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SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror

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War is hell . . . Soldiers fight to survive. They fight each other, and they fight the demons inside. Sometimes, they fight real monsters. This book collects stories of ancient myths, time travelers, horrors in the old west . . . and the soldiers who fight them. Featuring some of the best writers working in the field today, this book includes works from Jonathan Maberry, W War is hell . . . Soldiers fight to survive. They fight each other, and they fight the demons inside. Sometimes, they fight real monsters. This book collects stories of ancient myths, time travelers, horrors in the old west . . . and the soldiers who fight them. Featuring some of the best writers working in the field today, this book includes works from Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A. Moore who lead the way, with a contingent of emerging authors to back them up. Fight or die.


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War is hell . . . Soldiers fight to survive. They fight each other, and they fight the demons inside. Sometimes, they fight real monsters. This book collects stories of ancient myths, time travelers, horrors in the old west . . . and the soldiers who fight them. Featuring some of the best writers working in the field today, this book includes works from Jonathan Maberry, W War is hell . . . Soldiers fight to survive. They fight each other, and they fight the demons inside. Sometimes, they fight real monsters. This book collects stories of ancient myths, time travelers, horrors in the old west . . . and the soldiers who fight them. Featuring some of the best writers working in the field today, this book includes works from Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A. Moore who lead the way, with a contingent of emerging authors to back them up. Fight or die.

30 review for SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Vote: ☆☆☆ 1/2 Blackwater by Neal F. Litherland ☆☆☆ A spec-ops commando on a mission to rescue a girl in a misty seaside town from Esoteric Order of Dagon cultists and the sea creatures they worship. A lovecraftian action-packed pastiche with a few good moments. Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan ☆☆☆☆ When Soldiers in an artillery detachment start seeing a kid previously trampled and killed by panicked mules, they became accustomed to it and the boy becames a mascot of sorts. Essentially Cas Vote: ☆☆☆ 1/2 Blackwater by Neal F. Litherland ☆☆☆ A spec-ops commando on a mission to rescue a girl in a misty seaside town from Esoteric Order of Dagon cultists and the sea creatures they worship. A lovecraftian action-packed pastiche with a few good moments. Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan ☆☆☆☆ When Soldiers in an artillery detachment start seeing a kid previously trampled and killed by panicked mules, they became accustomed to it and the boy becames a mascot of sorts. Essentially Casper the friendly ghost on a Civil War battlefield, but it was a touching and deliciously creepy tale. Covert Genesis by Brian W. Taylor ☆☆☆ A Delta Force squad, on a mission to recover and repair a downed C-17, is hit by something and falls down from sky too. Sgt. Watkins finds himself fighting for his life against alien worms taking over people's brains and turning them into screaming blu-eyed mind controlled freaks. A nice gory action-packed story, but it was like reading first chapter of a longer tale.. Bug Hunt - A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Maberry ☆☆☆1/2 Predator meets X-Fikes when spec-op Joe Ledger and his team are caught between serbian mercenaries looking for a bioweapon and giant spiders from outer space, or mars if you are a David Bowie's fan. A not bad at all novella, and it reminded me I purchased a Joe Ledger book years ago that's waiting to be read somewhere on my library's bookshelves. Special Operations Interview PTO-14 by Wayland Smith ☆☆☆☆ A nice tale about american and japanese soldiers against Oni on a Pacific island in WWII. ☆☆☆/☆☆☆☆ if you are an anime and japanese folklore fan. Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse ☆☆☆ A nice supernatural Cold War tale set in '69 San Francisco with spies, ghosts and vampire gheishas. Not bad at all and the Box Man was a deliciously creepy character, but I'm not too much a fan of first person pov narrative, storyline was far from interesting, and in the end Special Unit 77 was just another Hellboy's B.P.R.D or Brian Lumley's E-Branch from Necroscope saga. Making Waves by Curtis C. Chen ☆☆☆☆ Submarine USS Bowfine's mission to wake up a kaiju and unleash it against Japan ends with two Elder Gods destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A funny little gem of an alternative history tale, and the setting with magic using people and lovecraftian monsters reminded me a lot the Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) movie, a fan favourite of mine. The Fossil by Greig Beck ☆☆☆ A nice tale spanning from pre-history to the future with neanderthals, time travellers, little people and men in black with an hilarious Predator easter-egg in the ending. Sooner or later have to read its expanded version later released from the author as a stand alone novella. A Tide of Flesh by Jeff Hewitt ☆☆☆☆ Historical fiction meets zombie apocalypse genre in an action-packed gory tale about british soldiers on garrison in colonial India, defending a fort against waves of walking dead corpses, monkeys, tigers and elephants. Almost five bloody stars for me, but the feeling of reading someting like an extract from a longer novel was a real disappointing one. Death at 900 Meters by Tyson Mauermann ☆☆☆ American Sniper meets 30 Days of Night when an american snipers team chasing their kill record in Iraq clashes against some vampires. No twists and characters needed more fleshing, but it was not bad at all. Holding the Line by Eric S. Brown ☆☆ Three men in a National Guard unit fight for their live in a Sasquatch Apocalypse when swarms of no-more hidden Bigfoot (Bigfeet?) declare war against humanity. Loved the gory ending, but this was probably the shortest and weakest tale collected in this anthology. Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton and W.D. Gagliani. ☆☆☆ Green berets jungle combat trained Bushmasters team is looking for missing soldiers and Charlie's nests along the border between Laos and Thailand. They end finding oit something better left hidden. Essentially a mix of Predator, Jacob's Ladder a d Groundhog Day with asian ghosts and a strong lovecraftian vibe. The Shrine by David W. Amendola ☆☆☆☆ A Nazi German Panzer division and some SS scavenging inside an old russian church end up awakening an elder lovecraftian thing fallen from stars. One of best stories collected in this anthology. Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenbeck ☆☆ 1/2 A party of US cavalrymen hunting Indians Native Americans ends up meeting a creature out of myth. A not bad weird-western tale, but spoilering the monster's identity in the title was not a good move at all. A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross ☆☆☆☆ Her Majesty's Bravo Unit of Parachute Regiment Pathfinders is having a night training on Salisbury Plain, but things go not as planned and they end up awakening an angry god slumbering and starving for slaughter. A creepy bloody short gem. Blank White Page (Songs in the Key of White) by James A. Moore ☆☆☆☆☆ A soldiers versus apaches fight blows in full rage around Silver Springs town in Colorado because ofa bunch of US cavalrymen trying to have their fun with some unwilling squaws and their officer closing an eye, a couple of pale riders enter the frey bringing death with them. Weird-western at its best with gunshots, Indian Wars, a secret conflict between Skinwalkers  and a sorcerer wiho can speak with ghosts.  Former undertaker Lucas Slate, an albino turning into something monstrous, and his pard Jonathan Crowley, an immortal sorcerer talking with dead people and drawing his powers from supernatural beings, are an hell of a duo and I just have to read more about them as soon as possible.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Blank White Page by James A. Moore ★★★★½ “Whatever makes you think a few buildings brings about a civilized human being?” I have a soft spot for weird westerns. I enjoyed this story of mysterious monsters facing off against mysterious monsters. The backstory of the albino mulatto cryptozoologist who is transforming into an unknown creature is a great story of its own. And is Crowley some kind of Faust? This story deserves a book or at least a novella. Bug Hunt: A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Blank White Page by James A. Moore ★★★★½ “Whatever makes you think a few buildings brings about a civilized human being?” I have a soft spot for weird westerns. I enjoyed this story of mysterious monsters facing off against mysterious monsters. The backstory of the albino mulatto cryptozoologist who is transforming into an unknown creature is a great story of its own. And is Crowley some kind of Faust? This story deserves a book or at least a novella. Bug Hunt: A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Maberry ★★★★★ That was everything I wanted: humor, action, adventure, combat, an unexpected kinship. It was cinematically entertaining! Now I need to read some Joe Ledger. (view spoiler)[I subsequently read three Joe Ledger books but only liked the first one. (hide spoiler)] Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse ★★★★☆ A supernatural MIB story with more bureaucracy than style. Still, there was some memorable imagery, vampires with heads that can bail by floating away?!?! That was freaky goodness! A Tide of Flesh by Jeff Hewitt ★★★★☆ An army of the undead colonized of India taken on the English and Scottish troops devastating their land. Exciting stuff! The Shrine by David W. Amendola ★★★★☆ Himmler’s special SS occult team unearths a secret beneath a Russian monastery and unleashes a wrathful baby Cthulhu! It was over too soon, the baby needed to grow more. Blackwater by Neal F. Litherland ★★★½☆ A fast and furious beginning as a covert team attempts to rescue a young woman lost to the mysterious cult ripped from the early work of H.P. Lovecraft! Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenbeck ★★★½☆ A glory hound cavalryman faces off with a thunderbird. He won’t live to see the fortune in peddling the hide. Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan ★★★☆☆ That was an ok story of a ghost who became the mascot of Civil War detachment. Special Operations Interview PTO-14 by Wayland Smith ★★★☆☆ That was sad. You just saw a man do something amazing, heroic, and you shoot him. It was war. just doesn’t cover it. Making Waves by Curtis C. Chen ★★★☆☆ Lovecraft, magic, war, and Kaju meet in a SyFy Channel historical fiction. Needless to say I loved the world building but did not like the characters. Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton and W.D. Gagliani ★★★☆☆ A ghost in an abandoned temple in Laos traps all the soldiers who come to her. A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross ★★★☆☆ A training mission at Stonehenge goes wrong when the dark god imprisoned beneath the stones awakens. Covert Genesis by Brian W. Taylor ★★½☆☆ Read yesterday forgotten today. Something bad happens, there no ending, the characters just throw their hands in the air and say I guess we try and survive. Lame. The Fossil by Greig Beck ★★☆☆☆ 100,000 year story of violence over a small misplaced object. The world-building was non existent, but it was interesting to see a future where we have shrunk possibly due to climate change and scarcity. Death at 900 Meters by Tyson Mauermann ★★☆☆☆ Sort of a zombies (or vampires?) in Gulf War story that was not enough. Holding the Line by Eric S. Brown ★★☆☆☆ A fast, hard, and empty rabid Bigfoot story. Average rating 3.18 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    I won't rate this, as I am the publisher, but damn, there are some great stories in here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Frank Errington

