A slightly different anthology

George R R Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. Warriors (2010).

Theme anthologies seem themselves to be a ‘theme’ in SF&F publishing. Warriors is another one, although this one sought submissions from many different genres, including mystery, historical, & thriller, & accepted a wide variety of ‘warriors’ & warrior tales, some of which deliberately go against the traditional concept in interesting ways. All told, it’s a solid collection; almost all the stories are good, & a few are really superior. Some are set in wars of the past or the future, some are set in fantasy worlds, some make new a few old generic tropes. It’s good to see a few writers try something different from what they are best known for, such as Naomi Novik, who eschews her alternate-history Napoleonic wars for a fascinating study of future warfare. Tad Wiliams also tries SF, with a nuanced look at a religious assassin caught outside his technologically enhanced ideology. David Morell brings legionnaires against each other in a study of forms of loyalty. David Weber looks at an interstellar invasion force that finds more than humans will finally fight back (a novel has grown out of this novelette, or the novelette was carved out of the novel); at this length it’s good military SF with a fantasy twist. Martin revisits his Hedge Knight in the Seven Kingdoms of the Song of Ice and Fire series (the next volume of which his fans have been waiting far too long for) & it’s a rousing tale. Dozois adds a utopian flourish to a famous World War One rumor. I also really liked the stories by Peter S Beagle, Cecelia Holland, Diana Gabaldon, Carrie Vaughn, S M Stirling, & Howard Waldrop. But there are no real duds here: it’s definitely one of the better such anthologies of recent years.

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