SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror PDF æ

SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror Blank White Page by James A MooreWhatever makes you think a few buildings brings about a civilized human beingI have a soft spot for weird westerns I enjoyed this story of mysterious monsters facing off against mysterious monsters The backstory of the albino mulatto cryptozoologist who is transforming into an unknown creature is a great story of its own And is Crowley some kind of Faust This story deserves a book or at least a novella.Bug Hunt A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Blank White Page by James A MooreWhatever makes you think a few buildings brings about a civilized human beingI have a soft spot for weird westerns I enjoyed this story of mysterious monsters facing off against mysterious monsters The backstory of the albino mulatto cryptozoologist who is transforming into an unknown creature is a great story of its own And is Crowley some kind of Faust This story deserves a book or at least a novella.Bug Hunt A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Maberry That was everything I wanted humor, action, adventure, combat, an unexpected kinship It was cinematically entertaining Now I need to read some Joe Ledger view spoiler I subsequently read three Joe Ledger books but only liked the first one hide spoiler Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse A supernatural MIB story withbureaucracy than style Still, there was some memorable imagery, vampires with heads that can bail by floating away That was freaky goodness A Tide of Flesh by Jeff Hewitt An army of the undead colonized of India taken on the English and Scottish troops devastating their land Exciting stuff The Shrine by David W Amendola Himmler s special SS occult team unearths a secret beneath a Russian monastery and unleashes a wrathful baby Cthulhu It was over too soon, the baby needed to grow.Blackwater by Neal F Litherland A fast and furious beginning as a covert team attempts to rescue a young woman lost to the mysterious cult ripped from the early work of H.P Lovecraft Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenbeck A glory hound cavalryman faces off with a thunderbird He won t live to see the fortune in peddling the hide Little Johnny Jump Up by Christine Morgan That was an ok story of a ghost who became the mascot of Civil War detachment.Special Operations Interview PTO 14 by Wayland Smith That was sad You just saw a man do something amazing, heroic, and you shoot himIt was war just doesn t cover it.Making Waves by Curtis C Chen Lovecraft, magic, war, and Kaju meet in a SyFy Channel historical fiction Needless to say I loved the world building but did not like the characters.Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton and W.D Gagliani A ghost in an abandoned temple in Laos traps all the soldiers who come to her.A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross A training mission at Stonehenge goes wrong when the dark god imprisoned beneath the stones awakens.Covert Genesis by Brian W Taylor Read yesterday forgotten today Something bad happens, there no ending, the characters just throw their hands in the air and say I guess we try and surviveLame.The Fossil by Greig Beck 100,000 year story of violence over a small misplaced object The world building was non existent, but it was interesting to see a future where we have shrunk possibly due to climate change and scarcity Death at 900 Meters by Tyson Mauermann Sort of a zombies or vampires in Gulf War story that was not enough.Holding the Line by Eric S Brown A fast, hard, and empty rabid Bigfoot story.Average rating 3.18 stars Military fiction of any sort is not really my go to, whatever the genre it is part of I find that very little of it is of the standard of The Forever War or Life During Wartime or the Regeneration trilogy It s far too often war porn, all about the deadly toys and full of characters from a bad John Wayne movie However, I m glad I joined in with the group Space, Spells Screams monthly read of SNAFU Blackwater by Neal F Litherland is a great opener, wonderful cinematic action and I m a sucker f Military fiction of any sort is not really my go to, whatever the genre it is part of I find that very little of it is of the standard of The Forever War or Life During Wartime or the Regeneration trilogy It s far too often war porn, all about the deadly toys and full of characters from a bad John Wayne movie However, I m glad I joined in with the group Space, Spells Screams monthly read of SNAFU Blackwater by Neal F Litherland is a great opener, wonderful cinematic action and I m a sucker for decently written Lovecraftian horror I thought the ending a little hysterical after the tension and emotion of the escape.I loved Little Johnny Jump Up by Christine Morgan I thought it gave a lovely insight into both the American Civil War and the soldiers mindset of superstition and an acceptance that any success or survival today may have to be paid in full tomorrow Quite affecting.Saying I hated Brian W Taylor s Covert Genesis would be putting it too strongly, but I thought it was pretty terrible Awful cliched dialogue and generally badly written Everything that makes me so often avoid military fiction.Back on form with Bug Hunt from the editor, Jonathan Maberry a great little action story, tightly written with really strong characters I ll definitely be looking up the rest of the Joe Ledger series One slight annoyance is that Maberry misuses some weapon terminology a soldier would not call an AK47 a machine gun it s an assault rifle, or just a rifle , and he uses small arms fire to refer to pistols as though it s the opposite of long arms almost anything that isn t a heavy weapon is a small arm A minor quibble, but an author should get the professional terms correct, and it s easy to research As someone else pointed out, spiders are also referred to as insects , but I can let that go as it was said by a character.I liked Wayand Smith s Special Operations Interview PTO 14, but I m not sure it counts as a fully realised story,a vignette I m a table top roleplayer and this is the kind of thing you might have in a character s background to flesh them out.Speaking of my hobby, Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse is right in my wheelhouse A super secret military unit battling both the Soviet threat and the incursion of monsters from other dimensions Sounds like my kind of party I ve got a Weston Ochse collection and some stories in anthologies on my Kindle mostly from Humble Bundle, I think , so must look them up.I really enjoyed Curtis C Chen s Making Waves, both the Mythos yumminess of realising the Things they are about to wake aren t what they d thought, and the hint of the wider world of military magic Also, the protagonist hiding her gender, although I m not sure she d be able to get away with that on a sub, even with the glamour.Greig Beck s The Fossil was a fun one, pitting a recovery team from the far future against an anti intrusion Special Forces team in Berlin when they are sent to recover an energy weapon A fun, action packed cross time tale A Tide of Flesh from Jeff Hewitt was excellent, possibly the only story in the book other than Little Johnny Jump Up so far that is aboutthan just the story, dealing as it is with the atrocities of colonialism as a British garrison in the Indian Raj defend a fort from horror.What is not to love about a Delta Force commando team in Iraq unexpectedly coming up against some vampires Death at 900 Metres by Tyson Mauermann checks that box.After a run of generally high quality, the collection takes a dip for a while Holding the Line by Eric S Brown a thoroughly forgettable war story Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton W.D Gagliani a potentially interesting tale of a US military action SE Asia that isn t well written enough to go anywhere The Shrine by David W Amendola started off by thoroughly annoying me as the author is doing that teenaged boy thing of showing off his knowledge or research by giving every piece of equipment its correct nomenclature We don t need the specs of every vehicle in the convoy, or be told the model of radio being used Slogging through that, however, this actually became a decent little horror story Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenback is a solid tale of some US soldiers in the Indian Wars encountering something weird, the nature of which is unfortunately given away by the title.Kirsten Cross s A Time of Blood features some squaddies on a wargame, capturing perfectly soldierly banter in an excellent horror story, as they encounter something ancient near Stonehenge.The anthology finishes with one of its strongest stories Blank White Page by James A Moore is another post US Civil War tale of soldiers and Indians, following the strange companions of Lucas Slate and Jonathan Crowley caught between a US Army detachment and the Apache that they ve been sent to remove, one way or another A really strong tale, full of violence and magic, the wider mythology hinted at but never explained left me wanting to readand, as Crowley is, apparently, something of a recurring character in Moore s work, give me a place to start.Definitely some authors I ll be looking up again, which is what I want from an anthology.3.5 stars I won t rate this, as I am the publisher, but damn, there are some great stories in here. Review copyMy expectations were not that high for this anthology Although, I love horror, in all it s many forms, I ve never been that big a fan of the military story Well, I needn t have worried at all SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror delivers Every story killed pun intended.Sixteen tales of terror from the battlefield wherever that battlefield may be Just about every war over the last millennium, and beyond, is covered in this collection.SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror feat Review copyMy expectations were not that high for this anthology Although, I love horror, in all it s many forms, I ve never been that big a fan of the military story Well, I needn t have worried at all SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror delivers Every story killed pun intended.Sixteen tales of terror from the battlefield wherever that battlefield may be Just about every war over the last millennium, and beyond, is covered in this collection.SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror features great stories from established names like Jonathan Maberry with a Joe Ledger novella , Weston Ochse, and James A Moore with a story featuring his characters Jonathan Crowley and Lucas Slate.You ll also find some writers you may not have read before, but don t let that keep you away Some of the best stories are from authors I wasn t familiar with Christine Morgan s Little Johnny Jump Up is one of those stand out tales A ghost story set on the battlefield during the Civil War Brian W Taylor has a very cool story called Covert Genesis, about a C 17 brought out of the sky by a bright blue flash, and what the survivors face is simply terrifying Lawson s never been the most sociable guy to begin with Throw in alien worms who take over people s brains and you can respect his crankiness The Shrine, by David W Amendola has German soldiers unearthing something that should be been left lone.Between the covers of SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror are rescue missions, fighting giant alien spiders, Japanese vampires, undersea lovecraftian horrors, enemies from the far future, bigfoot, and the undead in the form of monkeys, tigers, elephants and thousands of Indians.There is so much goodness in SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror that a sequel with four novellas of military horror will be forthcoming withstories from Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Joseph Nassise, and James A Moore.SNAFU An Anthology of Military Horror is available now in hardback, paperback, and ebook through.com from Cohesion Press.Highly recommended The fear of the unknown is what horror as a genre has always chosen to exploit and this anthology takes those fears and puts it down in a military landscape In other words, it unleashes these horrors onto men and women trained for war.These are the stories and what I made out of them Blackwater A spec ops team faces off against monsters from the sea Not a very cohesive story although it does have a few moments 2 stars Little Johnny Jump Up The civil war era and a benevolent little ghost The fear of the unknown is what horror as a genre has always chosen to exploit and this anthology takes those fears and puts it down in a military landscape In other words, it unleashes these horrors onto men and women trained for war.These are the stories and what I made out of them Blackwater A spec ops team faces off against monsters from the sea Not a very cohesive story although it does have a few moments 2 stars Little Johnny Jump Up The civil war era and a benevolent little ghost This is no horror story but one where the ghost eases out the horrors for the characters 3 stars Covert Genesis Here again it is spec ops but the monsters they face are rather unique and different from all the others in this anthology A little high on the gore factor coupled with fast paced action 3 stars Bug Hunt I am not familiar with this character Joe Ledger so was not used to his staccato sentences and gung ho attitude Although making a guess about this character would be rather premature, I did feel that he is yet another stereotype of the American GI that the media would have us believe The story was an interesting one but it did lack cohesion at quite a few places Some things did not sit too right and that affected the enjoyment factor 2 stars Special Operations Interview PTO 14A US marine on patrol in a Japanese island stumbles on a scene straight out of Japanese mythology Here again there isn t much of horror and comparably it is a bland story 2 stars Cold War Gothic Reminiscent of Mike Mignola s B.P.R.D placed in a cold war setting The Americans cross swords with the Russians and the weapons they use are all supernatural in nature An interesting addition into the mix was the box man, a character worth remembering Quite an atmospheric tale 3 and half stars Making Waves I knew there was a Ctulhu impostor in here somewhere and here it was WWII, submarine warfare, magic, Americans, Elder Gods and general mayhem Interesting twist to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki scenarios 3 stars The Fossil One of the longest stories in the collection and worth it The future coming back to haunt and terrify us was a new one for me The story moves swiftly and the buildup is quite brilliant 4 stars A Tide of Flesh Starts right in the thick of action and stops when it wanes The premise is very interesting with the British soldiers facing off the Indian undead The execution however lacks the charm 2 stars Death at 900 meters Set in present day Iraq with Marine snipers on a routine smash and grab mission encountering vampires No surprises, no plot twists and just your regular vampire tale 2 stars Holding The LineThe smallest story in the collection and one without too much of a conclusion It is all over before you get into the thick of things High on gore For the interested, it is the National Guard v s Sasquatches 2 stars Thela Hun Gingeet The favorite landscape of all military writers the American debacle in Vietnam An American team on an intel gathering mission goes deep into the jungles and gets caught up in a Taoist temple that fries their neural circuits The imagery is psychedelic and lavishes us with stunning visuals My contention however is with the fact that the story never explains what all the noise is all about Everything is left hanging by the threads 3 and a half stars for the visuals 2 stars for the story The Shrine WWII again with the German Panzer division and the SS trying to pull out something from the foundations of an old church What comes out of the pit is a homage to a monster of the Lovecraftian genre The buildup in this story is pretty solid and the characters are pretty well sketched 4 stars Ptearing All Before Us I have always wondered what a Thunderbird in the Indian myths could be all about This story offers a wild guess at that and builds a story around a group of soldiers out hunting Indians in the wilderness More than horror, this is a tale of greed and avarice I quite liked it Here too, gore is rather high 3 stars Blank White Page Two gentlemen, a certain Mr Slate and Mr.Crowley ride into the town of Silver Springs in the days of the wild west They remind you of the horsemen of the apocalypse for one rides a pale horse and the other man is well he really is something to behold In they ride and all hell breaks loose no pun intended The storytelling moves at breakneck speed and it really is a brilliant piece of work amalgamating Mexican standoff s, supernatural incursions and good old firefights This certainly is my pick as the best in the anthology The only thing to note is that this is the only tale which is not directly set in a military backdrop 5 stars.This is one of those rare anthologies where none of the stories are bad They all either fall into the category of good or strictly average Worth a read Recommended Good book of short stories The Greig Beck story was my personal favorite, like all of his work I also liked the Jonathan Maberry, Joe Ledger adventure and will be finding his other books Also enjoyed Blackwater by Neal Litherland, Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse, A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross and Blank White Page by James Moore. Little Johnny Jump Up by Christine Morgan4 stars FantasyExcellent beginning for this collection, featuring a canon unit during the US Civil War This is a terrific ghost story that zips right along The only thing that keeps it from being a 5 star story is that it was pretty much on rails without surprises The writing is excellent, however.Covert Genesis by Brian W Taylor3 stars FantasyThis is a decent first encounter story, but it doesn t provide any answers or a real ending The open ended Little Johnny Jump Up by Christine Morgan4 stars FantasyExcellent beginning for this collection, featuring a canon unit during the US Civil War This is a terrific ghost story that zips right along The only thing that keeps it from being a 5 star story is that it was pretty much on rails without surprises The writing is excellent, however.Covert Genesis by Brian W Taylor3 stars FantasyThis is a decent first encounter story, but it doesn t provide any answers or a real ending The open endedness of it doesn t bother me as much, but it just feels weird for weirdness sake.Bug Hunt by Jonathan Maberry5 stars Science FictionThis is a Joe Ledger story, where Ledger and his team from the Department of Military Sciences are tasked to recover a very bad weapon from some Russian mercenaries in the Pacific Northwest Then things get crazy when they all encounter giant spiders from outer space As with his other books I ve read, this is a solid adventure story with a couple neat wrinkles It s not dissimilar to the movie Predator without being derivative.Special Operations Interview PTO 14 by Wayland Smith3 stars FantasyThis is in the form of a transcript of an OSS interview of a US Marine during WWII in the Pacific He witnessed a Japanese soldier battling a big blue demon It s an okay story.Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse4 stars FantasySet in 1969 San Francisco, this one is about an undercover government bureau that specializes in occult creepies In this instance it s vampire geishas So that was fun.Making Waves by Curtis C Chen5 stars FantasyA WWII story set aboard the submarine USS Bowfin This is a world where magic is an everyday thing, as it begins with a spell to allow a specialist to teleport aboard I quite liked how Chen integrated magic into the world, as well as how he makes you think this will involve Godzilla like kaiju but pivots instead view spoiler It s actually Cthulhu esque Elder Gods hide spoiler This was my second favorite tale in this collection.The Fossil by Grieg Beck4 stars Science FictionLittle people, parallel universes, cavemen, secret government organizations lots of stuff going on in this story I don t know that I would necessarily classify it as horror, but scary stuff does happen and no one wears plot armor.A Tide of Flesh by Jeff Hewitt3 stars FantasyA British garrison in colonial India faces a ravening horde of zombies, including zombie monkeys and zombie elephants, which are scarier than regular human zombies.Death at 900 Meters by Tyson Mauermann3 stars FantasyVampires, this time in Iraq during the Gulf War, from the POV of a sniper team Hence the 900 meters Modern vamps have been done to undeath, but this is a solid example.Holding the Line by Eric S Brown2 stars Science FictionThis is the weakest entry, not because it s bad per se but because it s really just a short scene, not a story A 3 man National Guard unit against rampaging Bigfoots Bigfeet Whatever.Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton and W.D Gagliani 3 stars FantasyWeird spooky shit going down during the Vietnam War It s in the vein of H.P Lovecraft or Vandermeer s Southern Reach trilogy.The Shrine by David W Amendola3 stars FantasyMaybe this is Science Fiction Hard to tell from the vague clues given Early WWII 1941 story about Nazis who investigate a Russian church steeped in mystery Maybe it hides an alien or a Lovecraftian creature, but either way it s a monster story.Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenbeck2 stars Science FictionNormally this would be exactly the kind of story I like, as it features a US Cavalry scouting party encountering the mythical Native American thunderbird view spoiler It s a pteranodon hide spoiler But the creature is somehow sneaky enough to snatch people without anyone noticing The thing is the size of a small airplane, so they d have to be especially inattentive not to see it I didn t buy it for a second.A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross2 stars FantasyA contemporary story of British army unit on a training exercise next to Stonehenge The characters are incompetent and the story is dumbly implausible, which is saying something for Fantasy.Blank White Page by James A Moore5 stars FantasyStrong Finish with the best story of the bunch Set in the late 1800s after the US Civil War in the frontier town of Silver Springs, Colorado, two traveling companions ride into town One is the former undertaker Lucas Slate who is undergoing some mysterious transformation The other is the sorcerer Jonathan Crowley There is increasing conflict between the US Cavalry and indigenous Apache, with Silver Springs as their latest battleground If that s not bad enough, there is dark magic afoot, as well as ghosts, monsters and skinwalkers It is extraordinarily dangerous, but Slate and Crowley are the possibly most dangerous creatures around Even they might not be equal to what they find.Although the longest story here, this flew by It is lean and propulsive Moore doesn t over explain things and the tale has a nice ebb and flow It has the feel of a modern version of Solomon Kane, which I didn t realize I needed in my life I don t think I ve read anything by him before, but I m excited to learn that he has a collection of short stories featuring Crowley titled One Bad Week Disclaimer I received a courtesy copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review I went into SNAFU with high expectations and wasn t disappointed I am a huge fan of all things Maberry and had been following the release date of this book since he first announced his participation I never miss a chance to spendtime with Joe Ledger and Echo Team, and the short outing included in this anthology Bug Hunt was another stellar breakout That said, the other authors both big names i Disclaimer I received a courtesy copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review I went into SNAFU with high expectations and wasn t disappointed I am a huge fan of all things Maberry and had been following the release date of this book since he first announced his participation I never miss a chance to spendtime with Joe Ledger and Echo Team, and the short outing included in this anthology Bug Hunt was another stellar breakout That said, the other authors both big names in miltary horror and the new recruits did a great job of bringing the heat from page to page There were stories that spanned from pre history to the future, but a majority took place in post Civil War era theaters, be the World Wars 1 and 2, Vietnam, or the near modern ops of Maberry s Echo Team I found Weston Ochse s Cold War Gothic, Jeff Hewitt s A Tide of Flesh, Neal Litherland s Blackwater, and Walyand Smith s Special Operations Interview PTO 14 stood near the summit with Maberry s tale, yet all the stories were worth the time to read Some stories had a littleworld building required to pay out the story, and even the ones that weren t necessarily my favorites were still an enjoyable ride.I d like to seecollections in this same vein from editors Geoff Brown and Amanda J Spedding The stories were eclectic in settings, brisk in the action presented, interspersed with the build up of dread I went in hoping for from page 1.I ll be looking forward to a SNAFU 2 or Catch 666 or whatever another volume of these tales would be called Based on this volume, it d be a day 1 purchase Buy this one with confidence of money well spent War is hell Soldiers fight to survive They fight each other, and they fight the demons inside Sometimes, they fight real monsters This book collects stories of ancient myths, time travelers, horrors in the old west and the soldiers who fight them Featuring some of the best writers working in the field today, this book includes works from Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A Moore who lead the way, with a contingent of emerging authors to back them up Fight or die SNAFU is one of those special anthologies, where every story fits the mould Each work has its own special hook or pull that keeps you reading and then wanting to read the next.The only story without a direct focus on the military was the last, Blank White Page Songs in the Key of White by James A Moore That said, it fit well into the anthology and is an amazing, haunting tale.Overall, I would rate this as one of the best horror anthologies I have ever read, easily worthy of my 5 star revi SNAFU is one of those special anthologies, where every story fits the mould Each work has its own special hook or pull that keeps you reading and then wanting to read the next.The only story without a direct focus on the military was the last, Blank White Page Songs in the Key of White by James A Moore That said, it fit well into the anthology and is an amazing, haunting tale.Overall, I would rate this as one of the best horror anthologies I have ever read, easily worthy of my 5 star review I await the next edition with barely contained anticipation, as well as the recently announced SNAFU Heroes

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