When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” Then another horse went out, a fiery red one, and its horseman was empowered to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And a large sword was given to him.
Revelation 6:3-4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Oooooh, golly. That’s a creepy way to begin a post. Here, how about something a leetle bit mo’ fun and funky:
Oh, war, huh, good god, y’all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it again!
“War”, 1970, by Edwin Starr
Okay, that’s a bit better, but I still think ol’ Edwin is missing out on the . . . ummm . . . positive aspects of war? Not that war is a really positive enterprise! No, real war sucks big time. Death of the innocents, crimes against humanity, the achievement of political goals through maximum destruction and the scarring of a nation’s collective psyche. Yep, all bad things.
But, war stories? Those can be one hell of a lotta fun!
War fiction, military fiction, and my favorite: military science fiction scratches the itch with a lot of readers in a way nothing else can quite match. We LOVE US some combat sci-fi, whether it be on the screen with Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Edge of Tomorrow, Starship Troopers, Battlestar Galactica, or Space: Above and Beyond; or if it’s on the printed page with many of the franchises above as well as Battletech/Mechwarrior, Legacy of the Aldenata, the Lensman series, Honor Harrington, pretty much anything by David Drake, or my own A Sword Into Darkness and REMO. We thrill to tales of soldiers, starship officers, and space marines battling the bad guys, whether they be bug-eyed monsters, the implacable other, or just the poor schmuck on the opposing front. Give our boys (and ladies, ladies) some powered armor, a gravitic railgun, and their trusty laser pistol, slap ’em in an orbital drop-ship, and point ’em at the ravening hordes of robo-zombies and you’ve got yourself a story!
Yeah, yeah, you can indulge in a little philosophy, and I GUESS you can devote a line or two to show your characters are deep, tortured souls, but by-gum something better blow the fuck up in a satisfying manner or you might as well keep walkin’, mister.
Does that sound like your cup-o-tea? Well, if so, hot DAMN do I have something for you. Finnish sci-fi publisher Castalia House is dropping the Mother of All Bombs of military sci-fi on you this month. And I’ve been invited to the party, so I’m inviting you along as well! Riding the Red Horse, the new annual anthology of military science fiction and fact will be coming out with its inaugural volume on December 15th. This kick-ass collection features my story “Within This Horizon” (which is worth the price of admission alone), but the rest? WOW!
I’m just honored to be even considered on the same list as these authors, not that my stories are a patch on theirs. You’ve got Tom Kratman and Brad Torgerson, Christopher Nuttall and Chris Kennedy, Ken Burnside and Eric S. Raymond, William S. Lind and Vox Day, James Dunnigan and Rolf Nelson, Steve Rzasa and Henry Kitchener, Giuseppe Filotto and Benjamin Cheah, and James Perry, John Carr, and Ted Roberts. You’re going to find essays and fiction on the future of combat, on the land, at sea, and in space. You’re going to be amazed, but BONUS, you’re also going to find a story/essay by one of the grand masters himself: Dr. Jerry Pournelle.
Yep. Jerry freakin’ Pournelle.
If you aren’t headed to Castalia House or over to Amazon (beginning December 15th) to pre-order or buy it direct, then I have no idea how your head works. Go! Go, buy, read, review, then drop me a line here to tell me what you thought of “Within This Horizon.”