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The Officer: Eleven Science Fiction Short Stories

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Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility. The Officer is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies. The stories are:- Duty by Alasdai Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility. The Officer is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies. The stories are:- Duty by Alasdair Shaw Patchworker 2.0 by M Pax Totaled by Benjamin Douglas Lucky Star by A R Knight There Comes a Time by J J Green Red Fortitude by Eddie R Hicks Pithos by Mark Gardner A Step on the Path by Tom Germann Rituals by Rick Partlow First Generation by Adrien Walker The Grape Thieves by Corrie Garrett


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Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility. The Officer is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies. The stories are:- Duty by Alasdai Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility. The Officer is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies. The stories are:- Duty by Alasdair Shaw Patchworker 2.0 by M Pax Totaled by Benjamin Douglas Lucky Star by A R Knight There Comes a Time by J J Green Red Fortitude by Eddie R Hicks Pithos by Mark Gardner A Step on the Path by Tom Germann Rituals by Rick Partlow First Generation by Adrien Walker The Grape Thieves by Corrie Garrett

30 review for The Officer: Eleven Science Fiction Short Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    The Officer: Duty - Eleven Science Fiction Short Stories - a review by Rosemary Kenny I must admit how much I admire Alasdair Shaw, as editing books by other authors - albeit in the same genre- must be a daunting task in itself. That said, the graciously inventive Mr Shaw writes his own offering which is more than worthy of inclusion among the rest. Even though only a short story it's easy to say that 'Duty' packs a big punch into such a small novelette, which tells the avid reader about Dave - a The Officer: Duty - Eleven Science Fiction Short Stories - a review by Rosemary Kenny I must admit how much I admire Alasdair Shaw, as editing books by other authors - albeit in the same genre- must be a daunting task in itself. That said, the graciously inventive Mr Shaw writes his own offering which is more than worthy of inclusion among the rest. Even though only a short story it's easy to say that 'Duty' packs a big punch into such a small novelette, which tells the avid reader about Dave - a family man with a job as Security Officer on an interplanetary colonist ship in a future Earth. From the start it's plain Dave is overworked and put upon, yet still maintains his professionalism and humanity, trying to keep the peace - and his life! Who is Mr Harrassa and what is his hold over Dave? What happens when Dave catches a thief? What is he expected to do for Harrassa and who will ensure he does as he's told? Who is Jessica and how does she feel about Dave's work-ethic and long hours? What is the next case Dave works on? Who helps him - and which suspect do they check out? The novelette ends with a cliffhanger which is aggravating, but also exhilarates the reader with the thought that this story could easily be a teaser for a full-length novel - we can only hope so!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This is a wonderful collection of short stories where each of the main characters is an ‘Officer’ in some form or another, whether that is an officer of the law, an officer on board a ship or an Officer of a different type of Military organisation (there are a few). Each of these stories are not only exceptionally well written, but they are so extraordinarily well created that you will find that you lose hours as you are travel from one tale to the next. Following is a short review of each of the This is a wonderful collection of short stories where each of the main characters is an ‘Officer’ in some form or another, whether that is an officer of the law, an officer on board a ship or an Officer of a different type of Military organisation (there are a few). Each of these stories are not only exceptionally well written, but they are so extraordinarily well created that you will find that you lose hours as you are travel from one tale to the next. Following is a short review of each of the individual stories contained in ‘The Officer’, Duty – Alasdair Shaw – 4.5/5 – Duty is a clever story following Dave – a Security Officer aboard a space station in which he is understaffed and overworked. The Station is also over run by a criminal element and by a very large number of thieves. Dave has an unlikely alliance with a crime lord that runs the station, allowing him to keep an uneasy peace aboard the station, within certain boundaries. However, this all changes when the station and everyone are threatened by a bomb. This story shows how uneasy alliances can be used to different advantages, and how also things can change so quickly. Shaw’s characters are brilliant – as is his station background and the storyline. This is a fantastic start ‘The Officer’ and sets a very high standard for the remaining short stories. Patchworker 2.0 – M Pax – 4/5 – This was a rather interesting story. It follows Evalyn Shore, a ‘Patchworker’ who can connect with AI’s in a future in which the Earth has been basically destroyed, and we live below. The AI’s control a lot of life, so the Patchworkers are the key to life in a lot of ways and are quite special. On this particular job, Evalyn discovers that several other Patchworkers have been killed – reduced to biomatter and left for dead, and she is going to the last place they went, to connect with an AI that was their last job. Will she survive? This had some really brilliant twists in it, the story itself is incredibly clever, and M Pax continues to show that she has a rather unusual impact on the Sci-Fi world, but certainly one that is worth reading. Totaled – Benjamin Douglas – 5/5 – This was a fascinating story, slow to get moving, but this was part of the allure of the story itself. It follows an ageing XO on board a ship, Dolridge, a ship that is patrolling the Kuiper belt, and has been for so long that the crew has become complacent and totally disinterested. All except new recruit Caspar that is. Caspar is a new arrival and as such is full of beans, and still ready to go. When the ship suddenly starts having strange issues, sensor ghosts, weird alarms and potential stowaways, it becomes apparent that something might not be right. This is a very clever short story, the main characters are exceptionally well written, and it has an outstanding series of plot lines that lead us to the close – one that leads