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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Favorite Military SF

   
Author Topic: Favorite Military SF
madvogon
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Aside from the obvious, considering where we are, the following is a short list of my favorite military SF.

William R. Forstchen, The Lost Regiment
David Weber, Honor Harrington
G. Harry Stein, Starsea Invaders

Now for the obscure:
David Mace, Demon 4 and Firelance

This list is not comprehensive; it's only the ones that leap to mind. As I'm always looking for good military SF, I'm looking forward to other people's opinions.

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theamazeeaz
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Vorkosigan Series.
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SteveRogers
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I really quite enjoyed Old Man's War by John Scalzi; though, I haven't read any of the sequels yet.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Books:

Dune (the original, not the series)
Starship Troopers

TV:

Star Trek: Next Gen

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Tittles
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The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman, is bueno.
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SteveRogers
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I thought Starship Troopers was implied. [Smile]
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Destineer
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Not my favorite subgenre, but I enjoyed the Dread Empire's Fall books by Walter Jon Williams, and Saberhagen's Berzerker.

Hated Old Man's War. One of the most over-hyped bad books in SF history.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
I thought Starship Troopers was implied. [Smile]

Hmmm...I thought Ender's Game was implied. Not sure why Heinlein would be implied on an OSC site?
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SteveRogers
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Starship Troopers is considered the "ultimate" military sci-fi novel. Of course Ender's Game was implied provided the context of the site, but I figured Starship Troopers would go without saying. [Smile]
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King of Men
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The early Harrington books are good. Later on he bogged down in the politics and intrigue and forgot about the ship-to-ship battles that made the series good in the first place. Placing it in the NapolExpic Wars was perhaps a mistake; single-ship actions are more interesting. He might have done better to follow Drake's example with the Cinnabar books and have a war in which a light cruiser is a pivot on which the control of entire systems turns. Not that that series is my favourite either - Drake's writing doesn't really appeal to me; but I'd like to combine Drake's single-ship setup with Weber's writing. Although I admit that you can only make the missiles fly so many times, and count how many get through each successive layer of defenses, before it becomes a bit stale. The Safehold books unfortunately suffered from the too-much-politics problem right from the start.

Stirling's "The General" series is pretty good, although the spinoffs were weaker. Pournelle's CoDo series is also nice, although rather dated now.

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Szymon
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I liked Earth Unaware very much. What it might really look like.

But then the formics just walking for minutes in the outher space without spacesuits. Brrr. Almost like Star Wars.

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Itsame
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I guess it's a waste of time for me to say, but Starship Troopers.
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Stephan
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I have really enjoyed John Birmingham's two trilogies.

One is about a modern international naval fleet appearing in the middle of the WW II Midway battle, destroying the US ships thinking they are pirates.

The other takes place on the eve of the 2003 invasion of Iraq when more than 90% of the population of the United States vanishes. We have a huge overseas military that could still destroy the planet, but only Alaska, Hawaii and part of Washington state to defend with a huge empty continent (ripe for the picking for foreign imvaders) and vastly depleted funds.

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advice for robots
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Passage At Arms by Glen Cook. Great standalone novel about a ship on a dangerous mission.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
Starship Troopers is considered the "ultimate" military sci-fi novel. Of course Ender's Game was implied provided the context of the site, but I figured Starship Troopers would go without saying. [Smile]

Is this an attempt at humor? Compared to the rest of Heinlein's work, it was terrible. It was written in a weekend, right?

Or is it because of the campy, terrible movie?

Thought it's set in the past, I'd consider Slaughterhouse-Five as the greatest military SF novel ever.

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Gilnar
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I liked Ranks of Bronze by David Drake, but I'm sort of a nut for anything about Roman legions - even a legion in space.

Old Man's War by Scalzi was a very good story and had a great concept.

Would some of L.E. Modesitt's work qualify as military science fiction? I'm thinking of Adiamante, in particular.

Crusade by David Weber and Steve White was a very good book with some nicely developed alien cultures.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Is this an attempt at humor? Compared to the rest of Heinlein's work, it was terrible.

Yup.

I think the Verhoeven movie has a lot of value, though. Partly as a satire of the book.

Why do people like Old Man's War??? [Confused] I guess everybody but me enjoys starting their war novels with 100 pages of the Old Farts making lame textbook poop jokes while nothing happens?

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Destineer
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Cherryh's Faded Sun trilogy has a lot of military SF aspects, and is excellent.
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Tittles
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Speaking of David Weber, his Safehold series is excellent.
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Stephan
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Connected article on io9 from today.

http://io9.com/5980214/science-fiction-and-fantasy-authors-who-served-in-the-military-and-how-it-changed-their-work

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madvogon
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
<snip> Placing it in the NapolExpic Wars was perhaps a mistake; single-ship actions are more interesting. <snip>

You do realize that the series is based on Horatio Hornblower, so the Napoleonic Wars influences were inevitable. Similarly, the David Drake series is based on the Master and Commander series.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Is this an attempt at humor? Compared to the rest of Heinlein's work, it was terrible.

Yup.

I think the Verhoeven movie has a lot of value, though. Partly as a satire of the book.

If I ever run into Paul Verhoven walking down the street, I'll castrate him...with a broken bottle...of hot sauce.

Starship Troopers is an amazing book, and the movie (satire or not) was detestable...and that little son of a bitch had the sheer nerve to put RAH's name on that steaming pile of crap.

Hot sauce I tell you!

