Monday, October 12, 2015

Onward Drake! - Mark L. Van Name (Editor)

Onward Drake!
Mark L. Van Name (Editor)
Baen, Oct 6 2015, $25.00
ISBN 9781476780962

Fourteen of the sixteen short stories and four personal essays (by Mark L. Van Name, S.M. Stirling, Toni Weisskopf and Tom Doherty) that make up this anthology pay homage to David Drake; the other two entries were fictional works written by Mr. Drake.  Included with all the fictional entries are short afterwards in which each author explains how their respective tale links to the renowned military science fiction author. 

Fittingly the collection starts and ends with Mr. Drake’s two contributions.  Near the Viminal Gate, the bronzesmith’s widow wants to hire Hesperus the wizard to melt the bones of Tychos the bully and Murmilla; while his twelve years old nephew “The Great Wizard, Cabbage” (by Mr. Drake) listens intently.  Sergeant Krotcha assigns Hammer’s Slammers’ officer Raney at her temporary new post with the First while her jeep gets repaired, but the Bessies attack may make her vehicle someone else’s as she knows from combat experience to “Save What she Can” by Mr. Drake.  Others also use the Hammer’s Slammers universe like Larry Correia’s “The Losing Side” that explores the enemy’s morale as they faced their seemingly invincible foe.  Capricious King Bertrand of Wollend demands a special celebration to honor the birth of antiquities General Chefferax, but the bards have a different message to sing in Eric Flint’s “A Flat Affect”.  Perhaps the most direct accolade comes from Eric S. Brown whose “The One That Got Away” is a sequel to an early Mr. Drake’s horror short “Something Had To Be Done” to that damn vampire.  Onward Drake! achieves its lofty objective of honoring the great author; but also reminds readers that he wrote in other genres besides his acclaimed military science fiction bibliography.

Harriet Klausner

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