There's no other way to say this, but my second read of the SNAFU series as edited by Geoff Brown was very much a mixed bag. Thinking about my overall feelings, I kept coming back to the poem by Henry Longfellow, entitled When She Was Good:
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
The collection starts out very, very impressively. S. D. Perry's Badlands is a fantastic Vietnam set tale of a squad of soldiers coming up against a bizarre, but extremely deadly, undead enemy. Perry wrote a number of my favourite Aliens tie-in novels from when I was a teen, and it was fantastic to see she has lost none of her skill as a writer. My other favourite story was the third, In Vaulted Halls Entombed by Alan Baxter, an excellent Lovecraftian spin on a group of soldiers in the very wrong place and not knowing when to call it a day.
And as much as there are a number of other decent tales - such as They Own the Night by B. Michael Radburn and After the Red Rain Fell by Matt Hilton - some of the others included too much pre-supposed knowledge for me to care overly much about proceedings. I speak specifically here of Cold War Gothic II: The Bohemian Grove by Weston Ochse and Show of Force by Jeremy Robinson & Kane Gilmour. Both were well-written but ultimately seemed strange inclusions for a collection that is meant to stand alone when their character building is extremely limited, since the reader is meant to have read the stories that came before the events that each depicted.
Those stories I have yet to mention did little for me. Either because their tone was too light or "out there" for my tastes, or because they were incredibly dull and had me wishing for them to end and end swiftly
So, as is the case with most collections, the highs and lows in SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest effectively cancel one another out, effectively rendering this one a straight down the line ...
3 Decisions to Defy Last Orders for SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest.