11. WARHAMMER: 40,000
Oh, and Blood for the Blood God!
10. STAR TREK DS9: THE DOMINION WAR
09. OLD MAN'S WAR by JOHN SCALZI
In the realm of MSF literature, this book is a rare one, and deserves to be read by all fans of MSF and SF. Oh, and read before Hollywood ruins it.
08. ARMOR by JOHN STEAKLEY
07. WAR OF THE WORLDS by HG WELLS
"This isn't a war," said the artilleryman. "It never was a war, anymore than there's war between man and ants."
06. STAR WARS SAGA
io9.com talked on a very surface level about why Star Wars is a great war sci-fi epic, and it is true that the term wars appears in the very title, but it is more profound than that. I do not classify Star Wars has pure MSF, because Lucas' creation is really aSpace Opera Fantasy complete with good and evil knights battling for control, but the canonized works do touch on a number of galactic conflicts with stunning SFX.
05. DUNE by FRANK HERBERT
04. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2003)
03. ENDER'S GAME by ORSON SCOTT CARD
02. The FOREVER WAR by JOE HALDEMEN
Now...when the hell is Ridley Scott going to make that movie?
01. STARSHIP TROOPERS by ROBERT HEINLEIN
io9.com offers nothing new about the book, but if they are in order according to votes, then SST was voted #1 on the list of greatest sci-fi war stories. It seems an odd choice for number one...
The issue for me is that there is little war in this novel. Really only the first few pages, where Rico's unit raids the Skinneys for their involvement with the bugs against the Earth. It is a shame that the films have never shown us this opening battle in the book...I would love to see it. Several of the people on the FB poll discussed the historical impact of SST on the genre of science fiction, and how we are still talking about to this day. That is a fair point, but, to me, it still does alter the fact that SST is a book about the other sides of future wars, and not the war itself.
The FWS List of the 12 Greatest Sci-Fi War Stories
12. THE ROBOTECH SAGA
10. STARBLAZERS/SPACE CRUISER YAMATO
09. OLD MAN'S WAR by JOHN SCALZI
It is hard to create something new in the realm of sci-fi, but John Scalzi did this 2006 with the Old Man's War. Unique in it's vision of a future were Earth is kept lower in technologically scale, while the colonial worlds of Earth battle for survival against many hostile alien races. Fighting this war are Terrans over the age of 75 in new state-of-the-art bodies and advanced weaponry. Added to this original story and setting is the snappy dialog and deeply violent combat scenes that Mr. Scalzi masterfully crafted giving the reader one hell of a trip. Sadly, this only applies two of the four books in the Old Man's War series.
08. THE STAR WARS SAGA
07. THE MASS EFFECT SAGA
06. BABYLON 5
05. STARSHIP TROOPERS by ROBERT HEINLEIN
04. THE FOREVER WAR by JOE HALDEMAN
In the mid-1970's military science fiction was not popular, the aftermath of the Vietnam War deeply hung in the collective psyche of America, it would take Star Wars to jump-start the genre in 1977. However, one of the founding classics of MSF was writing in 1974 by Joe Haldeman, Vietnam veteran and Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy holder. This novel presented a future deep space war with the Taurans in the gritty hard science reality of moving faster-than-light. Moreover, it presents the high price that soldiers of this conflict pay by fighting over a thousand years in separation from their society and numb emotions. What is also daring, is that Mr.Haldeman shows the beginning, middle, and end of the war all in 236 pages...my novel is 260 and covers only a few battles.This might be the best military science fiction novel of all time, and read it before the Ridley Scott movie.
03. THE HALO SAGA
The shadow of HALO looms long over the current state of MSF, and with good reason, because it is just that fucking good, and for io9.com to leave it off, it a crime. HALO presented the Human/Covenant War with raw intensity in 2001 with the first game, and by the time HALO 2 dropped, HALO was a line of books, comics, and toys. This has been done before, but HALO stood out with a deeply layered story that translated well into books. After the gritty live-action HALO advert shorts for the third game, it was easy to see how HALO could be translated into a live-action film that wouldn't suck. HALO had a challenge that most of the sci-fi war stories do not have on both of the lists, mostly because it is a line of primarily games. Books, TV and movies possess a passive involvement by the viewer, however, HALO had to present its story via an interactive experience and if it failed at that, it was over. There is something about putting a sci-fi war story in motion with the viewer at controls that forges HALO to be much greater than most sci-fi war stories. I still believe in the Master Chief and await HALO 4 with readied hands to deal death to my enemies.
02. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2003)
01. SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND
That's what I love about this show, is that we can get into the poetry of the human condition, as well as the science and the action."
I leave this with the poem that Colonel McQueen wrote and one of the many reasons why SAAB is the best science fiction war story: "The dim glow falling upon the dried blood of Union brothers in the Manassas eve still guides our path. Constellations hidden by fierce Pacific storms in the Bataan sky remain obscured by rain. The star - a billion for every life laid down Vietnam - still shine on us and will guide those who follow."