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This book is a collection of short stories of battle under different and multiple forms. Short stories are each between twenty and forty pages long. While readers, starting with myself, will prefer some stories to others, there are not any weal stories or, perhaps more accurately, none that I really disliked or found theme that is show in several of them is climate change and warfare. A particularly horrific story is about stealthy cyberattacks associated with tsunamis and the catastrophic destruction that these might create.Another theme is about battle in space. A particularly amazing story is Faceless soldiers, Patchwork Ship where the rather frightening opponent turns out to be not at all bent on aggression. Another story – Conversations with an Armory – is perhaps one of the most original where convalescent soldiers aboard a decommissioned warship desperately test to obtain the Armory’s AI to recognise them and obey them.A third theme is about proxy battles of attrition on distant or not so distant (the Moon in particular) colonies. My favourite here is Mines where the heroin, a discharged and traumatised soldier on a distant colony, still takes part in the battle of attrition between the two colonies along with her unique associate.Another theme is the use of science and biology in particular for battle purposes. Another story associated with battle trauma is ZeroS where a secret experiment uses the dead to create elite soldiers and dissociate them from their conscience for reasons that became apparent at the ur powerful stars for the lot.
Wow! Stunning collection of shorter SF stories exploring future battles , soldiers and battles impacts. The target time frames range from tomorrow to hundreds of years away and the writing is all perfect and several outstanding. Two of the standouts are by E. J. Swift and Peter Watts and, I repeat, to me there are no weak nathan Strahan has, again, curated, a superb collection of stories peering into the future. Be warned, they are not nice and pretty, rather they are real. Descriptions gloss over graphic info where appropriate and present the info where appropriate.
The sixth entry in Jonathan Strahan's Infinity Project, INFINITY WARS, explores what battle would be like in the future. That, however is such an oversimplification as to be misleading. There's military science fiction, and then there's the type of military science fiction as depicted by the terrific 15 stories written by some of the best in the science fiction field that are included in this volume. The stories here are largely hero driven, and focus on the impact that battle has on its participants as well as those people who are not active participants. As usual, Strahan has assembled a star-studded diverse group of writers, both fresh and old, both unfamiliar and well-known.I've always been a sucker for anything Peter Watts writes, and his story "ZeroS" does not disappoint. A group of zombies - resurrected humans who are used to try fresh weaponry that is essentially an make batter to the human body, turning them into enhanced humans - are dispatched to war a series of encounters that is beta testing for the weapons systems. The story explores the humanity that the soldiers still have - even though they are technically dead - as they witness first hand the violence of battle and the atrocities they are visiting upon their victims. The zombies - the ZeroS of the title - don't actually know what's going on at first. All they know is if they serve their period as ZeroS - they will eventually be returned to true life. But as the realization that they are nothing but try [email protected]#$%! them, the conflict between battle and wanting to live again comes to the forefront. It's a terrific tale.Another favorite is Elizabeth Bear's "Perfect Gun", about a freelance operative named John who buys a "rig" - a battle machine with an AI for a brain - to let him to provide his services to the highest bidder. It took time for John and the rig to build a relationship - an odd term to be using between a mercenary and a battle machine - that once built, proved to create for a profitable period for John. Profitable, that is, until moral ambiguity entered the fray. The reaction of the ship - whose John (and we, for that matter) never learned, created it's own decision by the end of the story. "Perfect Gun" lets us know that even AIs have their oline M. Yoachim provides another favorite, "Faceless Soldiers, Patchwork Ship", about a soldier that is heavily modified to infiltrate an opponent ship to test to prevent said opponent - the Faceless, who modify themselves by using body parts from conquered foes - from making progress using "fire kittens" to teleport - because that's what they do - weaponry, and thus turn the tide of the war. The modifications to Eknudayo's body come with a catch; if