    Review copy My expectations were not that high for this anthology. Although, I love horror, in all it's many forms, I've never been that big a fan of the military story. Well, I needn't have worried at all. SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror delivers. Every story killed (pun intended). Sixteen tales of terror from the battlefield wherever that battlefield may be. Just about every war over the last millennium, and beyond, is covered in this collection. SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror feat Review copy My expectations were not that high for this anthology. Although, I love horror, in all it's many forms, I've never been that big a fan of the military story. Well, I needn't have worried at all. SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror delivers. Every story killed (pun intended). Sixteen tales of terror from the battlefield wherever that battlefield may be. Just about every war over the last millennium, and beyond, is covered in this collection. SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror features great stories from established names like Jonathan Maberry (with a Joe Ledger novella), Weston Ochse, and James A. Moore (with a story featuring his characters Jonathan Crowley and Lucas Slate). You'll also find some writers you may not have read before, but don't let that keep you away. Some of the best stories are from authors I wasn't familiar with. Christine Morgan's "Little Johnny Jump-Up" is one of those stand out tales. A ghost story set on the battlefield during the Civil War. Brian W. Taylor has a very cool story called "Covert Genesis," about a C-17 brought out of the sky by a bright blue flash, and what the survivors face is simply terrifying. "...Lawson's never been the most sociable guy to begin with. Throw in alien worms who take over people's brains and you can respect his crankiness." "The Shrine," by David W. Amendola has German soldiers unearthing something that should be been left lone. Between the covers of SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror are rescue missions, fighting giant alien spiders, Japanese vampires, undersea lovecraftian horrors, enemies from the far future, bigfoot, and the undead in the form of monkeys, tigers, elephants and thousands of Indians. There is so much goodness in SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror that a sequel with four novellas of military horror will be forthcoming with more stories from Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Joseph Nassise, and James A. Moore. SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror is available now in hardback, paperback, and ebook through Amazon.com from Cohesion Press. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul Perry

