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.
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.
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!
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.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Scalzi takes you on a speculative ride that is fast and rewarding.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The far future: Man has colonized the stars. And they’re hostile. Our solution: Fight back and fight first. Our recruits: Grandma and Grandpa. But not how you knew them. New and improved, like you’ve never seen or imagined.
PROS: Dialogue, humor, imaginative and well-used technology.
CONS: Lack of detail and jumps in time
BOTTOM LINE: Scalzi’s imagination and military prowess are superb, while working in a touching story that leaves you satisfied. And don’t worry…there is no Viagra.