As niche as military horror is, it's a sub-genre I find myself warming to. As such, after hearing editor Geoff Brown speak on the THIS IS HORROR podcast, I decided to track down the shortest of his military horror anthologies and check out what he was putting out there.
Snafu: Heroes brings together four tales involving soldiers taking on some kind of supernatural threat. The first tale, The Hungry Dark: A Templar Chronicles Mission by Joseph Nassise, depicts a sacred order of soldiers battling an outbreak of cadaver-controlling demons in small village Germany. It's a solid tale without being overly impressive, though perhaps some appreciation was lost for me as I was not familiar with the series of novels within which this story takes place. It's also by far the longest story in the anthology, even though it ends oddly suddenly, so I was ready for it to be over by the time it was. 3 stars.
The next tale, Tarzan Doesn't Live Here Any More by Weston Ochse is a little more sci-fi as well as a lot more out there than Nassise's contribution. Dealing with one man's effort to report on one of many deep rifts that have opened in the earth and from which numerous things try to escape, this story opts for an odd character point which drives the nerrative (and is hinted at in the title) that never really worked for me. Yet, the last third of this one is action-packed and had me on the edge of my seat, so it redeemed itself in a very entertaining way. 3.5 stars.
War Stories, by James A Moore, was easily my favourite of the three. A more personal take on returning war veterans and the bond they share - but, of course, with a horrific twist - Moore's story has a WWII vet grandfather offering his Vietnam vet grandson some words of wisdom before telling his most personal, terrifying story. Moore writes with an effortless power that completely won me over and has left me wondering about numerous facets of the story since I finished reading it earlier today. 4.5 stars.
The last story, Changeling: A Joe Ledger Adventure by Jonathan Maberry I did not read. Because there's an author's note saying that the events in this story take place after The Dragon Factory and that spoilers for that novel are sprinkled through this piece. Given I have that novel on my Kindle, I've decided to leave it alone for now and will return after I've gotten round to the aforementioned novel. So thank you to both Maberry and Brown for including this note.
All in all then, it's 3.5 FUBAR Enemies for the first three tales from SNAFU: Heroes, with an update to follow in future.