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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Grimmer Than Hell is a collection of some of David Drake's best military science fiction. The stories, some of which date all the way back to the early 1970s, include classics from Drake's Fleet universe, where Captain Miklos Kowacs and his tough female bodyguard, Sienkiewicz from the 121st Marine Reaction Company (a.k.a. the Headhunters), were sent all over the universe to kick Khalian butt. Of the six Fleet stories included, the most moving was entitled "The End," in which, after years of battling the weasel-like Khalians, the war has finally ended and mankind has prevailed. With victory at hand, one would think that Kowacs would be joyous, but the sudden conclusion has left a scar on his soul. Drake, a Vietnam veteran, says it all so profoundly in the story's last lines.
Drake writes in the introduction, "Each story is self-standing but they have a cumulative effect and are, I believe, some of the best Military SF I've ever written." He was absolutely right. The 14 stories included in Grimmer Than Hell are military science fiction at its very best -- breakneck-paced, bitter, brutally realistic stories that offer more than a glimpse into the psyche of the soldier. Paul Goat Allen