Deserts of Fire: Speculative Fiction and the Modern War
Desert of Fire from editor Douglas Lain provides speculative fiction about war and the modern war in the Middle East. Lain sees war as a steady state and does not think that there are still necessarily compelling reasons for it. It sure seems as if we are stuck with it for the meantime. One, though, might think we should have dreamed more this year with this being the 500th Anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), which reminds us that we can set the mind free for ideas. This anthology suggests that this might not always be possible. Most of these stories focus on our current entrenchment in the Middle East, which has kept us busy for more than a decade. It has been World War III for those folks.
The anthology collects all sorts of genre stories. There is fantasy, horror, noir, alternative history, and science fiction. The anthology succeeds in many ways. It has some famous writers but also some newer ones. Some of these writers have not been publishing for thirty years and have been able to say things in less well know outlets. Lain also has a lot of interesting things to say about the current war state of the world. Some of the stories are challenging, others compelling, but there are various perspectives on this hopefully someday ending problem.
Douglas Lain, Editor
Night Shade Books