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The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century
 
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The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century [Format Kindle]

Harry Turtledove , Martin H. Greenberg
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Poul Anderson

A winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Poul Anderson has written dozens of novels and hundreds of short stories since his science fiction debut in 1947. His long-running Technic History saga, a multibook chronicle of interstellar exploration and empire building, covers fifty centuries of future history and includes the acclaimed novels War of the Wing-Men, The Day of Their Return, and The Game of Empire. Anderson has tackled many of science fiction’s classic themes, including human evolution in Brain Wave (1954), near-light-speed space travel in Tau Zero (1970), and the time-travel paradox in his series of Time Patrol stories collected as Guardians of Time. He is renowned for his interweaving of science fiction and mythology, notably in his alien-contact novel The High Crusade. He also has produced distinguished fantasy fiction, including the heroic sagas Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Broken Sword, and an alternate history according to Shakespeare, Midsummer Tempest. He received the Tolkien Memorial Award in 1978. With his wife, Karen, he wrote The King of Ys Celtic fantasy quartet. With Gordon R. Dickson, he has authored the popular comic Hoka series. His short story “Call Me Joe” was chosen for inclusion in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1974, and his short fiction has been collected in several volumes, notably The Queen of Air and Darkness and Other Stories, All One Universe, and The Best of Poul Anderson.

AMONG THIEVES

Poul Anderson

his excellency m’katze unduma, Ambassador of the Terrestrial Federation to the Double Kingdom, was not accustomed to being kept waiting. But as the minutes dragged into an hour, anger faded before a chill deduction.

In this bleakly clock-bound society a short delay was bad manners, even if it were unintentional. But if you kept a man of rank cooling his heels for an entire sixty minutes, you offered him an unforgivable insult. Rusch was a barbarian but he was too canny to humiliate Earth’s representative without reason.

Which bore out everything that Terrestrial Intelligence had discovered. From a drunken junior officer, weeping in his cups because Old Earth, Civilization, was going to be attacked and the campus where he had once learned and loved would be scorched to ruin by his fire guns—to the battle plans and annotations thereon, which six men had died to smuggle out of the Royal War College—and now, this degradation of the ambassador himself—everything fitted.

The Margrave of Drakenstane had sold out Civilization.

Unduma shuddered, beneath the iridescent cloak, embroidered robe, and ostrich-plume headdress of his rank. He swept the antechamber with the eyes of a trapped animal.

This castle was ancient, dating back some eight hundred years to the first settlement of Norstad. The grim square massiveness of it, fused stone piled into a turreted mountain, was not much relieved by modern fittings. Tableservs, loungers, drapes, jewel mosaics, and biomurals only clashed with those fortress walls and ringing flagstones; fluorosheets did not light up all the dark corners, there was perpetual dusk up among the rafters where the old battle banners hung.

A dozen guards were posted around the room, in breastplate and plumed helmet but with very modern blast rifles. They were identical seven-foot blonds, and none of them moved at all, you couldn’t even see them breathe. It was an unnerving sight for a Civilized man.

Unduma snubbed out his cigar, swore miserably to himself, and wished he had at least brought along a book.

The inner door opened on noiseless hinges and a shavepate officer emerged. He clicked his heels and bowed at Unduma. “His Lordship will be honored to receive you now, excellency.”

The ambassador throttled his anger, nodded, and stood up. He was a tall thin man, the relatively light skin and sharp features of Bantu stock predominant in him. Earth’s emissaries were normally chosen to approximate a local ideal of beauty—hard to do for some of those weird little cultures scattered through the galaxy—and Norstad-Ostarik had been settled by a rather extreme Caucasoid type which had almost entirely emigrated from the home planet.

The aide showed him through the door and disappeared. Hans von Thoma Rusch, Margrave of Drakenstane, Lawman of the Western Folkmote, Hereditary Guardian of the White River Gates, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, sat waiting behind a desk at the end of an enormous black-and-red tile floor. He had a book in his hands, and didn’t close it till Unduma, sandals whispering on the great chessboard squares, had come near. Then he stood up and made a short ironic bow.

“How do you do, your excellency,” he said. “I am sorry to be so late. Please sit.” Such curtness was no apology at all, and both of them knew it.

Unduma lowered himself to a chair in front of the desk. He would not show temper, he thought, he was here for a greater purpose. His teeth clamped together.

“Thank you, your lordship,” he said tonelessly. “I hope you will have time to talk with me in some detail. I have come on a matter of grave importance.”

