From Publishers Weekly
As the title suggests, most of the 14 stories (many of which first appeared in "shared universe" theme anthologies) in this collection from military SF master Drake are unrelenting in their depiction of the brutalities of war and its effect on warriors. Two tales stand out: "With the Sword He Must Be Slain," in which a former CIA paramilitary operative now fights for Hell in the Final War and wonders why the opposing forces are just as messed up as his own troops; and "The Tradesmen" (set in S.M. Stirling's "Draka" universe), in which the very ruthlessness of a Draka partisan-hunter leaves her family vulnerable to a terrible irony. In the three long unavailable Jed Lacey stories, set in a near-future where privacy is a crime, Drake examines the price we'd pay both as a society and as individuals if omnipresent cameras recorded our every moment. These stories serve as cautionary tales to those who would trade freedom for security but forget Benjamin Franklin's appraisal of the bargain (i.e., those who do so "end up with neither").
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fourteen short stories and an introduction make up the latest, highly recommended collection from a leading light of military sf. The first six stories, as much space opera as military sf, constitute Drake's contribution to the shared (by several writers) world series The Fleet, and the final three, featuring future policeman Lacey, recall the contents of Lacey and His Friends
(1986). Lacey, like many other early Drake protagonists, has very few friends; in his society, however, most people aren't to be trusted with friendship. Ditto for conditions in the shared-world story "The Tradesmen," from Drakas!
(2000), a shared-world opus amassed by S. M. Stirling and set in his Draka universe. Distinctly Drakean single shots include "With the Sword He Must Be Slain," and the introduction puts everything in perspective with a minimum of apologetics, compressing Drake's psychological history since the Vietnam War into a short essay valuable to new and old fans alike. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved