Citizens – Military Science Fiction by Military Veterans

Title: Citizens – Military Science Fiction by Military Veterans
Editors: John Ringo & Brian M. Thomsen
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Baen, May 2010

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Citizens is a new kind of science fiction anthology. The names appearing between its covers are not only veteran authors, among the very best in the field, they are military veterans as well. New York Times best-selling author John Ringo (a veteran of the 82nd Airborne) and Brian M. Thomsen, a Hugo finalist and one of the most respected editors in the field, have selected a treasure trove of gems written by writers who know first hand what it means to wear their country’s uniform.

Among the top writers appearing in Citizens are Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Elizabeth Moon, Gordon R. Dickson, David Drake, Joe Haldeman, Harry Harrison, Keith Laumer, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, Gene Wolfe and more, nearly all authors of best sellers, and recipients of Hugo and Nebula awards. Citizens will have strong appeal to readers of military science fiction, as well as more general readers.

  1. Field Test by Keith Laumer: The human generals are unwilling to field test the new Bolo Mark XX model B because it can control itself and then the enemy attack with overwhelming strength. It is a beautiful piece that proves that calculations aren’t the only thing that governs a battlefield.
  2. Allamagoosa by Erik Frank Russell: An entertaning saga about what overzealus inspections might do to a poor starship captain.
  3. Exploration Team by Murray Leinster: It is a tale about two men, a hawk and three bears who saves a colony and their self respect.
  4. Superiority by Arthur C. Clarke: This is an old story I read before but quite enjoyed. It is about a war lost against a technologically inferior enemy and a simple request from the last commander.
  5. The Horars of War by Gene Wolfe: Artificial soldiers fight in a Vietnam like jungle war
  6. Fireproof by Hal Clement is a story about grounder preconceptions in zero-G sabotage
  7. Peace with Honor by Jerry Pournell. Political intrigue in a Cold War like future.
  8. Under the Hammer by David Drake: About a new recruit on his way out learns the hard way about the decisions you have to take in battle when his transport is attacked.
  9. Time Piece by Joe W. Haldeman is about a soldier from the Forever War sitting in a bar contemplating life.
  10. Neither Sleet, Nor Snow, Nor Alien Invasion by Dave Freer is a funny story about a mailman who saves us from an alien invasion and makes the whole human race go postal. Dave is a guy i have to look into.
  11. Light by Kacey Grannis is where two Iraqi advisors  meet Babylonian myth.
  12. The Question by Patrick A. Vanner is about first contact negotiations with a new alien race viewed from the point of view of the leader of the bodyguards that accompany the diplomats.
  13. The Price by Michael Z. Williamson is about the crew of a small Freehold recon craft who get their final order.
  14. Earth’s First Improved Chimp Gets a Job as a Janitor by John Ringo. The title say it all.
  15. The Long Watch by Robert A. Heinlein is his classic tale of duty.

My View

I should start by saying I am not really into short stories but this was up my alley. It was a good read and if you like military short stories you will like this one.