Covers by Walter Velez
Almost exactly a month ago I wrote about a trio of military/adventure science fiction anthologies edited by Joe Haldeman, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg, and published by Ace Books between 1986-88: Body Armor: 2000, Supertanks, and Space Fighters. Today they’re called the Tomorrow’s Warfare trilogy, and they’re a fun and collectible set of vintage paperbacks well worth tracking down, especially if you enjoy 80s-vintage military/adventure fantasy or are even remotely curious about 80s science fiction in general. Check out all the details here.
Haldeman did no further books with Waugh and Greenberg. But I suspect the three he did were fairly successful, as scarcely a year later David Drake picked up the reins and produced three books with them in the exact same vein:
Space Gladiators (1989)
Space Infantry (1989)
Space Dreadnoughts (1990)
These are loosely referred to as the Space anthologies (by me, anyway), and they followed the same formula as the previous titles, with stories from the most popular writers of the day including a Retief novella by Keith Laumer, a Dorsai tale by Gordon R. Dickson, a Magnus Ridolph novelette by Jack Vance, a Falkenberg’s Legion story by Jerry Pournelle, a Hammer’s Slammers novelette by David Drake, a Thousand Worlds tale by George R. R. Martin, plus the Hugo-award winning “Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell, the classic “Arena” by Fredric Brown (inspiration for the famed Star Trek episode of the same name), and fiction by Isaac Asimov, Brian W. Aldiss, Arthur C. Clarke, Fritz Leiber, Joe Haldeman, Poul Anderson, Algis Budrys, Jack Williamson, Michael Shaara, Mack Reynolds, C. M. Kornbluth, and many others.
[Click the images for space-sized versions.]
Back covers for Space Gladiators, Space Infantry, and Space Dreadnoughts
Here’s the complete TOC for Space Gladiators, which includes three long novellas — a Retief tale by Laumer, a United Planets story by Mack Reynolds, and “The Dueling Machine” by Ben Bova and Myron R. Lewis — plus a Magnus Ridolph novelette by Jack Vance, and the classic pulp adventure “Arena” by Fredric Brown.
Introduction: Let the Games Begin… by David Drake
“Diplomat-at-Arms” by Keith Laumer (Fantastic Science Fiction Stories, January 1960)
“In the Arena” by Brian W. Aldiss (If, July 1963)
“The Kokod Warriors” by Jack Vance (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1952)
“Fiesta Brava” by Mack Reynolds (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, September 1967)
“Arena” by Fredric Brown (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944)
“Brood World Barbarian” by Perry A. Chapdelaine (If, September 1969)
“The Dueling Machine” by Ben Bova and Myron R. Lewis (Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction, May 1963)
“Killer” by David Drake and Karl Edward Wagner (Midnight Sun, 1974)
“Arena” is one of the most famous stories to appear in Astounding. It’s been adapted many times, most famously as the classic Star Trek episode featuring the Gorn.
“Arena” was also gorgeously adapted by Gerry Conway, John Buscema, and Dick Giordano for the fourth issue of Marvel Comics World Unknown, a short-lived magazine that retold classic SF short stories. Read the entire adaption at Diversions of the Groovy Kind — trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
You can read more about Fredric Brown, and the strange tale of how “Arena” came to be a Star Trek episode here.
As long as we’re talking about stories that ended up in strange places, the Bova and Lewis novella “The Dueling Machine” was eventually expanded into a novel of the same name by Ben Bova — though with no mention of Lewis in this version.
The Dueling Machine by Ben Bova
(Ace Books, 1978). Cover by Ken Barr
Here’s the TOC for Space Infantry, which contains a Falkenberg’s Legion story by Jerry Pournelle, a Hammer’s Slammers piece by David Drake, a Dorsai tale by Gordon R. Dickson, plus a novella by Keith Bennett and stories by George R. R. Martin, Michael Shaara, Joe Haldeman, Fritz Leiber, Stephen Goldin, Keith Laumer, and others.