Rusch’s right eyebrow tilted up, so that the archaic monocle he affected beneath it seemed in danger of falling out. He was a big man, stiffly and solidly built, yellow hair cropped to a wiry brush around the long skull, a scar puckering his left cheek. He wore Army uniform, the gray high-collared tunic and old-fashioned breeches and shiny boots of his planet; the trident and suns of a primary general; a sidearm, its handle worn smooth from much use. If ever the iron barbarian with the iron brain had an epitome, thought Unduma, here he sat!

“Well, your excellency,” murmured Rusch—though the harsh Norron language did not lend itself to murmurs—“of course I’ll be glad to hear you out. But after all, I’ve no standing in the Ministry, except as unofficial advisor, and—”

“Please.” Unduma lifted a hand. “Must we keep up the fable? You not only speak for all the landed warloads—and the Nor-Samurai are still the most powerful single class in the Double Kingdom—but you have the General Staff in your pouch and, ah, you are well thought of by the royal family. I think I can talk directly to you.”

Rusch did not smile, but neither did he trouble to deny what everyone knew, that he was the leader of the fighting aristocracy, friend of the widowed Queen Regent, virtual step-father of her eight-year-old son King Hjalmar—in a word, that he was the dictator. If he preferred to keep a small title and not have his name unnecessarily before the public, what difference did that make?

“I’ll be glad to pass on whatever you wish to say to the proper authorities,” he answered slowly. “Pipe.” That was an order to his chair, which produced a lit briar for him.

Unduma felt appalled. This series of—informalities—was like one savage blow after another. Till now, in the three-hundred-year history of relations between Earth and the Double Kingdom, the Terrestrial ambassador had ranked everyone but God and the royal family.

No human planet, no matter how long sundered from the main stream, no matter what strange ways it had wandered, failed to remember that Earth was Earth, the home of man and the heart of Civilization. No human planet—had Norstad-Ostarik, then, gone the way of Kolresh?

Biologically, no, thought Unduma with an inward shudder. Nor culturally—yet. But it shrieked at him, from every insolent movement and twist of words, that Rusch had made a political deal.

“Well?” said the Margrave.

Unduma cleared his throat, desperately, and leaned forward. “Your lordship,” he said, “my embassy cannot help taking notice of certain public statements, as well as certain military preparations and other matters of common knowledge—”

“And items your spies have dug up,” drawled Rusch.

Unduma started. “My lord!”

“My good ambassador,” grinned Rusch, “it was you who suggested a straightforward talk. I know Earth has spies here. In any event, it’s impossible to hide so large a business as the mobilization of two planets for war.”

Unduma felt sweat trickle down his ribs.

“There is . . . you . . . your Ministry has only announced it is a . . . a defense measure,” he stammered. “I had hoped . . . frankly, yes, till the last minute I hoped you . . . your people might see fit to join us against Kolresh.”

There was a moment’s quiet. So quiet, thought Unduma. A redness crept up Rusch’s cheeks, the scar stood livid and his pale eyes were the coldest thing Unduma had ever seen.

Then, slowly, the Margrave got it out through his teeth: “For a number of centuries, your excellency, our people hoped Earth might join them.”

“What do you mean?” Unduma forgot all polished inanities. Rusch didn’t seem to notice. He stood up and went to the window.

“Come here,” he said. “Let me show you something.”

The window was a modern inset of clear, invisible plastic, a broad sheet high in the castle’s infamous Witch Tower. It looked out on a black sky, the sun was down and the glacial forty-hour darkness of northern Norstad was crawling toward midnight.

Stars glittered mercilessly keen in an emptiness which seemed like crystal, which seemed about to ring thinly in contracting anguish under the cold. Ostarik, the companion planet, stood low to the south, a gibbous moon of steely blue; it never moved in that sky, the two worlds forever faced each other, the windy white peaks of one glaring at the warm lazy seas of the other. Northward, a great curtain of aurora flapped halfway around the cr...

Présentation de l'éditeur

Explosive and provocative battles fought across the boundaries of time and space--and on the frontiers of the human mind.

Science fiction's finest have yielded this definitive collection featuring stories of warfare, victory, conquest, heroism, and overwhelming odds. These are scenarios few have ever dared to contemplate, and they include:

¸  "Superiority": Arthur C. Clarke presents an intergalactic war in which one side's own advanced weaponry may actually lead to its ultimate defeat.
¸  "Dragonrider": A tale of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern, in which magic tips the scales of survival.
¸  "Second Variety": Philip K. Dick, author of the short story that became the movie Blade Runner, reaches new heights of terror with his post apocalyptic vision of the future.
¸  "The Night of the Vampyres": A chilling ultimatum of atomic proportions begins a countdown to disaster in George R. R. Martin's gripping drama.
¸  "Hero": Joe Haldeman's short story that led to his classic of interstellar combat, The Forever War.
¸  "Ender's Game": The short story that gave birth to Orson Scott Card's masterpiece of military science fiction.
. . . as well as stories from Poul Anderson o Gregory Benford o C. J. Cherryh o David Drake o Cordwainer Smith o Harry Turtledove o and Walter John Williams

