This Way To The End Times: Classic Tales of the Apocalypse

Editor: Robert Siverberg

Pages: 368

Release Date: October 31, 2016 – Three Rooms Press

ISBN: 978-1941110478

end-times-2This Way To The End Times: Classic Tales of the Apocalypse, contains twenty-one stories about, as the title implies, the apocalypse. The book is true to the word classic in its title, unlike most such collections, this one literally goes back to the beginning of science fiction with a story by Jules Verne. It follows with a number of not particularly well known stories by some classic SF authors (Ursula Le Guin, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, and Brian Aldiss); only five of the stories included were written in the last thirty years. A mixture of some less well-known, relative newcomers wrote the remaining five. The stories, as in most such collections are a mixed bag, really good ones mixed with some that were just okay, but all were entertaining and there wasn’t one that I would consider bad. Each story also gets an introduction by Robert Silverberg as an added bonus. If you’re a fan of the apocalypse (and who wouldn’t be) you should read this collection. I’ve read a good number of such collections over the years and I have only read one of the stories in this volume before, so while most of them are not new, they’ll probably be new to you.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, which in no way impacted on the contents of this review.

Virtues of War

Author: Bennett R. Coles

Pages: 416

Release Date: June 2015 – Titan Books

ISBN: 978-1783294206

Virtues of WarIn the far future of Bennett R. Coles’s Virtues of War, Earth’s colonies are in rebellion. The politics of the rebellion are a little fuzzy, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter are space battles and futuristic ground combat. Not that the story and characters take a back seat to the action, but there is plenty of action. The story follows several up and coming officers of the Astral Force as they combat insurgents, rebellious colonies, and sometimes one another. This is Military SF done right. Coles’s experience in the Canadian Navy is obvious throughout and while tomorrow’s space combat bears a resemblance to the naval combat of today, it is more than naval warfare translated into space.

The 400+ pages of Virtues of War went by in a flash and if real life had not interfered, I would have finished it in one sitting. Virtues of War is the first volume of the Astral Saga, with the second volume, Ghosts of War due out in March 2016. If Coles can maintain the quality of storytelling and writing he displayed in the first volume, I imagine we will be hearing much more from him in the future. I hope there is more solid Military SF from Coles yet to come.

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher.