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Robert Conroy

The Civil War comes alive in all its passion and fury -- only now the Brits are fighting... alongside the Confederacy

Outraged when the U.S. Navy seizes three Confederates aboard an English sailing ship, Britain retaliates by entering the fray in support of the Rebels -- and suddenly it's a whole new war.

Once again, cotton is king as the North's blockade crumbles before the might of the Royal Navy. While Lincoln confronts the monumental challenge of vanquishing mighty Britannia, the Redcoats revive their 1812 penchant for burning down American cities, and Union troops see Canada as ripe for the picking. From the Mississippi bayou to the Pennsylvania farmlands to the woods of Maine, the great armies of Generals Grant and Lee face off in the nation's deadliest conflict. And to the victor goes history.

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 1

86: Book 1

Asato Asato

A War Without Casualties

The Republic of San Magnolia has long been under attack from the neighboring Giadian Empire's army of unmanned drones known as the Legion. After years of painstaking research, the Republic finally developed autonomous drones of their own, turning the one-sided struggle into a war without casualties-or at least, that's what the government claims.In truth, there is no such thing as a bloodless war. Beyond the fortified walls protecting the eighty-five Republic territories lies the "nonexistent" Eighty-Sixth Sector. The young men and women of this forsaken land are branded the Eighty-Six and, stripped of their humanity, pilot the "unmanned" weapons into battle...

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 2: Run Through the Battlefront (Start)

86: Book 2

Asato Asato

Let's go back to where we belong

Having bid Lena farewell, Shin and the surviving members of the Spearhead squadron continue into the heart of Legion territory. There, they endure countless hardships until they're rescued by the Federal Republic of Giad, a reformed nation that offers them a second chance at a peaceful life. But it isn't long before a sense of duty calls the Eighty-Six back to the battlefield. Choosing to enlist in the military, they willingly walk back through the gates of hell, this time joined by a peculiar new ally-Frederica Rosenfort: a haughty young girl with a rare ability and wisdom far beyond her years.

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 3: Run Through the Battlefront (Finish)

86: Book 3

Asato Asato

Pride is all we have

The attack Shin foresaw has finally come to pass. Wielding a weapon with destructive force hitherto unseen, the Long-Range Artillery-type Legion unit rains unmitigated chaos over the battlefield. Both the Federacy's western front and the Gran Mur of the Republic crumble under the might of the monolithic railgun, capable of dealing catastrophic damage from hundreds of kilometers away. With their backs against the wall, the Giadian military makes a controversial decision: A special strike force will charge into the heart of Legion territory, engage the Railgun type from close range, and destroy it. Shin and the Eighty-Six will spearhead the operation.

...But Shin has not been himself lately. Having defeated his brother's ghost and freed himself from the Republic, the Reaper finds himself without purpose. What reason does he have to go?

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 4: Under Pressure

86: Book 4

Asato Asato

Old Friends, New Enemies

Against all odds, Shin and the Eighty-Six have emerged victorious from their battle with the Morpho, liberating scores of surviving Republic citizens from the Legion's dark agenda. Lena, in turn, has fulfilled her promise and finally caught up to the Spearhead squadron. And while her presence has brought out a softer side in Shin, it seems to have roused the competitive spirits within Kurena and Frederica. But the fun comes to an end when the Eighty-Sixth Strike Package, with Lena at the helm, receives its first mission. Their destination: an abandoned subway tunnel in the Republic's northern secondary capital, Charité. Deep underground, the gaping maw of a subterranean Legion base awaits them...

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 5: Death, Be Not Proud

86: Book 5

Asato Asato

What makes a Monster?

"Come find me."

Legion developer Zelene Birkenbaum, a figure shrouded in mystery, has left the Eighty-Sixth Strike Package a trail of bread crumbs leading all the way to the frozen north. But as Shin and the Eighty-Six acquaint themselves with the United Kingdom of Roa Garcia, they learn of an anti-Legion strategy that chills them worse than the cold. Here on this new battlefield, surrounded by mechanical ghosts that exist only to fulfill their duty, the Eighty-Six are forced to acknowledge an unsettling truth...

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 6: Darkest Before the Dawn

86: Book 6

Asato Asato

Live to fight. Die with honor.

