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Best Laid Plans (Defending The Future) Paperback – January 31, 2013
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- "Foreword" by Myke Cole is an introduction to the stories within this volume. Plan, plan, plan, but don't expect the enemy to follow yours.
- "Trade War" by James Chambers delivers an army into intense enemy fire.
- "The Ballad of Becca Sanjuro" by Nancy Jane Moore puts a veteran NCO into a shaky situation.
- "Brand Spanking New" by Marta V. Snyder fires a courier across space with an old hand.
- "Fleche" by Jack Campbell puts Tanya into a combat situation before Black Jack returns.
- "Hard Choices" by Bud Sparkhawk leads an admiral into a difficult decision.
- "The Tigershark" by Peter Prellwitz puts a gunship into a confusing battle.
- "Command Decision" by John L. French follows a former detective in a tricky murder case.
- "Riding the Rock" by Jeff Young takes a mercenary to the outer rim of the asteroid belt.
- "The Stone of the First High Pontiff" by Keith R. A. DeCandido brings a human finder to the current Pontiff of an alien religion.
- "Chitter Chitter Bang Bang" by David Sherman involves a native of Ishtar and a team of Confederation biologists with armed thieves.
- "Panic Attack" by Jeffrey Lyman deploys a few humans against aliens who can emit panic pheromones.
- "Iron Horses" by Judi Flemimg carries mounted troopers into an ambush.
- "Fun and Games" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail catches a prankster within a training base.
- "I Am a Man" by Eric Hardenbrook exposes a war veteran to an unusual stimulation.
- "Are We Now Smitten?" by C. J. Henderson finds the crew of the Roosevelt in a situation with too much ice and angry robots.
- "Author Bios" provides biographies of the authors and the editor.
These tales cover a wide range of situations involving conflict and combat. It portrays men and women fighting in warfare, insurgencies, and police actions. Several of these stories are related to prior tales is this series.
Most are serious, but military/naval humor is not neglected. The last story continues the wacky tales of the Roosevelt crew. "Chitter Chitter Bang Bang" also has an element of humor.
Four authors -- DeCandido, Prellwitz, French, Hardenbrook -- are new to these anthologies. Three authors in the all female anthology -- Moore, Snyder, Flemimg -- have returned with new stories. Adding thirteen writers to your author pool does make it somewhat easier to produce new anthologies.
The next installment in this sequence is Dogs of War.
Highly recommended for McPhail fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of armed combat, military/naval snafus, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin