Tuesday, August 25, 2015

SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest - edited by Geoff Brown and Amanda J. Spedding - More military horror

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

It all started in August of 2014 with the release of the first SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror.  Since that time, this franchise has grown to become a bit of a phenomenon with more books on the way.

In SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest the editors have collected ten wonderfully inventive short stories that run the gamut from straight military horror to tales with intelligent dinosaurs fighting side by side with humans.

"Badlands" by S. D. Perry who is an American novelist primarily writing tie-in novels based on works in the fantasy, science-fiction, and horror genres.  Perry lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and two dogs.  "Badlands" gets the anthology off to a stellar start with richly developed characters.  Set in the Korean conflict, it's a story dealing with a local legend of the dead returning home. Called ganshi, these are not your typical walking dead.

"Of Storms and Flame" - by Tim Marquitz and J. M. Martin.the founders of Ragnarok Publications who have also established themselves as writers worth keeping an eye on.  "Of Storms and Flame" has no guns or hi-tech weaponry.  Maybe that's because it takes place a thousand years ago, but there is a lot of action in this tale of battles between legendary warriors and beasts summoned from the bowels of Hel.

"In Vaulted Halls Entombed" by Alan Baxter, an author of dark fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Alan is also a martial artist and Personal Trainer and runs the Illawarra Kung Fu Academy on the southern coast of NSW, Australia.  "In Vaulted Halls Entombed" features a group of soldiers chasing terrorists into a cave in Afghanistan only to see them trapped by something their training never prepared them for.

"They Own the Night" by B. Michael Radburn.  Michael lives with his family in Australia’s Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Credited with over a hundred published short stories, his debut novel, The Crossing, was published in 2011.  "They Own the Night" is set during the war in Vietnam where life was easy once you learned one simple rule, "We own the day, but Charlie owns the night," This story features an 800-year-old temple and one hell of a secret.

"Fallen Lion" by Jack Hanson who is a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, having served as a US Army paratrooper. His current occupation is as a law enforcement agent, and he's an avid boxer, firearms enthusiast, and apiarist.   He's also the author of 33 books and counting, his latest is Cry Havoc which, much like "Fallen Lion," features intelligent dinosaurs fighting right along side humans.

"Sucker of Souls" by Kirsten Cross, a copywriter by day, horror writer at night and surfer on the weekends.  She is also one of only a couple of authors with a story in all of the SNAFU anthologies so far. In "Sucker of Souls," he's back.  I'm talking about Vlad, The Dracul, the Black Prince, the Impaler.  Love this story.

"The Bohemian Grove" by Weston Ochse, American author and educator who won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.  His novel SEAL Team 666 is currently under development by MGM Films. Dwayne Johnson has attached himself to the film to executive produce as well as act in a leading role.  Weston is the other author with stories in all of the SNAFU anthologies to date.  "The Bohemian Grove" features demon possession and a great story featuring special unit 77,

"After the Red Rain Fell" by Matt Hilton, author of the Joe Hunter book series.  Book ten in that series, The Devil's Anvil, was just released this past June.  "After the Red Rain Fell" is an apocalyptic short with a very convincing back story.  One of my favorites.

"The Slog" by Neal F. Litherland.  Neal is an author from Northwestern Indiana. He holds a bachelors degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, sword fights in his spare time, and acts as a guide to the realms fantastical.  "The Slog" is set in Vietnam.  Luke is the sole survivor of an ambush and has to make his way though the jungle where he has some downright scary encounters, including one with a python "big enough to swallow a six-year-old and her little dog, too."

"Show of Force" A Jack Sigler/Chess Team Novella by Jeremy Robinson & Kane Gilmore. Jeremy   resides in New Hampshire with his wife and three children, where he works as a full-time writer. Kane Gilmore has worked with Jeremy Robinson on several books in the Jack Sigler / Chess Team thriller series.  "Show of Force" is a wild ride with the Chess Team trying to survive both the weather AND giant worms.  That's right, worms.  Somewhat reminiscent of Dune.

I found this new volume in the SNAFU family to be worthy of the name.  The stories are varied and they all manage to deliver the goods.  In addition to all of the great stories, the cover art from Dean Samed is absolutely beautiful, as are the interior illustrations from Monty Borror, one for each story.

I eagerly look forward to the next entry in the series from Cohesion Press.  SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest is currently available as an ebook with a limited edition hardcover coming in October of 2015.

If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read this one at no additional charge and if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read this for FREE as your monthly selection in the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

Books like this make reading a pleasure.  Of course it's recommended.

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