So, normally, this blog’s going to cover stuff I’ve posted elsewhere. It’s supposed to be more of an index than anything. This is a bit different.
This is not a defense of guns or video games. It might seem like that at first, but it isn’t.
Yesterday, Joe Biden met with a bunch of people to…
Continuing my review of Combat SF, a collection of short stories. See the first part here if you missed it.
“The Butcher’s Bill” by David Drake
One of the better stories. Again, starts in a weird place and takes a few paragraphs and a reread to understand exactly what’s going on. This is more what comes to mind when someone says “military science fiction”. It’s apparently Drake’s specialty, and it shows. His military service seems to give a real credibility to his work. His characters act like real people, and the situations are more believable. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I like this piece better. It follows a member of a interstellar mercenary company, Hammer’s Slammers. (This story is part of the Hammerverse, dealing with the exploits of the said mercenary company.) Danny is a tank commander, helping fight religious extremists on a planet with the ruins of an ancient alien race. Danny meets a local woman who takes him into some of the ruins. The ruins seem to contain the memories of their long lost inhabitants, which disconcerts Danny. It ends with a battle where Danny ends up destroying another of the ruins in a battle. I felt it was the closest to capturing how it must feel to be in a battle - internally conflicted, but determined to survive and come out the victor. War as a way of life. Recommended, and I think I’ll try and track down more of his work.
Since I’ve started taking the streetcar to work, I’ve had more time to read. And of course I couldn’t read any of the hundreds of books I already have, so I picked up a new one at the awesome Dauphine Street Books. Dauphine is probably worth a whole post. It has a pretty great sci fi selection, so that’s what I usually gravitate to. This was on my lunch break, so I had to make it quick. And Combat SF caught my eye.
It’s a collection of 15 stories, all loosely related to combat. Very loosely in some cases, as we’ll see. The original publication dates range from the late 1940s through the 1970s, each from different authors. We get space, time travel, psychic powers, a little of everything. Let’s dive in and see how they were.