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Monday, December 15, 2014

The RED HORSE rides

I'm not sure there are the superlatives to describe how pleased I am to be able to introduce to you Castalia's new anthology of military science fiction and military fact, RIDING THE RED HORSE. Tom and I have been working on this all year, and between us, we somehow managed to recruit a very strong roster of contributors on both the fiction and non-fiction sides. It's now available from Amazon as well as from Castalia House.

As the editing was a collaborative effort, so too was the cover. JartStar was unhappy with his initial attempt, but he liked the concept, so he brought in Jeremiah, who did the covers for The Altar of Hate and The Book of Feasts & Seasons, and together they managed to bring it to life. Historically keen eyes will probably recognize the cover to which it is a thematic homage of sorts.  But as much as I enjoy working on covers, let's face it, it's really what is inside the book that matters. The contributors, and the pieces they contributed, are as follows, in the order they appear in the book. Many, if not most, of these names will be readily recognizable.
  • Eric S. Raymond: "Sucker Punch" and "Battlefield Lasers"
  • William S. Lind: "Understanding 4th Generation Warfare"
  • Chris Kennedy: "Thieves in the Night"
  • Vox Day: "A Reliable Source"
  • James F. Dunnigan: "Murphy's Law" and "Red Waves in the South China Sea"
  • Jerry Pournelle: "His Truth Goes Marching On" and "Simulating the Art of War"
  • Ken Burnside: "The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF"
  • Christopher G. Nuttall: "A Piece of Cake"
  • Rolf Nelson: "Shakedown Cruise"
  • Steve Rzasa and Vox Day: "Tell it to the Dead"
  • Harry Kitchener: "The Limits of Intelligence"
  • Giuseppe Filotto: "Red Space"
  • John F. Carr and Wolfgang Diehr: "Galzar's Hall"
  • Thomas Mays: "Within This Horizon"
  • Benjamin Chea: "War Crimes"
  • James Perry: "Make the Tigers Fight"
  • Brad Torgersen: "The General's Guard"
  • Tedd Roberts: "They Also Serve"
  • Tom Kratman: "Learning to Ride the Red Horse: The Principles of War"
  • Steve Rzasa: Turncoat
I should probably go ahead and point out that both "Tell it to the Dead" and "Turncoat" are set in the Quantum Mortis universe. And despite being one of the editors, as a longtime fan of military science fiction and a lifelong student of the art of war, I won't hesitate to tell you that this collection is one that you simply will not want to miss if you are even remotely interested in either. I hope you will find RIDING THE RED HORSE to be a worthy successor to the excellent anthology series that inspired it, THERE WILL BE WAR.

The initial reviews are in. Some selections:
  • RIDING THE RED HORSE features both military sci-fi short stories and nonfiction articles regarding the future or history of warfare. For those readers that don’t recognize it; the title is a reference to the second horseman of the apocalypse from the Bible’s Book of Revelation; the Horseman of War who rides a red horse. Some of the stories, “Sucker Punch”, “Thieves in the Night” and “A Reliable Source”, “Red Space”’ for example, are more Tom Clancy-ish techno-thrillers than outright military sci-fi. Others are more traditional military sci-fi, like “A Piece of Cake”, “Shakedown Cruise” and “Turncoat”, to name just three stories that feature high-tech space battles in the middle distant future. Other stories are more Earthbound, but just as high tech, or discuss war against highly modified “trans-humans, to name just two examples. The story quality is uniformly very good; two outstanding examples are “Shakedown Cruise” and “Turncoat”.... RIDING THE RED HORSE is a well done military sci-fi and military studies anthology, and frankly at $4.99 it is a helluva good value for your entertainment (and education) dollar.
  • Easy 5 stars on this one. An impressive collection of fun and well-written military fiction interposed with essays by military thinkers/historians. I was both entertained and informed throughout.... The essays are not navel-gazing; when their writers challenge conventional thinking on various topics, they do so with the voice of insight and experience. Their credentials are helpfully explained by an editor's introduction at the beginning of each entry, for both the essays and the fiction. That was helpful both to establish the authority of the essay writers to speak on their subjects, and also in helping me to become aware of some newer authors I hadn't heard of but whose work I enjoyed in this collection. The fiction entries are mostly military sci-fi to varying degrees of "hardness," with a couple Roman/Medieval fantasy type stories thrown in as well, but all deal with questions of tactics, strategy, and the human element in combat.... Highly recommended.
  • This is a first-rate collection, but more for the non-fiction than the fiction. The non-fiction essays by practitioners of various kinds can range from enlightening to quite frightening. ESR and Pournelle are excellent technically and Kitchener on the limits of intelligence was a masterly summary. For the non-fiction alone, I would recommend the book as a buy. However little you may agree with them, they will provoke real thought in you. On the fiction side, the stories are consistently serviceable, and occasionally exceptional.
RIDING THE RED HORSE is 443 pages and retails for $4.99. It is available in DRM-free EPUB and MOBI for Kindle format from the Castalia Store and from Amazon.