to events in a new series ‘The Lunar Gambit’. This short was so good I went and grabbed the Authors book, well worth the read. Lucky Star – A R Knight – 3/5 – Whilst there was nothing overly wrong with this story, it left me kind of wanting. I enjoyed it, but given the quality of some of the other works in this collection, I did not find it as interesting. There is basically an agent and her robot sent to collect a man and return him to an organisation. The man has been detained by a criminal organisation for an incredibly large sum of owed money. How does said women and her robot companion get the man out and complete her job? This has been done before, it was great to see a female lead, but there was nothing overly original, standout or unique about the story. But it was thoroughly enjoyable. Of course the ending was left very wide open, so I do wonder if this is the lead-in to a series? There Comes a Time – J J Green – 5/5 – This is one of those stories that is going to leave you sitting there for a while after, thinking about it, running it over in your head, about the different nuances of each and every action and how clever the author has been, and about the diabolical nature of time travel. For anyone that is a fan of ‘The 12 Monkeys’, you will love this story, as it is so incredibly well told, with such brilliant characters. This was one of my favourite stories of the book. Red Fortitude – Eddie R Hicks – 4/5 – This had a really interesting start, as you learn about what are essentially a couple of misfit’s in a training course that is about to take place on Mars. The interactions between the different personalities makes for a good read, and we get a good understanding of the various motivations of the different characters, as well as an understanding of the world that they are living in. And then we hit Mars and the real training begins, and the back stories start to unfold. This was a clever and engaging story that moved at a good pace and had some good twists in it. Definitely worth the read. Pithos – Mark Gardner – 4.5/5 – This started off as a story of a young woman who is a Fire Commissioner, the youngest ever, and the first ever woman. The story is wonderfully written, as it tells the tale of this incredible Officer. However, before long, tragedy strikes and one of the crew under her command is severely injured. And then the story takes a bit of an unusual twist, introducing some interesting technology to deal with the incident. This leads to some fascinating consequences for the characters that is both incredibly creative and wonderfully engaging. Pithos one of those stories were you start off in one direction, and suddenly realise that the story has taken you somewhere else and you don’t mind at all. It is an inspiring, clever and in places, very beautiful in its prose. It was also nice to see such a strong female lead. A Step on the Path – Tom Germann – 5.5/5 – I was totally captivated by this story, and even given its short nature, once I picked it up, I didn’t move until I had finished it was so good. This is the story of a young recruit who joins an Elite Ranger Core, and you find out just who ‘Elite’ they are very quickly, and how brutal the training is going to be. The story follows their initial training, and it is an incredible intense story as we follow the recruit and the only friend he has made through this stunningly brutal challenge that is physically and mentally beyond what people are capable of sustaining. Watching the recruit develop is fascinating, as well as those around him, his personal growth, and the challenges he faces is extraordinary, and the exceptional writing of the character is brilliant to convey this tale in such a short amount of pages. This was by far, one of my favourites. Rituals – Rick Partlow –5/5 – This is one of those books that as soon as you finish it, you automatically go and look at the Authors other books. The characters in this short story, a short that sees a quick response team of cobbled together forces going in to rescue a group of hostages against a terrorist force, are exceptionally well written. The Author gives us ‘mature’, well developed characters with such authentic dialogue, it is like watching real life. The main character, McKay, is beautifully portrayed, making this such an engaging story to read. Further to this, the story itself is spectacular in its action and dynamic nature, leaving you riveted to the page wanting more. Thus the need to go and look up his other books!! Partlow is obviously a gifted author, but someone who does a lot of research, and takes a lot of time to make sure his material is totally flawless. This is a must read. First Generation – Adrien Walker – 4/5 – I was a little unsure about this to start with, unsure exactly what was happening. But as the story unfolds, it becomes clearer, and you realise what the main character is about to do, and what IS actually unfolding, and this story becomes really fascinating, if not somewhat creepy. It is wonderfully written as it elicits the flesh crawling feeling in certain moments of the book, and the characters are brilliant, each with their very individual personalities. This was a very unique twist on the ‘Officer’ story line and adds such a compelling storyline to the line-up. First Generation is a short story that leads into a greater series, so is well worth the read as it opens up into the Ze-Volution First Generation Series, which is a lot of fun and worth looking at. The Grape Thieves – Corrie Garrett – 4.5/5 – Irina has just transferred onto Aegea from the Griffin as a new Police Officer in a fleet of ships that is slowly moving through space. The Aegea is one of the prime ships to be on as it has ‘The Labyrinth’, a section that grows a large amount of the fleet’s food stuffs. Irina has been tasked with a stakeout on nightshift as the newbie as some crops are being stolen late at night. The thieves are not exactly what she expected… This is a wonderfully crafted story, there is a lot of detail that has gone into this short story, from the overall concept, to the details of the overall ships and those aboard them. You quickly become engaged in this story and the characters as they try and uncover who is stealing from the sacred gardens. This was a brilliant way to finish up the Collection. As is the case with this type of collection, you often find that you read one of the short stories, and it was so good, you go and look up the series that the short is attached to, or the Authors other works. This is a great way to get an introduction to different Authors and understand their work so you can delve into their series. This is a fantastic collection and one that should not be missed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Norma

