Thursday, December 16, 2010

Warriors, edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

This is a short story anthology. As the title suggests, the thematic thread throughout tells of turbulent times, tantalizing thrills and tough tricksters. (There, I got the alliteration out of my system.) Having said that, I'm afraid I cannot recommend this one for children. Or teens. Or adults who like clean reading for that matter.

The nice thing about anthologies is that if you don't like one story, it's short and you can move on to another one, but contrariwise, you have to go through all of them to find which ones suit you. I'm not talking genres, I'm talking about differing thresholds of violence, profanity, sexual references, etc. I like reading different genres - it's a habit that creates good readers and writers as George R. R. Martin points out in his Introduction: Stories from the Spinner Rack. If all you can do is read that Introduction, then you'll have spent some good time.

I'll just briefly list my favorites from this anthology - they didn't overdo it when it came to sex/profanity/graphic gore.

The Triumph, by Robin Hobb - Roman centurions battle a giant snake in Africa and two meet their deaths with as much dignity as they can dig up.

And Ministers of Grace, by Tad Williams - A futuristic look at religious terrorism, or is it resistance to a godless society?

Seven Years from Home, by Naomi Novik - A sci-fi, other-worldly battle between ecological marvels and typical human exploitation/misuse of natural resources, or alternatively, how Green Peace would fight if they had the know-how.

Out of the Dark, by David Weber - Classic alien invasion of Earth story, with a diabolical twist at the end.

The Girls from Avenger, by Carrie Vaughn - A World War II WASP digs for information on the cause of an "accident" that killed another WASP.

Ninieslando, by Harold Waldrop - World War I trench warfare isn't all it's cracked up to be and the solution may be lurking below the surface.

Recidivist, by Gardner Dozois - another sci-fi classic "the machines have turned against us" story, but it turns out those pesky machines have a twisted sense of humor.

My Name is Legion, by David Morrell - The French Foreign Legion turns against itself.

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