01 March 2011

The Best of Military Science-Fiction

The topic of future war is popular, and in the last few years, it has exploded. However, not all  military science fiction is equal, and one of the missions of FWS is to be a guide into the dark world of MSF. So, here is the list of the finest examples of military sci-fi in films, TV, comics, anime, and literature. Of course, given the size of this topic, there could wonderful items I've not yet discovered. I hope is to update this blogpost in a few years, adding and subtracting entries based on the changing ground of MSF as a whole.

FILMS

ALIENS (1986)
This is Citizen Kane of MSF films...I have seen this epic 104 times, and each time I am deeply impressed by the creative work that James Cameron threw into this sequel. While ALIEN was more a space horror film, ALIENS was a military sci-fi horror film that broke new ground in presenting a realistic space-borne military. Unlike most of other sci-fi works of the time, Earth and her colonies were not under a united banner, but the old nation-states still exist in the 23rd century. ALIENS used the Ripley character to explore this new world that was 56 years past hers, and film masterfully weaves the pain/trauma of the Ripley character with the blazing action scenes.Since ALIENS came out in 1986, it's vision of the future, military, and off-world colonization have been copied, but never surpass, even by it's own director. ALIENS is the groundbreaking film work of MSF, and one of hell of a movie! 

STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997)
While ALIENS and AVATAR are light years better than Starship Troopers, they are not as "pure" of a MSF movie as is this B-movie. Starship Troopers is the most "pure" MSF movies to date, and firmly focuses on lives of the Mobile Infantry during the Bug War of the 25th century. While plot gaps, bad acting, and simply unsound military tactics run throughout this 1997 movie, Starship Troopers is a well-made MSF movie...of which we have  so very few...also there is something about it that makes me watch it a few times a year...can't put my finger on it.

AVATAR (2009)
Like ALIENS, AVATAR is not a pure MSF film, it is more of a message movie about the dangers of a crumbling environment and the rights of people and corporations. However, past the enivormentist speeches and blue people is a rather well-thought out MSF story with jaw-dropping special effects, stellar acting, a realistic armored power suit (the AMP) and believably military elements. AVATAR shows that a MSF film can and does work within a boarder story.

TERMINATOR/TERMINATOR 2: (2029 SCENES)
Terminator and Terminator 2 are not completely MSF, mostly they are than well-thought out action story. However, these films do show a darker future than most any sci-fi film have ever done, where machines rule over the ruins of a post-nuclear world, and humans wage an impossible war.
\When I first witness the darkness and power of these  2029 scenes, I have been wanting to see a entire movie set in that grim future. The 2029 scenes also showed  that not all post-nuclear war films are grade B fare, and that MSF can be set in other situations than just power armored human trooperss against bug-like aliens.

THE LIVE-ACTION HALO SHORTS
When HALO Landfall, the Eigth-minute live-action short-film came out online, I saw the promise of good MSF...and how great the HALO concept/universe was. Since the Landfall/Arms Race HALO-3 shorts, there have new ones added for every new HALO game release, and each one is a  gem of MSF goodness. Few pieces of live-action SF/MSF can live up to these live-action HALO shorts have set.

COMICS/MANGA

GHOST IN THE SHELL (1991) 
Masamune Shirow is a genius, and the Ghost in the Shell graphic novel is just further proof  of that. Shirow was able to mix the future here on Earth with cyperpunk, computer networks, AI, crime, and very cool weaponry into a MSF classic.For those that have only experienced the Anime series/movies of Ghost in the Shell, you are missing out on the whole story, mixed with humor and high-tech. Ghost in the Shell almost never leaves Japan, let alone Earth of the 2020's, and this allows for the development of Section Nine of public security to fully explore the darker side of the future of humanity. But, where Shirow and his work shines is at the application of technology and how is used for and against society, and a great story. This is his masterpiece and a jewel of MSF.




