There Will Be War, Vol 1

There Will Be War Vol I was published in 1983 and edited by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. It was republished in 2015 by Castalia House. I wish I had known about this series growing up. I probably would have been all over it. Jerry Pournelle recently passed away, and I’m sorry to say I haven’t read any of his work during his actual lifetime.

I wish I had known about this series growing up. I probably would have been all over it. I grew up as an Air Force brat during the Cold War. From 1980 to 1985, my dad was stationed at Ramstein Air Base in what used to be West Germany. We lived with the fact that Soviet bombers could be overhead before they could get the air raid sirens lit off.

Hell, I was walking to school in 1983 when some terrorists somehow got a truckload of explosives onto Ramstein and detonated them at Headquarters. I felt the shockwave from the blast. My mom was freaking out all day, since my dad didn’t have a chance to call.

I’m somewhat sympathetic to Cold War literature. I also greatly enjoy military science fiction, having spent most of my life in or around the military in some capacity, from dependent to active duty to reservist to defense contractor and direct civilian employee.

The There Will Be War series involves military science fiction short stories, essays, and articles collected and edited by Jerry Pournelle. He writes of science fiction conventions attended by serious military and science fiction writers, not a bunch of SJW degenerates like those of today.

Growing up, I knew of the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction” or MAD. In this book, I learned of another doctrine called “Assured Survival”. MAD didn’t like the concept of civil defense, while Assured Survival depended on it. I’d also never heard of the THOR system either.

I think my favorite story was the satirical “The Battle”, by Robert Sheckly. This story could easily have been part of a South Park episode.

The original novella for “Ender’s Game” is included. That story has evolved quite a bit. I reviewed it on my Blogspot blog, and I’ve been meaning to repost it here. Orson Scott Card is an amazing writer.

While I’ve seen several movies based on Philip K. Dick’s books, the first story of his I’ve actually read is in There Will Be War Vol 1, “The Defenders”. Very interesting concept.

I’m going to have to make my way through the rest of the series.

One problem I’m finding with short stories though, and I’ve only read a handful of anthologies, is that you’re dropped into the middle of a story with no context. Then you’re trying to figure out the answers to questions such as “Who the hell are these people?” “Why are they using horses if this is science fiction?” And by the time you finally figure out what the hell is going on, identify with the characters and want them to succeed, it’s over.