It's not merely a task that's thankless--it's impossible. How can you hope to pick out the best of anything, let alone from such a contentious category as SF (and military SF, at that)? But this 13-story collection really does pull together at least some of the best short stories penned for the genre in the last century. Thanks to editors Harry Turtledove and Martin H. Greenberg, you'll find some of science fiction's biggest names--and most influential shorts--in this expertly chosen anthology.|
Chronologically, the entries range from '50s pieces like Philip K. Dick's "Second Variety" and Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority" to more modern ruminations on war like "The Scapegoat" by C.J. Cherryh and "To the Storming Gulf" by Gregory Benford. But rather than quality (all these stories are of inarguable pedigree) or even breadth, what might recommend these most to readers new to them are the ideas and other works they later inspired: Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonrider" and Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" both gave rise to phenomenally successful series, Joe W. Haldeman's "Hero" preceded The Forever War, and Philip K. Dick's "Second Variety" became the SF thriller Screamers. The collection also gives you a glimpse of what dark thoughts were rattling around the heads of prolific writers like David Drake and George R.R. Martin in the '70s.
Source: Paul Hughes, Amazon.com.