This is an anthology of contemporary SF short stories thematically linked by conflict. Although that is conflict in quite a broad sense; these aren't all tales of war and battle. In fact, I was suprised by the range in this collection and I found myself generally favouring the more thought provoking and subtle stories than the more overtly action oriented ones.
All of the stories in this collection are new and I have never read any of these authors before which is precisely what I was looking for when I was deciding on my next anthology to read. Generally I find myself reading too much older fiction and I like to force myself to read something contemporary every now and then. I say force
myself but this was hardly a chore to read, most of the stories being of a high standard.
The ones I particularly liked were "The Maker's Mark" by Michael Cobley, a series of fragments that piece together to reveal an intriguing game of cat and mouse, "Sussed" by Keith Brooke, a story that keeps changing direction everytime you think you know where it's going, "War Without End" by Una McCormack, a thought provoking story about morality in war, "In the Long Run" by David L. Clements, a mind bending story of mankinds struggle for survival against an information plague, and "Songbirds" by Martin Sketchley, which was a bleak yet compelling account of an alien invasion seen through the eyes of a teenage girl.
Now I hear there is a follow up to this anthology called "Further Conflicts" also edited by Ian Whates. After enjoying this one so much, I am deeply tempted to read that as well.