War and Space: Recent Combat PDF/EPUB ï Space: Recent

War and Space: Recent Combat PDF/EPUB ï Space: Recent


War and Space: Recent Combat [Download] ➵ War and Space: Recent Combat ➾ Sean Wallace – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Conflict a basic human instinct, helping humankind evolve even while threatening the very existence of the species an instinct that will be as much a part of the future as it is now and always has bee Conflict a basic human Space: Recent Epub Þ instinct, helping humankind evolve even while threatening the very existence of the species an instinct that will be as much a part of the future as it is now and always has been For all the glories of war the defeat of evil, the promise of freedom, justice, protection of the innocent, the righting War and MOBI :Þ of wrongs, technological innovation, heroism there are also the horrors individual grief, mass destruction, the elimination of entire cultures and great achievments, injustice, villainy, the annihilation of the innocent, and pain beyond bearing War and Space offers the ultimate speculation on the future of warfare stories of insectoid anguish, genetically engineered diplomats who cannot fail, aliens plundering humanity, a and Space: Recent eBook ↠ weaponized black hole scenarios of triumph and defeat, great heroism and vile depravity and.


10 thoughts on “War and Space: Recent Combat

  1. Michael Drakich Michael Drakich says:

    Too many disappointments with only a handful of good ones scattered in.Twenty tales of science fiction with all having a central theme of war and space.Of the stories, I gave four of them 5 stars Sadly, I gave three of them 1 star, something I had never done before The average rating ending up at 3.05 stars So why only the two star rating I picked up this book at my local bookstore based on the cover and blurb My expectation was to find 20 short stories centered around war and space Unfortu Too many disappointments with only a handful of good ones scattered in.Twenty tales of science fiction with all having a central theme of war and space.Of the stories, I gave four of them 5 stars Sadly, I gave three of them 1 star, something I had never done before The average rating ending up at 3.05 stars So why only the two star rating I picked up this book at my local bookstore based on the cover and blurb My expectation was to find 20 short stories centered around war and space Unfortunately, there were too many stories where war got passing mention at best and sometimes so did space With eight of the stories rating only 2 stars or less, it s just too high a percentage to give the book a rating of 3 stars.If you chance on a copy, the gem of the bunch, in my opinion, is The Long Chase by Geoffrey A Landis Who s Afraid of Wolf 359 by Ken MacLeod For the opening story of a collection of 20 sci fi shorts, the editors could have picked a better one to start with This tale is downright silly, from the inane descriptions of things to the absolute ignorance of the protagonist He doesn t even know what a planet looks like It was an embarrassing read 1 star Surf by Suzanne Palmer Wow, I felt a surge of relief after the horrible first story to encounter this thoroughly enjoyable one Intelligent, and detailed, this is a well played story with enough unanswered questions leaving you pining for5 stars Another Life by Charles Oberndorf Somewhere in the background, there is a war going on but this story has very little to do with the war I found the story dragged and wasted too much on boring sexual exploits 2 stars Between Two Dragons by Yoon Ha Lee The Asian background to the story gave it some character but the tale being told by someone who you never discover who she is distracts from the story 3 stars Scales by Alastair Reynolds Short, and laced with lots of big words, this flash through the different stages of one man s continuing adaptation to fight a war is fun, though somewhat predictable 4 stars Golubash, Or Wine Blood War Elegy by Catherynne M Valente The sale of contraband wine during wartime in space is the setting and done with flair An enjoyable piece 5 stars Leave by Robert Reed This story left a few things unclear, but the way it was told was mesmerizing 5 stars Mehra And Jiun by Sandra McDonald Same tired territory where a human is held prisoner by an alien and they become friends Although the tale is okay, this format has been done too many times 3 stars Her Husband s Hands by Adam Troy Castro Prior to this collection of sci fi shorts, I had never given one star Now I am at two This is the most inane, silly, story I have ever read I kept hoping something intelligent would come out of it, but that never happened 1 star Remembrance by Beth Bernobich This is not the first story in the collection to be themed on sex, not sci fi and definitely not War Space Too often I find sci fi writers using the genre to play out their sexual fantasies 2 stars Palace Resolution by Tom Purdom An interesting debate over political style I enjoyed how it focused on subtleties 4 stars The Observer by Kristine Kathryn Rusch Standard juiced future soldier stuff Not much to it 2 stars The Long Chase by Geoffrey A Landis An intelligent piece set around two machines engaged in a chase across the cosmos The internal debate of the protagonist is enjoyable 5 stars Art Of War by Nancy Kress The concept was unique, I ll give it that The delivery of it left some to be desired 3 stars Have You Any Wool by Alan DeNiro I read through this twice A very difficult read and evenso to follow I think I understand what the author was trying to do, but it came across as way too convoluted 1 star Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine This short had a difficult start It was hard to sort through the first couple of pages and I had to read them twice I hate that Clones in space waiting for something That s it 2 stars Rats Of The System by Paul McAuley Intelligent robots, fanatical creatures and humans populate this story about a desperate attempt as solving the robots 4 stars The Political Officer by Charles Coleman Finlay More of a novelette than a short story at 56 pages This tale of subterfuge and competing government departments reads like a spy novel Considering its length, I was hoping not to have any unanswered questions at the end, but that was not to be 4 stars Amid The Words Of War by Cat Rambo Aliens ants, or something like them, at war with humans The start was hard to follow 3 stars A soldier Of The City by David Moles The tale tries to follow a solitary soldier caught in a space war It is written in a disjointed way that made it difficult to follow 2 stars