Introduction: Heroes, by David Drake
“The Rocketeers Have Shaggy Ears” by Keith Bennett (Planet Stories, Spring 1950)
“His Truth Goes Marching On” by Jerry Pournelle (Combat SF, 1975)
“But As a Soldier, For His Country” by Stephen Goldin (Universe 5, 1974)
“Soldier Boy” by Michael Shaara (Galaxy Science Fiction, July 1953)
“Code-Name Feirefitz” by David Drake (Men of War, 1984)
“The Foxholes of Mars” by Fritz Leiber (Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1952)
“Conqueror” by Larry Eisenberg (If, October 1967)
“Warrior” by Gordon R. Dickson (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, December 1965)
“Message to an Alien” by Keith Laumer (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1970)
“… Not a Prison Make” by Joseph P. Martino (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, September 1966)
“The Hero” by George R. R. Martin (Galaxy Magazine, February 1971)
“End Game” by Joe Haldeman (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, January 1975)
And finally, here’s the Table of Contents for Space Dreadnoughts, with the Hugo-award winning classic “Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell, plus stories by Jack Williamson, Arthur C. Clarke, David Drake, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, C. M. Kornbluth, Algis Budrys, and others.
Introduction: A Quick Look at Battle Fleets, by David Drake
“The Only Thing We Learn” by C. M. Kornbluth (Startling Stories, July 1949)
“C-Chute” by Isaac Asimov (Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1951)
“Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1955)
“A Question of Courage” by J. F. Bone (Amazing Stories, December 1960)
“Superiority” by Arthur C. Clarke (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1951)
“Hindsight” by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1940)
“The Last Battalion” by David Drake (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, September 1977)
“Shadow on the Stars” by Algis Budrys (Fantastic Universe, November 1954)
“Time Lag” by Poul Anderson (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 1961)
If you’re like I was in the 80s, reading anthologies like this will eventually make you curious about the magazines where the stories originally appeared. To whet your curiously even further, here’s a sampling of four of them.
Planet Stories, Spring 1950 (cover by Allen Anderson), Amazing Stories, December 1960 (cover by Alex Schomburg)
Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1951 (Cover by Richard Arbib), Analog, May 1963 (cover by Feodor Rimsky)
The previous anthologies in this series, edited by Haldeman, Waugh. and Greenberg, are also well worth a look. See the complete details in my last article here.
Covers by Walter Velez
Just like Joe Haldeman before him, David Drake edited three anthologies in the series with Waugh and Greenberg, and then called it a day. He did one final anthology with his two collaborators the same year Space Dreadnaughts appeared (The Eternal City, Baen, 1990), but that was the last of them.
Waugh and Greenberg seemed to know they were on to a good thing however, and continued the Space anthology series with one more volume at Ace. Space Dogfights, co-edited by Algis Budrys in 1992, seemed like the logical next idea in the series. It contained some good stuff, including no less than three Nebula nominees: “Against the Lafayette Escadrille” by Gene Wolfe, “Custer’s Last Jump” by Steven Utley and Howard Waldrop, and the novella “Hawk Among the Sparrows” by Dean McLaughlin, plus a Michaelmas tale by Algis Budrys and “Night of the Vampyres” by George R. R. Martin.
Space Dogfights (Ace, 1992). Cover by Joe Adams.
Here’s the complete TOC.
Introduction by Gordon R. Dickson
“Night of the Vampyres” by George R. R. Martin (Amazing Science Fiction, May 1975)
“In the Wind” by Glen Cook (Tomorrow Today, 1975)
“The Nuptial Flight of Warbirds” by Algis Budrys (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, May 1978)
“Time of War” by Mack Reynolds (If, November 1965)
“Against the Lafayette Escadrille” by Gene Wolfe (Again, Dangerous Visions, 1972)
“Hawk Among the Sparrows” by Dean McLaughlin (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, July 1968)
“Custer’s Last Jump” by Steven Utley and Howard Waldrop (Universe 6, 1976)
“A Little Night Flying” by Bob Shaw (Worlds of If, July-August 1974)
Interestingly, these books weren’t the only anthologies with the word Space in the title produced by Waugh and Greenberg. Back in 1986 they’d partnered with Poul Anderson to create Time Wars; two years later they produced a companion volume titled Space Wars. Both were published in paperback by Tor. These are fine anthologies and well worth a look, but they’re not part of the Ace Space anthology series.
Space Wars (Tor, 1988; cover by Tom Kidd) and Time Wars (Tor, 1986; cover by John Pound)
Here’s the complete publishing details.
Space Gladiators (310 pages, $3.95 in paperback, April 1989) — edited by David Drake with Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg
Space Infantry (256 pages, $3.95 in paperback, November 1989) — edited by David Drake with Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg
Space Dreadnoughts (232 pages, $3.95 in paperback, July 1990) — edited by David Drake with Charles G. Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg
Space Dogfights (208 pages, $4.50 in paperback, January 1992) — edited by Algis Budrys, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin H. Greenberg
All four were published by Ace Books. See my November article on the first three titles in the series, edited with Joe Haldeman, here
See all our recent Vintage Treasures here.