    Military fiction of any sort is not really my go-to, whatever the genre it is part of. I find that very little of it is of the standard of The Forever War or Life During Wartime or the Regeneration trilogy. It’s far too often war porn, all about the deadly toys and full of characters from a bad John Wayne movie. However, I’m glad I joined in with the group Space, Spells Screams monthly read of SNAFU. Blackwater by Neal F. Litherland is a great opener, wonderful cinematic action and I'm a sucker f Military fiction of any sort is not really my go-to, whatever the genre it is part of. I find that very little of it is of the standard of The Forever War or Life During Wartime or the Regeneration trilogy. It’s far too often war porn, all about the deadly toys and full of characters from a bad John Wayne movie. However, I’m glad I joined in with the group Space, Spells Screams monthly read of SNAFU. Blackwater by Neal F. Litherland is a great opener, wonderful cinematic action and I'm a sucker for decently written Lovecraftian horror. I thought the ending a little hysterical after the tension and emotion of the escape. I loved Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan. I thought it gave a lovely insight into both the American Civil War and the soldiers' mindset of superstition and an acceptance that any success or survival today may have to be paid in full tomorrow. Quite affecting. Saying I hated Brian W. Taylor’s Covert Genesis would be putting it too strongly, but I thought it was pretty terrible. Awful cliched dialogue and generally badly written. Everything that makes me so often avoid military fiction. Back on form with Bug Hunt from the editor, Jonathan Maberry; a great little action story, tightly written with really strong characters. I'll definitely be looking up the rest of the Joe Ledger series. One slight annoyance is that Maberry misuses some weapon terminology - a soldier would not call an AK47 a machine gun (it's an assault rifle, or just a rifle), and he uses "small arms fire" to refer to pistols as though it's the opposite of "long arms"; almost anything that isn't a heavy weapon is a small arm. A minor quibble, but an author should get the professional terms correct, and it's easy to research. As someone else pointed out, spiders are also referred to as ‘insects’, but I can let that go as it was said by a character. I liked Wayand Smith’s Special Operations Interview PTO-14, but I'm not sure it counts as a fully realised story, more a vignette. I'm a table-top roleplayer and this is the kind of thing you might have in a character's background to flesh them out. Speaking of my hobby, Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse is right in my wheelhouse. A super-secret military unit battling both the Soviet threat and the incursion of monsters from other dimensions? Sounds like my kind of party. I've got a Weston Ochse collection and some stories in anthologies on my Kindle (mostly from Humble Bundle, I think), so must look them up. I really enjoyed Curtis C. Chen’s Making Waves, both the Mythos yumminess of realising the Things they are about to wake aren't what they'd thought, and the hint of the wider world of military magic. Also, the protagonist hiding her gender, although I'm not sure she'd be able to get away with that on a sub, even with the glamour. Greig Beck’s The Fossil was a fun one, pitting a recovery team from the far future against an anti-intrusion Special Forces team in Berlin when they are sent to recover an energy weapon. A fun, action-packed cross time tale. A Tide of Flesh from Jeff Hewitt was excellent, possibly the only story in the book other than Little Johnny Jump-Up (so far) that is about more than 'just' the story, dealing as it is with the atrocities of colonialism as a British garrison in the Indian Raj defend a fort from horror. What is not to love about a Delta Force commando team in Iraq unexpectedly coming up against some vampires? Death at 900 Metres by Tyson Mauermann checks that box. After a run of generally high quality, the collection takes a dip for a while. Holding the Line by Eric S. Brown - a thoroughly forgettable war story. Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton & W.D. Gagliani - a potentially interesting tale of a US military action SE Asia that isn't well-written enough to go anywhere The Shrine by David W. Amendola started off by thoroughly annoying me as the author is doing that teenaged-boy thing of showing off his knowledge or research by giving every piece of equipment its correct nomenclature. We don't need the specs of every vehicle in the convoy, or be told the model of radio being used. Slogging through that, however, this actually became a decent little horror story Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenback is a solid tale of some US soldiers in the Indian Wars encountering something weird, the nature of which is unfortunately given away by the title. Kirsten Cross's A Time of Blood features some squaddies on a wargame, capturing perfectly soldierly banter in an excellent horror story, as they encounter something ancient near Stonehenge. The anthology finishes with one of its strongest stories. Blank White Page by James A. Moore is another post US Civil War tale of soldiers and Indians, following the strange companions of Lucas Slate and Jonathan Crowley caught between a US Army detachment and the Apache that they’ve been sent to remove, one way or another. A really strong tale, full of violence and magic, the wider mythology hinted at but never explained left me wanting to read more - and, as Crowley is, apparently, something of a recurring character in Moore’s work, give me a place to start. Definitely some authors I'll be looking up again, which is what I want from an anthology. 3.5 stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    Good book of short stories. The Greig Beck story was my personal favorite, like all of his work. I also liked the Jonathan Maberry, Joe Ledger adventure and will be finding his other books. Also enjoyed; Blackwater by Neal Litherland, Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse, A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross and Blank White Page by James Moore.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    The fear of the unknown is what horror as a genre has always chosen to exploit and this anthology takes those fears and puts it down in a military landscape. In other words, it unleashes these horrors onto men and women trained for war. These are the stories and what I made out of them : Blackwater : A spec-ops team faces off against monsters from the sea. Not a very cohesive story although it does have a few moments. 2 stars. Little Johnny Jump-Up : The civil-war era and a benevolent little ghost. The fear of the unknown is what horror as a genre has always chosen to exploit and this anthology takes those fears and puts it down in a military landscape. In other words, it unleashes these horrors onto men and women trained for war. These are the stories and what I made out of them : Blackwater : A spec-ops team faces off against monsters from the sea. Not a very cohesive story although it does have a few moments. 2 stars. Little Johnny Jump-Up : The civil-war era and a benevolent little ghost. This is no horror story but one where the ghost eases out the horrors for the characters. 3 stars. Covert Genesis : Here again it is spec-ops but the monsters they face are rather unique and different from all the others in this anthology. A little high on the gore factor coupled with fast paced action. 3 stars. Bug Hunt : I am not familiar with this character : Joe Ledger so was not used to his staccato sentences and gung-ho attitude. Although making a guess about this character would be rather premature, I did feel that he is yet another stereotype of the American GI that the media would have us believe. The story was an interesting one but it did lack cohesion at quite a few places. Some things did not sit too right and that affected the enjoyment factor. 2 stars. Special Operations Interview PTO -14 : A US marine on patrol in a Japanese island stumbles on a scene straight out of Japanese mythology. Here again there isn’t much of horror and comparably it is a bland story. 2 stars. Cold War Gothic : Reminiscent of Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D placed in a cold war setting. The Americans cross swords with the Russians and the weapons they use are all supernatural in nature. An interesting addition into the mix was the box-man, a character worth remembering. Quite an atmospheric tale. 3 and half stars. Making Waves : I knew there was a Ctulhu impostor in here somewhere and here it was ! WWII, submarine warfare, magic, Americans, Elder Gods and general mayhem. Interesting twist to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki scenarios. 3 stars. The Fossil : One of the longest stories in the collection and worth it. The future coming back to haunt and terrify us was a new one for me. The story moves swiftly and the buildup is quite brilliant. 4 stars. A Tide of Flesh : Starts right in the thick of action and stops when it wanes. The premise is very interesting with the British soldiers facing off the Indian undead. The execution however lacks the charm. 2 stars. Death at 900 meters : Set in present day Iraq with Marine snipers on a routine smash-and-grab mission encountering vampires. No surprises, no plot twists and just your regular vampire tale. 2 stars. Holding The Line : The smallest story in the collection and one without too much of a conclusion. It is all over before you get into the thick of things. High on gore. For the interested, it is the National Guard v/s Sasquatches. 2 stars. Thela Hun Gingeet : The favorite landscape of all military writers – the American debacle in Vietnam. An American team on an intel gathering mission goes deep into the jungles and gets caught up in a Taoist temple that fries their neural circuits. The imagery is psychedelic and lavishes us with stunning visuals. My contention however is with the fact that the story never explains what all the noise is all about. Everything is left hanging by the threads. 3 and a half stars for the visuals & 2 stars for the story. The Shrine : WWII again with the German Panzer division and the SS trying to pull out something from the foundations of an old church. What comes out of the pit is a homage to a monster of the Lovecraftian genre. The buildup in this story is pretty solid and the characters are pretty well sketched. 4 stars. Ptearing All Before Us : I have always wondered what a Thunderbird in the Indian myths could be all about. This story offers a wild guess at that and builds a story around a group of soldiers out hunting Indians in the wilderness. More than horror, this is a tale of greed and avarice. I quite liked it. Here too, gore is rather high. 3 stars. Blank White Page : Two gentlemen, a certain Mr. Slate and Mr.Crowley ride into the town of Silver Springs in the days of the wild west. They remind you of the horsemen of the apocalypse for one rides a pale horse and the other man is…well he really is something to behold. In they ride and all hell breaks loose (no pun intended !). The storytelling moves at breakneck speed and it really is a brilliant piece of work amalgamating Mexican standoff’s, supernatural incursions and good old firefights. This certainly is my pick as the best in the anthology. The only thing to note is that this is the only tale which is not directly set in a military backdrop. 5 stars. This is one of those rare anthologies where none of the stories are bad. They all either fall into the category of good or strictly average. Worth a read. Recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trike

    Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan 4 stars Fantasy Excellent beginning for this collection, featuring a canon unit during the US Civil War. This is a terrific ghost story that zips right along. The only thing that keeps it from being a 5 star story is that it was pretty much on rails without surprises. The writing is excellent, however. Covert Genesis by Brian W. Taylor 3 stars Fantasy This is a decent “first encounter” story, but it doesn’t provide any answers or a real ending. The open-ended Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan 4 stars Fantasy Excellent beginning for this collection, featuring a canon unit during the US Civil War. This is a terrific ghost story that zips right along. The only thing that keeps it from being a 5 star story is that it was pretty much on rails without surprises. The writing is excellent, however. Covert Genesis by Brian W. Taylor 3 stars Fantasy This is a decent “first encounter” story, but it doesn’t provide any answers or a real ending. The open-endedness of it doesn’t bother me as much, but it just feels weird for weirdness’ sake. Bug Hunt by Jonathan Maberry 5 stars Science Fiction This is a Joe Ledger story, where Ledger and his team from the Department of Military Sciences are tasked to recover a very bad weapon from some Russian mercenaries in the Pacific Northwest. Then things get crazy when they all encounter giant spiders from outer space. As with his other books I’ve read, this is a solid adventure story with a couple neat wrinkles. It’s not dissimilar to the movie Predator without being derivative. Special Operations Interview PTO-14 by Wayland Smith 3 stars Fantasy This is in the form of a transcript of an OSS interview of a US Marine during WWII in the Pacific. He witnessed a Japanese soldier battling a big blue demon. It’s an okay story. Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse 4 stars Fantasy Set in 1969 San Francisco, this one is about an undercover government bureau that specializes in occult creepies. In this instance it’s vampire geishas. So that was fun. Making Waves by Curtis C. Chen 5 stars Fantasy A WWII story set aboard the submarine USS Bowfin. This is a world where magic is an everyday thing, as it begins with a spell to allow a specialist to teleport aboard. I quite liked how Chen integrated magic into the world, as well as how he makes you think this will involve Godzilla-like kaiju but pivots instead. (view spoiler)[It’s actually Cthulhu-esque Elder Gods. (hide spoiler)] This was my second favorite tale in this collection. The Fossil by Grieg Beck 4 stars Science Fiction Little people, parallel universes, cavemen, secret government organizations... lots of stuff going on in this story. I don’t know that I would necessarily classify it as horror, but scary stuff does happen and no one wears plot armor. A Tide of Flesh by Jeff Hewitt 3 stars Fantasy A British garrison in colonial India faces a ravening horde of zombies, including zombie monkeys and zombie elephants, which are scarier than regular human zombies. Death at 900 Meters by Tyson Mauermann 3 stars Fantasy Vampires, this time in Iraq during the Gulf War, from the POV of a sniper team. (Hence the 900 meters.) Modern vamps have been done to undeath, but this is a solid example. Holding the Line by Eric S. Brown 2 stars Science Fiction This is the weakest entry, not because it’s bad per se but because it’s really just a short scene, not a story. A 3-man National Guard unit against rampaging Bigfoots. Bigfeet? Whatever. Thela Hun Gingeet by David Benton and W.D. Gagliani 3 stars Fantasy Weird spooky shit going down during the Vietnam War. It’s in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft or Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. The Shrine by David W. Amendola 3 stars Fantasy Maybe this is Science Fiction. Hard to tell from the vague clues given. Early WWII (1941) story about Nazis who investigate a Russian church steeped in mystery. Maybe it hides an alien or a Lovecraftian creature, but either way it’s a monster story. Ptearing All Before Us by Steve Ruthenbeck 2 stars Science Fiction Normally this would be exactly the kind of story I like, as it features a US Cavalry scouting party encountering the mythical Native American thunderbird. (view spoiler)[It’s a pteranodon. (hide spoiler)] But the creature is somehow sneaky enough to snatch people without anyone noticing. The thing is the size of a small airplane, so they’d have to be especially inattentive not to see it. I didn’t buy it for a second. A Time of Blood by Kirsten Cross 2 stars Fantasy A contemporary story of British army unit on a training exercise next to Stonehenge. The characters are incompetent and the story is dumbly implausible, which is saying something for Fantasy. Blank White Page by James A. Moore 5 stars Fantasy Strong Finish with the best story of the bunch. Set in the late 1800s after the US Civil War in the frontier town of Silver Springs, Colorado, two traveling companions ride into town. One is the former undertaker Lucas Slate who is undergoing some mysterious transformation. The other is the sorcerer Jonathan Crowley. There is increasing conflict between the US Cavalry and indigenous Apache, with Silver Springs as their latest battleground. If that’s not bad enough, there is dark magic afoot, as well as ghosts, monsters and skinwalkers. It is extraordinarily dangerous, but Slate and Crowley are the possibly most dangerous creatures around. Even they might not be equal to what they find. Although the longest story here, this flew by. It is lean and propulsive. Moore doesn’t over-explain things and the tale has a nice ebb and flow. It has the feel of a modern version of Solomon Kane, which I didn’t realize I needed in my life. I don’t think I’ve read anything by him before, but I’m excited to learn that he has a collection of short stories featuring Crowley titled One Bad Week.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Parrish

