Tour of Duty: Stories and Provocations

Michael Z. Williamson. Baen, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3905-6
Williamson’s collection is divided in two. The opening half is stories, including his first published short, the strong “The Humans Call It Duty”; his golden-age SF tribute “Port Call”; tales set in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar; and “Desert Blues,” a subtly haunting story of a mysterious guitar player set in the midst of a Middle Eastern war. The second half collects everything else, including essays packed with right-wing (and anti-left-wing) rhetoric, advice for when Vikings are raiding you, hyper-paeans to the world’s 20 “manliest firearms,” and a Viking advice column by “Crazy Einar.” Williamson cheerfully and sometimes grimly bounces among military expertise, humor, controlled anger, and the gruesome and sublime extremes of a soldier’s world. While no single work is a standout, the scrapbooklike variety may push interest beyond only those readers interested in Williamson’s forte of military speculative fiction. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/17/2013
Release date: 08/06/2013
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 470 pages - 978-1-4767-3676-1
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