  2. Ken Richards Ken Richards says:

    3.5 stars.Amongst the 20 stories in this collection, there were some I really enjoyed, and some which for me, missed the mark Curiously, the stories by Ken MacLeod, Alastair Reynolds and Paul McAuley, which were the original reason for picking the volume out from the library were not the strongest, whilst some lesser known writers really stood out.The theme of the collection is Wars and Space , and fortunately, is marked by the complete absence of tedious screeds of weaponsporn which sometimes 3.5 stars.Amongst the 20 stories in this collection, there were some I really enjoyed, and some which for me, missed the mark Curiously, the stories by Ken MacLeod, Alastair Reynolds and Paul McAuley, which were the original reason for picking the volume out from the library were not the strongest, whilst some lesser known writers really stood out.The theme of the collection is Wars and Space , and fortunately, is marked by the complete absence of tedious screeds of weaponsporn which sometimes bedevil military SF Instead the effect of combat and wars on the participants, and on those left behind are the focus.My favourites were Surf Suzanne Palmer Golubash, Or Wine Blood War Elegy Catherynne M Valente Have You Any Wool Alan De Niro Art of War Nancy Kress and Amid the Words of War Cat Rambo Strong contributions also from The Long Chase Geoffrey Landis and the very disturbing Her Husband s Hands Adam Troy Castro.All things considered a worthwhile and reasonable well assembled anthology


  3. John Bradney John Bradney says:

    First off I get the War Space part of the title, but Recent Combat That sounds a bit meaningless Silly And the stories within are diverse enough that the combat is not always recent, but sometimes ongoing, anticipated, or off in the background I get that the publisher, Prime Books is branding a lot of their short fiction collections as Noun s Recent Verb , but still, the somewhat unnecessary subtitle almost put me off buying this.I read this a few weeks ago, but I didn t feel First off I get the War Space part of the title, but Recent Combat That sounds a bit meaningless Silly And the stories within are diverse enough that the combat is not always recent, but sometimes ongoing, anticipated, or off in the background I get that the publisher, Prime Books is branding a lot of their short fiction collections as Noun s Recent Verb , but still, the somewhat unnecessary subtitle almost put me off buying this.I read this a few weeks ago, but I didn t feel like reviewing each story when I rated it on goodreads originally I say review , but in some cases these are just a short blurb about each story to help me remember them.Who s Afraid of Wolf 359 Ken MacLeodI struggle to think of a story I ve read lately with aunreliable narrator than the nameless POV character immediately identifies themselves to be This is a fun read, featuring a classic rogue turned apparently conqueror, in a setting far enough in the future to feel quite alien, despite an apparent lack of any aliens MacLeod packs what feels like a lot of story into not a lot of pages I also enjoyed the concept of phytobraking , which I d like to use in conversation, but not in practice.Surf Suzanne PalmerA daring, one woman surgical strike, with some unwitting scientists and a pod of space whales along for the ride Although Palmer does a great job of keeping the story of Surf self contained, and ends it on a satisfying note even though, technically, there is unfinished business for her protagonist , Surf feels as though it s part of a much larger story I d be highly un surprised if it does turn out to be a prototype for novel Surf is entertaining, and well paced, and ifof the Surf universe shows up, I d like to read it While not bursting with any outrageous new ideas or genre defying conventions that I can see there are crewed space fighters, which still feel a bit implausible given what we do with drones already , Surf doesn t feel like a cliche to me either.Another Life Charles OberndorfA man wakes up, missing the chunk of his life between being backed up and dying He struggles to deal with the consequences of what he did in his other life If Kurzweil is right, one day we may all face these kinds of problems An interesting, and occasionally slightly uncomfortable and sordid account of someone picking up the pieces from their first death The frame narrative of the protagonist telling stories to his aging ex partner partially serves to add some optimism to what would otherwise be a ratherdepressing tale, but also suggests the possibility that immortality might lose it s lustre after a while.Between Two DragonsYoon Ha LeeA reprogrammer from the Ministry of Virtuous Thought recounts the story of a hero admiral, who voluntarily submits himself to reprogramming before his political opponents can have it done to him Enjoyable, painting a picture of a society with political intrigue, paranoia and backstabbing, and of the consequences that has when it keeps competent people from doing their jobs I can t help but feel this might be inspired by a specific regime.Scales Alastair ReynoldsI can t quite put my finger on what it is, but Reynolds has a characteristic feel Scales has a lot of the futility of Haldeman s Forever War, packed into a short form, with Reynold s characteristic mix of ultra high tech combined with hints of barely human comprehensible physics as a background setting spoiler The war in Scales is fractal and cyclical, and the name plays on that spoiler.Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy Catherynne M ValenteI ve read this in another collection, and it was memorable Golubash is a story of conflict fought partially through tariffs, taxes and production restrictions, told entirely through the medium of a guided tasting of exceptionally rare and illicit wines This was a fantastically enjoyable storytelling device, and while I suspect actual histories have often been told through wine tastings, I haven t seen it applied to fiction before As a side effect of Golubash, you may crave wine.Leave Robert ReedA man watches, largely helpless, as his best friend s athletically and academically successful young son falls off the rails into drug abuse, before being recruited by a mysterious alien race for the honor of fighting for them The term of service is 30 years, the conflict is strange, perpetual, and conducted entirely on a planet sized comet The conflict itself is fought between hundreds of factions, each against all the rest, for unfathomable reasons On skimming through Leave a second time, it feels almost as if it were inspired by MMORPG s, or large scale online FPS s particularly where bright but alienated young men end up abandoning their education to live in another world and come back with a bag full of trophies which only they value achievement unlocked.Mehra and Jiun Sandra McDonaldA soldier pilot and the enemy who rescued and resuscitated her are trapped on Europa, unable to communicate with either of their factions with time they come to know one another Soldiers of opposing sides befriending each other isn t a new story Enemy Mine springs to mind , the addition here is a third faction in the form of a symbiotic snake like race that serves both the Tung and their enemies, in an attempt to guide them to peace Entertaining, but probably not the strongest of stories in the collection.Her Husband s Hands Adam Troy CastroA wife s husband returns from a Vietnam like conflict, as nothing but a pair of hands attached to life support discs with his personality encoded into them As she comes to term with her and his loss, and tries to rebuild their lives, Castro explores grief, the impacts of war on veterans and their families, and the effort government puts into playing down these impacts One might also read into the story a criticism of the lack of support given to veterans by the US also Canadian, British government.Remembrance Beth BernobichKate, a Quality Assurance lab technician and amateur gardener has to deal with her Private Security Contractor partner leaving for an extended posting to an orbital transfer station Both sign up to trial a new chip for recording and replaying sensory input, and despite the recordings being screened, use it to communicate while Jess is away It is hard to write about the themes explored by Remembrance without being spoilerific, so I will sum it up as good , and add that it depressingly plausible that the USA could be technologically advanced enough to be building bases on Mars, but still backwards enough that only 6 states recognize same sex marriage.Palace Resolution Tom PurdomHeinlein s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress at one point throws out the suggestion that an absolute monarchy might be the best form of government, if the monarch is competent, responsible and benevolent enough The TaiPark Combine of Purdom s story seem to have followed that suggestion to an extent, creating a ruling class with cultivated personality structures The story opens with two of Eleven Overseers reminiscing over a past conflict between them Parliamentary Democracy may be the best style of government humanity has tried so far, but clearly has its flaws Fiction that explores alternative government, societies, and their flaws is always interesting to me, and often ages better than thehard science tech centric sci fi Palace Resolution is an enjoyable example of it.The Observer Kristine Kathryn RuschNarrated as a monologue to an unseen Observer, by one personality the articulate one in the fragmented mind of a woman turned into a genetically cybernetically hormonally enhanced soldier The core of the Observer seems to be the idea of a military turning humans into broken shells of their former selves, taken to an extreme The Observer is by nature depressing, but interestingly done.The Long Chase Geoffrey A LandisA tiny, self sufficient mining ship piloted by a post human uploaded mind makes a break out of a solar system dominated by the cooperation faction , effectively a hive mind A pursuit between stars ensues, as the ship s mind contemplates the war, her past as a human, and the changes she has and will make to her mind for survival Tellingly, this is one of the stories I didn t have to skim through again to remember the details of.Art of War Nancy KressA naval officer and art historian is assigned to catalog a cache of art plundered by the alien Teli from human colonies In studying the Teli s art, and their theft of human art, she learns things about the Teli that even military intelligence seem ignorant of The creation of art does not happen in a vacuum It is linked to culture in complicated, nonlinear ways Another one of my favorites.Have You Any Wool Alan DeNiroHumanity is guided through the stars by Shepherds, and preyed upon by Wolves who feed on tales on myths All cultures have stories, and the only way to fight the wolves is to tellstories Full of allegory, Have You Any Wool was a bit hard to get into at first, but worth it.Carthago Delenda Est Genevieve ValentineA technician on Earths embassy ship awakes the latest clone of the human ambassador The Earth embassy ship is one of many awaiting the arrival of a ship from the planet Carthage , the source of apparently a message of peace The anticipation of Carthage s arrival created 400 years without war The history of the mission and the nature of the alien ambassadors are explored from the technicians viewpoint as the first potential cracks in the peace start to appear Carthago Delenda Est is not a story I got a clear message or theme from, but the premise is interesting, and it was a fun read.Rats of the System Paul McAuleyA scientist and a sailor whose misogyny is about as out of date as his job title try to take readings from a Transcendent AI doing odd things to a star, while avoiding destruction at the hands of Fanatics who worship the AIs as gods The Transcendent behaves in a suitably opaque and god like manner The setting and story were good, but the characters felt like they belonged in the last century, not the next one.The Political Officer Charles Coleman FinlayThe novella length story of the collection Political officer Nikomedes has to outwit agents of opposing ministries aboard the ship to prevent a crucial piece of SigInt falling into the wrong hands a faction that would use it for offence rather than defense The Political Officer has clear roots in the likes of K 19 and the Hunt for Red October Despite this and in spite of my skepticism of Stealth in Space , The Political Officer doesn t feel cliched, even when it makes use of some of the cliches of submarine movies It is tense in the right places, and there is never any feeling that survival or success is assured.Amid the Words of War Cat RamboThis one is short and sweet An arthropod like alien soldier, captured, released, and disgraced, receives scented hate mail that keeps it alive Weird and different.A Soldier of the City David MolesAnother one I ve seen elsewhere Engineering Infinity The city is a megastructure ruled by AIs or superhumans that style themselves as Gods The soldier is a servant of one of the gods, trained to fight in a vacuum suit on the city s underside An attack by an outside faction attempting to free the citizens of the city from their gods leads to a revenge mission that ultimately leaves the soldier living with people he once called enemies This is another story that feels like it s part of a much larger setting, one with plenty of room forstories I would quite like to read them


