True Review
Current Issue Number 74 Vol.19 No.3  February 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WARRIORS:


WARRIORS, ed. by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. TOR (www.tor-forge.com), 2010, 734 pp., $27.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-2048-3

With the big-ass, mixed-genre anthology WARRIORS, Martin wants to replicate, for the anthology's readers, an experience he had growing up in New Jersey, with the small convenience stores and their "spinner racks." There were no "genre aisles" in his view as a kid - romance novels were packed in with SF anthologies and mysteries were on top of hardcore SF novels. (Where were the biographies? Stacked with travel compendiums?) This eclectic genre mix forms a substantial core of Martin's love for many genres - replicated, of course, with the most diverse array of authors in any "multi-genre" collection yet assembled.

These are my favorites:

•"Forever Bound" by Joe Haldeman. Julian, graduate student in physics, is selectively served to report to duty as a component of Remote Combat Infantry, a high-tech, Waldo-like Soldierboy. There is a line of duty, and then there are the inevitable losses that come with dutifully serving your country, in any war, no matter how "hi-tech" it might become.

•"Clean Slate" by Lawrence Block. A warrior of a different breed is Katherine (Kit) Tolliver, whom, traumatized as a child, exacts her own form of vengeance on those who want to take advantage of her.

•"And Ministers of Grace" by Tad Williams. Kane Lamentation is a warrior, in his mind, for God - sent as a Death Angel to assassinate the Prime Minister, an infidel on the planet Archimedes. The Prime Minister's mission has been to repress converts. But while the Prime Minister may have other plans for Kane (watching and predicting his every move), Kane's true makeup, his real talents, take him much farther somewhere else.

•"Soldierin'" by Joe R. Lansdale presents the late 1800's wild west, with former slaves who have talent enough to be Cavalry soldiers. Are they tough enough? Can they handle a horse? And what will they do when they encounter the natives of America, who are after their heads?

•"The Eagle and the Rabbit" by Steven Saylor. Rome has destroyed Carthage, killing or enslaving most of the population. They take Hanso, who befriends Lino, already a man escaped from slavery. Both are being held by the corrupt and powerful Roman commander Fabius, who uses Lino in a game of rabbit and eagle - with Hanso as the (almost converted) eagle. When Lino escapes, will Hanso fulfill the directive of Fabius to capture him in the deadly game? And if Hanso doesn't comply, what will become of the once proud Carthaginians?

•"The Pit" by James Rollins. Benny, a dog, is captured by pit bill ringleaders and forced to be a fighter. Until the ring is busted by authorities and Benny is reunited with his human family. Can a once-desperate warrior adjust to civilian life?

•"Ninieslando" by Howard Waldrop. Tommy, a World War I solider of the First Unit, King's Own Rifles, is part of a contingent of field telephone wire-runners through No-Man's Land at the German front. Tommy is caught up in a barrage one night, with day-making sky flares, where he encounters a solider not from above ground, but below - the below-ground country of Ninieslando, where the language of Esperanto, a new world language, is spoken.

The country below-ground is beginning a new world order, where everyone is equal, with one language and a common goal - enforce truly lasting world peace. But will the warring factions above-ground truly want it? And will they get wind of the goings-on below?

•"My Name Is Legion" by David Morrell. Kline, a Great Depression Era unemployed factory worker, on the lam for a botched bank robbery and the tragic loss of his daughter and wife, joins the French Foreign Legion. The Illinois man befriends Rourke, an Irishman who used to fight the British, until something went terribly wrong (Kline knows not what - he can only speculate how awful it must have been, compared to his own botched bank robbery leaving one man dead). But both want to rededicate their life and redirect their energies to the Foreign Legion and its ideals. Trouble is, the decisive World War II begins, pitting legionnaires against each other in Africa, and sides are drawn - and both know that service to the Legion is of utmost importance and complete peril.

The anthology also includes a story, "The Mystery Knight," a new Song of Ice and Fire novella by Martin.

Andrew M. Andrews


Black Hills - Dan Simmons Warriors - George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois Additional Reviews Diving Into The Wreck - Kristine Kathryn Rusch The Jewel Hinged Jaw - Samuel R. Delaney

Boilerplate - Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett Swords From The Desert - Howard Andrew Jones Shades of Gray - Jasper Fforde Muse and Reverie - Charles de Lint Dinner at Mr. Jefferson's - Charles A. Cerami

The Raindrop's Adventure - Kimberly Kerr An Irish Country Christmas - Patrick Taylor Twilight Zone - Carol Serling Home For Christmas - Andrew M. Greeley Amelia Earhart - Lori Van Pelt

A Simple Christams - Mike Huckabee Puttering About in a Small Land - Philip K. Dick   Are You There - Jack Skillingstead The Fantasy Writer's Assistant - Jeffrey Ford

RECOMMENDED

CYBERABAD DAYS, by Ian McDonald. Pyr/Prometheus (www.prometheusbooks.com), 2009, 279 pp., $15.00. ISBN 978-1-59102-699-0

Seven stories in CYBERABAD DAYS are set in the year 2047 in India, including a Hugo Award winner and nominee.

THE THIRD SIGN, by Gregory A. Wilson. Five Star/Gale Cengage Learning (www.gale.cengage.com), 2009, 351 pp., $25.95. ISBN 978-1-59414-765-4

Calen Gollnet, resident of the country of Klune, watches as his world goes to war, as the peace made by the king and the arlics has become tenuous at best. But the armies are the least of his concern, as the Soul Wall appears. Prophecies are coming true - and what will the latest portend?

BY BLOOD WE LIVE, ed. by John Joseph Adams. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2009, 485 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-156-0

There is a strange craving for these types of stories, felt by mostly teenage girls suddenly feeling the throngs of post-puberty. And there are plenty of authors to accommodate this strangeness, indeed.

TWO EXCELLENT TACHYON ANTHOLOGIES:

THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION, ed. by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. Tachyon (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2009, 381 pp., $14.95. ISBN 978-1-892391-93-3

I remember reading most of these SF classics when they were first published, with seminal work by Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. LeGuin, Lucius Shepard, Connie Willis, Gene Wolfe, James Patrick Kelly, and many others.

Also:

THE VERY BEST OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, 60th Anniversary Anthology, ed. by Gordon Van Gelder. Tachyon (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2009, 475 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-892391-91-9

Many of these I read collected in other anthologies, and some I read in the magazine itself. (I have subscribed to F&SF regularly from 1977-2007, and off and on since 2008.) Included are works by Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, Theodore Sturgeon, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, Damon Knight, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, Ted Chiang, and others).


Next Time In True Review

A Sample Of Our Upcoming Reviews...

GASLIGHT GROTESQUE Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes, ed. by J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec. Edge (www.edgewebsite.com), 2009, 311 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894063-31-9

TESSERACTS THIRTEEN ed. by Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell. Edge (www.edgewebsite.com), 2009, 317 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894063-25-8

THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR Vol. 1, ed. by Ellen Datlow. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2009, 321 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-161-4