Ok, I have to admit, when I purchased this anthology, I did it for two reasons. One is that I am a huge fan of Daw anthologies and I try to read them all. The second, is I was intrigued by the topic of Man Vs Machine, and I'm a fan of the Terminator movies (Yes, even T3) so there you go. I knew that with Daw's eclectic group of contributors, not all the stories would follow the same old Terminator formula... and there were a wide variety of stories. A full list of the stories and the authors follow.
**Servant of Death by Jane Lindskold and Fred Saberhagen **The Unplug War by Brendan DuBois **Cold Dead Fingers by Loren L Coleman **The Hum by Rick Hautala **The Last of the Fourth by Bill Fawcett **Moral Imperative by Ed Gorman **Partnership by William H. Keith **Chasing Humanity by Bradley P. Beaulieu **The Difference by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. **Transformation by Stephen Leigh **Killer App by Richard Dansky **Reiteration by Simon Brown **Stalking Old John Bull by Jean Rabe **Engines of Desire & Despair by Russel Davis & **The Historian's Apprentice by S. Andrew Swann.
I don't know what it is about the stories, or it might have been me. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for what I was reading, and honestly, if I could give the anthology 3.5 stars I would. I just erred on the side of giving more because stories like Servant of Death are powerful, and Stalking Old John Bull stretched the theme of the anthology to the breaking point, but it was good. Many of the stories in this were less than stellar, at least in my eyes. None of them really have the "Terminator" flavor and perhaps my looking for something like that just slanted me too much. Maybe it's the fact that most of the science fiction of these stories is not hard or soft sci-fi... it's somewhere in the middle... and I wasn't quite looking for that, either.
Over all, it's not a terrible anthology, I have yet to meet a terrible Daw anthology. I would recommend it for a plane ride or a vacation, as long as no one makes my mistake and thinks they'll find one type of Man Vs Machine story... Daw is too evolved for that.
Recommended, especially for Sci-Fi fans looking for a good vacation book.