SHRAPNEL (2008)
Mix one part genetic politics of Gattaca, off-world colonialism in the solar system, powered armor, soldiers, and planetary invasion, and you've got Shrapnel by Racial Comics. The visuals of the comic are breathtaking, and the story is original.
Few comics about war/future war deal with the politics and/or emotion after combat.  Shrapnel also handles the confusion of war via the art and direction of the combat scenes. It is a shame that not more comics about futuristic warfare are not as mulit-leveled and/or visually shocking as Shrapnel. It is my hope that this brought to the movie/game adaption








THE FOREVER WAR GRAPHIC NOVEL: VOLUME ONE (1990)\
There as already been an extensive review of this product on the blog sometime ago, but to restate, The Forever War Graphic Novel: Volume One is a wonderfully artistic interruption of the book and it adds and redefines the story in a way that is organic to the original novel without destroy it.Also, the art is pin-up worthy...this is shows what military science fiction comics can be.











ALIENS: VOLUME TWO BY DARK HORSE (1990)
Before the heresy of ALIEN-3 movie, there was this comic story of the xenomorphs taking over Earth with help from the company. In this version of the post-LV-426 events, Hicks is still live, and Newt is bat-shit crazy from the trauma of her LV-426 experience.
This Dark Horse 1990 comic series picked up as Newt, the skinjob Butler, and Hicks escape the dying Earth in an automated deep space cargo vessel bound for a military colony.
The art, done in air-brush, is haunting, even many years later, the story of the Colonial Marine General with visions of leading an xenomorph army to liberate Earth and achieve honor is better than a majority of the ALIEN movies/games/books. This is how ALIENS 3 and 4 should have been. The writer of these original Dark Horse ALIENS series, Mark Verheiden, also was co-producer and writer on Battlestar Galactica.   

THE ALIEN LEGION (1987-1990)
Far future military sci-fi epics are rare, and Alien Legion is just that, a far future where three galaxies are under one massive government, but it is rotten at its core, with greed, politics, and petty wars populating the thousands of worlds, and hundreds of alien races.
The protectors of the tri-galactic government is the Legions. The worst of the worst, is dumped into FORCE NOMAD, the Legion's home for the convicts and bad-soldiers in the galaxies.There two Alien Legion comic series done by Epic, an imprint of Marvel, the first in 1984 was less gritty, and less groundbreaking in terms of style and story. The second series from 1987 to 1990 was an Alien Legion relaunch coupled with a much harder edge and more complex art and stories...these are the best of the Alien Legions products. This series was followed up by a several graphic novels, most are good. There as been nothing like Alien Legion in comics or MSF...and is worth picking it up.





APPLESEED (1985-1989)
In a post-WWIII world, a utopia of super-computer, cyborgs, and a special urban police striker force, ESWAT, raise up from the ashes. In the city of Olympus, two outsiders from the rubble, a combat cyborg Briareos and his lover and fellow special forces vet, Deunan join Olympus to fight for the future of humans and cyborgs. This, up until Ghost in the Shell, was Masamune Shirow's best known work of Manga, and what makes this great MSF is it originality and the steer skill as a artists/writer that Shirow puts into his worlds.











ALIENS: TRIBES DARK HORSE (1992)

Tribes is not completely graphic novel nor a novel, but Tribes blends a shocking story of a special Colonial Marine investigational team to an off-world research station, with text and a few haunting art pieces.
Unlike many of the ALIENS comic books and movies (all but ALIENS and ALIEN), this one as teeth, and the story will haunt you for a long time after. The characters, their inter-relationships, and the plot develop into a dark space horror, and above that, Tribes introduces the concept of the MOX aka the "shit-kicker."
The MOX, Mobile Offensive Exo-Warrior is a sedated mass murder with homicidal rage encased a powered armor suit mounted with tons of weaponry, that is kept snowed unlit they are needed, then unleashed on the xenomorph hive.
The parts of the book with the MOX and the CMC character of Cat are the ALIENS universe at its best.
Be warned, this tale is not for everyone, it is highly disturbing.



ANIME

ROBOTECH (1985)
Robotech changed my life forever, and it is the cornerstone of some of my MSF ideas, and this Anime 1985 epic that covers 85 episodes is one of the finest Animes ever made (Cowboy Bebop is second). Robotech tells the story of three generations of human warriors, from 1999-2044, waging a three generational war against three separate alien races, invading to capture an advanced alien space battleship that crashed on Earth during the Global Civil War of the 1990's.
Earth unites, rebuilds the battleship, using its advanced technology to develop robotechnology (mecha) if and when the original owners of the battleship show up. A Series of wars nearly destroy the human race and leave Earth scarred. Robotech was a combination of three different Anime series that had  new  American-created dialog mixed over to create a whole new story from the original  Japanese Macross series. Robotech is not Shakespeare, and at times, the series falls on its face, but most of the time, it is a thrilling adventure through mankind's struggle to survive. 

