cover image Time Troopers

Time Troopers

Edited by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio. Baen, $16 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-982126-03-2

How might traveling to the past change consequential military encounters? This impressive anthology, the fourth from the coeditors (after Cosmic Corsairs), provides a wide range of answers via 15 stories from genre legends like Robert A. Heinlein and Fritz Leiber, and lesser-known talents, including Jacob Holo and T.R. Fehrenbach. Fehrenbach tweaks a well-known rallying cry in his standout entry, “Remember the Alamo,” as a visitor from the future travels to 1836 San Antonio to witness the siege firsthand, but is surprised by what actually happens. Robert Silverberg’s “House of Bones” cleverly imagines a 20th-century man’s adjustments to finding himself 20,000 years in the past, part of an eclectic Cro-Magnon community, whose members include an architect and a poet. Leiber’s “The Oldest Soldier,” part of his Change War saga, is another high point, as a pacifist’s encounter with a time traveller exposes him to cosmic horror and showcases the author’s gift at creating nail-biting suspense. The editors’ mastery of the military SF and time travel subgenres is evident in their thoughtful selections. Fans of literate speculative fiction will hope for more from these experts. (Apr.)