I picked up Warbirds of Mars: Stories of the Fight without knowing exactly what to expect. It’s a collection of short stories that are all set in the same world, each written by a different talented author. Additionally, the book contains some outstanding original artwork that was inspired by each story. Together they make for a unique and engaging experience. And while I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started reading this nearly 500 page novel, it was a book that surpassed even my wildest expectation.
Warbirds of Mars began as a web comic. Stories of the Fight marks a substantial change in format for the content, but one that serves the story at least as well as any comic. Warbirds of Mars takes place in a world where an alien force invaded Earth in the middle of World War II. At that point, history as we know is shifts from all that we know to have been true. Nazis side with the alien invading force while much of the free world struggles to remain free from enslavement or outright extermination. Along the way, a resistance force rises up to bring the battle to both the Martians and the fascist regime. They call themselves the Martian Killers— a larger than life, comic book like group of resistance fighters who champion mankind’s rebellion against an enemy equipped with superior technology and manpower.
What makes this book particularly interesting is the collaboration of a group of disparate and talented authors and artists. Each one bringing his or her own style and flair to subject matter. As a result, every chapter of the book is unique in content and tone. For fans of genre fiction, this is nothing less than a unique and thrilling experience. No single author could’ve created a story with such scope and diversity. Some of the perspectives chosen by the authors border on brilliant. Some stories offer seat of your pants action and thrills, others offer chills, while at least one will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.
If you’re not familiar with the Warbirds of Mars web comic, don’t worry. Prior to reading this book, I had only seen a few issues in passing. The good news is that this book is standalone and entirely self-contained. A reader can pick it up without any familiarity with the subject matter.
If you’re a fan of period based fiction (since this is entirely set circa WWII), a fan of genre fiction, or just looking for some interesting and fun science fiction, Warbirds of Mars: Stories of the Fight should be required reading. Additionally, if you’re looking for a sampler that contains some dynamic and talented authors, this book is also a fantastic opportunity. Contributing authors include Scott P. Vaughn, Kane Gilmour, Megan E. Vaughn, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Alex Ness, Sean Ellis, Ron Fortier, Chris Samson, Stephen M. Irwin, J. H. Ivanov, and David Lindblad. It also contains artwork by Scott P. Vaughn, Robert Hack, Nik Poliwko, Christian Guldager, John Lucas, Richard Serrao, Dan Parsons, Jason Worthington, Rob Hicks, Mike DeBalfo, Paul Roman Martinez, Matthew Goodall, Nathan Morris, Bill Morris, Bill Farmer, and Andy Carreon. Simply put, a profound level of talent has had been secured between the covers of this book. No one should miss out on the opportunity to experience its fun and excitement.