  4. Earl Biringer Earl Biringer says:

    Individual stories rated as follows 5 A classic.4 A really good story, recommended reading 3 A decent story2 Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment1 Unreadable and or a complete waste of timeHorton, Rich Introduction I usually don t rate introductory or prefacer pieces, but this one just begged for comment I should have realized what I was getting into, what this editor considered good writing , after reading this If this was an eighth grade c Individual stories rated as follows 5 A classic.4 A really good story, recommended reading 3 A decent story2 Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment1 Unreadable and or a complete waste of timeHorton, Rich Introduction I usually don t rate introductory or prefacer pieces, but this one just begged for comment I should have realized what I was getting into, what this editor considered good writing , after reading this If this was an eighth grade composition assignment I would grade it a C A complete waste of the page and a half it fills.McLeod, Ken Who s Afraid of Wolf 359 Palmer, Suzanne Surf Regurgitated pulp writing.Oberndorf, Charles Another Life I think this one could have been a good story had the author shifted his focus to the emotional emptiness of the protagonist instead of his sex life I get that the sex life is indicative of the emotional emptiness, but these reads like really bad erotica.Lee, Yoon Ha Between Two Dragons Reynolds, Alastair Scales Valente, Catherynne M Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy Reed, Robert Leave McDonald, Sandra Mehra and Jiun Castro, Adam Troy Her Husband s Hands I usually enjoy Castro s writing, but this reads like bottom drawer stuff like a treatment for an episode of The Twilight Zone that wasn t good enough to be picked up for production.Bernobich, Beth Remembrance Extremely soft core porn, nothing else.Purdom, Tom Palace Resolution Purdom s been writing SF for a long time, and this story shows that Would have fit right in a 1952 issue of IF, but definitely not up to modern standards.Rusch, Kristine Kathryn The Observer Another author whose work I usually enjoy, another failed TV script treatment This could have worked with a littlework.Landis, Geoffrey A The Long Chase I almost gave this one four stars, coming as it did as breath of fresh air after a lot of stale and some downright smelly stuff, but then I realized that this one is a bit two derivative for me I know I ve read this story twice before, under different titles and by different authors I won t mention them right here because I m not able to verify that info right at the moment A well written story, nonetheless.Kress, Nancy The Art of War DeNiro, Alan Have You Any Wool Easily the best story in this volume DeNiro here is unafraid of unleashing his imagination onto the page.Valentine, Genevieve Carthago Delenda Est McAuley, Paul Rats of the System More pseudo pulp.Finlay, Charles Coleman The Political Officer The protagonist alters between being sympathetic and unsympathetic for no reason whatsoever I don t like this character and I wanted him to lose Author would have been better off using the Ensign as the POV character the story would still have been completely unoriginal, bust at least she is sympathetic Rambo, Cat Amid the Words of War Moles, David A Soldier of the City Finally, a note on the book itself the number of typographical errors is astounding for an allegedly professional publication I m talkin some strange ones, too It ll for I ll , knows for known , etc For disturbing and took away from any enjoyment that may have been there to start with


