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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Most of the short stories are good to excellent, some are duds but at the price it was a very good purchase, and I can now follow up some of the authors and hopefully some more good reads.
Published 14 months ago by Andrew Reid

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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A positive, not a negative, three stars
I'm not a huge fan of war-themed or military SF, but these "Mammoth" books are usually good value, Whates and Watson have an excellent track record as anthology editors, and I like to keep an open mind, so I thought I'd take a punt on something that falls outside my usual SF radar.

I'm glad I did. It's a solid anthology with enough thud and blunder for those...
Published 22 months ago by Runmentionable


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A positive, not a negative, three stars, 19 Nov 2012
By 
Runmentionable "Why Be A Raisin When You Can ... (Exiled Mackem) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of SF Wars (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
I'm not a huge fan of war-themed or military SF, but these "Mammoth" books are usually good value, Whates and Watson have an excellent track record as anthology editors, and I like to keep an open mind, so I thought I'd take a punt on something that falls outside my usual SF radar.

I'm glad I did. It's a solid anthology with enough thud and blunder for those who like that kind of thing, and enough other stuff for readers like me with different tastes. Overall, if it were possible to give a three-and-a-half star review, I'd have done so. And 7/10 is a pretty good pass grade.

Why not four stars, then? Well, because of the hardcore military stuff, which for me was much of a muchness and rather dull. The low point was David Drake's "Caught In The Crossfire", which combined meat and potatoes prose, a plot "twist" I guessed by the end of the first page, and virtually no SF premiss other than it taking part in his "Hammer's Slammers" universe. Given the anthology's theme, and Drake's undeniable prominence in the sub-genre, it makes sense for him to be here, but the story did nothing for this reader. On the other hand, I was very fond of both Fred Saberhagen's "Berserker" story "The Peacemaker" and David Weber's "The Traitor", a continuation of Keith Laumer's "Bolo" series. I wouldn't have normally looked twice at either franchise, given their martial focus, so if a lily-livered, yeller-brickin', gold-bellied pinko milksop like me can be charmed by them, the editors must be doing something right. Point of fact, the two sentient tanks in "The Traitor" are the most engaging characters in the whole book.

The anthology takes a very broad view of "SF wars", to the extent that stories like Cordwainer Smith's "The Game of Rat and Dragon", wonderful as it is, are hard to categorise as "war" at all. In terms of historical scope, the contents range from the 1940s (Fredric Brown's still-great "Arena", inevitably, which is to SF anthologies what "Don't tell him Pike!" is to discussions of Dad's Army) to three stories which were newly-minted in 2012 and make their first appearance here (Resnick & Torgersen, Green and Asaro). Most are comparatively recent. "Time Piece", the first instalment of Joe Haldeman's "Forever War", is present and correct, and as an excerpt from THE great SF war novel it gives the anthology great authority.

It's usually silly to single out high- and low- points in anthologies, but given this one's potential to alienate peaceniks, I'll do it anyway, in order to emphasise the book's diversity. Apart from the stories already mentioned, I liked the satirical approaches of Laura Resnick and William Tenn, Simon Green's brilliant updating of the mythical/sense of wonder aspects of Cordwainer Smith and the early Delany, John Lambshead's steampunk space operatics and the exquisitely measured prose of the Gene Wolfe story. On t'other hand, if Walter Jon Williams' "Solidarity" isn't the longest piece here, it felt like it, as it goes on and on and on without much happening other than the author falling in love with his characters.

Overall, it's a job well done, offering a selection of stories that will provide pleasures to both the sabre-rattlers and the Guardianistas in the SF reader base. It's also notable that political posturing from either the right or the left is conspicuously absent. The one viewpoint that comes through time and again (and which readers from both ends of the political spectrum should share) is compassion for the Poor Blood Infantry - and the civilians who get caught up in all this mess.

