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Vintage Treasures: The Tomorrow’s Warfare Anthologies, edited by Joe Haldeman, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg

Sunday, November 24th, 2019 | Posted by John ONeill

Body Armor 2000-small Supertanks-small Space-Fighters-small

Covers by Walter Velez

One of the things I miss about modern publishing is mass market anthologies. There’s still loads of anthologies being published, of course — we’ve covered dozens in just the last few months — but most come from small presses, and all of them are in hardcover or trade paperback. Casual buyers just don’t buy short fiction these days. Certainly not in enough volume to make inexpensive paperback anthologies viable, anyway. Which is a shame, since there were a ton of ’em in the 70s and 80s, and it was pretty much the way you discovered new authors back then. This fact was not lost on publishers, and the savvy ones — like Ace and DAW — promoted their stable of authors pretty regularly in themed anthologies.

Take the Tomorrow’s Warfare trilogy of anthologies, for example. Edited by the powerhouse trio of Joe Haldeman, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg, they appeared between 1986-88 from Ace Books. Each followed a loose future-war theme, and each was packed with stories from the top writers in the industry.

And such stories! A Hugo-nominated Alliance-Union novella by C. J. Cherryh, a Hammer’s Slammers novella by David Drake, the complete short novel Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny (a 1968 Hugo nominee), a Bolo story by Keith Laumer, a Berserker novelette by Fred Saberhagen, the original short story “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, an Instrumentality of Mankind tale by Cordwainer Smith, plus stories by Gene Wolfe, Harry Harrison, George R. R. Martin, Robert Sheckley, Gordon R. Dickson, Terry Carr, Christopher Anvil, Joe Haldeman, Edward Bryant, Ben Bova, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Keith Laumer, Ian McDonald, and many, many more.

Anthologies like this don’t exist in paperback anymore. But that’s okay, because I’m still discovering  the old ones — and they’re are still widely available, and they’re still cheap. I wasn’t even aware of this series until I stumbled on two of the three anthologies above in that gargantuan haul of $1 paperbacks I brought home from Windy City Pulp and Paper in April. And I just ordered the third one (Supertanks) on eBay for $1.94.

[Click the images for book-haul sized versions.]

Body Armor 2000-back-small Supertanks-back-small Space-Fighters-back-small

Back covers for Body Armor: 2000, Supertanks, and Spacefighters

These are fun little anthologies, and still highly readable today — especially if you’re interested in discovering writers and series from that era (and let’s face it, you definitely should be). I can’t guarantee that you’ll find brand new copies for a buck like I did, but I can guarantee that you can find copies for about half of what a modern paperback costs – – and that’s not a bad deal at all.

Let’s take at look at the contents for each, starting with Body Armor 2000, which contains an Allliance-Union novella by C. J. Cherryh, plus novellas by Joe Haldeman (“Hero,” nominated for a Hugo award in 1973) and Allen Kim Lang, and much more.

Introduction by Joe Haldeman
“Contact!” by David Drake (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, October 1974)
“The Warbots” by Larry S. Todd (Galaxy Magazine, October 1968)
“The Scapegoat” by C. J. Cherryh (Alien Stars, 1985)
“The Last Crusade” by George H. Smith (If, February 1955)
“Hired Man” by Richard C. Meredith (Worlds of If, February 1970)
“Early Model” by Robert Sheckley (Galaxy Science Fiction, August 1956)
“In the Bone” by Gordon R. Dickson (If, October 1966)
“The Chemically Pure Warriors” by Allen Kim Lang (If, July 1962)
“Right to Life” by Thomas A. Easton (original to this anthology)
“Or Battle’s Sound” by Harry Harrison (If, October 1968)
“Hero” by Joe Haldeman (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1972)

Analog Science Fiction Science Fact March 1976-small

Analog, March 1976, containing
“Field Test” by Keith Laumer. Cover by Vincent DiFate

Supertanks has a Hammer’s Slammers novella by David Drake, a Bolo story by Keith Laumer, and the complete short novel Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny, nominated for a Hugo in 1968.

