War is serious business — and so is war-themed science fiction. Your mind may be leaping to the movie version of Starship Troopers. But the genre doesn’t have to be, as Andrew Liptak writes, all about “bug hunts and unabashed jingoism.”
Vermonters with an interest in SF know Liptak as the guy behind Geek Mountain State. The holder of an MA in military history from Norwich University, he’s written about science fiction for Kirkus Reviews, io9 and other publications. Now he’s coediting an anthology of military SF called War Stories.
The book’s Kickstarter campaign page describes it as “a look at the people ordered into impossible situations, asked to do the unthinkable, and those unable to escape from hell. It’s stories of courage under fire, and about the difficulties in making decisions that we normally would never make.” In other words, the kinds of issues that real soldiers face — in SF settings.
“Together, we’re both connected to the military community through our lives and education, and we feel that now is the time for a modern, relevant look at the state of the world around us,” write Liptak and coeditor Jaym Gates.
The two expect to see some submissions from Vermont authors, Liptak says. Among the writers already on board are Joe Haldeman, Keith Brooke, Maurice Broaddus, Karin Lowachee and Yoon Ha Lee. With a campaign deadline of November 14, War Stories has currently received more than $6000 in pledges toward its $10K goal.
Vermont may be better known for its cozy mysteries than for SF and horror fiction, but Liptak is looking to remind locals that we can tell creepy hearth-fire stories with the best of them. On November 16, he’ll present Dark Mountain State, a “Night of Horror and Dark Fantasy” featuring readings from local authors such as Daniel Mills, Erika Nichols and T.L. Barrett. Halloween may be over, but the legacy of Vermont visitor H.P. Lovecraft lives on.
Dark Mountain State, Saturday, November 16, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Quarterstaff Games in Burlington. Free.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Out of This World"