she doesn't complete her mission within a specified period of time, she will actually become a member of the opponent race. It's a fascinating story about the lengths participants in battle will go to in an effort to prevent the opponent from gaining an rth Nix gives us the delightful "Conversations with an Armory", in which military personnel at a lonely, isolated, and nearly abandoned outpost desperately test to activate and begin an armory, controlled by an entertaining but strictly rule following AI, so as to obtain at its stored weapons cache and as a effect defend themselves versus an attack. This is not a deep, thought provoking story by any means, but in its own method lets the reader know that there can be a humorous side to battle as well as the side we're all to familiar ese aren't the only terrific stories in the book, of course. "Dear Sarah", by Nancy Kress, shows us how battle can affect familial relationships, and not in a amazing way. An Owomoyela gives us "The Latest Broadcasts", about the deceptions involved in battle and how one participant reacts to that deception once the truth comes out. It's a strong lesson about battle not being just about guns and ships and explosions. Dominica Phetteplace's "The Oracle" is a tale of realizing not all that you want for, especially in battle time, is a amazing time, especially when it comes to the AIs involved. E.J Swift gives us "Weather Girl", a rather interesting story with a twist I don't remember having read before, about being able to block opponents from determining weather patterns and how disastrous storms can be used as weapons. Sometimes weapons have unintended consequences - in this case it's a former partner of the protagonist getting caught in the path of the storm - result, and those consequences do weigh heavily on the people who create those decisions. Eleanor Arnason's "Mines" is a study of people living on an Earth devastated by climate change and how those people cope. Here, mines dot the landscape, and these mines and how they are detected are the backdrop of a relationship between two people. It's a touching, strong tale.I could continue, but I think that you obtain the idea of how these stories operate. They create you think about battle in a various method - a method that may not be something that you're used to. Stories by Carrie Vaughn ("The Evening of Their Span of Days"), Indrapramit Das ("The Moon is Not a Battlefield"), Aliette de Bodard - rapidly becoming a favorite of mine - ("In Everlasting Wisdom"), David D. Levine ("Command and Control"), Rich Larson - a rising star in the field - ("Heavies"), and Genevieve Valentine ("Overburden") all give us glimpses into the future of battle and its effects on those involved.Once again, Jonathan Strahan has assembled an outstanding anthology; he's one of the best there is at putting themed anthologies together, and of course his annual "Year's Best" is always a treat. Strahan has his finger on the pulse of the field when it comes to short fiction, and he always seems to pick the best of the best. I highly recommend Infinity Battles and everything else Strahan puts together. Reading any of his books will be time well spent.
So the four star is my average rating for all the stories. I rated each individually and then averaged them for that total. All in all, what blew me away, without dwelling on particular stories, was the overall intellectual nuance and intelligence regarding their descriptions of battle and our society. Each story had a various angle and it had a fabulous mix of perspectives and settings. Strahan did a phenomenal job curating and ordering this anthology, sometimes I feel like they lull in the middle, but there was always another story to bring the momentum up. If you are at all interested in the ways battle is discussed in any aspect - really - then check this out.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
"Infinity Wars" is the sixth installment of an ongoing anthology series by Jonathan Strahan. Unfamiliar with the previous ones I found this addition very unsteady in terms of of the general issues is that most of the authors use their genre's traits in a very superficial and obvious method to portray social or political commentary which very often leads to over-exposition and makes the stories feel cheap and obvious. There is rarely any sublety here instead we all too often obtain our noses rubbed into 's a shame considering how far other genre-literature like horror or fantasy has come in terms of intelligently exploring more subjects than the self-evident ones over the latest couple of years, that the genre which in the past always was a stronghold for addressing bigger and smaller, poltical, social and human problems in a condensed form, nowadays often feels lightyears behind and remains a shadow of its former is collection unfortunately is a a cautionary tale, showing