 GHOST IN THE SHELL (1994)
Ghost in the Shell is original...there is nothing like this OVA in Anime, offering the viewer a world of high-technology of cybernetic bodies, advanced robots, hacking, future politics, and a special police force made up of cyborgs. Then add philosophically discussions of existences and purpose, and you've got Ghost in the Shell.Often, military sci-fi is about off-world warfare, with ships, fighters, and marines, but then where are works like this, that redefine the role and setting of MSF, from colonies and space, to the dirty neon streets of Hong Kong.  

GUNDAM (1979-2011)
Gundam is a complex web of series, (like Dragon Ball Z), but at the original series, called the Universal Century timeline, is were Earth creates off-world colonies, space elevators. Then wars breaks out among the human powers using massive mecha powered suits.
Often Anime and most MSF set future wars between aliens and humans or humans and robots, but rarely was there human verse human...which is much more interesting in the long run.
Mobile Suit Gundam started Japanese and Western viewers on the obsession of mecha in future war, and this was the genesis of other  MSF series in Anime and Manga, and the American 1980's comic series Dynamo Joe (FWS review soon).

STARSHIP TROOPERS OVA (1988)
In 1988, there was an attempt to turn the classic 1958 book into a full-length Anime series, complete with the combat armored power suits featured in the book. The OVA followed some elements of the book more closely than the American films and the CGI TV series, however, it still takes liberties and is not involved in the politics of the Federation, which was the main thrust of the 1958 book.
It is rumored that Starship Troopers is the origin of Japanese mecha, the bedrock foundation of  most Anime/Manga.The series is not currently available in the US on DVD. Some sources say that it was available on subtitled  laser disc and VHS. It can be viewed at Youtube and several other sites...the quality is so-so and the series itself looks like a 1980's Anime, complete with cheesy music. I was disappointed at the depiction of the Bugs, which more like jellyfish, and there complete deletion of the Skinnys.
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ARMORED TROOPER VOTOMS (1983)
VOTOMS is a more hard-sci-fi series, which is rare in Anime, that as two alien powers locked in bitter war where the VOTOM suits are the primary infantry. VOTOMS is set in the far, far away Astragius Galaxy and the war is between two alien races, the Gilgamesh and Balarant.
What sets VOTOMS apart is that these alien powered armor suit use oddly realistic weaponry, which is more  than most Anime.Manga at the time. More over, the series deals with soldiers fighting for one another than their ideals or government, which they don't trust.
Sadly, most MSF Manga/Anime are not very good, and often disappointing, however, VOTOMS is not bad, and gets better as the series moves along. VOTOMSbucks the trend in Anime/Manga in not having  these expensive warmachines being piloted by teenagers, which would not exist in the real-world military structures.


GAMES

THE HALO SERIES
The last of a military breeding program to create the prefect soldier is charged with saving humanity from an all out alien invasion is dumped on a unknown and uncharted alien world, and discoveries a secret that no one expected.That is basic outline plot of HALO, and it has been done many times before...but there lays the promise of HALO...taking a tired concept and making it kick ass for years.There simple is not a better MSF games than the HALO games



KILLZONE SERIES
Killzone was going to be the HALO of the Playstation world, however, what we got was something more original than HALO, a story where human vs. human on a disputed colonial world, where a group of soldiers must pull together to prevent a traitor from turning over this world to the enemy. Killzone as a good original story and the gameplay and graphics have improved since the first game, more over, it is excited to see futuristic human warfare with borrowed elements of World War One and World War Two. Killzone sits above other FPS in terms of story and originality.

MASS EFFECT SERIES
MASS EFFECT is set in one of these best big universe concepts in all of sci-fi, games or otherwise. This universe is  filled with unique aliens,clever human characters, and one hell of a story. MASS EFFECT is also a MSF games/story. I simply cannot believe the complexity of the MASS EFFECT galaxy, and enjoyment of the beautiful writting, and my own pleasure at exploring the world of MASS EFFECT. The real beauty of MASS EFFECT, is putting a MSF story into big-universe concept, and out doing Star War/Star Trek at the same time.
I have a theory, unproven, that MASS EFFECT and Old Man's War have a connection...it's just a feeling I had while playing the first game...