  5. Peter Peter says:

    A collection of stories all focusing on, surprisingly enough, war, and space Usually both in the same story, although a few take place entirely on Earth and deal with those left behind, or those on the fringes of war, or the aftermath Still, it s safe to say that this is a fairly well titled analogy the subtitle Recent Combat is a little iffy, considering it all takes place in the future, but why quibble.As an anthology, it s, by nature, a mixed bag Some stories will grab you, some will A collection of stories all focusing on, surprisingly enough, war, and space Usually both in the same story, although a few take place entirely on Earth and deal with those left behind, or those on the fringes of war, or the aftermath Still, it s safe to say that this is a fairly well titled analogy the subtitle Recent Combat is a little iffy, considering it all takes place in the future, but why quibble.As an anthology, it s, by nature, a mixed bag Some stories will grab you, some will leave you cold, and two different people reading it will often disagree on which stories fall into which category For my tastes, my favorite was The Long Chase by Geoffrey A Landis, but most were solid a few would have been great if not for some weird decision made for stylistic reasons that makes no logical sense at all like technology that stores consciousness and allows severed body parts to be reanimated with the soul of the person who mostly died, but apparently can t be connected into an artificial voice box and let them speak But those moments were few, my main complaint was simply that some stories didn t interest me as much, but even they usually had some good idea or image I could smile over for a moment.Single theme anthologies can sometimes run the risk of burnout, where you lose interest in the theme and thus don t enjoy it as thoroughly as you would an anthology that takes you all sorts of different directions and this is no exception, but it s a reasonably mild problem here


  6. Paul Paul says:

    I ve been recommend a number of times to avoid short story compilations like these I guess until now I d been lucky Unfortunately for me this compilation is overwhelmed by a couple of poor stories Charles Oberndorfs Another Life was the worst for me Maybe I m being unfair but I can only describe it in terms such as uneventful, mind numbing, rambling It s not that the story was a dreadful idea love disjointed over a number of clone lifetimes so maybe I just don t like his style.Imm I ve been recommend a number of times to avoid short story compilations like these I guess until now I d been lucky Unfortunately for me this compilation is overwhelmed by a couple of poor stories Charles Oberndorfs Another Life was the worst for me Maybe I m being unfair but I can only describe it in terms such as uneventful, mind numbing, rambling It s not that the story was a dreadful idea love disjointed over a number of clone lifetimes so maybe I just don t like his style.Immediately following Oberdorf is Between Two Dragons by Yoon Ha Lee, another slow uneventful story The story would have been far better placed between a couple of punchy high action ones Instead, being placed here I almost gave up the entire compilation Really that wasa case of bad editingIt s a shame because there are some gems in here such as Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy , a superb tongue in cheek story about wine market protectionism and corporate dominance.I wouldn t recommend anyone buys this compilation but if you find it in the library do borrow it with the these warnings 1 Skip Another Life and Between Two Dragons 2 Once you ve finished go back to Between Two Dragons , it case it was poor editing that made it so uninspiring


  7. Bill Bill says:

    I especially liked Genevieve Valentine s Carthago Delenda Est A very subtle story, and it s one that will separate the careful readers from the quick I had to read it twice, then look up a translation of the title Then the story s true meaning really came through.I m not saying this one story makes up for the average to good quality of the entire book, but it was a nice surprise to find a story strong enough to make me want to findwriting by the same author She writes reviews of TV s I especially liked Genevieve Valentine s Carthago Delenda Est A very subtle story, and it s one that will separate the careful readers from the quick I had to read it twice, then look up a translation of the title Then the story s true meaning really came through.I m not saying this one story makes up for the average to good quality of the entire book, but it was a nice surprise to find a story strong enough to make me want to findwriting by the same author She writes reviews of TV shows for avclub.com, but I ll try to find some fiction too


  8. Jonathan Cassie Jonathan Cassie says:

    Uneven, but don t let that bother you because there are some excellent stories in this collection A rush job would leave you with these must reads Alastair Reynolds Scales, Catherynne Valente s Golubash, America s short fiction master Robert Reed s Leave and Adam Troy Castro s unnerving Her Husband s Hands I had already encountered Charles Coleman Finlay s excellent The Political Officer in F SF, but would list it among the top rank Uneven, but don t let that bother you because there are some excellent stories in this collection A rush job would leave you with these must reads Alastair Reynolds Scales, Catherynne Valente s Golubash, America s short fiction master Robert Reed s Leave and Adam Troy Castro s unnerving Her Husband s Hands I had already encountered Charles Coleman Finlay s excellent The Political Officer in FSF, but would list it among the top rank


  9. Sherry Ramsey Sherry Ramsey says:

    Like most anthologies, this one was a mixed bag for me Some stories were very enjoyable and intriguing, some were tedious, a few were practically incomprehensible There are some stories that I would call military SF, but certainly not all, as you might think from the title On the whole, if you like hard SF at all, you ll likely find it worth your while.