a lot of facets of this regressive development but thankfully it picks up strongly towards the end with some stories by Peter Watts, E.J. Swift or Aliette de Bodard that create this collection indeed worth picking up despite the presence of numerous stinkers. ** The Evening Of Their Span Of Days by Carrie VaughnIn general this seemed like a amazing opener for a collection as this, since it deals with a chief mechanic on a zone station out on the frontier of human occupied zone which is being militarized as battle comes to their part of the universe. However there is nothing event besides that we obtain to follow protagonist Opal around a bit on her everyday routine, then a damaged military ship arrives and she is being told that the station is being militarized. And that's it, over and out (sorry for spoiling this masterpiece of suspense!). The whole thing very much feels like a (very solid) opening sequence for a longer story that Vaughn never finished. In this short format however the story is not really working as there is just not enough going on to develop any form of hero arc or build up suspense. Let's hope the rest of the collection is not just a huge dumpster for leftover material...** The Latest Broadcasts by An OwomoyelaBasically take "Wag the Dog" , transfer it into zone as we accompany an entertainment specialist who is being sent to a frontier station to cover up an ongoing battle through manipulating outside communication. Add to that an annoying, hyper-sensitive and permanently distracted protagonist whose quirk takes up half of the story only to play absolutely zero role in its conclusion - who the hell over-emphasizes an element like this (which is poor enough on its own even if relevant) for nothing (which is even worse)? And if the author was trying to create a point or wanted to invoke thoughts about whistle blowing and/or media manipulation he beautiful much failed as there are small to no arguments presented for either side and the hero dialogue and thoughts are mainly just hollow phrases that do not really justify their actions.** Faceless Soldiers, Patchwork Ship by Caroline M. YoachimOkay, I saw this being labeled as awesome in other reviews, but please tell me why? The story has more logic holes than swiss cheese and consists of so a lot of directions that never obtain sufficiently explored, that it feels all over the put and massively cluttered. The dialogue is not good and the underlying morality play is neither subtle nor smart. In fact it is obvious, boring and has been done a million times before and better as well. Next!* Dear Sarah by Nancy KressPhew, this is getting tiring. First of all: Colloquial language is not okay apart from being used in direct speech. In fact it sucks almost everywhere else and an annoyance for the reader. Second: If you test to create a socio-politcal statement with your story (which I don't mind at all), please don't rub it in with the sledgehammer. We obtain it. Test to be at least a small bit subtle when tackling such huge problems and stop insulting the reader's intellect by over-exposition. That's all I will say about this effort.** The Moon Is Not A Battlefield by Indrapamit DasAt least the author presents us with some interesting format, by telling the story mostly via a dialogue between two past acquaintances but drops the ball by dumping the interesting stylistic elements about halfway through, giving the story an inconsistent and unpolished feel. As so a lot of stories in this collection thus far, there is a lot of build-up for really no pay-off in the end.*** Excellent Gun by Elizabeth BearA fast-paced hard-boiled mercenary story that turns into a cheap moral play in the end. A decent fast read but nothing to write home about. Nevertheless the most consistent story so far in terms of writing, dialogue and sense of style in general. Let's hope that it is a sign and that it gets better from here on out...**** The Oracle by Dominica PhetteplaceLookie, lookie you other authors in this collection, Ms. Phetteplace shows you how to transport meta-level without being embarrassingly obvious about it but instead look intelligent and witty. Thanks for the welcome release from the tedious boredom of this collection madame!***** In Everlasting Wisdom by Aliette de BodardSet in a dystopian future not unlike that of "1984" the reader follows Ai Thi, a so called harmoniser, whose job is to inject indoctrinating thoughts praising the glory of the Everlasting Emperor into the minds of other citizens via an implanted parasite called the appeaser. Over the course of the story de Bodard wonderfully shows through a little set of believable characters and scenes how inner conflicts and doubts slowly deteriorate Ai This beliefs as unrest stirs within the populus, generating a void that hollow propaganda can no longer fill until the inevitable ending. Characters, dialogue and pacing are spot on making it the best story so far in this collection.