This one is something of a reboot. Best Laid Plans, edited by Mike McPhail, was the fifth volume in the Defending the Future series, originally published by another publisher and since out of print because that publisher went under. This happened to a number of books we were affiliated with and some of them we just let go because we weren’t in a position to do anything about it at the time. 

Well, we’ve had a number of requests for this one, and situations have changed, so here we go!


No (battle) plan survives contact with the enemy. Winning a war has never been just a cold collection of numbers on a tally sheet. The Faiths always play their part in fifteen stories exploring when things go wrong.

With stories by James Chambers, Nancy Jane Moore, Maria V. Snyder, Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry), Bud Sparhawk, Peter Prellwitz, John L. French, Jeff Young, Keith R.A. DeCandido, David Sherman, Jeffrey Lyman, Judi Fleming, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Eric V. Hardenbrook, and CJ Henderson.

“The “things go awry” theme makes for a great book, spotlighting the ingenuity and plucky wit that has long been a hallmark of science fiction. Pick this one up!” Sam Tomaino, Space and Time


Author and editor Mike McPhail is the co-owner of eSpec Books LLC, Electronic Speculative Fiction Publishing (since 2014). Although involved in numerous projects, he is best known as the creator and series editor of the award-winning Defending The Future series of military science fiction anthologies—now in its second decade of publication.

His love of the science fiction genre sparked a life-long interest in science, technology, and developing an understanding of the human condition—all of which play an important role in his writing, art, and game design—these in turn are built upon his training as an aeronautical engineer, and dreams of becoming a NASA mission specialist.

As a former Airman, he is member of the Military Writers Society of America, and is dedicated to helping his fellow service members (and those deserving civilians) in their efforts to become authors, editors, or artist, as well as supporting related organization in their efforts to help those “who have given their all for us.”

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