  10. Jon Jon says:

    The stories were all wildly different, and for the most part, good One or two I didn t care for, but that s pretty much inevitable in any sort of anthology A good read for when you have a short attention span.


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10 thoughts on “War and Space: Recent Combat

  1. Michael Drakich Michael Drakich says:

    Too many disappointments with only a handful of good ones scattered in.Twenty tales of science fiction with all having a central theme of war and space.Of the stories, I gave four of them 5 stars Sadly, I gave three of them 1 star, something I had never done before The average rating ending up at 3.05 stars So why only the two star rating I picked up this book at my local bookstore based on the cover and blurb My expectation was to find 20 short stories centered around war and space Unfortu Too many disappointments with only a handful of good ones scattered in.Twenty tales of science fiction with all having a central theme of war and space.Of the stories, I gave four of them 5 stars Sadly, I gave three of them 1 star, something I had never done before The average rating ending up at 3.05 stars So why only the two star rating I picked up this book at my local bookstore based on the cover and blurb My expectation was to find 20 short stories centered around war and space Unfortunately, there were too many stories where war got passing mention at best and sometimes so did space With eight of the stories rating only 2 stars or less, it s just too high a percentage to give the book a rating of 3 stars.If you chance on a copy, the gem of the bunch, in my opinion, is The Long Chase by Geoffrey A Landis Who s Afraid of Wolf 359 by Ken MacLeod For the opening story of a collection of 20 sci fi shorts, the editors could have picked a better one to start with This tale is downright silly, from the inane descriptions of things to the absolute ignorance of the protagonist He doesn t even know what a planet looks like It was an embarrassing read 1 star Surf by Suzanne Palmer Wow, I felt a surge of relief after the horrible first story to encounter this thoroughly enjoyable one Intelligent, and detailed, this is a well played story with enough unanswered questions leaving you pining for5 stars Another Life by Charles Oberndorf Somewhere in the background, there is a war going on but this story has very little to do with the war I found the story dragged and wasted too much on boring sexual exploits 2 stars Between Two Dragons by Yoon Ha Lee The Asian background to the story gave it some character but the tale being told by someone who you never discover who she is distracts from the story 3 stars Scales by Alastair Reynolds Short, and laced with lots of big words, this flash through the different stages of one man s continuing adaptation to fight a war is fun, though somewhat predictable 4 stars Golubash, Or Wine Blood War Elegy by Catherynne M Valente The sale of contraband wine during wartime in space is the setting and done with flair An enjoyable piece 5 stars Leave by Robert Reed This story left a few things unclear, but the way it was told was mesmerizing 5 stars Mehra And Jiun by Sandra McDonald Same tired territory where a human is held prisoner by an alien and they become friends Although the tale is okay, this format has been done too many times 3 stars Her Husband s Hands by Adam Troy Castro Prior to this collection of sci fi shorts, I had never given one star Now I am at two This is the most inane, silly, story I have ever read I kept hoping something intelligent would come out of it, but that never happened 1 star Remembrance by Beth Bernobich This is not the first story in the collection to be themed on sex, not sci fi and definitely not War Space Too often I find sci fi writers using the genre to play out their sexual fantasies 2 stars Palace Resolution by Tom Purdom An interesting debate over political style I enjoyed how it focused on subtleties 4 stars The Observer by Kristine Kathryn Rusch Standard juiced future soldier stuff Not much to it 2 stars The Long Chase by Geoffrey A Landis An intelligent piece set around two machines engaged in a chase across the cosmos The internal debate of the protagonist is enjoyable 5 stars Art Of War by Nancy Kress The concept was unique, I ll give it that The delivery of it left some to be desired 3 stars Have You Any Wool by Alan DeNiro I read through this twice A very difficult read and evenso to follow I think I understand what the author was trying to do, but it came across as way too convoluted 1 star Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine This short had a difficult start It was hard to sort through the first couple of pages and I had to read them twice I hate that Clones in space waiting for something That s it 2 stars Rats Of The System by Paul McAuley Intelligent robots, fanatical creatures and humans populate this story about a desperate attempt as solving the robots 4 stars The Political Officer by Charles Coleman Finlay More of a novelette than a short story at 56 pages This tale of subterfuge and competing government departments reads like a spy novel Considering its length, I was hoping not to have any unanswered questions at the end, but that was not to be 4 stars Amid The Words Of War by Cat Rambo Aliens ants, or something like them, at war with humans The start was hard to follow 3 stars A soldier Of The City by David Moles The tale tries to follow a solitary soldier caught in a space war It is written in a disjointed way that made it difficult to follow 2 stars

  2. Ken Richards Ken Richards says:

    3.5 stars.Amongst the 20 stories in this collection, there were some I really enjoyed, and some which for me, missed the mark Curiously, the stories by Ken MacLeod, Alastair Reynolds and Paul McAuley, which were the original reason for picking the volume out from the library were not the strongest, whilst some lesser known writers really stood out.The theme of the collection is Wars and Space , and fortunately, is marked by the complete absence of tedious screeds of weaponsporn which sometimes 3.5 stars.Amongst the 20 stories in this collection, there were some I really enjoyed, and some which for me, missed the mark Curiously, the stories by Ken MacLeod, Alastair Reynolds and Paul McAuley, which were the original reason for picking the volume out from the library were not the strongest, whilst some lesser known writers really stood out.The theme of the collection is Wars and Space , and fortunately, is marked by the complete absence of tedious screeds of weaponsporn which sometimes bedevil military SF Instead the effect of combat and wars on the participants, and on those left behind are the focus.My favourites were Surf Suzanne Palmer Golubash, Or Wine Blood War Elegy Catherynne M Valente Have You Any Wool Alan De Niro Art of War Nancy Kress and Amid the Words of War Cat Rambo Strong contributions also from The Long Chase Geoffrey Landis and the very disturbing Her Husband s Hands Adam Troy Castro.All things considered a worthwhile and reasonable well assembled anthology

  3. John Bradney John Bradney says:

    First off I get the War Space part of the title, but Recent Combat That sounds a bit meaningless Silly And the stories within are diverse enough that the combat is not always recent, but sometimes ongoing, anticipated, or off in the background I get that the publisher, Prime Books is branding a lot of their short fiction collections as Noun s Recent Verb , but still, the somewhat unnecessary subtitle almost put me off buying this.I read this a few weeks ago, but I didn t feel First off I get the War Space part of the title, but Recent Combat That sounds a bit meaningless Silly And the stories within are diverse enough that the combat is not always recent, but sometimes ongoing, anticipated, or off in the background I get that the publisher, Prime Books is branding a lot of their short fiction collections as Noun s Recent Verb , but still, the somewhat unnecessary subtitle almost put me off buying this.I read this a few weeks ago, but I didn t feel like reviewing each story when I rated it on goodreads originally I say review , but in some cases these are just a short blurb about each story to help me remember them.Who s Afraid of Wolf 359 Ken MacLeodI struggle to think of a story I ve read lately with aunreliable narrator than the nameless POV character immediately identifies themselves to be This is a fun read, featuring a classic rogue turned apparently conqueror, in a setting far enough in the future to feel quite alien, despite an apparent lack of any aliens MacLeod packs what feels like a lot of story into not a lot of pages I also enjoyed the concept of phytobraking , which I d like to use in conversation, but not in practice.Surf Suzanne PalmerA daring, one woman surgical strike, with some unwitting scientists and a pod of space whales along for the ride Although Palmer does a great job of keeping the story of Surf self contained, and ends it on a satisfying note even though, technically, there is unfinished business for her protagonist , Surf feels as though it s part of a much larger story I d be highly un surprised if it does turn out to be a prototype for novel Surf is entertaining, and well paced, and ifof the Surf universe shows up, I d like to read it While not bursting with any outrageous new ideas or genre defying conventions that I can see there are crewed space fighters, which still feel a bit implausible given what we do with drones already , Surf doesn t feel like a cliche to me either.Another Life Charles OberndorfA man wakes up, missing the chunk of his life between being backed up and dying He struggles to deal with the consequences of what he did in his other life If Kurzweil is right, one day we may all face these kinds of problems An interesting, and occasionally slightly uncomfortable and sordid account of someone picking up the pieces from their first death The frame narrative of the protagonist telling stories to his aging ex partner partially serves to add some optimism to what would otherwise be a ratherdepressing tale, but also suggests the possibility that immortality might lose it s lustre after a while.Between Two DragonsYoon Ha LeeA reprogrammer from the Ministry of Virtuous Thought recounts the story of a hero admiral, who voluntarily submits himself to reprogramming before his political opponents can have it done to him Enjoyable, painting a picture of a society with political intrigue, paranoia and backstabbing, and of the consequences that has when it keeps competent people from doing their jobs I can t help but feel this might be inspired by a specific regime.Scales Alastair ReynoldsI can t quite put my finger on what it is, but Reynolds has a characteristic feel Scales has a lot of the futility of Haldeman s Forever War, packed into a short form, with Reynold s characteristic mix of ultra high tech combined with hints of barely human comprehensible physics as a background setting spoiler The war in Scales is fractal and cyclical, and the name plays on that spoiler.Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy Catherynne M ValenteI ve read this in another collection, and it was memorable Golubash is a story of conflict fought partially through tariffs, taxes and production restrictions, told entirely through the medium of a guided tasting of exceptionally rare and illicit wines This was a fantastically enjoyable storytelling device, and while I suspect actual histories have often been told through wine tastings, I haven t seen it applied to fiction before As a side effect of Golubash, you may crave wine.Leave Robert ReedA man watches, largely helpless, as his best friend s athletically and academically successful young son falls off the rails into drug abuse, before being recruited by a mysterious alien race for the honor of fighting for them The term of service is 30 years, the conflict is strange, perpetual, and conducted entirely on a planet sized comet The conflict itself is fought between hundreds of factions, each against all the rest, for unfathomable reasons On skimming through Leave a second time, it feels almost as if it were inspired by MMORPG s, or large scale online FPS s particularly where bright but alienated young men end up abandoning their education to live in another world and come back with a bag full of trophies which only they value achievement unlocked.Mehra and Jiun Sandra McDonaldA soldier pilot and the enemy who rescued and resuscitated her are trapped on Europa, unable to communicate with either of their factions with time they come to know one another Soldiers of opposing sides befriending each other isn t a new story Enemy Mine springs to mind , the addition here is a third faction in the form of a symbiotic snake like race that serves both the Tung and their enemies, in an attempt to guide them to peace Entertaining, but probably not the strongest of stories in the collection.Her Husband s Hands Adam Troy CastroA wife s husband returns from a Vietnam like conflict, as nothing but a pair of hands attached to life support discs with his personality encoded into them As she comes to term with her and his loss, and tries to rebuild their lives, Castro explores grief, the impacts of war on veterans and their families, and the effort government puts into playing down these impacts One might also read into the story a criticism of the lack of support given to veterans by the US also Canadian, British government.Remembrance Beth BernobichKate, a Quality Assurance lab technician and amateur gardener has to deal with her Private Security Contractor partner leaving for an extended posting to an orbital transfer station Both sign up to trial a new chip for recording and replaying sensory input, and despite the recordings being screened, use it to communicate while Jess is away It is hard to write about the themes explored by Remembrance without being spoilerific, so I will sum it up as good , and add that it depressingly plausible that the USA could be technologically advanced enough to be building bases on Mars, but still backwards enough that only 6 states recognize same sex marriage.Palace Resolution Tom PurdomHeinlein s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress at one point throws out the suggestion that an absolute monarchy might be the best form of government, if the monarch is competent, responsible and benevolent enough The TaiPark Combine of Purdom s story seem to have followed that suggestion to an extent, creating a ruling class with cultivated personality structures The story opens with two of Eleven Overseers reminiscing over a past conflict between them Parliamentary Democracy may be the best style of government humanity has tried so far, but clearly has its flaws Fiction that explores alternative government, societies, and their flaws is always interesting to me, and often ages better than thehard science tech centric sci fi Palace Resolution is an enjoyable example of it.The Observer Kristine Kathryn RuschNarrated as a monologue to an unseen Observer, by one personality the articulate one in the fragmented mind of a woman turned into a genetically cybernetically hormonally enhanced soldier The core of the Observer seems to be the idea of a military turning humans into broken shells of their former selves, taken to an extreme The Observer is by nature depressing, but interestingly done.The Long Chase Geoffrey A LandisA tiny, self sufficient mining ship piloted by a post human uploaded mind makes a break out of a solar system dominated by the cooperation faction , effectively a hive mind A pursuit between stars ensues, as the ship s mind contemplates the war, her past as a human, and the changes she has and will make to her mind for survival Tellingly, this is one of the stories I didn t have to skim through again to remember the details of.Art of War Nancy KressA naval officer and art historian is assigned to catalog a cache of art plundered by the alien Teli from human colonies In studying the Teli s art, and their theft of human art, she learns things about the Teli that even military intelligence seem ignorant of The creation of art does not happen in a vacuum It is linked to culture in complicated, nonlinear ways Another one of my favorites.Have You Any Wool Alan DeNiroHumanity is guided through the stars by Shepherds, and preyed upon by Wolves who feed on tales on myths All cultures have stories, and the only way to fight the wolves is to tellstories Full of allegory, Have You Any Wool was a bit hard to get into at first, but worth it.Carthago Delenda Est Genevieve ValentineA technician on Earths embassy ship awakes the latest clone of the human ambassador The Earth embassy ship is one of many awaiting the arrival of a ship from the planet Carthage , the source of apparently a message of peace The anticipation of Carthage s arrival created 400 years without war The history of the mission and the nature of the alien ambassadors are explored from the technicians viewpoint as the first potential cracks in the peace start to appear Carthago Delenda Est is not a story I got a clear message or theme from, but the premise is interesting, and it was a fun read.Rats of the System Paul McAuleyA scientist and a sailor whose misogyny is about as out of date as his job title try to take readings from a Transcendent AI doing odd things to a star, while avoiding destruction at the hands of Fanatics who worship the AIs as gods The Transcendent behaves in a suitably opaque and god like manner The setting and story were good, but the characters felt like they belonged in the last century, not the next one.The Political Officer Charles Coleman FinlayThe novella length story of the collection Political officer Nikomedes has to outwit agents of opposing ministries aboard the ship to prevent a crucial piece of SigInt falling into the wrong hands a faction that would use it for offence rather than defense The Political Officer has clear roots in the likes of K 19 and the Hunt for Red October Despite this and in spite of my skepticism of Stealth in Space , The Political Officer doesn t feel cliched, even when it makes use of some of the cliches of submarine movies It is tense in the right places, and there is never any feeling that survival or success is assured.Amid the Words of War Cat RamboThis one is short and sweet An arthropod like alien soldier, captured, released, and disgraced, receives scented hate mail that keeps it alive Weird and different.A Soldier of the City David MolesAnother one I ve seen elsewhere Engineering Infinity The city is a megastructure ruled by AIs or superhumans that style themselves as Gods The soldier is a servant of one of the gods, trained to fight in a vacuum suit on the city s underside An attack by an outside faction attempting to free the citizens of the city from their gods leads to a revenge mission that ultimately leaves the soldier living with people he once called enemies This is another story that feels like it s part of a much larger setting, one with plenty of room forstories I would quite like to read them