The full contents, following the editors' brief introduction, are:

Peacekeeper - Mike Resnick and Brad R. Torgersen
From Out of the Sun, Endlessly Singing - Simon R. Green
All for Love - Algis Budrys
The War Artist - Tony Ballantyne
The War Memorial - Allen Steele
Politics - Elizabeth Moon
Arena - Fredric Brown
Peacekeeping Mission - Laura Resnick
The Peacemaker - Fred Saberhagen
Junked - Andy Remic
The Liberation of Earth - William Tenn
A Clean Escape - John Kessel
Storming Hell - John Lambshead
Solidarity - Walter Jon Williams
The Price - Michael Z. Williamson
The Horars of War - Gene Wolfe
The Traitor - David Weber
The Game of Rat and Dragon - Cordwainer Smith
Caught in the Crossfire - David Drake
The Rhine's World Incident - Neal Asher
Winning Peace - Paul McAuley
Time Piece - Joe Haldeman
The Wake - Dan Abnett
The Pyre of New Day - Catherine Asaro
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 11 July 2013
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Most of the short stories are good to excellent, some are duds but at the price it was a very good purchase, and I can now follow up some of the authors and hopefully some more good reads.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good collection, 21 May 2014
By 
Stephen Oliver (Kloten, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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I found this to be a good collection on various facets of war and warfare.

One reviewer commented about it containing nothing but tired old stories. I recognised three stories I hadn't read in years ("The Liberation of Earth", "The Horars of War" and "The Game of Rat and Dragon"), which I welcomed like old friends. One other, set in the world of Hammer's Slammers was new to me, even though Hammer's dark world is not.

All the rest were new and, in some cases, exciting. "From Out of the Sun, Endlessly Singing" was very much in the spirit and style of Cordwainer Smith, and inspired me to return to Smith's Instrumentality stories after several years absence.

Others, especially Catherine Asaro's "The Pyre of New Day" introduced me to authors I hadn't known existed, whose universes I look forward to exploring. At first, I thought the term Jaggernaut was a typical Kindle conversion typo ... ;-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Collection - some boring but a few crackers and classics, 14 Sep 2013
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A very good collection of SF war short stories. There are a few classics and some modern crackers. A couple are a bit dull but all worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, interesting and gripping at times, 7 Sep 2013
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of SF Wars (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
This collection of twenty four short stories is, as other reviewers have noticed, easy to read. It is the typical kind of book you may want to read on holidays or week-ends in a relaxed atmosphere, with a nice glass of something in your hand or on the table. That's how it worked out for me anyway.

Arguably, when reading this anthology, you will certainly prefer some of the stories to others, although I did not find particularly disliked ant of them or found them to be "bad". Apart from three which are original and specially drafted for this book, all stories have already been published, mostly in specialised reviews. You are unlikely to have read more than a couple of them already unless you are a bit of a collector (well, more than a bit perhaps) if only because these initial publications stretch from the 1950s to nowadays.

The authors represented published their stories over half a century and represent several generations. These include Cordwainer Smith, Joe Haldermann, David Drake and Fred Saberhagen, but also Elisabeth Moon, Neil Asher, Dan Abnett and David Weber.

If only to avoid spoilers - and some stories are quite surprising - I will refrain from presenting any of them. Many are gripping, and most have a bit of a bitter twist to them. Some are sad. Others are a bit horrible. The purpose of the editors when bringing together this collection seems to have been to show that, in future as today and as in the past, there is a high price to pay for war. If that was the case, then they have been rather successful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SF, 11 Aug 2013
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I like SF, was doubtful about this, but enjoyed every single story, good read! Would have been nice if Games Workshop had allowed one or two.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Mammoth Book of SF Wars, 8 Aug 2013
By 
D I Rayner (York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book was bought as a recommendation from a Kindle marketing email, I certainly do not regret purchasing it.
The book is a collection of short stories based around the subject of war (in the near or distant future) from a wide selection of SF writers.
Certainly recommended if you like your SF with some blood and guts!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg of a Complation, 2 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. Stephen F. Male "Steve" (England) - See all my reviews
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There are some good short stories here as well as, how shall I put it: less good. However this must surely be inevitable with a compilation and what I like may be what you dislike and vice versa.

It also, more helpfully, provides exposure to some writers you may not be familiar with allowing new avenues of exploration of the SF genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars OK, 22 July 2013
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Not a bad selection of writtings. Will keep you entertained when you have nothing better to read. Worth the money.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Mammoth Book of Sci-Fi Wars, 19 July 2013
This book is great, a fantastic compilation of literary brilliance. Packed full of action and intrigue, it is short Sci-Fi stories which will draw you into world's of bureaucratic greed, daring heroes and space terrorists. However, some of the stories compiled are from complex series and can be quite hard to understand. If it were not for this then it would be an absolute 5-star read. Stellar.
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The Mammoth Book of SF Wars (Mammoth Books)
The Mammoth Book of SF Wars (Mammoth Books) by Ian Whates (Paperback - 17 May 2012)
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