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Destineer
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Well, I couldn't disagree more. The book was a militarist screed. The movie was a high-camp satire of militarism.
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JoeAlvord
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I don't know if it qualifies as true Sf, but Harry Turtledove's "The Guns of the South" is a favorite of mine.
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Graeme
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Gordy Dickson's Dorsai books, especially Dorsai! and Tactics of Mistake.
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Itsame
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Well, I couldn't disagree more. The book was a militarist screed. The movie was a high-camp satire of militarism.

Hm. Maybe it's because the first Heinlein book I read was Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers was the second, but I always took it as a parody of militarism, albeit with some serious notes mixed in.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
Starship Troopers is considered the "ultimate" military sci-fi novel. Of course Ender's Game was implied provided the context of the site, but I figured Starship Troopers would go without saying. [Smile]

Is this an attempt at humor? Compared to the rest of Heinlein's work, it was terrible. It was written in a weekend, right?
I think you'd be hard pressed to find some discussion of military SF which doesn't at least mention it as being a major contender in the subgenre. So, no. It wasn't a joke. 99% of what I've read about the book is overwhelmingly positive, so I think you're mistaking your own distaste with the book as being applicable to the general population.
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Gilnar
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I'll second the Faded Sun trilogy. Still one of my favorite series. Cherryh did an incredible job developing two alien species and cultures.
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Well, I couldn't disagree more. The book was a militarist screed. The movie was a high-camp satire of militarism.

Hm. Maybe it's because the first Heinlein book I read was Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers was the second, but I always took it as a parody of militarism, albeit with some serious notes mixed in.
No, I think he was pretty serious. Heinlein went through a lot of different phases politically.
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Itsame
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That's unfortunate. I'm just going to keep reading it--however wrongly--as a parody so that I can continue enjoying it.

Edit: I'm not quite sure how to understand this. Looking into it, he was working on the two novels at the same time. He started writing Stranger, took a break from it to write Starship, then finished Stranger.

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kmbboots
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I am not sure what you find incompatible between the Heinlein's world view for Stranger and his world view for Starship. Heinlein was quite rightly proud of his military service.
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Destineer
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If Starship Troopers were just a celebration of military service, as opposed to the idea that the military should run the govt, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Actually, I wouldn't have a problem with it anyway if it succeeded as a novel. But it doesn't have a plot to speak of, and the main character is a complete cipher. (In that sense I think John Scalzi did an excellent job of emulating it with Old Man's War, although John Perry is more fleshed out than Rico, albeit in a cliche way.)

If I were to say which of Heinlein's books seems like it couldn't possibly have come from the same author as Starship Troopers, I would pick The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

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Itsame
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And The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the third Heinlein book I read. Sandwiched in between that and Stranger, you can see why I read Starship the way I do.

I think that you're right about the lack of plot and crappy protagonist. I just enjoy Starship as a series of vignettes.

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I love Starship Troopers, even if it is a steaming pile when taken as a whole. I love how Heinlein evoked nostalgia in that book. His style in that book is something that very few other authors have mastered. I thought Haldeman came close in The Forever War. Scalzi made a good stab at it. Actually, Starship Troopers is everything I love and hate about Heinlein all in one slim volume.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Youall is craze! Starship has a great plot, and a Rico is a very honest and lifelike character, and it is one of my all time faves. Liked it better then Stranger, and on par with Mistress.
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Daryl
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Lots of good ones listed here already. David Weber has other excellent Military SF (too much to list). Eric Flint, Elizabeth Moon, Travis Anderson, John Ringo, CH Cherryh, Julian May, SM Stirling are all good current story tellers. The classical authors include Heinlein, Asimov, Poul Anderson, EE Doc Smith, and Saberhagen among others. While it is not Military SF, Heinlein's best book was Time Enough for Love.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Youall is craze! Starship has a great plot, and a Rico is a very honest and lifelike character, and it is one of my all time faves. Liked it better then Stranger, and on par with Mistress.

The problem wasn't the plot for me. That was fine, the thematic elements were good. Yada yada. The writing just wasn't on par with the rest of Heinlein. Or J.K. Rowling, for that matter.

Maybe I just need to reread it. When I read it, I'd already read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, For Us the Living, Stranger in a Strange Land, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, and Double Star. When I hit Starship Troopers, I just kept asking myself how the heck the book had gotten published without going through another round of editing (or two).

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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:


Starship Troopers is an amazing book, and the movie (satire or not) was detestable...and that little son of a bitch had the sheer nerve to put RAH's name on that steaming pile of crap.

Hot sauce I tell you!

What?! The movie is freakin' amazing! The book is quite boring compared!
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Stone_Wolf_
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Craze!
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SteveRogers
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I don't think the question of quality really need be addressed when discussing the influence of Starship Troopers historically. Even if a reader personally feels it was bad, its "celebrity" and influence are undeniable.
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madvogon
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To all of you who mention how much you love or hate the Starship Troopers movie, what about Roughnecks?

If nothing else it had the mecha the movie didn't.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I have five or six VHS of Roughnecks, and was in a fan club as a late teenager.
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Jeff C.
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Old Man's War, The Forever War, Ender's Game, and Starship Troopers are my favorites in this niche genre.

OMW is probably one of the absolute best, simply because of the author's sharp-witted voice. It's a great read.

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Selran
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I enjoyed Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series.
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Ron Lambert
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Jerry Pournelle has written lots of military SF.

I would second the vote for David Weber's Honor Harrington series.

Harry Turtledove certainly included a lot of military action in many of his alternate history stories. I don't know what to think of the guy, though--he writes three novels a year! What is he, superhuman?

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Jerry Pournelle has written lots of military SF.

I was actually just looking at the title of the thread and thinking how surprising it was that there weren't any Pournell fans. I opened the thread to say so, and saw your post.
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