  4. Earl Biringer Earl Biringer says:

    Individual stories rated as follows 5 A classic.4 A really good story, recommended reading 3 A decent story2 Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment1 Unreadable and or a complete waste of timeHorton, Rich Introduction I usually don t rate introductory or prefacer pieces, but this one just begged for comment I should have realized what I was getting into, what this editor considered good writing , after reading this If this was an eighth grade c Individual stories rated as follows 5 A classic.4 A really good story, recommended reading 3 A decent story2 Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment1 Unreadable and or a complete waste of timeHorton, Rich Introduction I usually don t rate introductory or prefacer pieces, but this one just begged for comment I should have realized what I was getting into, what this editor considered good writing , after reading this If this was an eighth grade composition assignment I would grade it a C A complete waste of the page and a half it fills.McLeod, Ken Who s Afraid of Wolf 359 Palmer, Suzanne Surf Regurgitated pulp writing.Oberndorf, Charles Another Life I think this one could have been a good story had the author shifted his focus to the emotional emptiness of the protagonist instead of his sex life I get that the sex life is indicative of the emotional emptiness, but these reads like really bad erotica.Lee, Yoon Ha Between Two Dragons Reynolds, Alastair Scales Valente, Catherynne M Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy Reed, Robert Leave McDonald, Sandra Mehra and Jiun Castro, Adam Troy Her Husband s Hands I usually enjoy Castro s writing, but this reads like bottom drawer stuff like a treatment for an episode of The Twilight Zone that wasn t good enough to be picked up for production.Bernobich, Beth Remembrance Extremely soft core porn, nothing else.Purdom, Tom Palace Resolution Purdom s been writing SF for a long time, and this story shows that Would have fit right in a 1952 issue of IF, but definitely not up to modern standards.Rusch, Kristine Kathryn The Observer Another author whose work I usually enjoy, another failed TV script treatment This could have worked with a littlework.Landis, Geoffrey A The Long Chase I almost gave this one four stars, coming as it did as breath of fresh air after a lot of stale and some downright smelly stuff, but then I realized that this one is a bit two derivative for me I know I ve read this story twice before, under different titles and by different authors I won t mention them right here because I m not able to verify that info right at the moment A well written story, nonetheless.Kress, Nancy The Art of War DeNiro, Alan Have You Any Wool Easily the best story in this volume DeNiro here is unafraid of unleashing his imagination onto the page.Valentine, Genevieve Carthago Delenda Est McAuley, Paul Rats of the System More pseudo pulp.Finlay, Charles Coleman The Political Officer The protagonist alters between being sympathetic and unsympathetic for no reason whatsoever I don t like this character and I wanted him to lose Author would have been better off using the Ensign as the POV character the story would still have been completely unoriginal, bust at least she is sympathetic Rambo, Cat Amid the Words of War Moles, David A Soldier of the City Finally, a note on the book itself the number of typographical errors is astounding for an allegedly professional publication I m talkin some strange ones, too It ll for I ll , knows for known , etc For disturbing and took away from any enjoyment that may have been there to start with

