Garrison (a military fantasy novelette)

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Starship Troopers meets archers and spider-cavalry in this military fantasy from Greyhart Press, written by an author who served in the Armed Forces. More
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About Nigel Edwards

Born far too many years ago, Nigel now live in Milton Keynes, middle England, with his good lady wife, and works in the IT industry in Berkhamsted. He attends the Northampton SF Writers Workshop each month, where contributors work is subjected to very constructive critique.

Nigel's ambition is to win the lottery and retire to the romantic coastline of Cornwall, there to remain until he become a part of the rugged scenery in the fullness of time. He has a motor bike that's rusting nicely, and a car that serves as target practice for any birds that happen to be around. Sometimes he and his wife go for a cycle ride. Sort of. He says "We pedal for about 200 yards then pause while pretending to adjust the chain or something. One day we hope to reach the end of the road."

Nigel has written several short stories, including The Tower, published in Shoes, Ships and Cadavers by NewCon Press, and Waif, published by Greyhart Press. He has also written a children's fantasy novel, The Scrapdragon, that he is looking to place. Currently he is working on a series of vignettes under the working title of The Village, a collection of quirky tales with a linking theme.

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Alysa H reviewed on on Jan. 29, 2014

After having read Nigel Edwards' surreally bizarre "Badger's Waddle last year", it's nice to read something more straightforward from him. This story has got some fantasy-world trappings prowling in the background, and does a generally good job at world-building for its length, but it's really just a semi-realistic tale of three soldiers in a kind of olden time.

Picture pretty much every big-budget movie featuring a large and bloody battle scene. Picture the leaders of the fight, the leading men that get the glorious speeches. Now picture the thousands of anonymous soldiers who Hurrah! when the speeches are done. Ever want a story about a few of those anonymous soldiers? Well, basically, this is that story, and its a refreshing perspective.

I read in Edwards' brief Afterword that this is set in the same world as his earlier novel "PRISM" which is no longer available, having been pulled for rewrites and hopefully future re-release. I imagine that "PRISM" has different character entirely. "PRISM" also probably makes the fantasy elements much more prominent, but I liked how spare they were in "Garrison".

The last I'll say is that this is a "masculine" story. Of course anyone can appreciate writings about experiences of war, service, honor, and the like, and of course a story about soldiers in an ancient war will probably not feature women. But must all fictional soldiers talk about women in such a coarse and dehumanizing way? Even if, to this day, male soldiers do it in real life, that doesn't mean fictional soldiers must. Especially in fantasy stories where author are free to create new world orders! That being said, I liked this overall and between it and "Badger's Waddle" I do plan to read more from Edwards.
(review of free book)
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