Introduction by Joe Haldeman
“The Horars of War” by Gene Wolfe (Nova 1, 1970)
“I Made You” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1954)
“Encounter” by Stephen Leigh (Destinies, April-June 1979)
“The Computer Cried Charge!” by George R. R. Martin (Amazing Stories, January 1976)
“Hangman” by David Drake (Hammer’s Slammers, 1979)
“Field Test” by Keith Laumer (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, March 1976)
“An Empty Gift” by Steve Benson (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, December 1983)
“Tank” by Francis E. Izzo (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, March 1979)
“The Tank and Its Wife” by Arsen Darnay (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, January 1978)
“Damnation Alley” by Roger Zelazny (Galaxy Magazine, October 1967)

 

Tomorrow's Warfare Haldeman Waugh Greenberg-small

Finally we have Space Fighters, which includes an Instrumentality of Mankind story by Cordwainer Smith (the Hugo nominee “The Game of Rat and Dragon”), a Berserker novelette by Fred Saberhagen, and one of the most famous SF short stories of the 20th Century, “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card.

Introduction by Joe Haldeman
“The Game of Rat and Dragon” by Cordwainer Smith (Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1955)
“The Immortal” by Gordon R. Dickson (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1965)
“City of Yesterday” by Terry Carr (If, December 1967)
“Industrial Accident” by G. Harry Stine (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, March 1980)
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1977)
“The Claw and the Clock” by Christopher Anvil (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, February 1971)
“Time Piece” by Joe Haldeman (If, July-August 1970)
“Medal of Honor” by Mack Reynolds (Amazing Stories, November 1960)
“Wings Out of Shadow” by Fred Saberhagen (Worlds of If, March-April 1974)
“Gambler’s War” by Marcia Martin and Eric Vinicoff (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, July 1980)
“Safe to Sea” by David Drake (original to this anthology)
“Empire Dreams” by Ian McDonald (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, December 1985)
“Stars, Won’t You Hide Me?” by Ben Bova (Worlds of Tomorrow, January 1966)
“Waiting in Crouched Halls” by Edward Bryant (Worlds of Tomorrow, Spring 1971)
“Early Bird” by Theodore R. Cogswell and Theodore L. Thomas (Astounding: John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology, 1973)

Taken together, these three anthologies make a terrific snapshot of some of the best in military and adventure SF from the late 20th Century. I’m sad that they don’t make ’em like this any more…. but as long as I’m still discovering inexpensive treasures like these, I really don’t have much to complain about.

Here’s the complete publishing details.

Body Armor: 2000 (311 pages, $3.50 in paperback, April 1986)
Supertanks (262 pages, $3.50 in paperback, April 1987)
Space-Fighters (296 pages, $3.50 in paperback, April 1988)

All three were published by Ace Books, and all had covers by Walter Velez.

Space Gladiators-small Space Infantry-small Space Dreadnoughts

Covers by Walter Velez

Joe Haldeman did no further books in the series, but David Drake picked up the reins in the late 80s and produced three new titles with Waugh and Greenberg. Like the first ones, they were all published by Ace with covers by Walter Velez.

Space Gladiators (310 pages, $3.95 in paperback, April 1989)
Space Infantry (256 pages, $3.95 in paperback, November 1989)
Space Dreadnoughts (232 pages, $3.95 in paperback, July 1990)

I’ll look at these in more detail once the copies of Space Gladiators and Space Dreadnoughts I ordered today finally arrive. I’m looking forward to it.

See all our recent Vintage Treasures here.

3 Comments »

  1. you know, i think i get most of my short story reading in through the anthology magazines. well 4 of them, Magicians Skull, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Azimov’s, and Analog. i also sometimes check out Clarkesworld, and the many different edited “Years Best” anthology’s. though i must admit, maybe not in the last year or two, but i used to find new authors from self published stuff that was free or very cheap for the first hit. i feel like that sort of thing has stopped now, or there is much less of it because people dont see immediate rewards and dont have the patience to build a fanbase. who knows though, i dont exist in that world, i just read it.

    thanks for the write-up, couple more titles to hunt down is always nice!

    Comment by silentdante - November 25, 2019 1:58 am

  2. Dante,

    Glad you like TALES FROM THE MAGICIAN’S SKULL! What did you think of the latest issue?

    Comment by John ONeill - November 25, 2019 10:57 am

  3. Wow, I never realised so many other titles in the series. I only have the thoroughly enjoyable Body Armour 2000.

    A different anthology, also by Ace which I enjoyed, may have been covered here before, is Robot Warriors, with an introduction by Gordon R. Dickson. Different series but to me kind of fitted with Body Armour 2000, and i am sure the rest.

    Comment by Tony Den - November 26, 2019 3:25 am


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