ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Front Lines

Updated on May 4, 2009

This little anthology edited by Denise Little jumped out at me last time I ended up wandering around Barnes and Noble, looking for something a little different to read. I couldn't help it-- the cover just snagged me. Two star-fighter looking ships cruising over dramatic and cloud-greyed urban sky with some magenta-clad reporter-type standing there looking at them. I figured hey, what the heck, right? It's been a long time since I've read any military sci-fi, and this book promises 21 all new installments of it!

But then I started reading it.

Okay, so it never actually says that it's just sci-fi-- the official line is "21 all new tales of what it means to serve in a war zone." and if I'd bothered to read the back cover, I would have discovered the fact that there's about as much fantasy and other bizarrity (I have nothing against fantasy, just prefer science fiction) in the pages of "Front Lines" as anything else. But then, how many people would read military-oriented sci-fi as compared to military-oriented fantasy, and even if the numbers were anywhere near comparable, how would you put a cover on it that snared both sides without something dorky looking like laser-shooting unicorns? Ah, but that's neither here nor there.

"Front Lines" was fun to read. There were a few chills and thrills and a few laughs and smug smiles to be had, with the usual one or two stories that read like a soldier's account of Iraq cloaked in a thin layer of sci-fi or someone's D&D match, but all in all I enjoyed it. Sucked it right down, even. Being an English tutor and someone who edits his own writing, I of course spotted a handful of errors, but not enough to really detract from the storylines.

There are a few tales that stand out foremost in my mind. "Peacekeeping Mission" by Laura Resnick was a little strange at first, but by the time I got into it I was rolling -- Using political and pop knowledge in a way that truly reaches the people, Resnick turns the world upside down and presents a scenario where America and Canada are at one another's throats in a jihad-esque scenario and the Israelies and Palestinians are parachuted in to attempt to convince the blood-thirsty armies of North America to put down their arms and end the conflict. Another favorite was "Dinner on a Flyin' Saucer," though it was a bit tedius at times (drunken man from small town comes home to shotgun-wielding housewife and claims the UFOs abducted him to feed him dinner and ask directions) and "The Battle for Trehinnick's Garden" was, for lack of a better word, awesome. Probably my favorite in the book. "The War, Me, 17 Million Dollars and a Stripper" was also memorable, with an interesting plot twist that turned something all too like the film Starship Troopers into "Stay out of the way of the pissed off sand lice" and "Eye of the Falcon" would probably have changed the way I look at manholes forever, if C.H.U.D. hadn't already done that.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, so I give it a good four stars out of five. Not perfect, but worth the eight bucks I dropped on it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • frogyfish profile image


      10 years ago from Central United States of America

      Very interesting - I can't pass that discount bin either. But mostly make mine a movie!

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      12 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I too am someone who cannot pass a remainder table in a bookstore without buying something-- although military sci-fi is not usually my genre LOL. However, this sounds like a great read and what i take out of your review is the fun of coming upon a good read serindipitously and that I relate to bgtime. Nice hub-- nice review. Thanks


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)