- File Size: 4427 KB
- Print Length: 497 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Seventh Seal Press (June 29, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 29, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073HXKZXN
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,941 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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A Fistful of Credits: Stories from the Four Horsemen Universe (The Revelations Cycle Book 5) Kindle Edition
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I'll start by saying that Chris and Mark have done an excellent job of fleshing out a shared universe where, at first, they may have thought they were going to be the only two players. If they thought that, I'm glad they were wrong.
In the universe of the Four Horsemen, humanity has stepped out in the wide universe and found it to be harsh, brutal and frankly caring about new species only to the extent of whether or not they represent something of value to be exploited. After a devastating attack on Earth itself, humans has somewhat recovered and found that their only exportable commodity is the service of Earth born mercenaries. Even in this universe, if there is one thing Man is good at, it is focused violence.
In "A Fistful of Credits", Chris and Mark have invited 14 authors to give their take on this universe. Some of these authors I was already following, and several that I didn't know represented extremely pleasant surprises. I have new authors to follow.
All of these stories are good, but I will hold out two for special attention. First, Brad Torgerson's "CASPer's ghost", exploring the idea of what makes up a man and his humanity, and how technology can be a blessing and a curse. I've read Brad before, and I was not surprised that even in a short story, he can pack a punch. Second, Kacey Ezell's "Gilded Cage." Prior to this, I had read nothing from Kacey, so I went in with no pre-expectations. That story stuck with me. We are used to being the top of the food chain, the evolutionary winners on this planet. What happens when we are out and about with alien species that frankly, are far past us, both technologically and evolutionally? How will they see us? As equals? As possibly dangerous pets? Kacey takes this topic and runs. And she runs well.
I can't recommend this book enough, and I hope Mark and Chris will not only provide us more anthologies (and novels), but also invite full length novels from some of their guests.
From the Author
We needed help.
So we asked some authors we knew, and some we just sort of knew of, if they'd like to help us expand our universe by writing a short story set in the universe. We were overwhelmed at the response--it will take us several books to accommodate all of the authors who immediately said "Yes!" when we asked them to participate. Like us, they found the universe a lot of fun and couldn't wait to jump in.
We gave them a short primer on the universe and sent them on their way with only two points of guidance: it had to be set in the Four Horsemen Universe, and it had to be good. As such, these 14 tales describe the highs and lows of life on the battlefield, as well as in the streets and alleys of the Four Horsemen Universe. While some deal with mercenaries, others introduce readers to members of the other guilds and organizations, and even a vagrant living on the street.
Edited by universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, "A Fistful of Credits" includes all-new stories by a variety of bestselling authors--and some you may not have heard of...yet. Authors Brad R. Torgersen, Christopher Nuttall, Terry Mixon, Doug Dandridge, Paul Corcoran, Jason Cordova, Jon Osborne, Kevin Ikenberry, John Del Arroz, Kacey Ezell, Christopher Woods, Charity Ayres, Mark Wandrey, and Chris Kennedy take on various aspects of the universe, giving you additional insight into a galaxy that isn't at war, but definitely isn't at peace. One thing is for sure, though--anything's possible if you have a fistful of credits.
Virginia Beach, VA
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Seriously, buy this book. Read it. Pester Chris and Mark for more. You won't be sorry.
One preliminary comment is that it is not necessary to have read the other volumes of the Four Horsemen Universe before reading this collection. I had not and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every story. This is partly because the stories take place before the time when the Four Horsemen – the four main human mercenary companies – have become predominant and partly because, with one or two exceptions, there is no reference to these in the stories. Another advantage of these stories is that their thirty-page size makes them rather ideal to read when commuting to work by train (or by car if you do audio) or waiting in an airport lounge.
All fourteen stories are good. There is not a single weak one and this is sufficiently rare to be worth emphasising. Naturally, I, just like any reader, tend to have preferences. My top favourite is Gilded Cage by Kasey Ezell. In addition to being “rather new to the writing game”, my first reason for falling for her story is because it is the most original of all. The second reason is that – to paraphrase of the co-editors - it introduces a new alien race – one that is very familiar to us - into the Four Horsemen Universe, and one that specialises in hiring itself out as swift, skilful, utterly ruthless and deadly assassins. The third reason is that this story associates two female characters, the female alien assassin and a female human that is rescued buy the other for a very specific reason.
Others, while excellent, are perhaps less original, such as two stories which include the Peacekeepers, a sort of inter-galactic FBI that is feared throughout the galaxy, including by the mercenaries, whether human or not, and which implements rough justice. Another set of interesting features are the alien races themselves. You have a bit of everything with one of the most savage mercenary warriors being a sort of gigantic tarantula.
Those that know the Four Horsemen Universe clearly need no encouragements. As for the others, who, like me, had never heard of it before, I can only say: go for it! This is worth a well-deserved five stars and it is one the best collection of military science fiction that I have read in a while.
Most of the stories ended in a cliffhanger-like scenario, with humans being constantly screwed by aliens and at the last minute....somehow managing to salvage the situation or at the very least get even.
I recommend getting this ebook for those sci-fi fans, the book itself...doesn't need a full background, new readers can easily start to read and enjoy this compilation of short stories. It however does not impart a bonding to its readers(long-term reading material).
The only drawback to the book was the font of the type was so small that I had to use what I call my Yi Gi Oh reading glasses. Looks like I will be purchasing ebooks from this publisher offerings in the future. I have a paperback copy of the The Good, The Bad, and the Merc and will need my Yi Gi Oh glasses to read that book.
This book, however, is a set of short stories written by other authors, using the premise of the series. A few of the short stories were well-written and kept my interest, while others did not. None of the short stories advance the story line of the series, and none of them flesh out the subjects of the previous books.
I thought it was a waste of money.
But buy the rest of the books in the series - you'll love them.
Top international reviews
This year in the literary world, I’m seen this develop in front of my face with the Four Horsemen universe, which kicked off earlier this year with novels from each of the co-creators, Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey. They’re great novels, but they tell just two stories. This anthology, set in the same universe, gives 14 new ones, from a range of authors writing in different modes, exploring 14 new aspects of this setting at novelette length, which I feel is the perfect size to give enough meat to a short story.
The effect is greater than the sum of parts because there are so many new stories from authors clearly eager to explore the possibilities of this new setting that the anthology adds enormously to the richness and vividness of the Four Horsemen universe. It feels like a real place now, but one which has only been partially explored.
I didn’t see a duff story in the book. The Four Horsemen co-creators penned great stories, as I would expect. Other highlights included PP Corcoran for the sense of adventure, Kevin Ikenberry for the high-octane action scenes, but the standout for me was Kacey Ezell for her depiction of the strung-out junkie who carries within her revelation upon revelation about both herself and the nature of her addiction in a galaxy that has just got a lot bigger and far more dangerous for humanity.
I liked all the stories, even though several of them were simply too short, so I hope to read more of them in the sequels coming later this year. (Or possibly in separate novels)
mark and Chris have truely created a fantastic new universe filled with diverse aliens, authentic military mercenaries, and robot mecha. I really am excited to see where the future books are going to take us.
Es sind alle Geschichten lesenswert und geben Einblicke in diese Welten mit vielen verschiedenen Rassen