No matter how you try to reinvent the genre that you write in, you cannot escape certain themes that are the bedrock of the genre. Throughout the majority of military science fiction, there exists ten key themes that most or all MSF writers and creators fall into. That is not always a bad thing. for example, Bungie entered into the super-soldier genre in 2001 with the Master Chief in the original HALO game, and set a new and better standard for MSF super-soldiers. Since 2008, I've written books with every one of these themes, even devoting entire novels to one specific type, attempting to explore and redefine. The vast majority of these themes have been covered in-depth on the FWS blog since our founding in 2010, but there are few still still waiting their turn.
2. Armored Power Suits/Mecha
3. Powered Armor vs. Insect Aliens
In the founding classic of MSF literature, Starship Troopers, the theme of powered armor infantry verse insect-like hostile aliens was firmly established, and created a theme that will repeated often in future FWS works...including my first novel. This theme really works well within MSF stories. First off, powered armor sets the human soldiers apart from today's military, and makes these soldiers' abilities more superhuman, allowing them to tangle with these bug bastards. Insects creep people out, all human beings have experiences with them, and given that there are more insects than humans, it is easy to imagine them has an aggressive alien foe. Not only were insects popular in 1950's B-movie drive-ins monster fare, but also with the release of ALIEN and ALIENS, there was frightening dark vision of what could be waiting out there for us. It seems that this theme in MSF works is not yet played out, and will continue for years to come. FWS discusses this topic in-depth back on March 17, 2012
4. Female Soldiers
5. Laser Blaster Everywhere!
6. Mildly Military
7. Aliens Want Earth
8. Unified Earth
Since the heady days of the League of Nations in 1920, all the way though the United Nations of today, there has been an attempt by Terrans to unite the 100+ nations of the global under a single flag and government (One World Order, anyone?). Yeah..that hasn't happened...but in military science fiction, our brave space marines normally serve some type of unified Terran government. At times, the unification of Earth occurred due an alien threat, nuclear war, or colonizing of the stars. Much like directed energy weaponry, the concept of future soldiers serving an united Terra has lost some popularity...one could blame it on ALIENS.
9. Robotic Soldiers
10. Ground Troops Only