Military Science Fiction?

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Trick_Boom, Dec 18, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. So, anyone know some decent military sci-fi worth reading?

    I read The Forever War a couple of weeks back, thought it was awesome. Written by some US Vietnam Vet. Purple Heart.
    I was suggested to read Starship Troopers which I am half way through (The original book, not the films version), also very good so far.

    I had a look on Amazon and the similar suggestions option gave some results, but not found anything that was like the above.
  2. Try Games Workshop's Black Library website.
  3. John Scalzi's Old Man's War series. Very much in the vein of Henlein.

    If you've got some time to invest and you find you like the setting go to the Baen Free Library and download a Honor Harrington book or two by David Weber. The first is On basilisk Station.
    Don't be put off by the cover, it's American and their covers are always crap - you should see the travesties they put on Terry Pratchett books, replacing the Old Master pastiche on the Nightwatch for a start.

    The series gets a bit political later on but the first three or four books are pretty good and if you like 'em you'll probably keep plugging on.

    There's lots of other similar stuff by that author and others available for free on that site, Baen has got to rank as one of the world's most generous publishers.
  4. Have a look out for The Amtrak Wars by Patrick Tilley
    6 books, with a good look at the 2989 expedition, of the Lady from Lousiana who initiated the Plainfolk campaign.

    Triple volley air rifles, steam hoses for antiwagon ambushes and skywarriors.
  5. Perhaps not if you're looking for, as your reading so far suggests, serious science fiction with a high level of accuracy in terms of what might be possible in the future; they tend to have a fantasy slant. However, their 'Gaunt's Ghosts' series was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager. It's like Sharpe/Sven Hassel in space - good fun.

    Harry Turtledove's 'In the Balance' was quite interesting; he's written a lot of alternative history stuff, so might be worth Googling.
  6. The "Death's Head" series by David Gunn, no it isn't about nazis in space either! Well written stories, easy to read and some fantastic violence.
  7. Im working my way through the Gaunts Ghosts series at the moment. Very good. Well recommended!
  8. If you have an author or title this is a good site for reviews.

    Fantastic Fiction
  9. Dunno about 'good', but John Ringo's Aldenata series (Baen, with a couple of freebies) is readable and has slightly more in it that's palatable for a military reader (IMO) than a lot of SF (even as a space cadet, Start Trek used to irritate the hell out of me with its almost complete lack of combat technology (it came across like a cruise liner with cannon bolted on and the Red Coats given phasers but no armour/defensive aids or tactical training))

    There are one or two good books covering the Bolo and the Man-Kzin Wars series has a few enjoyable stories.
  10. David Drake's 'Hammers Slammers' books are well worth a go.
  11. Gordon R Dickson's Childe Cycle. No, it's not about a kid's bike. It's a series of books.

  12. Anything by Neal Asher. Not specifically military but hardcore SF with lots (and I mean lots) of violence, much of it on an awesome scale. Many of the characters are "drones" - artificial intelligences in "combat" robot bodies and they are usually veterans of various wars with alien races such as the Prador (Prador - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    One character who pops up regularly is Sniper, an elderly war drone with a very bad attitude and a sarcastic tongue.

    Some of the alien creatures and races such as the Prador make the Hollywood Alien and Predator look like a bunch of wusses.

    Read and enjoy

  13. The Dorsai Trilogy and related books by Gordon R Dickson.

    A whole planet whose economy is based on the export of military skills.
  14. I'll second the Trek gripes, there's nothing sillier than characters being killed or seriously injured by being banged on the head when a simple helmet as reinvented c.1914 would have saved them. Babylon 5 and Farscape did at least envision troops armouring up before combat.
    Another thing that irks me is people being sucked into space through a hull breach and then dying. If you're in action at sea you wear a life jacket so I'd have thought a basic spacesuit would be mandatory for space combat (this is something that David Weber gets right I think), you'd probably want to evacuate the "surface" areas of the ship to prevent oxygen feeding fires too.

    For a couple of stand-alone books why not try Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas and Use of Weapons?
  15. I did read some excerpts in a mini book of Gaunt's Ghosts, it was okay but I wasn't keen on the rest of the warhammer universe tbh.
    Likewise with Excognito's comment about Star Trek, I just can't get into that stuff. I guess that's why I liked Haldeman's work, because he had served it made his writing more believable.

    Some excellent suggestions here so far though, thanks. Looking at John Scalzi, Patrick Tilley & John Ringo's works online right now.