This is a classic book, so I expected a lot from it. I was a little disappointed to be honest. The book is slow, although interesting. There chapters are all very short as well (around four or five pages), which is a little odd. There is a lot of potential with this concept, and I feel this book could have gone a lot further.
[awards: winner hugo 1974; winner nebula 1973]
I read this anthology as a child, but when I found a copy on ebay that was cheap I couldn’t resist. This is a collection of short stories focusing on what war might be like in the future. It’s a good read, although a couple of the stories are out of place compared with the others.
- Superiority (Arthur C Clarke)
- Single Combat (Joe Green)
- Committee of the Whole (Frank Herbert)
- Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card): a classic, and in some ways I prefer the short story. I’ve read the extended series of novels a few years ago, but they’re probably worth revisiting at some point.
- Hero (Joe E. Haldeman), later became The Forever War.
- The Survivor (Walter F. Moudy): I have strong memories of this story from reading this anthology as a child. This is still a good story.
- The Last Objective (Paul Carter)
- What Do You Want Me to Do to Prove Im Human Stop (Fred Saberhagen): a Berserker story, also known as “Inhuman Error”.
- Hangman (David Drake): this one is included in Volume 1 of the Complete Hammers Slammers.
- The Night of the Trolls (Keith Laumer): this was a really good story about Bolos — good enough to send me out to buy some more Bolo books, which I will now have to add to my reading queue. This story was later expanded into The Stars Must Wait, which I didn’t think was nearly as good as the short story.
- The Nuptial Flight of the Warbirds (Algis Budrys): this story was out of place with the rest of the collection, poorly written, and not very entertaining. I particularly didn’t like how it changed plot flow literally mid sentence without warning. I had to read that page three times to work out what was happening.
- Mirror, Mirror (Alan E. Nourse)
- The Miracle Workers (Jack Vance)
- Memorial (Theodore Sturgeon)
- Shark (Edward Bryant)
- …Not a Prison Make (Joseph P. Martino): the ending came to suddenly in this story, but gosh its a good ending.
- Hawk Among the Sparrows (Dean McLaughlin): this story reminds me strongly of the Axis of time stories from John Birmingham. This short story of course came first, and is a lot simpler in its examination of issues surrounding modern military hardware “falling through time” into previous wars.
- No War, or Battle’s Sound (Harry Harrison)
- The Defenders (Philip K. Dick)
- In the Name of the Father (Edward P. Hughes)
- On the Shadow of a Phosphor Screen (William F. Wu): this one didn’t really do anything for me — the premise that major corporations would be willing to solve disputes based on the outcome of war games seems very weak to me.
- The Specter General (Theodore R. Cogswell): this story is awesome. Loved it.
- Fixed Price War (Charles Sheffield)
- The Long Watch (Robert A. Heinlein)
- The Machine that Won the War (Isaac Asimov): included in Robot Dreams, as discussed in my list of Asimov Robot Stories.
[award: nebula_novella nominee 1968 (Hawk Among the Sparrows); nebula_short_story nominee1973 (Shark); locus_short_story nominee 1978 (Ender’s Game)]