: Technology; world building; unique.
CONS: Pacing; characterizations.
BOTTOM LINE: If you want something different, here you go. If you want something good with character and pacing, I advise to look elsewhere.