** Command and Control by David D. LevineSometime in the future India and China are at war, fighting for the resources of war-torn Tibet. We follow an Indian squad-leader who decides to go on a rogue mission with some of her team friends to take down the Chinese general and thereby end the battle (yeah, right...). What can I say, we again obtain quite a dose of on the nose morality (the frequency of this event in this collection actually leads me to believe that editor is actually into this not good form of over-exposition or a pathological SJW) to create sure we obtain that our protagonist is one of the amazing guys (yay!), some okay action sequences and a few short but interesting speculations about the future nature of warfare and weaponry. That alone however is simply not enough and the story again suffers from one-dimensional characters and a simplistic storyline without any surprises. I highly suggest to every aspiring author who wants to do military sci-fi or fantasy to read Glen Cook‘s „Chronicles of the Black Company“ series first before venturing into this field and see how multi-layered characters in this genre are supposed to look like and how you can transport the ambiguity that is inherent to the human race especially in times of conflict and war.**** Conversations With An Armory by Garth NixDefinitely the most special idea of the collection. Faced by a sudden threat of an alien ship the personnel of a hospital ship is trying to access the armory of the former battleship just to search it guarded by an AI which was scheduled for decommission years ago but was simply forgotten and who proves to be rather obstinate when it comes to giving up its goodies. The ensuing conversation is hilarious in parts but Nix fails to really drive the idea home and stops the story‘s promising development in its track by an abrupt ending leaving behind a fast and fun read that is mostly carried by its gimmicky premise (which is enough given its short length).*** Heavies by Rich LarsonDexter is an enhanced human, a so called „Heavy“, and stationed as an overseer on a colony where rebellion had sparked seventy years ago. He leads a calm and peaceful life until one day things begin to deteriorate and the colonists begin behaving weirdly and taking lives. Larson’s story has an odd feel to it somewhere between Blade Runner-ish noir and „Dead Island“ tropical zombie apocalypse. And while entertaining it never really seems to search its true tone or direction, ending somewhere in the limbo of in-between. Larson definitely has talent and his writing is well-paced. I will look out for more from him despite this only be an okayish effort.**** Overburden by Genevieve ValentineOn a planet that has been plunged into civil battle and unrest General Davis is struggling with the burden of his responsibility as a military commander while he has to war a conspiracy that leaves him with no one to trust. Definitely some of the best writing in this collection: Well-paced, thought-out and with some amazing prose Valentine skillfully mixes military and political sci-fi with private drama and a tip of mystery.***** Weather Girl by E.J. SwiftThis collection really seems to pick up towards the end and I am glad I did not give up on it even though I sometimes wanted to. With „Weather Girl“ E.J. Swift delivers a near future tale about Lia who works for a military black ops unit focused on weather warfare and her ex-husband who is traveling the world trying to search his way. The story that emerges is a touching and yet suspenseful near future tale with very human characters that showcase subtle but very true human emotions. Impressive And a excellent example that we indeed have writers in the sci-fi genre that can truly bring something to life in the short story format.*** Mines by Eleanor ArnasonWhile well-written this story about an invalid former soldier searching for mines in tandem with a genetically modified rat in her post-military career again feels like an excerpt (though one with some interesting concepts and writing) from a larger piece which in this form feels incomplete and somewhat pointless. The reader gets thrown into the story and kicked out of it again just a few dozen pages later without really having had some form of meaningful closure to it. Dissatisfying though I still would love to hear more about Les and her animal companion.***** ZeroS by Peter WattsI unfortunately misplaced my notes for this one but I remember it to be a chilling piece of sci-fi that is one of the collection's best next to the contributions by E.J. Swift and Aliette de Bodard. Do not miss out on this one, in fact read the collection backwards as the powerful items is coming up beautiful late.Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are mine and are neither influenced by the publisher nor the author.
