My project to read all the Year’s Best anthologies from this year (those covering 2015) has stalled again, but I’m going to try to get through at least one more before I call it quits and move on to other things.
This time around it’s a science fiction only anthology, the second in a new series focusing on military and adventure sf. I met David Afsharirad at Armadillocon this past year. I hadn’t realized he was going to be there or I would have taken my copy for him to sign.
But that’s not what you want to hear. You want to know about the book.
Well, overall, I thought it was a good buy. There was only one story that wasn’t to my liking, “Morrigan in Shadow” by Seth Dickinson. The others I all liked, though of course some I liked more than others.
Some highlights for me were “The Siege of Denver” by Brendan DuBois, about an alien invasion and, well, the siege of Denver. David Drake contributes a Hammer’s Slammers tale, the poignant “Save What You Can”. Joe R. Lansdale isn’t someone who immediately comes to mind when you think about adventure science fiction, but he proves he can do pulp when he takes a Buffalo Soldier to a Venus that never was but should have been, in “The Wizard of the Trees”.
“Gyre” by Brad R. Torgersen is part of a shared universe series in which humanity is confied to the solar system that’s been running in Galaxy’s Edge. I’ve read one or two of these stories, but I definitely need to read some more. Eric Leif Davin provides a bleak look at an astronaut stranded on Mars in “Twilight on Olympus”. Hank Davis contributes the clever and fun “The Trouble with Telepaths”, which doesn’t go in the direction you might think.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this volume. My one complaint would be that it could have been longer. I’ve not read as much sf in the last few years as I used to, but I find it hard to believe there isn’t more military and adventure science fiction being written. I suspect publishing constraints are what kept this volume from being the doorstopper that some of the other annual best anthologies are.
Regardless, this was a solid anthology in what I hope proves to be a long-running series. I’m looking forward to next year’s installment.