Special Forces. The very sharpest edge of any military throughout history. Now, they face their greatest challenge yet. Undead, mutations, monsters, all the things no-one ever believed could happen are here in the pages of SNAFU: Black Ops. Read tales from existing bestselling series by Jonathan Maberry, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Hank Schwaeble, John O'Brien, and James Lovegrove, along with some of your SNAFU favourites in this collection of the very best stories by the very best writers of military horror. Full list of contributors: Jonathan Mayberry & Bryan Thomas Schmidt (A Joe Ledger/Rot & Ruin crossover novella) RPL Johnson Richard Lee Byers James A Moore & Charles R Rutledge Alan Baxter Christine Morgan John O'Brien (A New World novella) Tim Marquitz & J M Martin Kirsten Cross Hank Schwaeble (A Jake Hatcher novella) Seth Skorkowsky Lovegrove & Sharps (A Pantheon series novella) Nicholas Sansbury Smith (An Extinction Cycle novella)
Geoff Brown aka G.N. Braun is an Australian writer and twice Australian Shadows Award finalist-editor raised in Melbourne’s gritty Western Suburbs. He is a trained nurse, and holds a Cert. IV in Professional Writing and Editing, as well as a Dip. Arts (Professional Writing and Editing). At graduation, Brown was awarded ‘Vocational Student of the Year’ and ‘2012 Student of the Year’ by his college. He writes fiction across various genres, and is the author of many published short stories. He has had numerous articles published in newspapers, both regional and metropolitan. He is the past president of the Australian Horror Writers Association (2011-2013), as well as the past director of the Australian Shadows Awards. He was an editor and columnist for UK site This is Horror, and the guest editor for Midnight Echo #9. His memoir, Hammered, was released in early 2012 by Legumeman Books and has been extensively reviewed. It has been expanded on for rerelease in 2019. He is the co-founder/director of Cohesion Press and Asylum Ghost Tours.
Editors Amanda J. Spedding and Geoff Brown have once again gathered some of the best and brightest writers to be a part of their highly successful SNAFU military horror anthology series.
Somewhere along the way I've lost count on the exact number of books in this collection, but it's getting to the point where it could occupy it's own shelf on your bookcase and every one of them has been as good as the first. SNAFU: Black Ops is no exception. Get ready for thirteen tales of military horror filled with monsters and mayhem.
Back to Black - Jonathan Maberry & Bryan Thomas Schmidt - A Joe Ledger/Sam Imura Rot & Ruin novella. Definitely a power-packed way to kick off the anthology. In the absence of official orders. Top and Bunny had assigned themselves a mission. The rules were simple. Keep moving. Save whom you could save. Kill as many zombies as was practical. Rinse. Repeat.
The Waking Dragon - R.P.L. Johnson - I loved the ideas the author put forth in this short story. VR Torture and AI Warfare. Can it really be that far off? The advantage of virtual reality torture was after it was done you were still relatively intact. The agony was real, but temporary.
The Clash of Cymbals - Richard Lee Byers - This story features Crusaders battling the Moors, curses, and more.
Black Tide -James A. Moore & Charles Rutledge - Another familiar hero in the personage of Jonathan Crowley and a well-told story that adds a bit of Lovecraft to the military horror. As a kid, one of Brent's favorite movies had been The Creature From the Black Lagoon. This thing looked like the titular creature's bigger, meaner sibling.
Raven's First Flight - Alan Baxter - An adventure featuring the Dark Squad which has caught the attention of Armour. Armour exists to take care of magical, unnatural, supernatural, etcetera threats to the non-magical, unsuspecting masses.
Sons of Apophis - Christine Morgan - An entertaining tale set in the world of Egyptian mythology The author tells a story of the creation of night and day I had never heard before. Fascinating.
Seal Team Blue - John O'Brien - A New World novella. A virus, a world-wide pandemic, a rushed to production vaccine, and a cure that was worse than the virus. Fast-paced and action-packed. One of the better stories in the collection.
A Debt Repaid - Tim Marquitz and J.M. Martin - A Tales of the Prodigy story from two of my favorite writers. A mission to rescue the woman taken by Bal Surathanan, the slaver. Gryl will let nothing get in the way of his freeing Jacquial.