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40 Comments:

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2014 3:37 AM  

It's being delivered to my Kindle* as I write this. Now I just have to find time to read it...

*Yes, yes, I know, I'm perfectly happy with it.

Blogger Remo December 15, 2014 4:22 AM  

I trust that the deviant sexual perversions and gender / race of the protagonists in this collection will take center stage in each every story and I'll admit concern that didn't see any stories about wereseals riding cross gendered dinosaurs into town to molest bishops either. /sarcasm

Anonymous DAS December 15, 2014 5:18 AM  

Impossible to buy using Android mobile browser on the Castalia store because the buying controls are off the screen on the right and there is no way I can figure out how to either resize or scroll the screen to see them. Wanted to buy direct from Castalia but will go through Amazon instead.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2014 5:42 AM  

Very much looking forward to this. There Will Be War books used to be a lunch time reading favorite during my college days.

Blogger Chad December 15, 2014 7:08 AM  

DAS
I had the same problem, buy you can see the buy button if you turn your phone sideways. Tap it once to put in cart, a second to check out, and then all the fields you need to fill in will be visible

Blogger Chad December 15, 2014 7:09 AM  

***BUT you can see the buy button

Stupid phone

Anonymous MadPiper December 15, 2014 7:35 AM  

Purchased it and Feasts. I'm looking forward to the time to read them.

Blogger Manach December 15, 2014 8:11 AM  

Looks to be an interesting and enjoyable book, based on the author list, and I'd aim to purchase it soon.
One query: is the price difference ($6.41 vs $4.99) between Amazon.com and Castilla due to extra charges by Amazon?

Anonymous Daniel December 15, 2014 8:15 AM  

An impressive list indeed. I can now see why Scalzi's "Owed A Blowjob" might have missed the cut.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2014 8:26 AM  

One query: is the price difference ($6.41 vs $4.99) between Amazon.com and Castilla due to extra charges by Amazon?

You are probably outside the USA and thereby subject to the exchange rate variances. The US retail price is $4.99 on Amazon.

Blogger Vox December 15, 2014 8:36 AM  

I can now see why Scalzi's "Owed A Blowjob" might have missed the cut.

We REALLY wanted that touching story about crossdressing, forbidden love, and sodomy in the ranks that is such a glaring omission from the collection, but despite our heartfelt pleading, we just couldn't get him to participate.

Blogger jaericho December 15, 2014 9:14 AM  

I'm looking forward to reading this. Thanks a bunch, Vox.

Anonymous maniacprovost December 15, 2014 9:29 AM  

How long until we see a story where the villain is "a pompous, scalzied dilettante; in short, typical of the Empire's flag officers."

Anonymous Athor Pel December 15, 2014 9:36 AM  

I'm getting a Kindle for Christmas.

Anonymous uncle grandpa December 15, 2014 9:42 AM  

I just hope you've included a story about the finest swordswoman in Zangblovia.

Anonymous Daniel December 15, 2014 9:45 AM  

we just couldn't get him to participate.

Unbelievable. He must really be raking it in by giving it away on tumblr. Dudebro has got so many options you'd think he was cis-bi.

Anonymous Daniel December 15, 2014 10:01 AM  

#2 in Military Strategy already. Top 100 in mil-sf.

Anonymous DrTorch December 15, 2014 10:12 AM  

I'd like to see the piece on Battlefield Lasers

Anonymous DrTorch December 15, 2014 10:17 AM  

Unbelievable. He must really be raking it in by giving it away on tumblr. Dudebro has got so many options you'd think he was cis-bi.

Ugh, I hate Watchmen. But Scalzi is clearly coming out of the closet.

Anonymous Giuseppe December 15, 2014 10:21 AM  

All the stories ibread sobfar are very good. And I alsobgot myvfirst fan letter, informing me they thought my story was the best! That's like gold coins to a writer. So you'll forgive me if I go all "Guido with a gold medallion and speedos" on you all and brag here about it.

Blogger Vox December 15, 2014 10:43 AM  

All the stories ibread sobfar are very good. And I alsobgot myvfirst fan letter, informing me they thought my story was the best!

As you can see, Tom and I manifestly deserve some kind of award for our editing.

Anonymous Giuseppe December 15, 2014 11:47 AM  

Vox,
Heh. I saw after I posted that I would win the retard award for today. Big hands, small stupid phone keyboard. Aren't you glad I type my stories on a laptop.

