Children fighting on the front lines? Maybe in some other country. But things have gone from bad to worse in the U.S. as the South American war drags on. Now the government has hatched a scheme to attract teens and even preteens into the army: they are offering kids a chance to be the star of The Johnny America Show, a reality show set on the battlefront. In a country wracked by shortages and draft sweeps and despair, maybe picking up a gun isn't such a bad idea after all.
Author James Patrick Kelly is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award and has been nominated 10 times for the Nebula Award. His stories appear frequently in Asimov's Science Fiction, and he writes the magazine's "On the Net" column. Publishers Weekly has called him "a meticulous craftsman in the demanding short-story form".