Ground Zero - Kirsten Cross - Hands down, my favorite story in the anthology. Excellently written story about battling Taints (vampires) in the London underground. One of the most savage and evil monsters ever to walk the face of the earth was currently standing casually on a London underground platform as if it were the most natural thing in the world, dressed in normal clothes, and looking every inch like a bog-standard commuter. A hidden horror, right there in plain sight.
Deepest, Darkest -Hank Schwaeble - More fun with monsters in the form of a Jake Hatcher short. Jake is forced on a bogus mission under false pretenses. A layered tale and a lot of fun.
Raid on Wewelsberg - Seth Skorkowsky - A fast-paced story from Skorkowsky's Valducan series set back in WWII fighting Nazi abominations.
God-Killers In Our Midst - James Lovegrove & N.X. Sharps - A tale which answers the question, "Is it possible to kill a god?"
Extinction Lost - Nicholas Sansbury Smith - As a Marine All it takes is all you've got. Smith has his characters fighting Nazis and the monsters they've created and longing for The good old days when they were fighting men, not monsters.
Black Ops is a broad mix of novellas and short stories from worlds established and new, some tale are weird, some scary, some you might even lose sleep over, but every tale is right on target as the SNAFU series show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
SNAFU: Black Ops is published by Cohesion Press and is currently available for the Kindle and will soon be out in paperback, too.
I totally recommend every one of the books in the SNAFU anthology series. Enjoy.
This was a pleasant surprise and a nice change of pace for me. An anthology of various style of writing and setting by a variety of different authors, there is something for everyone in this book. It starts with a zombie post apocalypse story, not dissimilar to The Walking Dead, titled "Back to Black". Well written, good pacing, decent enough story. The dialogue was a bit choppy but overall a good little short. There is a story about prisoners hooked up to some sort of virtual reality machine, enduring torture by Chinese imprisoners. A fantasy story involving a band of friends trapped in some maze, slowly being driven mad by fell music and "The Clash of Cymbals."(fittingly the title of the tale)Good action, I love a nice sword and sorcery short any day of the week. Next was "Black Tide", about creepy fish people resembling the Creature from The Black Lagoon that tear apart a mercenary team. "Ravens first flight" was one of the standouts of the anthology, featuring a sort of magic wielding police force(its much cooler than i described) that tears apart "rezzers', necromantically reanimated zombies. Great characters and good prose, and an author i'll keep my eye on, Alan Baxter. After that was an Egyptian tale that, I'm sorry to say, bored me to tears. Could not get into it, but i cant say it was badly written, just uninteresting. There were a few stories that really did not do much to engage me, rather than continue to speak negatively about those i will talk about the ones that grabbed my attention towards the end. "Ground Zero" had a very new feeling to the prose, the style was catchy, the vulgarity in the dialogue was done with class(believe it or not) and the action was gripping. That was by Kirsten Cross, another author to keep one eye open for. "God-Killers in our Midst' was the other big stand-out of the anthology, by two authors I haven't read anything by, James Lovegrove and N.X. Sharps. The setting was a bit confusing, a tad clumsy in its execution of description, but the style was fresh, the dialogue popped with some witty, tongue in cheek humor, the action was on point and the weapons described were pretty darn cool sounding, I want one personally. But i digress. Again there was a cool cast of characters, with various skills and use of effectiveness(I'm a sucker for a well written team theme) The first person perspective worked perfectly, and I can say I'd without doubt be interested in reading more by this pairing. Definitely worth a read. The last story, entitled "Extinction Lost" and written by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, seems to be part of some series of sorts, and was the single best story in the bunch, great descriptions, great action, and I'm very interested in the novels or novellas that tie into it. The author knows his stuff or has served in military or something because this is on point!
Overall, a very nice variety of tales, running from Navy Seals to mythical beasts. A good time killer, i'd recommend picking it up for a decent read and checking out some new authors who just may become very well known
Gotta be really honest here. I got this book only because of one author who had a story in here, and that was Nicholas Sansbury Smith. I love his Extinction series and always love a chance to read about some of my favorite characters. This anthology contained thirteen stories of military operations that have some type of supernatural bend to them. The types of monsters/supernaturals vary as well as the methods employed by the soldiers who are going after them.
