We’ve highlighted the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare project a several times this year, and we’re big fans of their work. Now, they’ve got a new project that they’ve just released: an anthology titled War Stories From The Future. Best of all? It’s a free book!

War Stories from the Future is a new anthology of military SF, with stories commissioned by the Atlantic Council and several winners from their contests. There’s some incredible authors featured here, including Ken Liu, Madeline Ashby, Linda Nagata and David Brin, as well as a number of others. The collection is introduced by General Martin Dempsey.

Here’s an excerpt from Dempsey’s foreword:

Some see science fiction as a fanciful attempt to escape from the less pleasant realities of the present, or at best, a vain attempt to foretell the future. Nevertheless, it is human nature to want to peer into the future, to know the way ahead. But whether you attribute the quote to Niels Bohr or Yogi Berra, “predictions have always been tough ... especially about the future.” In truth, if any writer of science fiction accurately predicts events to come, it likely means they either did not push the boundaries of convention hard enough, or they simply got lucky.

As much as we may want science fiction to be predictive about what awaits us, or perhaps even prescriptive on how we should deal with impending challenges, the true gift of the genre lies in its ability to be provocative and its power to develop the professional imagination.

The stories in this anthology are all pretty excellent to read: they’re relevant, interesting and thought provoking. Military SF is a field that carries with it a certain amount of stigma when it comes to its politics and intentions, but it’s also an excellent tool for imagining how we approach warfare in the future. This anthology is a great addition to the field, and one that comes at it from a very different angle.

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A disclaimer: I edited an anthology titled War Stories: New Military Science Fiction, which August Cole really enjoyed, and asked for a bit of advice. I didn’t have any hand in this anthology, though. The project has also reprinted one of my short stories, but it’s not included in this anthology.

You can download a copy of the ebook here.