cover image The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF 2015

The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF 2015

Edited by David Afsharirad. Baen, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8177-8

Baen’s fan-guided anthology series roars into its second year with a collection of stories just as eclectic as the first. Afsharirad’s scope now includes the “adventure SF” subgenre, the better to include tales such as Joe Lansdale’s “The Wizard of the Trees,” a retro homage to 20th-century two-fisted space action and its assorted tropes. Lansdale’s inclusion of a mixed-race protagonist isn’t unique: nearly every story organically includes racial diversity as part of its worldbuilding, and nuanced female protagonists abound. In “The Siege of Denver,” Brendan DuBois punches readers in the gut with an introduction to the war-torn world of his novel Dark Victory (2015). Claudine Griggs abandons her tough-as-nails heroine in the silence of space in her quietly terrifying “Helping Hand.” Sarah Pinsker’s beautiful tribute to veterans, “Remembery Day,” is immediately preceded by Seth Dickinson’s “Morrigan in Shadow,” a furiously paced experimental tale of space warfare, queer love, and the monsters living inside humanity. Afsharirad has put together a refreshing military and SF anthology that will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. (June)