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The Mammoth Book of SF Wars (Mammoth Books) Paperback – 17 May 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson; First printing of this edition edition (17 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780330405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780330402
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

A stunning collection of 24 military SF short stories from the excellent Mammoth series.

About the Author

Ian Watson invented Warhammer 40K fiction for the Black Library of Games Workshop 20 years ago with his novel Inquisitor, not to mention his notorious Space Marine. His highly successful Inquisition War trilogy omnibus edition was recently reprinted, and Space Marine itself, often hailed as the best ever 40K novel, has just been released by the BL of GW as print-on-demand through their website due to overwhelming reader demand. He lives in Northamptonshire, England. Ian Whates recently published through his own NewCon Press the original anthology Conflicts which has been so successful that Conflicts 2 is planned. He has been approached to edit a new series of anthologies for Solaris, picking up from their successful Solaris Book of New Science Fiction books. He lives in Cambridgeshire, England. Together they edited The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hoping to find lots of new sci fi authors to follow. Only found about 2. Some of the stories are really pushing the definition of war stories.
It is a collection so you do hage to expect some stories you wont like, however almost all of them were a bit disappointing.
Additionally could do with some sort of index for the stories in the kindle version although I think there is an online one.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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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