I found that seven of the thirteen stories were able to keep my full attention while reading and the others while not bad did not draw me in enough to care about the characters or what they were going through. Those stories were:
'Back to Black" by Jonathan Maberry & Bryan Thomas Schmidt. This was a Joe Ledger/ Rot & Ruin crossover with two sets of people out in the world looking for both survivors and those who prey upon them. Not a lot of action but the characters are enough to keep you entertained here.
'The Walking Dragon' by R.P.L. Johnson. A team is sent in to rescue a scientist codename Dragon, What they find is something they were not expecting and could not have imagined.
'Seal Team Blue' by John O'Brien. The team goes after the night runners. They are what humanity has changed into after a vaccine was administered to the population and only 1% ended up immune to the effects.
'Ground Zero' by Kirsten Cross. This team is working the London underground looking for 'taints', a species that have been attacking humans and things seem to be getting worse. I love this team and the camaraderie and ease with each other.
'Deepest, Darkest' by Hank Schwaeble. Hatcher is sent on what he believes is a rescue mission to find out that he was not given the real parameters or who was actually in charge, and it was not him. By the time he finds out things have escalated and he has saved more than his own life.
'Raid on Wewelsberg' by Seth Skorkowsky. In 1945 a small team are sent to track down an artifact that is being used by the Nazis to create monsters that could sway the outcome of the war.
'Extinction Lost' by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Team Ghost has just returned from their mission in France and is immediately sent out once again to Greenland in order to locate and neutralize a Nazi bunker. Fitz and Apollo have been injured but must once again lead their team into the unknown even though things in the States weigh heavily on his mind. What they find is very unexpected.
This was quite a varied collection of stories. Timewise they are set in ancient times before Christ to unspecified future dates.
And what a gamut of monsters - supernatural, man-made, mutations, zombies, vampires.
I liked all the stories (which is unusual for me) although there were a couple that, although well-written, weren't my favorites.
My favorites were the military based tales and the zombie stories, especially the last story in the book EXTINCTION LOST by Nick Smith, because I've been following his EXTINCTION CYCLE series from the beginning.
My second favorite was SEAL TEAM BLUE by John O'Brien, a new author to me.
I found a few new authors to follow and had great fun reading these stories. Win-win for me.
What's not to love about this fast-paced selection of military horror/thriller stories? I've discovered some great new writers while enjoying treasures from "old" favorites like Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Jonathan Maberry. TEAM GHOST RULES!!
A FINE BUNCH OF TALES OF TERROR AND MONSTERS IT IS...
Hello, this was one of the best SNAFU series that I have read. The first ones were really good, the middle ones good and this one was really good. Only a couple of so-sos in the collection. Good stuff. Thanks.
A lot of great stories in this book. Something for H P Lovecraft fans, SiFi fans, zombie fans, mythology and apocalyptic fans. I'm a fan of all the above so no bad stories in there. Extinction Lost is a stand out along with a couple others, I now have some new authors books to look out for. Thanks to all the authors and the people that put SNAFU Black Ops together.
I am not going to rate this one as it wouldn't be fair. I borrowed this book from the library for one reason only and that reason is Jonathan Maberry and his Ledger/Bunny/Top/Tom, Benny, and the Rot and Ruin/Dez/Iron Mike characters. I will take any and all opportunities to jump back into their world.
I mistakenly thought this was strictly a Joe Ledger tale but was so happy when it was a return to the Rot and Ruin. I would whole-heartedly recommend Mayberry's series to all zombie lovers everywhere. Starting with Countdown, book 0.5 of the Joe Ledger series. His books are non-stop action but also make you think about things that you normally wouldn't. Behind-the-curtain things that go on in clandestine corners of the world. There also happens to be humour, relationships, intelligence, and honour in these stories. These stories of everyday heroes during non-everyday times, doing non-everyday things.
I also read the short story Sons of Apophis by Christine Morgan. I was taken with the Egyptian mythology. LOVED the description/theory of day and night. Very cool!