Star Destroyers: Big Ships. Blowing Things Up.
Daniel and Ruocchio, both Baen editors, gather stories of giant spaceships at war, at peace, and in the often-gray areas between. David Drake’s “Superweapon” and Mark L. Van Name’s “Another Solution” explore the dangers of taking artificially intelligent warships into battle. Michael Z. Williamson’s “Hate in the Darkness” is a tense duel in which agonizingly slow attacks across vast distances can still seem all too swift. There are plenty of good military stories to make martial science fiction fans happy, but more ingenious are the tales of (sometimes tenuous) peacetime and other dangerous jobs that keep civilization running. In the excellent “Try Not to Kill Us All” by Joelle Presby, the most dangerous work in space isn’t going into battle, but cleaning up extraterrestrial trash. The anthology is a worthy addition to a long tradition of ship-based fiction, and its authors portray captains, arcane astrogators, and civilian child passengers with equal depth. It’s recommended for fans of military SF and space adventure. (Mar.)