    "It's a matter of principle" Eleven short stories, each based around an officer, not necessarily military, each by a different and talented author, opens up the possibility of wide ranging disperate literary adventures - and in this book the reader will certainly not be disappointed. Almost without exception, all are well written, absorbing, imaginative and open up vistas of new worlds, new ideas. Several inhabit a universe already existing in the work of it's author and can point the reader to a "It's a matter of principle" Eleven short stories, each based around an officer, not necessarily military, each by a different and talented author, opens up the possibility of wide ranging disperate literary adventures - and in this book the reader will certainly not be disappointed. Almost without exception, all are well written, absorbing, imaginative and open up vistas of new worlds, new ideas. Several inhabit a universe already existing in the work of it's author and can point the reader to a whole new treasure of books to explore. So watch out, this could lead on to a whole new expanse of s.f. stories on your to read list. It is hard to select just a couple for special mention but, amongst my personal favourites were Duty, by Alistair's Shaw, following Dave as he tries to police Arancha Station, with little help and working against formidable odds: I really didn't want this one to end; Benjamin Douglas's Totalled had great characters struggling to survive, and JJ Green's, There Comes a Time, had an sweet pathos, predictable but perfect. I could easily select others which kept me entranced but would rather suggest you read it yourself and discover your own favourites. if you enjoy science fiction you will certainly discover some here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kay Smillie

    I pre-ordered this on the strength of the first of the anthologies in the series that I had read previously called 'The Newcomer', and also asked for an eARC prior to the release date. Alasdair Shaw has not let me down with 'The Officer'. A thoroughly enjoyable assembly of thought provoking and entertaining stories. I don't enjoy reading good quality anthologies because I know that they are going to cost me money. They'll introduce me to excellent authors and then I'll buy their work. 'The Office I pre-ordered this on the strength of the first of the anthologies in the series that I had read previously called 'The Newcomer', and also asked for an eARC prior to the release date. Alasdair Shaw has not let me down with 'The Officer'. A thoroughly enjoyable assembly of thought provoking and entertaining stories. I don't enjoy reading good quality anthologies because I know that they are going to cost me money. They'll introduce me to excellent authors and then I'll buy their work. 'The Officer' is no different. Decisions, consequences, balances, demands, orders... all the responsibilities you would expect and more. Duty - Alasdair Shaw 4* Occasionally good plus bad equals something unusually positive. Made me think about modern life. Patchworker 2.0 - M Pax 5* This enthralled me from the start to the beautifully haunting ending. Totaled - Benjamin Douglas 4* A prequel story to Douglas' 'Starship Fairfax' series, this tale brings together the past and the future, the young and the old, the has-beens and the newly-graduated. Lucky Star - A R Knight 5* Orders are there to be followed, but there is also a thing called initiative needed, particularly when the captain is a trifle overpowering and has ideas of his own. There Comes a Time - J J Green 5* Excellent piece of work with a very strong leading lady. Red Fortitude - Eddie R Hicks 4* Training exercise turns into the real thing. Trust, compromise, unconditionality. What a difference reality makes. Pithos - Mark Gardner 4* Experimental technology may have opened Pandora's Box. Is there any hope left? A Step on the Path - Tom Germann 5* A very different way of dealing with 'civilised society'. Rituals - Rick Partlow 4* Rescuing hostages and eliminating the main man - does it ever run to plan? It is worth the cost? First Generation - Adrien Walker 5* I absolutely loved this, and to find out that these people are 'real' means I will be reading more from this author. The Grape Thieves - Corrie Garrett 5* I loved and hated this in equal measures, due to the content. I will be reading more from this author, provided there is no more 'strange fruit' involved. ...and yes, I'm now on a few more mailing lists and have parted with some book-buying Pounds Sterling. I'm a happy bunny!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aurora

