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.
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