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Armored Mass Market Paperback – 10 Apr 2012

7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (10 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451638175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451638172
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 4.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andy Phillips on 25 April 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of short stories featuring power armour of various types. Despite the blurb and cover, not all of the tales are military sci-fi, but most of them have some sort of combat element. There is enough variety to keep things interesting, and no real stinkers in the collection. My one possible criticism is that power armour stories is quite a niche subject, but it's pretty clear that's what you're getting, so that shouldn't be an issue.

I'll try to summarise the contents of the book:

1) 'The Johnson Maneuver', Ian Douglas - Marines defend an embassy on a planet populated by crab-like beings.

2) 'Hel's Half Acre', Jack Campbell - An infantry squad is forced into a series of near suicidal attacks.

3) 'Jungle Walkers', David Klecha and Tobias S Buckell - An unarmoured infantry company faces a forced of armoured fighting machines in Colombia.

4) 'The Last Run of the Coppelia', Genevieve Valentine - A salvage crew find something unexpected while gathering micro-organisms on an ocean planet.

5) 'Death Reported of Last Surviving Veteran of Great War', Dan Abnet - An interview with a man whose lifespan is extended by being implanted into power armour.

6) 'The Cat's Pyjamas', Jack McDevitt - A ship visits a space station that orbits a pulsar.

7) 'Find Heaven and Hell in the Small Things', Simon R Green - Armoured warriors are dropped onto a planet covered in homicidal vegetation.

8) 'Power Armor: A Love Story', David Barr Kirtley - A genius inventor never takes off his armour because he expects to be assassinated.

9) 'The Last Days of the Kelly Gang', David D Levine - Steampunk power armour is invented for the outlaw Ned Kelly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As usual in a collection of short stories, you will find that you like some better the others and there even be a few which you simply did not like at all. It is largely a matter of personal taste. As far as I am concerned, I found that 7-8 were superb, another dozen were good to very good, and there were about 3 that I did not like. I will refrain from telling you which ones and why, partly because other reviewers have already mentioned their own preferences and partly because I do not trust myself to avoid spoilers.

My three favourite stories were Power Armour: A love story, where a man from the future has to remain permanently in his power armour to prevent him from being murdered, Don Quixote, which takes place towards the end of the Spanish Civil War, as the Republicans are about to lose, and the rather horrific and nightmarish Helmet where human beings are imprisoned into powered armour and commit atrocities. However, this does not mean in any away that the 20 other stories were not good. It only means that my personal and very subjective preferences went to these three.
As hinted to above, I very much liked this collection and most of its stories. However, the higher the number of stories included, and the higher the chances that there will be at least one of them that you may not like.

Accordingly, since it is unlikely that someone would like ALL of the stories and think that they are all wonderful, it is also somewhat unlikely that the book deserves five stars. For me, there were three weaker stories. This is less than 15% of the total number, implying a four star rating...
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Format: Kindle Edition
John Joseph Adams is quickly becoming my editor du jour, with numerous anthologies on different themes sitting on my bookshelf (or in my "I want this book" database). I love short stories anyway, which makes the anthologies even more attractive. Armored is an anthology about powered armor in all its forms, mostly set in distant science fiction settings. As with many anthologies, it's not a perfect mix of stories, with some being more of a chore to read. Overall, though, it's an excellent collection that will keep you wanting to read just one story before putting it down for the night.

You might think stories all based around armor of some kind wouldn't contain much variety. You would be wrong. One of the best stories in the collection, "The Cat's Pajamas" by Jack McDevitt, is simply a story about rescuing a cat from an isolated station that has been exposed to space. Armor doesn't serve to protect from firearms here, as in most of the other stories. Instead, it's just a spacesuit used to get from the rescuer's ship to the station and get the cat back. McDevitt fills even such a simple-sounding story with tension and excellent characterization.

Another interesting tale, Karin Lowachee's "Nomad," is about a futuristic society where armor with artificial intelligence is bonded with children at an early age. This story follows the relationship that develops between an AI and the man "she" has been bonded with, and what happens when that man is killed. It's almost a society of intelligent armor, quite a fascinating concept.

The stories don't all take place in the future.
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