    I love anthologies. They give me a chance to explore new authors without needing to make a big commitment. Even if a few of the offerings don't live up to my expectations, there's always a treasure there somewhere that makes it worthwhile. I just skip the ones that don't grab me and enjoy the rest. I was given an ARC copy of this book by one of the authors so I thought I'd read his story and maybe one or two more and give you my general impressions. I started with the first story ... and then th I love anthologies. They give me a chance to explore new authors without needing to make a big commitment. Even if a few of the offerings don't live up to my expectations, there's always a treasure there somewhere that makes it worthwhile. I just skip the ones that don't grab me and enjoy the rest. I was given an ARC copy of this book by one of the authors so I thought I'd read his story and maybe one or two more and give you my general impressions. I started with the first story ... and then the next, and before I knew the % counter in the bottom corner of my Kindle said 100%. There is not a bad story in this whole collection. You'll find everything from princes to programmers, space station gangsters to alien spiders, all lovingly crafted by an international cast of great SF authors. Unless you're a serious science fiction junkie, you probably won't recognize most of the writers whose work appears here, but I'd be surprised if you don't find at least a few that you'll want to become more familiar with. I'll certainly be checking out a lot of the other offerings mentioned in each story's "about the author" and that, after all, is what anthologies are all about.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    This book is a compilation of stories with officers as the lead character in each story. Some of the stories are fast paced, others less so. Some are light hearted and some are very thought provoking. All the stories were good to read and the characters were all different and interesting. Each officer faced different trials and had different issues to sort out or attend to. One story stood out as more intense than the others, and that was A STEP ON THE PATH. That story gripped me. It was full of This book is a compilation of stories with officers as the lead character in each story. Some of the stories are fast paced, others less so. Some are light hearted and some are very thought provoking. All the stories were good to read and the characters were all different and interesting. Each officer faced different trials and had different issues to sort out or attend to. One story stood out as more intense than the others, and that was A STEP ON THE PATH. That story gripped me. It was full of grit and serious aggression as part of the plot. I don't ever remember reading a short story that was more harsh and brutal and yet riveting and visceral. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this compilation of books, it was really interesting to see how each author used the character of the officer in a unique and cleverly devised way in their story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christinaraven

    I loved this anthology. I love anthologies in general as they allow me to try new authors easily. All the stories here were well written and all were different. Some based in the authors book worlds and others just a short story. I started and finished them all in one afternoon as they were just so good. The only bad part was that I now have to add new authors to my to be read pile. I liked that they were all connected just by the fact that the story's main character was an officer but not neces I loved this anthology. I love anthologies in general as they allow me to try new authors easily. All the stories here were well written and all were different. Some based in the authors book worlds and others just a short story. I started and finished them all in one afternoon as they were just so good. The only bad part was that I now have to add new authors to my to be read pile. I liked that they were all connected just by the fact that the story's main character was an officer but not necessarily in the military. A cool concept that worked well for me. My honest review is - a well written anthology with great stories that once I finished one I had to keep reading to see if the next one was just as good.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dave Wickenden

    I received this book as an Advance Readers Copy in return for an honest review. There are definitely a number of compelling and thought provoking stories within this collection that makes it a worthwhile buy for science fiction fans. However, a couple of stories would not have made the cut if a professional editor had been used. I especially enjoyed "There Comes a Time" by JJ Green and "A Step on the Path" by Tom Germann.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danny Mckenzie

    A fantastic collection of short Sci Fi that'll grip you and take you to all corners of the universe. An excellent read where you can do your toes into serious Sci Fi without committing too much of your valuable time. A good format for when you've a half hour commute, escape for that time and see where it'll take you. It'll open so many doors in your imagination and leave you wanting more. I'd recommend for all fans of Sci Fi.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    A wide collection of sci-fi with a look through the eyes of officers. I thought all the stories were great to read and sucked me right in. The two I liked the best were Totaled and Lucky Star. Those two stories had characters you quickly become attached to (though most of the stories are like that in this collection) and want to keep reading about. If you like Sci-Fi you'll love this collection.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robert Bonebrake

    I don't read short stories very often, but this is one I'm grateful I didn't pass up. All of the stories are very well written and catch your attention from the start. I definitely look forward to reading more from these authors.

  12. 4 out of 5

    gerard duffy

  13. 5 out of 5

    alan lucy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lacewell

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adrian J

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Long

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Horne

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris Barnett

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Corvello

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Sherman

  23. 4 out of 5

    B Milburn

  24. 4 out of 5

    Roberta Lyle

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pablo Moure

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vernon

  27. 4 out of 5

    John

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gary Rowell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ray Mitchell

  30. 4 out of 5

    larry borror

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