Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 3
Some of the contents of this collection are engaging and even unique takes. “Starhome” by Michel Z. Williamson is a study in business, marginalization, and familial loyalty. Contrasted with that, and very disappointing, are others, like the out-of-context snippet of his Cinnabar universe offered by David Drake, apparently an unedited early effort. “The Good Food” by Michael Ezell isn’t badly executed but reads like an outtake from a fifties pulp. Some pieces are obviously first runs at novel-length work and might be well worth revisiting in their proper matrix. I include in that category “Not in Vain” by Kacey Ezell. My general take on this cover was that I was stuck in a fanzine of thirty years back. There were glimmers here and there, with memorable bits occasionally hopping out…but none worth extolling when there are so many shining pieces available.
Baen should do better. They have so many times in the past, and in some of their ongoing series, that I’m a bit befuddled by the lack of rigor in this selection.
David Afsharirad, Editor