cover image Armored


Edited by John Joseph Adams. Baen, $7.99 mass market (496p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3817-2

Drawing inspiration from classics like Starship Troopers and The Forever War, and modern favorites like Iron Man and Halo, prolific editor Adams (Under the Moons of Mars) has compiled nearly two dozen original science fiction tales involving powered armor. These contributions range the gamut from military action to steampunk, alternate history to social commentary, with the suits used for combat, exploration, or survival. Sometimes the armor is the problem, not the solution, and occasionally it's even the protagonist. Standouts include Genevieve Valentine's morally-conflicted "The Last Run of the Coppelia," Christie Yant's "Transfer of Ownership," and Sean William's "The N-Body Solution," but there's hardly a stinker in the lot. The military offerings, like Jack Campbell's "Hel's Half-Acre" and Tanya Huff's "You Do What You Do" are solidly entertaining, while Alastair Reynolds' "Trauma Pod" is truly haunting. The end result is a collection exemplifying the theme, and definitely worth checking out. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Apr.)