THE STARCRAFT SERIES
While I have not played Starcraft...I know, its a crime, I deeply respect the story, military technology, and nod to the founding concept of MSF: armored infantry fighting insect-like aliens in a bitter interstellar war. Some of the trailers to Starcraft II and Starcraft: Ghost, are amazing bits of MSF storytelling at its finest. If you love Starcraft check out the manga comics done in 2008, and in most big-chain book stores' manga section. I am planning on reading the Starcraft books... 

THE WARHAMMER 40K UNIVERSE
There is nothing like WH40K in SF/MSF, in terms of story, mood, characters, technology, and visuals. The rule of a God Emperor over a dysopia Milky Way galaxy challenged by Orks, Traitor Marines who sold their souls to dark greedy gods, and rebellious humans, is unlike anything else. The concept of the space marines, the monstrous Tyranids, and the Tau also original in the world of SF/MSF. What makes WH40K one of  the best games in MSF is that it broke the tired mode of typical humans battling aliens with a just and noble government behind them. The Imperium of Man is a dark giovernment that rules over their subjects with legions of genetic altered space marines that fanatically serve the will of a god-like emperor, added to this, was the enemies that were even more dark and twisted.





TRAVELLER (RPG)
For those who are not familiar with Traveller, this is an old style pen-and-paper RPG that was designed by Games Designer Workshop," in 1977. Travellers was one of the first space-based RPGs, and developed some of its material from noted sci-fi authors Niven, Pournelle, Asimov, Piper, and Poul Anderson. This game itself was largely depend if the players and DM wanted a more MSF lend, but the concepts of a MSF universe without Star Trek/Star Wars as a backbone allowed people like me to see sci-fi in a new way.
Traveller as had a vast developed galaxy of weapons, ships, and combat situations that spurred mass thought of future war situations.





The CRYSIS Series
Aqua-based aliens? Check. Badass, nano-technology based super-soldier suit? Check. Corporate greed and a government conspiracy? Check. Seriously, the series of three Crysis MSF games are a real stunner in terms of story and gameplay. I bought Crysis 2 for cheap for my Xbox 360, and was deeply impressed with this world and became one of my favorite campaigns on 360.

BATTLETECH (RPG)
I have a soft spot in my heart for the tabletop Battletech  RPG. In the 1980's, my brother and I would play Citytech for hours, destroying cities, mecha, and urban infantry with all manner of weapons. Some of my first memories and story developments can be traced to this and Japanese Anime. The first technical manuals I bought were for this universe, the fist fan-fiction I wrote, was for this universe. At the time, nothing seemed better than picking a mech, its weapons, designing a urban combat zone, then hashing it out with my friends for hours.








TV

SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND (1995-1996)
To counter the rash of Star Trek and Babylon 5 domination of sci-fi TV in the 1990's, Space:Above and Beyond showed a bitter, realistic war with an armored alien force on actual stars. SAAB combined elements of WWII, Vietnam, X-Files, real science, and great actors/writing with early CGI to make one of the best sci-fi shows ever on American TV. SAAB only ran for one season, but easily showed how good sci-fi could be on TV, and personal turned me towards MSF and away from Star Trek/Star Wars.The series did not shy from hard emotions, drugs, sex, drinking, and the realities of war and death...oh, and they play some kick ass music.






BATTLESTAR GALACTIC (2003-2009)
The original 1970's Battlestar Galactica was a messy fusion of Star Wars, classical studies, 1970's fashions, and ancient alien theory, the new Battlestar Galactica is a gritty, realistic, military space drama. It is true that BSG spent more time with the characters, and their demons and relationships, than in space combat scenes, there was something so honest and true about the writing that often every episode was good. Frakking Galactica is what MSF could and should be.

BOOKS

STARSHIP TROOPERS (1958)
The book that started it all. This is the founding classic of MSF, and gave the world of sci-fi, anime, and manga the concept of armored power suits. Starship Troopers was written in the 1950's, and some of its ideas and dialog have not aged well, however, the overall plot is seemly timeless, the politics of war and how societies interact with war and their soldiers.
The best portion of the book, is still the first few pages, when the Roughnecks raid the "Skinnys" and use micro-atomic bombs then are recovered in mid-air. This is one of the concepts that interested me more than the Bug Wars...








