Whether it's the soldiers on the front line or the bartenders who serve them, war leaves no one unscathed. These four tales set in Carter's war-ravaged Unity Worlds universe -- three originally published in the leading science fiction magazines of the day, plus one story original to this collection -- will leave you thinking about war's effects long after you finish the final words.
"There's one rule in the interstellar liberation force: you never take off your helmet. Even if the atmosphere of whatever planet you are liberating from the vicious aliens does happen to breathable, there could be any number of lethal viruses or microbes. The body armor and comm equipment is first rate, and the aliens seem to be on the run. Then, one day, a soldier is forced to take off his helmet to survive. The consequences are disastrous for the liberation force, but it is no toxin, virus, or microbe that infects the military: it's the truth . . . Carter's warning about how military might be used in the future stands undiminished." -- The Internet Review of Science Fiction
THE BREATH OF THE GODS
Duty versus love. It's a choice that Commander Richard Hagel, charged with overseeing a wayward planet's entry into the Unity Worlds and everything that entails, has to make when an asteroid -- and an act of terrorism -- threaten to both destroy the planet and kill the woman he loves.
""The Breath of the Gods" by Scott William Carter is another adventure tale—the protagonist is racing against the clock, since he only has a few minutes to save the woman he loves before a giant asteroid strikes the planet and destroys it." -- Tangent Online.
THE TIGER IN THE GARDEN
"The Tiger in the Garden" by Scott William Carter presents a classic duty versus honor conflict. Jose, a constable on a poor, out-of-the-way planet, is expecting a government Agent, an alien with unpleasant appearance and even worse personality. He is there to apprehend a terrorist—someone Jose knows well. The situation is complicated by the fact that the alleged terrorist is not the man he used to be, and his past crimes are irrelevant for anyone but the Agent, relentless in hunting down the members of the Resistance. Jose can either help the Agent and betray his friend, or help his friend and kiss his career good-bye." -- Tangent Online
On a whim, a husband and wife buy a bar on a space station in a war-ravaged corner of the galaxy. When a fragile peace evaporates, their marriage is tested in ways they can never imagine -- and one of them will pay the ultimate price. But in the future, can a marriage survive even death?
Praise for Other Works by Scott William Carter:
"Carter's writing is on target." - Publishers Weekly
"...compelling...good choice for reluctant readers..." - School Library Journal
"Scott William Carter makes it look easy. But if anyone thinks that writing good, intriguing fiction with a clear, plain voice is easy...Well, they should try it sometime." - Chizine.com
SCOTT WILLIAM CARTER's first novel, The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys, was hailed by Publishers Weekly as a "touching and impressive debut." His short stories have appeared in dozens of popular magazines and anthologies, including Asimov's, Analog, Ellery Queen, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales. He lives in Oregon with his wife, two children, and thousands of imaginary friends.