    Disclaimer: I received a courtesy copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I went into SNAFU with high expectations and wasn't disappointed. I am a huge fan of all things Maberry and had been following the release date of this book since he first announced his participation. I never miss a chance to spend more time with Joe Ledger and Echo Team, and the short outing included in this anthology "Bug Hunt" was another stellar breakout. That said, the other authors both big names i Disclaimer: I received a courtesy copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I went into SNAFU with high expectations and wasn't disappointed. I am a huge fan of all things Maberry and had been following the release date of this book since he first announced his participation. I never miss a chance to spend more time with Joe Ledger and Echo Team, and the short outing included in this anthology "Bug Hunt" was another stellar breakout. That said, the other authors both big names in miltary/horror and the new recruits did a great job of bringing the heat from page to page. There were stories that spanned from pre-history to the future, but a majority took place in post-Civil War era theaters, be the World Wars 1 and 2, Vietnam, or the near-modern ops of Maberry's Echo Team. I found Weston Ochse's Cold War Gothic, Jeff Hewitt's A Tide of Flesh, Neal Litherland's Blackwater, and Walyand Smith's Special Operations Interview PTO-14 stood near the summit with Maberry's tale, yet all the stories were worth the time to read. Some stories had a little more world-building required to pay out the story, and even the ones that weren't necessarily my favorites were still an enjoyable ride. I'd like to see more collections in this same vein from editors Geoff Brown and Amanda J Spedding. The stories were eclectic in settings, brisk in the action presented, interspersed with the build-up of dread I went in hoping for from page 1. I'll be looking forward to a SNAFU 2 or Catch-666 or whatever another volume of these tales would be called. Based on this volume, it'd be a day-1 purchase. Buy this one with confidence of money well-spent.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    SNAFU is one of those special anthologies, where every story fits the mould. Each work has its own special hook or pull that keeps you reading and then wanting to read the next. The only story without a direct focus on the military was the last, "Blank White Page (Songs in the Key of White)" by James A. Moore. That said, it fit well into the anthology and is an amazing, haunting tale. Overall, I would rate this as one of the best horror anthologies I have ever read, easily worthy of my 5 star revi SNAFU is one of those special anthologies, where every story fits the mould. Each work has its own special hook or pull that keeps you reading and then wanting to read the next. The only story without a direct focus on the military was the last, "Blank White Page (Songs in the Key of White)" by James A. Moore. That said, it fit well into the anthology and is an amazing, haunting tale. Overall, I would rate this as one of the best horror anthologies I have ever read, easily worthy of my 5 star review. I await the next edition with barely contained anticipation, as well as the recently announced SNAFU: Heroes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This is the 2nd SNAFU I've read, although it's the first one in the series. While there were some really good stories in this there were quite a few plonkers as well, and although it hide a wider span of 'military' horror than later anthologies, it just was not quite what I was after. It is currently a Covid 19 lockdown, so maybe my head's just not in the right place for this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John W. Dennehy

