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Breach The Hull, book 1 in the Defending The Future series Review of Breach The Hull
Breach the Hulls' Homepage

The Defending The Future series




Editor Mike McPhail
Mike McPhail

Biography of editor Mike McPhail


Title: So It Begins
    Defending The Future series
Science Fiction
Sub-genre: Military

Type: Anthology
Stories: 16
Page Count:
Size:  6x 9 inches
Cover: Color, CGI
Illustrations: B/W, line art

Publisher: Dark Quest Books
ISBN: 978-0-9796901-5-0
Other Books In Series:

    Breach The Hull

    By Other Means
    No Man's Land
    Best Laid Plans
    Dogs Of War


So It Begins, book two in the Defending The Future series

So It Begins' Homepage

Contributing Authors: Interviews or Bios

David Sherman

Charles E. Gannon

John C. Wright

James Daniel Ross

Jonathan Maberry

James Chambers

Patrick Thomas

Andy Remic

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Jeffrey Lyman

Jack Campbell

Mike McPhail

Bud Sparhawk

Tony Ruggiero

C.J. Henderson


Next Generation Indie Book Awards
2009 Finalist: Anthology, Short Story



Space and Time Magazine, Issue 107

Space And Time Magazine, Issue 107

Reviewed by: Sam Tomaino

(Review copied from magazine by premission of Hildy Silverman)

So It Begins
is an anthology of 15 stories with a military/war theme, edited by Mike McPhail. It features contributions from some of the best writers of military science fiction at the top of their form. I canít review each story, so Iíll just talk about my favorites.

"The Last Report of Unit Twenty-Two" by John C. Wright features an investigation made after a cyborg, designed to collect ore from asteroids, has stowed away on a barge in an attempt to reach Earth. The story of why and how this happened is a touching one that I enjoyed.

"The Battle for Knob Lick" by Patrick Thomas is a war against infectious, flesh-eating zombies. Andie Hastings was a Colonel in the Host but has been demoted for a wrong decision. She and four other disgraced soldiers are given the job of rescuing as many uninfected as possible. Thomas writes a great tale of courage and redemption.

"First Line" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail features Lieutenant Sheila "Trey" Tremaine. Gravely wounded in combat and dying in a hospital bed, she is offered the chance to further serve after death by having her brain scanned transferred into a robot, preserving her expertise. Now in a "packbot," she is still self-aware and sent into combat. This was a well-written look at how it might be to "live" as a robot.

"To Spec" by Chuck E. Gannon is a good solid read! Master Sergeant Eldridge Grimsby has been at his job a long time, frequently in trouble. Left alone during a deadly rain of cosmic rays in a shielded shack, he must defend something just referred to as the Big Secret. Attackers come and he must use a weapon he is not fully trained in to survive. I liked this one a lot.

"Grendel" by Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry) is a "Lost Fleet Campaign" story. Commander Geary and his Exec, Lieutenant Commander Cara Decala, are leading a routine transport convoy in the star system Grendel. They are suddenly confronted with a fleet from the rival Syndicate. Is it war? Geary does what he needs to do in this exciting story.

In "The Glass Box" by Bud Sparhawk, Sergeant Millikan is sent down to a planet, invaded by aliens called the Shardies. They receive a distress call from someone who survived the invasion for six months. On the planet the "bionic" marine finds a young girl named Tashia who gives him what may be vital information on the Shardies. More I wonít say, except that Sparhawk has written a well-crafted tale.

"Everythingís Better with Monkeys" by C.J. Henderson is another story featuring Chief Gunnery Officer Rockland "Rocky" Vespucci and Machinist First Mate Li Qui Kon (aka "Noodles"), members of the crew of the Dreadnought Roosevelt of the Confederation of Planets. Their ship is part of a diplomatic mission to the planet Edilson, which has refused alliances with all other worlds. First efforts fail, but Rocky & Noodles, once more, save the day in this delightful story.

There are also worthy stories by James Daniel Ross, Jonathan Maberry, James Chambers, Andy Remic, Jeffrey Lyman, Mike McPhail, Tony Ruggiero and another from Charles E. Gannon. This is a worthwhile follow-up to Breach the Hull and I recommend it just as highly! Reviewer, Mark S. Morgan 

Mark S. Morgan Reviewer

This is the second edition to the Defending The Future series.  If you want to go on a roller coaster ride this is the book to do it.  Action, adventure, intrigue, it is all in there.  The over 13 authors keep you guessing as to exactly what they will serve up in this menagerie of stories.  There is everything from hard Science Fiction, to the supernatural.  All with the military as a backdrop.  I was very enthusiastic about not having to understand exactly how things worked, but that they did, and when they didn't, oh boy!

I cannot think of one author that failed to keep me on the edge.  I have my favorites, but would not want to spoil the enjoyment for any reader. Science Fiction or otherwise!



Kat Thompson
Senior Editor, Echelon Press

This is an interesting collection of interconnected stories by a variety of writers. The action is in your face and the military aspects (jargon, equipment, technology) seem to be spot on. Scenes in space made sense as did battle scenes. The authors are obviously either former military or have studied the military extensively.

Not having read the first book in the series, it took a little while to get a feeling for the stories, but for the most part they stand on their own fairly well. It is, for the most part, a fast read due to the nearly non-stop action.

While definitely a book for mature adults, the language, nonetheless, is rather rough, detracting from the underlying story in places. Rough as the language is, in most places it was appropriate and added to the situation. What was rather unexpected were the occasional touches of ironic humor. These really added to the overall enjoyment of the story.


Gregory R.I. Potts
United Kingdom

So it Begins continues with the legacy started by Breach the Hull. Breach the Hull exposed me to several authors whom I had never heard of (e.g Bud Sparrhawk and Jeffery Lyman) and as a result I am now on the lookout for their works.

The stories in SIB are captivating and stimulate plenty of thought. To Spec by Charles E Gannon keeps you wondering right up to the end. Grendel By Jack Campbell gives insight into His Lost Fleet Series and continues to be my favourite of the 16 separate stories in this anthology.  Personally coming from an engineering background I found Gunnery Sergeant by Lyman compelling reading as humanity rushes to get its new ships ready for battle. The ending of Glass Box by Bud Sparhawk will definitely draw a reaction from you   as a Marine endeavors to rescue a young girl left behind in enemy territory.

Even if youíre not that into sci-fi the book is well worth reading. This book will have something for you, your parents and everybody who reads it. It will expose you to several talented authors who will draw you into unique worlds and often leave you wishing for more. Another feature is that you can read one story at a time while having a spare five minutes though I couldnít put it down. I eagerly await the next installment of the Defending the Future series and await the authors return to the universes each one created.

A welcome distraction from the real world.



FTC 16 CFR Part 255 Discloser:
Reprinted with reviewer's premission from other sources, reviewer received no compensation.



Copyright ©2009 Mike McPhail, All Rights Reserved.


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