Cower not, fierce reader! Today we look over the third anthology from the Wandrey/Kennedy 4 Horsemen universe. There's of course lots of guns and lots of shooting. But you knew that, or at least you should.
Chris Kennedy opens the book with a preface, explaining why they invited so many authors to play in their world. This is followed by an Foreward by David Drake, an excellent author of the old school that writes stories and doesn't treat fans or other authors badly for having politics he disagrees with.
Argonaut by Kal Spriggs- An underequipped merc unit is deployed to what is supposed to be a cakewalk. Misinformation and bad leadership lead toward disaster. But some mercs that don't fit in elsewhere might have enough to say about that.
Shell Game by Terry Mixon- A family merc company takes some big chances to complete an impossible mission. Are they good enough at the old switcheroo?
The Last Dragon by Terry Maggert- A story in two parts. Part one features a captured courier. Part two follows a mining operation on one inexplicable planet.
Hero of Styx by T. Allen Diaz- A story of death, the weight of command, exotic species, and betrayal.
The Beach by Philip Wohlrab- This story follows a medic with a merc unit as they attend to the horrors of the battlefield.
Velut Luna by Chris Smith- A kid gets sprung from juvie and into a contract with an employer she doesn't understand.
Keep the Home Fires Burning by Jason Cordova- A merc that wants to help his nation through his company ends up captured when things go sideways.
Vremya by Mark Wandrey- The surviving brother at the head of a mining company decides to go for the big time in the galactic resources game. Always have an astrophysicist along, gravity does very strange things.
The Last Guardsman by Stephanie Osborn- A bounty hunter is the last of his line. He's sent after a very dangerous killer, as well as the secrets he stole.
Unto the Last-Stand Fast by Robert E. Hampson- A retired merc shows back up to fight to protect the Interstellar Catholic Church and his home.
The Demon of Ki-a by Eric S. Brown- A company is hired to fight an enemy for a peaceful settlement. They find out the information they've be given is most inadequate.
Under the Skin by Marisa Wolf- A depik hunter goes after a contract that one of his clan failed.
Inked by Mark Wandrey- A MinSha tattoo artist has a crowd for a day, and an observant human merc ends up with something he didn't expect.
Angels and Aliens by Jon R. Osborne- A Protestant preacher joins a company as a contractor to help troops, but also help answer his own questions about aliens, heaven, and hell.
Life by Chris Kennedy- This is a continuation of a story from the previous anthology. Dr. Avander fights for his life both in an arena and in a lab.
Lessons by Kacey Ezell- A depik babe is taken to die in the woods. She is found by an aerial predator, and taught for a time.
There's some nice surprises here. The fact that faith plays a larger role here is nice, as is the fact that not every story is milsf. 8 of 10 fell deeds.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.