    Cohesion Press has launched the primer anthology series for Military Horror/Science Fiction. The first book in the series was SNAFU, An Anthology of Military Horror. The book was a major success bringing stories from the best writers in the Horror/Action Adventure realm, including Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A. Moore, as well as emerging writers who draw the reader in and hold suspense like the big writers. I enjoyed every story contained in this book, and quite frankly Cohesion Press has launched the primer anthology series for Military Horror/Science Fiction. The first book in the series was SNAFU, An Anthology of Military Horror. The book was a major success bringing stories from the best writers in the Horror/Action Adventure realm, including Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A. Moore, as well as emerging writers who draw the reader in and hold suspense like the big writers. I enjoyed every story contained in this book, and quite frankly was pleasantly surprised at the mix of stories and the quality of writing including the emerging writers that showed a lot of talent. The stories encompass an excellent blend of Military Horror and Science Fiction. At 446 pages of packed adventure, this book is well worth the purchase.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pete Aldin

    Great fun. Absolute stand out reads for me were those belonging to Christine Morgan, Westone Ochse (loved this one!!!) and Greig Beck.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tarl

    Military horror. The term brings to mind a number of images and story ideas. Geoff Brown and Amanda J Spedding have brought together a varied mix of stories that cross a number of different genres and types of military units. From single investigator to entire military units, SNAFU was an interesting anthology idea and it came together wonderfully. As there are a large number of stories in this anthology, I will be talking about those that stood out for me. Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morga Military horror. The term brings to mind a number of images and story ideas. Geoff Brown and Amanda J Spedding have brought together a varied mix of stories that cross a number of different genres and types of military units. From single investigator to entire military units, SNAFU was an interesting anthology idea and it came together wonderfully. As there are a large number of stories in this anthology, I will be talking about those that stood out for me. Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan was a light story about a ghost and a cannon. When compared to the rest of the stories in this anthology, this one felt the least horror orientated. Rather, it was more of a jovial story, even when faced with the horrors of warfare. Still, Morgan created a nice batch of characters and a storyline that was unique amongst the rest in this collection. Covert Genesis by Brian W. Taylor read like a video game like 'Left 4 Dead' rather than a horror story. With its groupings of 'named' enemies (Ironhide, Technophiles, etc) the level of horror within this story was completely removed rather than enhanced. The characters were very one dimensional and only helped to give the story its video game feeling. Sadly, this story could have been so much more if Taylor had left the monsters as unknown creatures. Bug Hunt: A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Maberry was an excellent read and actually had me hunting out Maberry's other works. The protagonist was engaging and interesting with a personality that was infectious even during combat. Making the spiders more than what they were was a nice touch that upped the horror aspect of the story. A really fun read along the lines of traditional military adventure novels. Cold War Gothic by Weston Ochse was a story I couldn't figure out how I felt about it. Some parts of it, such as the Box Man and his ability to eat spiders, was unique and fascinating to read about. The Russian was another interesting character that brought a lot to the story and helped to up the level of mysticism within the story. However, all of these elements couldn't hold my interest to the sheer size of this story. Making Waves by Curtis C. Chen was a wonderful Lovecraftian story that had me wondering long after the end of the tale if the Hatcher was morally a good person or not. It actually got bad enough that I was actually angry at Hatcher for some of the things she did. War often has blurred morality lines, and Chen captures this perfectly here. She also does the mythos element with skill and talent. A very enjoyable story. Holding The Line by Eric S Brown was nothing more than a giant battle scene. Very little character development, no explanation as to why the Sasquatch Apocalypse was happening, and virtually no plot, this story was a sad disappointment. I wish there had been more to this tale with its unique monsters and concept, but as it stands, there is just nothing to it. Ptering All Before Us by Steve Ruthenbeck had an interesting premise, but it was quickly lost to heavy, blunt foreshadowing and an unrealistic dinosaur. (view spoiler)[With the constant mentioning of Thunderbirds, the reader quickly figures out what the monster is that is snatching up the riders. And then when it actually shows up, its behavior is completely unrealistic. Even the largest of the flying dinosaurs, the Quetzalcoatlus, killed its prey by stalking much in the way as a stork. Due to the nature of their wing membranes, all of the flying dinosaurs were unable to pick up prey with their hind quarters like modern birds of prey. (hide spoiler)] Given these elements, this story kept pulling me out of the story and in the end ruined it for me. Black White Page (Songs in the Key of White) by James A. Moore was a perfect weird western story that has the military as the antagonist. (well, one of them anyway) Moore presents an interesting duo of characters that play perfectly off each other. The military officer was the right level of ass, though it felt as if Moore was trying a bit too hard to make him sympathetic later on within the story. All in all however, this story was a nice mix of violence, interesting characters, and a unique concept of what the Skinwalkers were. As mentioned above, I didn't want to go through all the stories, but as I went through this anthology, I was reminded of just how good most of the stories in this collection were. War is hell, and when you add the horror element to it, it gets deliciously amazing. If you have any interest in horror or the military, this is the anthology for you!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sammy

