SNAFU-Heroes Anthology, edited by Geoff Brown and Amanda J. Spedding is an anthology of horror stories keeping with the theme established in their previous SNAFU series, focusing almost exclusively on the human element of the ‘military horror’ genre.
Like the previous installments of SNAFU, the anthology centers around a clearly defined theme: the life and terror of the unlikely heroes of the stories, while downplaying the monstrous elements that the reader should come to expect from a military horror series. While the anthology features a number of interesting new abominations (ranging from an outbreak of demonic possessions, all the way to half-remembered tall tales from WWII and the Vietnam War), the editors and authors have gone to lengths to give the reader an almost entirely human perspective of the situation.
Character development is Heroes’ selling point, but the anthology might turn off some of the more action-loving readers of the genre. Joseph Nassine’s The Hungry Dark is a strictly action-oriented story of the reborn Knights Templar, resurrected as a black-ops unit specializing in the supernatural, but my personal favorite (James Moore’s War Stories) is darkly brutal with a far less action-oriented lean. The stories in this anthology lack some of the ‘hoo-ah!’ that is to be expected in the genre, but I considered them very enjoyable reads, nonetheless. Dean Samed’s work on the cover of SNAFU-Heroes is another example of Cohesion Press’ lean toward great cover artwork, even if I consider it to be contrary to the overall theme of the anthology. While the cover immediately caught my eye, it was perhaps too dehumanizing and constrasted starkly with the overly human themes in the anthology.
If you are new to the genre of ‘military horror’ fiction and would like to be initiated into its mysteries, then SNAFU-Heroes is a great place for you to start.