THE FOREVER WAR (1975)
Where Starship Troopers is mostly about politics, The Forever War is about the grim realities of space warfare, faster-than-light travel, and being in command. The author used his experiences in Vietnam to develop the world of 1997, when the UN is at war with unknown alien race. There are few battles in the book, the meat of the story is about the effects of traveling through collapsed stars, and how a soldier that has fought only a few battles are now hundreds of years old. While Starship Troopers is is the first real MSF book, this is the first really good military sci-fi novel, and is still very readable today. This is the book got me back in to reading sci-fi, and with some help from Nigel, writing my own books.






THE OLD MAN'S WAR (2003)
It is hard to be original in the world of sci-fi with the legions of books, movies, and anime/manga that exist today, but John Scalzi created one of the most original MSF books in Old Man's War. If you have read FWS review of the novel, than you know how impressed I was with the development of his universe and humanity's place in it.Within the pages of this novel, the reader is treated to world of deep differences, on one hand, these 75 year old soldiers get new bodies and are able to enjoy life again, then on the other, war in the future is often brutal and quick.
If you have not read Old Man's War then you are missing of the best MSF/Sci-fi novels.







ENDER'S GAME (1985)
I have not yet read Ender's Game...it is on my night table, it is next novel to be read...writing for the blog, plus my own MSF novel, then little things like life prevents me from reading as much as I would like..but my brother-in-law read Ender's Game and along with most people that have read, say that this, is one of the best MSF novels.
This novel takes an unique concept and POV on futuristic war, that most author could not do with such talent...or so I am told.










THE GHOST BRIGADE (2007)
It is very hard to followup one of the best MSF books ever written, but John Scalzi proves himself as one of the best sci-fi writers today by giving the readers what they wanted...a novel set in the world of OMW and being all about the Special Forces.
While the plot is not as good as OMW, this is still better than 90% of the sci-fi books out there, and his Jane character is one of those great female soldiers in sci-fi that is not a hollow pretty shell.










THE ORPHANAGE (2004)
Unlike Old Man's War, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War, this 2004 book by ex-CIA employee Robert Buettner, is not well-known. However, Orphanage is a top-notch MSF novel that takes the war-with-aliens to a new place...the moons of Jupiter. The plot centers around  teenager Jason Wander, who as been orphaned when exo-solar system aliens (nick-named Slugs) establish a base on Ganymede, and bombard Earth with "rods from god", wiping out the largest cities. In a new twist, Earth as abandoned space travel before the alien attacks, and is forced to attempt an armed expedition to Ganymede when Earth as yet to return to the Moon! Jason Wander must travel to Ganymede with Vietnam-era weaponry and fight to save what is left of Earth.
This is one of those fast-paced books that is an easy read that sticks with you because of its original story and great writing. One of the best first-novels I have read.
   


ALIENS: THE COLONIAL MARINE TECHNICAL MANUAL (1996)
Simply stated, this is my choice for a MSF bible. Every piece of hardware from the film is in fully glorious detail, coupled with the opinions of fictional military personal, and fully explains the world of the Colonial Marines.
\Unlike many other movie-tie books, this both fuses well into the movie universe and expands it without seeming cheap or cheesy.
As a writer, it is often difficult to investigate how certain element of science can be used in a MSF setting, such as with how a realistic DEW system would work. This is where the technical manual is very useful to any SF or MSF writer, the limitations of high-tech is explained and how it would kill on the battlefield. Moreover, the A:CMTM  brings up the realities of a government trying to project power over dozens of light-years. If you love the movie ALIENS, or technical manuals, or even a writer of SF/MSF, then buy this...it is worth every penny.


HALO: THE FALL OF REACH (2003)
I doubt the power of HALO to be translated to a book format...but I was wrong...really wrong. Military science fiction is filled with stories of super soldiers and their fight to save humanity against dark and blood-thirsty aliens. There is also a number of books tied into a line of video games, most of not this good. HALO: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund could be a stand alone book, and even if you are not a gamer, this is a good read and an original take on the super-soldier story.

40 comments:

  1. I'm only on book 2 of 6 (with a sequel series coming soon also) of The Lost Fleet Series by Jack Campbell, but so far, it has been really really good. The author is a little repetitive between books, but the story is solid as is the writing.

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  2. I will have to google that series! Thank you for reading and letting us know about other MSF works. I am always interested in other MSF works.
    Thanks for reading!

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  3. The best science fiction I have read lately is The Bulletproof Series by Eden Rose Archer. It is a futuristic military sci-fi novel about civil war in America. The main characters are really interesting and easy to like, plus they have flaws and are very realistic. There are some really tense parts in the book, and I like suspense. The ending choked me up a little but it wasn't a tear jerker. The story ends with a little cliff hanger and I really want to know what happens next. It's a new author and so I was surprised that the book was so good I didn't want to put it down and go to bed. I hope Eden writes a sequel. I recommend this book to anybody, even people who don't read sci-fi, because the science fiction aspect isn't overdone, so the less technically minded people would understand.

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  4. For new military science fiction, consider my 13 book series "America's Galactic Foreign Legion" about a compulsive gambler joins future America's foreign legion to battle spider-like aliens on a distant planet.

    AGFL is different than other military Sci/Fi because it uses humor, and stands out for its patriotic themes.

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  5. Have you ever read Armor by John Steakley? It is by far one of my all time favorites. I've read it 4 or 5 times over the years. The main character of Felix is truly unique - especially when he becomes the "machine". I actually read this before Starship Troopers. Steakley's depiction of power armor, scout suits and warrior suits, is awesome. Well worth the read.

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  6. I am impressed that so many of you are familiar with the classics by Heinlein and others that I started on as a teen in 1968.I would like to suggest the Falkenbergs Legion collection,and War World series by Jerry Pournelle.Both functional and believable military sci-fi.Enjoy.Forgive the Anonymous please,I am not savvy to url's yet.Lee Rust.

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  7. Thanks for all the comments! I will add the War World by Pournelle and Falkenbergs Legion, two works I am unfamiliar with by one of the greatest authors of sci-fi.
    I've seen your books, Mr. Knight, on Amazon, and thought(based on the information on Amazon) it was a nice mix between The Stainless Steel Rat gets Drafted and portions of Starship Troops and Armor. I need to read it, and review for the blog, I am always interested in author outside of the mainstream. Maybe, Mr. Knight, we here at FWS could interview you for the blog?
    Thanks for reading!

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  8. These stories are really excellent. It includes lot of interesting information regarding the military related issues and their sincere work towards the country.

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  9. Thanks Best Military Stories! We try at FWS to bring the best in futuristic warfare out into the light. I really wish that more sci-fi creators and writers would take a more a "real" approach to the battlefield, like the new Battlestar Galactica.

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  10. I didn't know HALO is actually a book. I like the choices you have here, but you forgot brave new world and KYIRUX http://www.krsnovels.com/KYIRUX-HTML.html It's a new sci-fi book.

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  11. I doubted the HALO books at first, due to the terrible track record of videogame novels...like the pure dogshit DOOM novels. The HALO novels, especially HALO: the Fall of Reach can stand on its own as a novel, and are very good MSF book to boot.One of the great things about Fall of Reach is that is one of the best Supersoldier stories.

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  12. Thanks for all the suggestions! I would recommend the Honor Harrington Series by David Weber. There are currently 12 books out (more on the way), and so far, they are all fantastic IMHO!!! :)

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  13. I second "the lost fleet" series.
    Very well done space navy books. Also, he is comming out with more, and that is also great.

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  14. I loved shrapnel

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  15. I am going to buy the second series when it comes to trade paperback form...did you read?

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  16. Heres a question for you all. back in the 80's i read a sci fi book that started right after vietnam, some of the soldiers were used in an experiment in Cryogenics to keep their "experienced" soldiers for the next war. as time goes on, the soldiers are cloned and their training done direct mind interface, and we are in the stars fighting aliens. I had thought the title was the Forever War, but ive gotten that book, its not it. anyone have any ideas? i was looking to reaquire it to read again.

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  17. Sounds very close to the Forever War...I will research and let you know. Sounds interesting.

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  18. Okay, I found your book, and this only because I am trained researcher, mind you.
    The name of the book is "the Eternity Brigade" by Stephen Goldin from 1980. You were lucky, it seems there were several other people looking for the novel as well. Hope this it!
    here is the amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Eternity-Brigade-Stephen-Goldin/dp/1585866741

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  19. William,

    Your list is impressive. I’ve read all the books mentioned, saw most of the movies, really appreciated your take on Space: Above and Beyond. I really miss that TV show. I’m surprised to find David Drake and his Hammer’s Slammer’s stories not mentioned here.
    Anyway, I’d run out of war sci-fi to read and sat down and wrote some. My War for Profit series is up to four books now, available as e-books everywhere to include Amazon.
    The prequel novelette is a freebie: http://www.amazon.com/Armor-Academy-Space-Profit-ebook/dp/B006EZF6KO

    Anyway,
    Great Blog!

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  20. Just found this website via twitter. Neat blog :)

    I was wondering, have you ever heard of "Uller Uprising" or "Dorsai!"? Both have been noted with Heinlein's "Starship Troopers"for helping form the MSF subgenre. If so, what do you think of them?

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  21. That is interesting that you found about FWS on twitter, I wonder who was talking about FWS?
    Uller Uprising and Dorsai! are both my list to read, David, one of the consultants for FWS has read them, and informs me that I should included them from time to time. I am working on a history of MSF for a future date, and this will be included.
    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  22. I'm looking for a sci-fi book series that is similar to the one about Posleen. Very near future, it has powered armor, the 82nd Airborne and is told from a 1st person POV. I read it in 2003 and I think the author was david drake but I'm not sure. Can anyone help? I've been looking for years with no luck. I think the enemy were described as centaur in appearance

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  23. I've begin research on locating the book for you...so far...I'm not finding much. I will endeavor to continue.

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  24. Okay, I've done some more digging...and I don't have a lot of answers. My searches on Centaurian aliens turned up nothing, along with 82nd AB in the future. However, I do think that you ought to look at David Drake's DOGS OF WAR anthology...I could not find any summaries of the each story, but it is a good bet. I will keep digging.

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  25. Okay, I spoke too soon...I think it may be SOLDIERS by John Dalmas from 2001 by Baen Books. It has Centaurian aliens and power armored soldiers...is this it?

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  26. I am not sure. I read it in 2003 while in Kuwait waiting on going into Iraq. I haven't found it since then and wish I paid attention more. I will look into it and see. Thanks sir.

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  27. I just searched both of these, and it is neither. I thought maybe the author was David Weber, but I cant think of anything other than the Honor series, that he could have written. I am starting to think that I imagined the whole book, but I know I didn't .... le sigh

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    1. if ts david webber your looking for the dahak series.thealienenemysin that series are centaur like in apearence.

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  28. I'm sure it was a strange time in your life, and I will endeavor to find the answer! I hate when this happens, you read something, and then it gets lost, and you search, and search...so much easier with the internet with these days. I love puzzles like these, and it makes me use my research skills I learned at university.

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  29. This is just a really fantastic collection of science fiction recommendations. How I have loved so much from that list. However, no list is fully complete for me this year without Bennett Coles's novel Casulaties of War http://www.bennettrcoles.com/works/casualties-of-war
    This book just has to be read. I've read some great MSF this year but Casualties of War has shone above all else for original and compelling writing. Check out the synopsis on the authors website. Awesome book.

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  30. I will add that book to my list! I plan on updating this list soon for 2013 or 2014.

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  31. Thanks for the list. I have several things to go buy now. I would like to add one series I didn't see mentioned, the Sten books by Allen Cole and Chris Bunch. They are from the early 90s so they can be a little hard to find, but I really enjoyed the universe they created.

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  32. Wow, just wow. Posleen Wars by John Ringo is the series you couldn't find. You should be ashamed.

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  33. I read "A Hymn Before Battle", and I was unimpressed, while some of it was good, like the overall plot, I just could not get into it.

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  34. I think I'll dig out my copy and try it again next year...tons of books to read!

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  35. Nice post, halo is one of the few msf that get it right.

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  36. You can read Their's not to reason why s by Jean Johnson.Are there any other books like Honor Harrington Series

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  37. Good publish, mobile is one of the few msf that get it right. Clara Bush

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  38. check out the looking glass series by john ringo.its also very good msf.lots of hard sciencs too.

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  39. Consider "America's Galactic Foreign Legion" 20 book series.

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