“Promised Land” by Judith Lindskold - I like hearing more about ancilliary characters like Prince Michael and I certainly liked having the view into Masadan culture (even if I disagreed with it.) The only thing I didn’t care for was the strong resemblance the Ranger world Brun found herself captive on in Elizabeth Moon’s Rules of Engagement. My head kept wanting to insert those folks too. You’ve got a male-dominant culture, multiple wives as second-class citizens, boychildren all-important, captured women becoming wives who cause a mass exodus of the prominent menfolk’s wives and the dependence on a foreign power for those women to become free. Add to that Michael Winton and Barin Serrano both being key to the women’s freedom….Similar concept, differently executed.
“With One Stone” by Timothy Zahn was very good. The techie parts were interesting. I could have done without the FTL communications being sparked by something Honor Harrington did; it seemed a bit too pat. I much preferred thinking that Hemphill’s techies produced that without Harrington’s help. I guess it’s Honor’s series, though, so the universe really DOES revolve around her.
“A Ship Named Francis” by John Ringo and Victor Mitchell seemed to rush to the ending after the Med crew started sedating the crewmembers. It felt anticlimactic, just as I would if I were sedated at the end.
“Let’s Go to Prague” by John Ringo – Funny, amusing, and very interesting. Sometimes Ringo’s dialogue puts me off, but not to the point that I can’t overlook it long enough to enjoy the story. Really a fun tale.
“Fanatic” by Eric Flint – This one is probably my favorite. I’d like to see more of the PRH side in future short story collections, especially if they’re as good as this one. It was messy, but still a good story.
“The Service of the Sword” by David Weber – Nice to get to know Midn Hearns, and also nice to see a captain related to High Ridge to be a decent, capable man. While I’ve no doubt Weber has more in mind for Hearns, it would have been interesting if she’d failed and Grayson had to deal with the aftermath. Perhaps Grayson’s second woman in service will not be so lucky.
Next book I'm reading: Sharpe's Havoc by Bernard Cornwell.