  5. Peter Peter says:

    A collection of stories all focusing on, surprisingly enough, war, and space Usually both in the same story, although a few take place entirely on Earth and deal with those left behind, or those on the fringes of war, or the aftermath Still, it s safe to say that this is a fairly well titled analogy the subtitle Recent Combat is a little iffy, considering it all takes place in the future, but why quibble.As an anthology, it s, by nature, a mixed bag Some stories will grab you, some will A collection of stories all focusing on, surprisingly enough, war, and space Usually both in the same story, although a few take place entirely on Earth and deal with those left behind, or those on the fringes of war, or the aftermath Still, it s safe to say that this is a fairly well titled analogy the subtitle Recent Combat is a little iffy, considering it all takes place in the future, but why quibble.As an anthology, it s, by nature, a mixed bag Some stories will grab you, some will leave you cold, and two different people reading it will often disagree on which stories fall into which category For my tastes, my favorite was The Long Chase by Geoffrey A Landis, but most were solid a few would have been great if not for some weird decision made for stylistic reasons that makes no logical sense at all like technology that stores consciousness and allows severed body parts to be reanimated with the soul of the person who mostly died, but apparently can t be connected into an artificial voice box and let them speak But those moments were few, my main complaint was simply that some stories didn t interest me as much, but even they usually had some good idea or image I could smile over for a moment.Single theme anthologies can sometimes run the risk of burnout, where you lose interest in the theme and thus don t enjoy it as thoroughly as you would an anthology that takes you all sorts of different directions and this is no exception, but it s a reasonably mild problem here

  6. Paul Paul says:

    I ve been recommend a number of times to avoid short story compilations like these I guess until now I d been lucky Unfortunately for me this compilation is overwhelmed by a couple of poor stories Charles Oberndorfs Another Life was the worst for me Maybe I m being unfair but I can only describe it in terms such as uneventful, mind numbing, rambling It s not that the story was a dreadful idea love disjointed over a number of clone lifetimes so maybe I just don t like his style.Imm I ve been recommend a number of times to avoid short story compilations like these I guess until now I d been lucky Unfortunately for me this compilation is overwhelmed by a couple of poor stories Charles Oberndorfs Another Life was the worst for me Maybe I m being unfair but I can only describe it in terms such as uneventful, mind numbing, rambling It s not that the story was a dreadful idea love disjointed over a number of clone lifetimes so maybe I just don t like his style.Immediately following Oberdorf is Between Two Dragons by Yoon Ha Lee, another slow uneventful story The story would have been far better placed between a couple of punchy high action ones Instead, being placed here I almost gave up the entire compilation Really that wasa case of bad editingIt s a shame because there are some gems in here such as Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy , a superb tongue in cheek story about wine market protectionism and corporate dominance.I wouldn t recommend anyone buys this compilation but if you find it in the library do borrow it with the these warnings 1 Skip Another Life and Between Two Dragons 2 Once you ve finished go back to Between Two Dragons , it case it was poor editing that made it so uninspiring

  7. Bill Bill says:

    I especially liked Genevieve Valentine s Carthago Delenda Est A very subtle story, and it s one that will separate the careful readers from the quick I had to read it twice, then look up a translation of the title Then the story s true meaning really came through.I m not saying this one story makes up for the average to good quality of the entire book, but it was a nice surprise to find a story strong enough to make me want to findwriting by the same author She writes reviews of TV s I especially liked Genevieve Valentine s Carthago Delenda Est A very subtle story, and it s one that will separate the careful readers from the quick I had to read it twice, then look up a translation of the title Then the story s true meaning really came through.I m not saying this one story makes up for the average to good quality of the entire book, but it was a nice surprise to find a story strong enough to make me want to findwriting by the same author She writes reviews of TV shows for avclub.com, but I ll try to find some fiction too

  8. Jonathan Cassie Jonathan Cassie says:

    Uneven, but don t let that bother you because there are some excellent stories in this collection A rush job would leave you with these must reads Alastair Reynolds Scales, Catherynne Valente s Golubash, America s short fiction master Robert Reed s Leave and Adam Troy Castro s unnerving Her Husband s Hands I had already encountered Charles Coleman Finlay s excellent The Political Officer in F SF, but would list it among the top rank Uneven, but don t let that bother you because there are some excellent stories in this collection A rush job would leave you with these must reads Alastair Reynolds Scales, Catherynne Valente s Golubash, America s short fiction master Robert Reed s Leave and Adam Troy Castro s unnerving Her Husband s Hands I had already encountered Charles Coleman Finlay s excellent The Political Officer in FSF, but would list it among the top rank

  9. Sherry Ramsey Sherry Ramsey says:

    Like most anthologies, this one was a mixed bag for me Some stories were very enjoyable and intriguing, some were tedious, a few were practically incomprehensible There are some stories that I would call military SF, but certainly not all, as you might think from the title On the whole, if you like hard SF at all, you ll likely find it worth your while.

  10. Jon Jon says:

    The stories were all wildly different, and for the most part, good One or two I didn t care for, but that s pretty much inevitable in any sort of anthology A good read for when you have a short attention span.

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