Guaranteed to spark the imagination and thrill the soul, these thirteen science fiction gems cast a stark light on our dreams and our darkest fears--truly among the finest tales of the 20th century.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 667 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 560 pages
  • Editeur : Del Rey; Édition : 1st (25 juillet 2006)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000JMKNQU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°277.634 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Une plaisante impression de déjà vu .... 5 avril 2012
Par Finity's end TOP 100 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Une anthologie que je recommande parce que j'ai eu pas mal de plaisir à lire ces nouvelles ...
L'introduction est intéressante , relativement brève mais dense avec suffisamment de contenu .

C'est autour de la chose militaire que tournent ces textes qui ne traitent pas nécessairement du combat mais qui sont pourtant systématiquement dans le sillage de la guerre et de ses conséquences.
Ces nouvelles sont toutes bien écrites et elles sont suffisamment denses où longues pour générer l'impression chez le lecteur d'habiter ces univers .
Deux nouvelles sont une étape dans l'histoire du genre avec Haldeman et Orson Scott Card car le lecteur découvrira l'acte de naissance de : La guerre éternelle et du cycle d'Ender.

Deux textes (Benford et k Dick ) sont des bijoux du genre post apocalyptique .. Second Variety est un bijou très dickien avec une atmosphère post apocalyptique angoissante, épaisse et presque à couper au couteau ( penser aux screamer de planète hurlante, c'est de là que vient le script du film ) . "second variety" donc un univers où les deux camps sont dépassés par leurs armes et leurs machines qui prennent franchement les choses en mains. C'est un texte qui est encore hyper contemporain et n'est absolument pas daté .

Dragonrider est de la fantaisie et c'est l'univers de Perm qui est sollicité et la nouvelle parle dragon .
Il y a une uchronie troublante et convaincante ou Gandhi s'efforce de libérer une Inde occupée par des nazis qui ont gagné la seconde guerre mondiale : la non-violence à l'épreuve de la violence !
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Amazon.com: 3.3 étoiles sur 5  12 commentaires
24 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Not military, sometimes not even scifi. 1 août 2007
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Don't judge a book by it's cover is an aphorism that cuts both ways. I was fooled by the graphics on this one, but I hope you won't be. The book is edited and introduced by Harry Turtledove, an excellent author is his own field. Unfortunately, that field has more to do with alternate history and far less to do with military combat: gripping or otherwise.

The introduction itself is an excellent survey of the genre: highlighting the notable contributions to this corpus by such authors as Heinlen, Pournelle, Drake, Card and Webber. I have the feeling, however, that to make the list you largely had to have several credits to your name. One hit wonders such as John Steakley's "Armor" don't make the cut, although neither is David Feintuch's "Seafort Saga" to be found.

The stories themselves are varied, but rely mostly upon a military backdrop for a more pedestrian space-opera tale. There are a few exceptions. David Drakes's "Hangman" is a treatment of tank combat and "Ender's Game" presents Card's classic story in its short form. Halderman's "Hero" is also presented as the short-story that gave birth to "The Forever War." However, if you buy this book you've probably read "The Forever War," in which case you've wasted some cash as "Hero" is merely the opening chapters of the larger tome.

Turtledove's own contribution, "The Last Article" is an excellent example of the nature of this anthology. It is an alternate history story wherein the Germans are winning World War II. Somehow we must assume that this makes the story "scifi." The only combat that occurs is between German soldiers and unarmed civilians engaged in passive resistance. But, since there are guns involved, I must suppose that this is why it is considered "military."

The strangest inclusion is actually the one given the most space: a hundred+ page novella by Anne McCaffrey set in her Pern universe. Although the story is about dragon riders who write in ink on hide dried hide skins and who never engage in a single military act, this has been included apparently because a long, long time ago these people were 'space colonists' and because the story's 'bad-guy' is a meteor shower. Perhaps an excellent addition to her canon, but here it seems to have little purpose but to sell copies with a powerful name.

In conclusion, none of these stories were bad. In fact, they were all quite good judged in their own right. But judged by the standard of military science fiction they almost universally fall short of the mark. This is a dud that appeals to you with powerful industry names and a nice cover. Don't be fooled.

