War stories… I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with them. My kind of SF is the polar opposite of all those gung ho militaristic right-wing wet dreams that are pretty much a sub-genre in their own right. I’d hate to write anything that might be seen as glamorising combat.
And yet… I loved war stories as a kid, whether they were the adventures of Biggles or the Combat! TV series and all kinds of war movies. And looking back on my writing career, I can see that a fair proportion of my output has explored various aspects of war, from my angry young man first novel Keepers of the Peace to my post-war fantasy Lord of Stone and my recent Nick Gifford ebook, “The Ragged People”.
Fiction is all about conflict, after all, whether it’s the tensions of a love triangle, a murder thriller or a courtroom drama: it’s the conflict that makes things happen, that creates story; and conflict doesn’t come much more dramatic than warfare.
Just announced is an anthology of war stories, edited by Andrew Liptak and Jaym Gates. Not stories that glamorise or sensationalise, but fiction that explore “the cultural, social, political and psychological repercussions of modern war”. The editors have already had strong interest from some great authors, including TC McCarthy, Karin Lowachee, F Brett Cox, Laura Anne Gilman, Will McIntosh, Joe Haldeman and yours truly (they’ll be including my story “War 3.01”). They’ll also be running an open submission period later this year. It looks like being a really interesting – and no doubt entertaining – book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
War Stories will launch on Kickstarter in early September, with a variety of perks for backers, ranging from an ebook / physical copies of the anthology, to prints of the cover and other exciting things to come!
To follow the progress of the anthology’s planning, and to get sneak peeks, excerpts and news from around the military science fiction world, you can visit the project’s website, follow the project on Twitter (@warstoriesantho), or like the anthology on Facebook.