That was all they knew, and they were proud. But as they saw themselves reflected in the Sirins-slaughtered by the thousands with nothing to show for it-a crack formed in their ironclad resolve. Shin's mind festered with doubt. Lena's heart tore at the seams as she struggled to understand him. Would they find common ground over the course of the United Kingdom operation? Or would they drift further apart...?

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 7: Mist

86: Book 7

Asato Asato


The Merciless Queen, a high-ranking commander unit for the Legion, has finally been taken into custody. Now the Federacy, the United Kingdom, and the Alliance of Wald can conduct a thorough analysis of this special Ameise, which houses the consciousness of Legion developer Zelene Birkenbaum. If their efforts bear fruit, they may learn the secret to stopping the Legion once and for all! In the meantime, the Federacy has decided to rest its battle-worn blades. The Eighty-Sixth Strike Package has been allowed leave for the first time in ages. As they arrive in the Alliance of Wald's territory, they are able to step away from the iron and blood and enjoy a rare vacation! And it seems that two members of the Strike Package are getting a bit cozier than the rest...

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 8: Gun Smoke on the Water

86: Book 8

Asato Asato


An end to the endless war--the possibility of stopping the Legion once and for all. Such is humanity's most fervent desire. But in the war-free world of tomorrow, what will become of the Eighty-Six? Many have gained renewed faith in the future. Some have found love; others, new aspirations. But what of those who have yet to dream? The warm rays of hope have bent their iron wills and distorted their realities. For those tragic few, the worst is yet to come...

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 9: Valkyrie Has Landed

86: Book 9

Asato Asato


For better or worse, the battle with the Noctiluca has drawn to a close... for now. The Eighty-Six's minds are heavy with thoughts of close friends and bitter enemies swallowed by the cold, dark abyss. Among the casualties are Shana, Shiden's vice captain, joining the fallen in their watery grave, and Theo, whose loss of his left hand had all but sealed his fate as a Processor. As Shiden swears revenge, Kurena, who blames herself for Shana';s death, cracks beneath the weight of her guilt. While the Eighty-Six struggle to pick up the pieces, though, the Legion inexorably pursue their bloodless objective, and the Noctiluca has reportedly taken refuge in the surviving Holy Theocracy of Noiryanaruse. Now Shin and company must set foot in the mysterious western nation of which even the United Kingdom and the Federacy are wary...

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 10: Fragmental Neoteny

86: Book 10

Asato Asato


What makes a Reaper? What hardships must an innocent child endure to become the vaunted champion of the Eighty-Six? A peek into the past will shed light on his truth. The path he walks is paved with bonds forged in love and broken by tragedy--the shattered fragments of stories untold, committed to memory through the iron will of the one who would shoulder their legacy.

86--EIGHTY SIX, Vol. 11: Dies Passionis

86: Book 11

Asato Asato

As Lena and Shin take their first steps on Republic soil after what seemed like a lifetime, they find a country that still hasn't changed--one that cannot change. But their newest operation can't wait. After surviving battlefield after hellish battlefield, and seeing what they have to return to, Lena and Shin begrudgingly take their first steps into the darkness... But the ghosts of the dead gather to stand in their way, their eyes a cavernous silver...

The 1986 Annual World's Best SF

World's Best SF: Book 22

Arthur W. Saha
Donald A. Wollheim

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (The 1986 Annual World's Best SF) - (1986) - essay by Donald A. Wollheim
  • Earthgate - (1985) - novelette by J. Brian Clarke
  • On the Dream Channel Panel - (1985) - shortstory by Ian Watson
  • The Gods of Mars - (1985) - novelette by Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann and Michael Swanwick
  • The Jaguar Hunter - (1985) - novelette by Lucius Shepard
  • Sailing to Byzantium - (1985) - novella by Robert Silverberg
  • Webrider - (1985) - shortstory by Jayge Carr
  • With Virgil Oddum at the East Pole - (1985) - shortstory by Harlan Ellison
  • The Curse of Kings - (1985) - novella by Connie Willis
  • Fermi and Frost - (1985) - shortstory by Frederik Pohl
  • Pots - (1985) - novelette by C. J. Cherryh