Those looking for superior offerings would be wise to cull the science fiction works from the Marine Corps (or Navy) recommended reading lists.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Maybe not all the "Best," but still quite good. 21 février 2002
Par Brian D. Rubendall - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
"The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century" contains 13 stories spread out over 544 pages of text. At least two of them, Joe Haldeman's "Hero" and Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" were later expanded into full length novels. Editor Harry Turtledove's "The Last Article" falls more into the "Alternate History" category (a volume of which he also recently edited), but the saga of Ghandi's attempt to free his native India from Nazi occupation is still quite compelling. Superbly chilling is Phillip K. Dick's, "Second Variety," and its scary post-apocalyptic battlefield. One can see that this is where the idea for the "Terminator" movies came from.
The rest are more of a mixed bag. Gregory Benford's "To the Storming Gulf" is a decent post nuclear war saga, while Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority" is an excellent philisophical war story. Some of the others are less compelling. Anne McCaffrey's novella "Dragonrider," for example, takes up over 100 pages, and is more of a fantasy story than military science fiction.
Overall, this is a decent collection, worthwhile for fans of these types of stories. I would recommend it with the caveat that you can skip over any of the tales that are not to your taste.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Could have been better . . . 31 juillet 2002
Par Michael K. Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is sort of the companion volume to _Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century,_ and it has some of the same problems. There are thirteen stories in this collection, including some that are quite good, but are these really the "best"? Gregory Benford's "To the Storming Gulf" is particularly weak, especially the last section, and "Wolf Time" is far from Walter Jon Williams's best. Poul Anderson's "Among Thieves" is a true classic, though, as are "The Game of Rat and Dragon," by Cordwainer Smith, and Phil Dick's "Second Variety." As in the Alternate History volume, Turtledove seems to have difficulty with his definitions. "Wolf Time" is about an assassin, not warfare. George R. R. Martin's "Night of the Vampyres" is about political revolution with an only vaguely military element. And I can't see classifying McCaffrey's "Dragonrider" as military fiction at all. Finally (also as in the other volume), there are several novelette-length pieces -- Joe Haldeman's "Hero" (which became _The Forever War_), Card's "Ender?s Game" (which also became a novel), McCaffrey's "Dragonrider" (ditto), and C. J. Cherryh's "The Scapegoat" -- which should have been omitted in favor of twice that many additional short stories. This anthology could have been much better thought out.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 good collection 5 décembre 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is a good collection containing many of the important stories from this field. If you're new to SF this book will serve you well. If you're a long time reader (like me) then you're probably already familiar with many of these classic stories like Second Variety, Haldeman's Forever War, Ender's Game, Scapegoat. Still even I got something out of the book. Some of the stories I didn't know before helped me to make up my mind that I don't want to read anything else from their authors. :)
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 More of an Intro than a "Best of" 16 août 2002
Par William E. Fleischmann - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
While the thirteen stories in this volume are, for the most part, well done, a couple aren't really military SF at all and others are glimpses into still better works by the same authors. A couple aren't even strong enough to be considered in a "best of" collection.
There are some gems here. Orson Scott Card's classic "Ender's Game" definitely deserves to be a volume with this title. I highly recommend the novel-length expansion of the story and it's sequels (most notably the companion novel, "Ender's Shadow" and "Shadow of the Hegemon"). David Drake's "Hangman" is an excellent introduction to his Hammer's Slammers series which also requires inclusion in a volume such as this. Walter Jon Williams's "Wolf Time" is one of the best stories in the volume, taking place in the same universe as "Voice of the Whirlwind". And Joe Haldeman expanded "Hero" to become "Forever War" (and its sequels).
Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonrider" was, likewise, the beginning of a large franchise, but it's inclusion as an example of military SF is quite a stretch. Similarly, Harry Turtledove's "The Last Article" is an excellent story, but it would have fit much better in his "best alternate history" collection than in this volume.
Other classics include Poul Anderson's "Among Thieves" (an intro to his Polesotechnic League universe), Philip K. Dick's "Second Variety" (recently made, like so many of his stories, into a movie), and C. J. Cherryh's "The Scapegoat". I also enjoyed George R. R. Martin's "Night of the Vampyres".
Gregory Benford's "To the Storming Gulf" is not military at all; it would, instead, fit quite nicely in a collection of post-apocalyptic fiction.
While touted by some as a classic, I have never been impressed with Cordwainer Smith's "The Game of Rat and Dragon". And Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority" is merely clever. Any number of other stories could have replaced either of these tales in a "best of" volume.
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&quote;
SECOND VARIETY   Philip K. Dick &quote;
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&quote;
ENDERS GAME   Orson Scott Card &quote;
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&quote;
Christopher Anvils novella Pandoras Planet, &quote;
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