Editor: Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Publisher: Titan Books
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes
Space opera and military SF are for most a staple in an enthusiasts reading diet and here we have the definitive anthology of stories from some of the most prominent authors in sci fi today.
In the Editor's Note and Acknowledgements, Bryan Thomas Schmidt he writes about space opera being a large part of his early entry into fiction writing. Star Trek and Star Wars were his basis and inspiration for his novels The Saga of Davi Rhii. He had always wanted to gather a definitive collection together and working with some of the industry greats Brian Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle must have been a dream come true.
Dune is considered to be one of the most popular series of novels, being made into a movie starring The Police's Sting back in the 80s. Working with his writing heroes reminded him that sci fi writing is still stronger than ever.
From the 50s to now these authors had got Hugo and Nebula awards and New York Times best sellers. Fellow editors are also given thanks for helping out; Gardner Dozois, Rich Horton and Todd McCaffrey for their support in making this the success that it is.
Space opera and military SF are for most a staple in an enthusiasts reading diet and here we have the definitive anthology of stories from some of the most prominent authors in sci fi today. Schmidt's editorial part of the introduction informs us about the two themes of many science fiction stories; military science fiction and space opera. There are purists who prefer the themes stand apart, while some who like the themes blended into a story so it is more interesting. We think of space opera in terms of movies with Star Wars, Flash Gordon and Dune standing out as being the more popular ones.
Here Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Andersen present a story set in the original Dune time line of Frank Herbert's first novel. They do it justice by making that also as out of this world, flamboyant and believable as Frank Herbert's.
As for content, the stories all have their own sub themes; Orson Scott Card's Renegat story is part of the Ender stories about alien life and its existence, Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton's Stark and the Star Kings explores themes of empires that have become huge over the years and the cultures they have. Poul Andersen's Duel on Syrtis has a familiar alien theme of who is the best fighter when it comes to combat and survival and Anne Mc Caffrey's The Ship Who Sang has a strange addition to a ship but I won't go into it.
Infinite Stars is a mammoth exploration of what we consider to be space opera and military science fiction at its best and one of Titan Book's best collections.