This has stories by some authors I recognized and some I did not. The stories are short and not always complete. They give a little look into the lives and action of various people in various but related circumstances. A nice to to pick up when you wish something fast to read.
Easily one of the most well written and well drawn Secret Battles tie-ins even though its actual connections to the main happening are negligible. Beyond the Shield Wall is a section of Battleworld composed of the ruins of Xandar home of the Nova Corps. Ravaged and destroyed by the Annihilation Wave, a single family tries to survive and stay ahead of the bug horde. An emotionally intense story, as the family (led by the oldest kid Anwen) test to survive they are stalked by a mysterious figure: Thanos once again striving to collect the scattered Infinity Gems. Weaver gets creative with his story; instead of simply retelling Jim Starlin's original Infinity Gauntlet classic we obtain to see a various setting and set up. Thanos is essentially stuck in a time loop using his only gem (the Time Stone); he knows Anwen's unlucky family will manage to explore the other gems, but in so doing will use them to thwart his plans. To avoid this fate Thanos decides to test a fresh tactic: he infiltrates Anwen's family and pretends to be their protector, all in the name of using them to obtain to the Gems first. It is an intriguing set up and a terrific use of Thanos' hero (Weaver provides hysterical inner monologues from the Titan who feels constantly ill having to pretend to be kind-hearted). Again, there are beautiful much no references to the wider Secret Battles conflicts but Infinity Gauntlet is such an emotionally resonant story it soars the top of my list of the best tie-ins. Weaver and Duggan are a excellent creative squad and prove just how creative the Secret Battles can let writers to be.
The is my first foray into the Marvel's second Secret Battle and its aftermath. The building blocks for a amazing book are all show here but it unfortunately goes downhill in its second half. The most appealing parts of the book are the powerful family bond that's striving after tragedy. The Baikan's journey through this fresh globe is a much better story without Novas, Thanos, Infinity Gems, etc. When those elements are introduced, the story gets bogged down and feels like its part of the Marvel happening machine. Then you through in time travel and some Guardians and that's all she wrote. The vast majority of the time, adding super famous characters to a story subtract from it, not dd to it. Weaver's art was very well done especially his depiction of the family. Overall, its a tale of two halves and only ends up being average.
awesome. a must-read for fans of the cosmic side of Marvel. Delivered on time and only a slight bend to the back cover. Can't ask for much more than that. 5 stars for the book itself, Mr. Starlin - king of kings as far as comic book writers go, 4 stars, I guess, for the vendor due to the slight bend I mentioned. I would use them again though.
i'm probably being a bit generous giving this 4 stars. it probably should be 3 or 3 and a half at most. but i discovered comics around this e story itself is somewhat interesting. the dialogue however created me cringe a lot because of the sheer cheesiness. the artwork is nice, nothing too flash but it is solid and does the job.i would rcommend getting this just don't expect a timeless classic
Yeah so maybe I am spoiled by the art and writing in more "modern" comics, but this whole Infinity Crusage/Saga/War/Event/Meeting/Conference was just kinda boring to me. Very small action, very small payoff. It wasn't BAD, just kind of boring. At least to me. Your mileage might vary.
This trade completes the collection of the Infinity Crusade crossover happening from the early 90s. There is some promise contained in these stories. There are two perfect examples of page layout and visual storytelling, one introducing Thanos' deadly battelship, and another featuring different superheroes on both sides of the conflict squaring off. However, Infinity Crusade fails to deliver on this early promise. Although the art by Ron Lim is still excellent, the story just isn't all that interesting. Perhaps it's also the issue that the story of a female entity creating a violence-free globe at the cost of everyone's souls was done much better in Season 4 of Angel. Perhaps it's that a lot of Marvel's most famous and interesting characters (and some not so famous or interesting) are relegated to background cameos and have small to no result on the plot. There are some fun moments here (such as the Hulk's timely arrival on the paradise planet via a descent from zone that is an entire problem in length), but Infinity Crusade fails to deliver.