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A Fistful of Credits: Stories from the Four Horsemen Universe (The Revelations Cycle Book 5) by [Kennedy, Chris, Wandrey, Mark, Mixon, Terry, Dandridge, Doug, Cordova, Jason, Ikenberry, Kevin, Ezell, Kacey, Del Arroz, Jon, Torgersen, Brad R., Nuttall, Christopher G., Ayres, Charity]
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A Fistful of Credits: Stories from the Four Horsemen Universe (The Revelations Cycle Book 5) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
Book 5 of 7 in The Revelations Cycle (7 Book Series)

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Length: 497 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an anthology of fourteen short stories written by the same number of authors. The stories all take place in the Four Horsemen Universe where Earth has discovered that it is far from alone and is confronted with hundreds if not thousands of alien civilisations, many more advanced and more powerful than its divided little itself. It is, however, one valuable commodity to offer the rest of the galaxy and this is human appetite for and skill at war. However, there is completion from some three dozen other species who also other their services as mercenaries and with a range of specialities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -- JPS, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
After reading Mark Wandrey's Cartwright's Cavaliers and Chris Kennedy's Asbaran Solutions (The first two books of the 4 horseman series, both excellent, both highly recommended) I jumped at the chance to visit that universe through the eyes of other authors. I was not disappointed.

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.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                       -- Dan B., Internet Reviewer

From the Author

This book was born in the same place as the rest of the Four Horsemen Universe--in a bar. Mark and I were talking about the universe, and where we wanted to go with it, and we realized the galaxy was a lot bigger than we were going to be able to flesh out on our own any time soon.

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.                                                                                                
 
Chris Kennedy
Virginia Beach, VA

Product details

  • File Size: 4426 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Seventh Seal Press (June 29, 2017)
  • Publication Date: June 29, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B073HXKZXN
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,776 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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