Blogger pdwalker December 15, 2014 12:05 PM  

I heard it has vampiric, zombie wereseals in a love triangle with a barely attractive, but completely desirable but useless heroine!

I'm going to purchase that gem now!

Blogger pdwalker December 15, 2014 12:10 PM  

Crap. No wereseals. I've been had.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2014 12:29 PM  

As you can see, Tom and I manifestly deserve some kind of award for our editing.

Editing or translation? I was looking forward to reading about the exploits of Ibread Sobfar.

Congrats anyway Guiseppe.

Blogger Josh December 15, 2014 12:58 PM  

Editing or translation? I was looking forward to reading about the exploits of Ibread Sobfar.

Is Alsobgot Myvfirst his nemesis or sidekick?

Anonymous Don December 15, 2014 1:12 PM  

Vox - So without you and Tom Giuseppe would read like Father Guido Sarducci?

I must say I really enjoyed his story Red Space. It was an interesting interpretation of some weird news stories and odd little 'Fortean' facts. Made you think anyway. Could it be? No...but maybe...

Anonymous Daniel December 15, 2014 1:54 PM  

The cover looks like the old paperback edition based off the first edition of Starship Troopers, where the infantry look like robots.

One question about the editorial introduction: why is a hispanic native American in Italy working beneath the jackboot of Finland releasing it from Geneva? I mean, I know you've got a strong interest in multiculturalism, but come on.

Also, I can't wait for the manga version to come out.

Blogger Josh December 15, 2014 2:04 PM  

One question about the editorial introduction: why is a hispanic native American in Italy working beneath the jackboot of Finland releasing it from Geneva?

I'm assuming markku sent vox some blankets at one point

Anonymous kawaika December 15, 2014 2:05 PM  

I'm sure Crusader customers will have no remorse and certainly no regrets.

Anonymous Peter December 15, 2014 2:41 PM  

The last sentence suggests that the Amazon/Kindle version is DRM-free. Is that true, or am I just being obtuse? (I grew up speaking this language, I promise!)

Anonymous Giuseppe December 15, 2014 2:48 PM  

@Josh and Jack,
obviously you're too uncouth to appreciate the finer nuances of my story if you can't even distinguish between the villain and the hero from their names. I dare say you should probably limit yourselves to my less-known dinosaurs and gun porn.
As for the multiculturalism of Vox, well, he's just a race-traitor/racist on so many levels it becomes confusing.

@Don,
Thanks and oh yes...it can be, very much so. If you are interested in the non-fiction version of that you can read my Face on Mars, or Joseph Farrell's Brotherhood of the Bell or Henry Steven's Dark Star. They make the Nazi connection, but the antigravity discovery is long before that and I am the first one I know that made all the links to it first, though I did miss the Nazi part, but the part before them is even more weird and amazing really.

@Vox,
Indian-giver. First he gives you the fame, the acclaim, the fans, then he takes it away...cruelty art indeed!

Blogger Vox December 15, 2014 2:56 PM  

The last sentence suggests that the Amazon/Kindle version is DRM-free.

That is true.

Anonymous Peter December 15, 2014 3:51 PM  

"That is true."

Ka-click! Mine! Thanks for taking the time to clarify that, Vox.

Anonymous Don December 15, 2014 5:35 PM  

@Guiseppe - is your book 'Faces on Mars' available in ebook form?

Anonymous Giuseppe December 15, 2014 5:45 PM  

@Don,
sorry, no. Only dead tree format. My non-fiction books have extensive footnotes and they are a pain/impossible/hard to format for in kindle. And this book was painful to keep in a decent format in the first place. It really is only good on paper, the time it would take to get it to read decently in ebook is just more than it would take me to write another book.

Anonymous Dave December 15, 2014 6:24 PM  

@Guiseppe "So you'll forgive me if I go all "Guido with a gold medallion and speedos" on you all"

Just don't subject us to pics


I'll admit I cannot tell if Ibread Sobfar is a villian or a hero but I will say you have to use it in a story now.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2014 9:09 PM  

I'll admit I cannot tell if Ibread Sobfar is a villian or a hero but I will say you have to use it in a story now.

I figured Ibread Sobfar was one of Roosh's aliases, and Alsobgot Myvfirst the shoggoth he must defeat.

Blogger Markku December 16, 2014 4:56 AM  

One question about the editorial introduction: why is a hispanic native American in Italy working beneath the jackboot of Finland releasing it from Geneva?

When you have as many governments and administrations as possible involved in the process, it becomes exceedingly difficult for any single one of them to hijack the business on some bullshit excuse.

Blogger pdwalker December 16, 2014 7:28 AM  

Markku,

You're answer sounds flippant, but I suspect there's a lot of truth to what you say.

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