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No Man's Land (A Defending the Future Anthology) Paperback – May 31, 2011
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"There's not a single piece here that isn't well worth reading." David Weber, bestselling author of the Honorverse series
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- "Introduction: On Looking and Leaping" by David Weber comments on the feminine aspects of war, writers and this volume. At least he wasn't turned over to the Ymir females.
- "Cracking the Sky" by Brenda Cooper relates the trials of a depleted team of soldiers.
- "Gambit" by Nancy Jane Moore follows a peacekeeper in a religious war on Titan.
- "Godzilla Warfare" by Maria V. Snyder takes an explosives disposal tech to a Jovian satellite.
- "Ghosts on the Battlefield" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail calls attention to the perils of inattention.
- "Come Like a Tailor" by Kimmerly Long-Ewing considers the long-range consequences of genetic modification.
- "Immunity Project" by Ann Wilkes speaks of the inhumanity of governments.
- "In the Middle of Nowhere" by Laurie Gailunas compels a doctor to think about reasons for violence.
- "Falling to Eternity" by A. A. Bolich discloses a cause of violence.
- "Under Pressure" by Lee C. Hillman tracks a security chief escorting her primary on a dangerous journey.
- "Live Fire" by Deborah Teramis Christian depicts a warship under attack.
- "Valkyries" by Lisanne Norman forces a body retrieval team to escort an outsider.
- "Endings" by Judi Fleming leaves two exhausted enemies facing each other.
- "M.O.V.E." by Jennifer Brozek exposes two trainees to active combat.
- "Thrashing" by Phoebe Wray describes a valiant defense of waste materiel.
- "Author Bios" list the authors' works and honors.
These tales are allegedly all by women. Only one of these authors -- Ackley-McPhail -- has appeared in previous volumes. Maybe that is why this all female -- except Weber -- volume was produced.
Can you tell from the stories themselves? Some would say that the female heroes suggest a feminine approach, but male authors -- including Weber -- have written about such females. Others would say that the depth of the personal relationships indicate a feminine touch, but male authors -- including Weber -- have written about such relationships.
The proof is in the reading. Compare these tales with short military SF stories by male authors in the previous volumes. Can you find any differences? Which do you prefer?
The only issue I have with this volume is the dedication. The US Air Force was not separated from the Army until 1947. The women who flew military planes to forward air bases during World War II were working for the Army Air Corps.
Highly recommended for McPhail fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of military conflicts, female leaders, and personal relationships. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin