If you enjoy a variety of storytelling styles, epic battle scenes, and meeting new authors, I highly recommend you read the Warriors anthology.
Edited by George R.R. Matrin of Game of Thrones fame, the basic premise behind this collection of short stories is that a group of established writers from a wide range of literary genres are given the prompt ‘warriors’ and told ‘go’. This book is the result.
I enjoyed this collection for the many interpretations of the prompt, and not having any idea what I was going to get when I turned to the first page of a new story.
My favourites from the anthology include:
- “The Girls from Avenger” by Carrie Vaughn captured me with a beautiful, heartbreaking story about female pilots during WWII.
- “Recidivist” by Gardner Dozois kept me guessing with an off-the-wall sci-fi story that paints vivid pictures of natural things twisted by unnatural intervention, and some tragically strong elements of human nature.
- “The King of Norway” by Cecelia Holland surprised me, as I don’t typically enjoy the sorts of visceral fight scenes that form a large part of this story, but I was captivated by these characters and the brutal world they inhabit.
- “Forever Bound” by Joe Haldeman (of whom I’m already a big fan) enticed me with these unique, fully-fleshed characters and another glimpse into the fascinating world of the forever war and soldier boys.
There were also some stories that I didn’t finish for one reason or another, and a couple that I could have done without — for example, I think it would have been appropriate to place a trigger warning (for incest and rape) before “Clean Slate” by Lawrence Block.
Overall, this anthology was a highly enjoyable read, and I’m grateful for the introduction to many new authors. There are so many styles in this collection that I’m sure there’s a story for just about everyone.