    I received this book due to winning one of the giveaways and although it has taken me a long time to get around to reviewing the anthology, it's not for lack of wanting too. I wasn't really expecting a lot, but I certainly should have. The book consists of several short stories of varying lengths but all contain gripping plots and exciting characters, which is no small feat considering the authors only get 50 pages! The range of the stories is amazing, containing not only modern day military but a I received this book due to winning one of the giveaways and although it has taken me a long time to get around to reviewing the anthology, it's not for lack of wanting too. I wasn't really expecting a lot, but I certainly should have. The book consists of several short stories of varying lengths but all contain gripping plots and exciting characters, which is no small feat considering the authors only get 50 pages! The range of the stories is amazing, containing not only modern day military but a whole range of soldiers throughout history, and a few FBI secret division types too! Of course, that being said all the tales also contain a great element of horror. Some of it being gory and bloody, some of it being tense and some, well some of it is just plain odd ... but I think we all need a little odd (especially when the odd is written so expertly). Being an anthology gives the novel a little advantage, in that, even people with only short spaces of free time can easily read enough for things to fit together nice. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with a story if you're waiting long periods of time between reading sessions so it helps that the individual narratives are short but oh so sweet. The fact that the stories are short is also a nice break in-between the 600 page brain-melting, back-breaking hardbacks. Having already placed SNAFU on my Dad's to read shelf, I have no doubts that I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys military OR horror, but I'm also pretty sure I'd recommend it to anyone who just generally likes a good book. - SH

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Vinther

    Nice creepy little story. Merged review: Usually when I read an anthology I get it for one or two authors and hope the rest are good, looking for possible new authors to read.This one not only accomplished that, nearly every story in the book was really good. I bought the book mostly for Jonathan Maberry, and his Joe Ledger story was cool and right on par with the rest of the series. Several of the stories I would love to read a follow-up or could've read a whole book about, like Blank White Page Nice creepy little story. Merged review: Usually when I read an anthology I get it for one or two authors and hope the rest are good, looking for possible new authors to read.This one not only accomplished that, nearly every story in the book was really good. I bought the book mostly for Jonathan Maberry, and his Joe Ledger story was cool and right on par with the rest of the series. Several of the stories I would love to read a follow-up or could've read a whole book about, like Blank White Page by James A Moore, Death at 900 Meters by Tyson Mauermann, and Covert Genesis by Brian Taylor. Those were standouts to me, but I wasn't disappointed or bored by any story in this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Seth Tucker

    This is an amazing collection. Everyone of the stories is gripping and enjoyable. Each story is unique in that it deals with soldiers from different conflicts and time periods, and different styles of soldiers: Tank commanders, submarine officers, mercenaries, horse calvary, snipers, etc. It's very difficult to pick a favorite story out of this. Some of these stories deal with Lovecraftian styled creatures, while others deal with more traditional monsters, and even one prehistoric monster. A mus This is an amazing collection. Everyone of the stories is gripping and enjoyable. Each story is unique in that it deals with soldiers from different conflicts and time periods, and different styles of soldiers: Tank commanders, submarine officers, mercenaries, horse calvary, snipers, etc. It's very difficult to pick a favorite story out of this. Some of these stories deal with Lovecraftian styled creatures, while others deal with more traditional monsters, and even one prehistoric monster. A must for fans of military horror, or just fans of good action horror stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I choose to give this book 4 stars because a couple of the stories just didn't catch my attention. This book is an anthology of military style horror stories. The stories range from the Old West to World War II to Vietnam and Iraq with many stops along the way. I found it engaging and a few of them had historic backdrops that made the reader go... "What if?" All in all, this book was a pleasant way to spend part of a day. and I'm looking forward to starting the second book in a few minutes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Hersh

    Once again, another great SNAFU anthology... Most of the stories in this volume easily rate five stars, but as is usually the case, a few don't, therefore the four star rating. Also as usual, the best entry was by Greig Beck who is rapidly turning out to one of my favorite authors. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Best damn anthology of military horror there is... period. Get it now.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karl Ljungberg

    I wonder if it's possible to ever rate a short story collection higher than 3 out of 5 or thereabouts. The very format is against it in that regard and unless you find a collection that is specifically made for you, chances are pretty good you'll love some, dislike some and be sort of indifferent towards most of them. And each person will have different opinions on the stories. Again, that's the format. SNAFU had a lot of things going for it. For one, the subject matter inherently interests me. Mi I wonder if it's possible to ever rate a short story collection higher than 3 out of 5 or thereabouts. The very format is against it in that regard and unless you find a collection that is specifically made for you, chances are pretty good you'll love some, dislike some and be sort of indifferent towards most of them. And each person will have different opinions on the stories. Again, that's the format. SNAFU had a lot of things going for it. For one, the subject matter inherently interests me. Military people going up against the unknown is, for some reason, like catnip to me. I'll always gobble that stuff down greedily. But it also featured a short story by one of my favorite authors, Greig Beck, which pushed it from "Maybe I'll get around to it." to "I need to read this now." So, what did I think? Well, some stories I loved, others I disliked and most were somewhere inbetween. Total shocker. A few stories stood out to me, though. Little Johnny Jump-Up by Christine Morgan was a wonderful ghost story that went in a completely different direction than the stories in the collection. Covert Genesis by Brian W. Taylor built a really cool world and Jonathan Maberry's Bug Hunt definitely made me want to read his Joe Ledger-series. But perhaps the one that stood out to me most was Cold War Gothic, a fantastic rendition of Cold War America steeped in the occult and supernatural that had me begging for some kind of continuation. Dammit, Weston Ochse, write the series already! David Benton and W.D. Gagliani's Thela Hun Gingeet also get an award for doing something different compared to the others. The rest I found either mediocre, amusing for the moment but forgettable or not very good. I'm not gonna hang them out here, I don't want to color your perception too much here. But some I just found overly long and not well suited for short story collection. Some authors no doubt use this as an opportunity to test out new concepts and ideas, a place to put failed attempts at full fledged books and you can kind of tell with some of them. Beck's The Fossil in particular stood out to me as something particularly poorly placed in a short story. The descriptions weren't nearly as fledged out as they needed to be, the concept itself felt constrained by the format and in the end it felt incredibly rushed. I'm kind of happy that he took the story and continued to write on it, flesh it out and publish it on its own. I don't know if it actually comes out better for it yet but I can't imagine it'll feel any worse. I felt that short story in particular deserved a mention since it was the reason I read the collection in the first place. As to whether you'll like this or not, as I said, I don't know. There's too many different stories of varying types, themes and formats for me to say a yes or not. If you're into this sort of supernatural military action, it's hard to imagine you won't find something to love. But just be prepared that there's a good chance you'll dislike some of them as well. No doubt I'll be picking up more SNAFU books down the line, though. Nothing that I didn't like turned me off from the series, that's for sure. Again, it's just the nature of the format.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Horror DNA

    I've done more than a few anthology reviews for Horror DNA, and if I'm not mistaken, I've started each review with the same speech: why I like anthologies, and what I look for first when picking out one to read (outside of what is sent to me for review). The first is simple; I like the variety of authors presented, and generally I will discover a writer I'd never read before. The format gives me just enough of a taste of an author to let me know if I want to continue reading them or not. When ch I've done more than a few anthology reviews for Horror DNA, and if I'm not mistaken, I've started each review with the same speech: why I like anthologies, and what I look for first when picking out one to read (outside of what is sent to me for review). The first is simple; I like the variety of authors presented, and generally I will discover a writer I'd never read before. The format gives me just enough of a taste of an author to let me know if I want to continue reading them or not. When choosing an anthology, I look at the editor first to see if I'm familiar with them and then I see what authors are presented (and sometimes if the works are new or reprints because if it's a book full of reprints, I'll generally pass as I probably have them in some format already). What I don't think I've ever brought up is what type of anthology I look for, and to be honest, it's not something I've really thought about until SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror came across my plate. I have to admit, I've never given military horror much thought until I read this fantastic book. Sure, I was familiar with the standard witches, ghosts, zombies (oh god, make that genre stop), and "best of" anthologies, but there is no memory (or at least recent memory) of seeing this particular sub-genre. Let me be the first to thank Cohesion Press to introducing me to it, and editors Geoff Brown and Amanda J. Spedding for doing some outstanding work with their selections. You can read Steve's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Russ

    My favorite story was "A Tide of Flesh" by Jeff Hewitt. Zombies attack a British army outpost in India. The Walking Dead meets Richard Sharpe. I don't want to spoil anything, but humans aren't the only lifeforms that become undead in this story. Loved it! Another story that I liked the premise of was "Ptearing All Before Us" by Steve Ruthenbeck. This is a Western story where we suddenly discover that native American thunderbird petroglyphs represent pterodactyls, which are alive and among the ill My favorite story was "A Tide of Flesh" by Jeff Hewitt. Zombies attack a British army outpost in India. The Walking Dead meets Richard Sharpe. I don't want to spoil anything, but humans aren't the only lifeforms that become undead in this story. Loved it! Another story that I liked the premise of was "Ptearing All Before Us" by Steve Ruthenbeck. This is a Western story where we suddenly discover that native American thunderbird petroglyphs represent pterodactyls, which are alive and among the ill-fated cavalry unit, picking off compatriots one by one. I enjoyed the emerging writers’ stories more than the bigger names. Maybe it’s because they were hungrier to be published, they had to earn it, so they made their stories rock. Like most anthologies, there were a couple of stories that didn’t work for me at all, but seeing the other reviews, the stories I didn’t like were quite popular for others. It goes to show that this anthology has something for everybody. Especially readers who are interested in military or war stories, horror, dark Westerns, or good old action-adventure. This would make a good gift for the guy in your family who likes comic books, video games, Friday night creature features, etc.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mya

    I am was a fan of the mashup of military fiction and horror before I even knew there was genre for it (oh and available novels for it). Oh I feel hard for Aliens and Predator. I thoroughly loved Dog Soldiers and Doom but what SNAFU has done is to shower me with a buffet of delights. I initially started off with Recon, as if I really needed a sampler for something I know that I will consume every installment of but directly after, I could wait no longer and dug in to the real volume one. The most I am was a fan of the mashup of military fiction and horror before I even knew there was genre for it (oh and available novels for it). Oh I feel hard for Aliens and Predator. I thoroughly loved Dog Soldiers and Doom but what SNAFU has done is to shower me with a buffet of delights. I initially started off with Recon, as if I really needed a sampler for something I know that I will consume every installment of but directly after, I could wait no longer and dug in to the real volume one. The most striking works for me, and well chosen frames, are the opening and the closing tales. The first, 'Blackwater,' leaves no question about the anthology is about with a special ops team infiltrating a drug lord's lair and finding more than they bargained for. The last 'Blank White Page'...is not just an awesome period piece about two, otherworldly traveling companions battling supernatural odds with quirky banter and deadly precision but well...out of all of the samples in the book, this one really lit a fire in me to hunt down the author (James A. Moore) for.... more! Other stand out stories for me include "The Shrine" cause who doesn't enjoy the NazixLovecraft taco, Bug Hunt because giant spiders and The Fossil, which is about time travel and to be honest, yeah it was the scariest work in the book for me. All over a delightful anthology and I look forward to next volume!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    If Military Horror is your bag then look no further! A largely excellent collection featuring some of the best in the business. Great fun and featuring a wide variety of settings and eras. Recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Like all of the anthologies that I have read lately, there were a few that were not as awesome as the other ones, but on balance, I really liked this one. If you are a fan of Laird Barron's "Old Virginia", you'll enjoy this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott Tyson

    A great collection for fans of military/Sci-Fi thrillers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marika Charalambous

    Not all stories were great, but some were awesome, including the short Joe Ledger story by Jonathan Maberry (which I admit was the reason I got the book in the first place).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Clemmer

    Most of the stories were not gory but focused psychological horror, with a little bit on conspiracy theory mixed in.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    just the joe ledger part

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