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Aerdan
Apr 14, 2012

ACTUALLY, DID YOU KNOW IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BEING GIGANTIC DOESN'T CAUSE ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS? IT'S EITHER THAT OR I'M AN IDIOT!



... David Weber explicitly said the whole point of the Safehold series was to explore religious strife in the circumstances he set up there. Maybe look to see what the author says about their dumb mil-scifi before reading (and then complaining about) it.

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mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





NoNostalgia4Grover posted:

The original Bolo stories by Keith Laumer were ok to decent, then Baen Books got involved with Bolo-universe anthology stories(thinking Jim Baen bought the Bolo IP rights from Keith Laumer post-Laumer heart attack). The Bolo-universe anthology stories that came out after Baen Books owned the Bolo IP rights were 90% bad/100% not worth reading by modern 2018/2019 era readers/150% wastes of paper pulp that could have been better used as napkins or bathroom sanitary products.

Looks like I'm going to have to do some Bolo effort posting. I rate both the originals and the Baen anthologies higher than OP does here. However, Weber's influence starts at aggressively mediocre and dives from there. The series is a rarity in future histories - it's serially post-apocalyptic. Just in Laumer's original collection, civilization collapses twice. This is very handy if you're editing an anthology series, it makes it much easier to hand wave different versions of continuity and canon if the archives get blown up a little every so often. Even Laumer's own stuff isn't perfectly internally consistent, he's prone to re-writing things and adding a bunch of detail.

e. Individual chapters are hard to link, but here's Laumer's Combat Unit

And a David Drake from the free library, The Tank Lords

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 16:25 on Jun 29, 2019

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Bolo stuff is interesting, but I've come to warn against the political screed masquerading as a Bolo novel: Road to Damascus by John Ringo. It's garbage front to back, and you would not believe how evil a welfare system is.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012

by Reene


Ringo is completely hilarious politically because he constantly talks about evil liberals and welfare states are but his ideal universe is an FDR style command economy which is the closest the US had ever come to communism so uh. Lol

Let us not forget the 100 page essay in the back of the Posleen War spinoff set in Panama featuring sentient anime warship waifus (I'm not kidding) that talks about how the collapse of the USSR was actually a KGB plot to infiltrate the EU and UN

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Ok, OP has been updated with another 20 or re-quotes that cover the following: a whole bunch of historical military fiction re-quotes, various series recommendations, and more meta discussion of Military fiction + Mil-Scifi authors, etc.

The Newly added re-quotes will be slightly out of order with the existing re-quotes in the OP, went 30 pages deep in the main SF + Fantasy thread this time.
As much I as I wanted to, did not include any posts about StarFleet Battles because they went off-topic into Star Control/Stardock Studios chat.




mllaneza posted:

Looks like I'm going to have to do some Bolo effort posting. I rate both the originals and the Baen anthologies higher than OP does here. However, Weber's influence starts at aggressively mediocre and dives from there. The series is a rarity in future histories - it's serially post-apocalyptic. Just in Laumer's original collection, civilization collapses twice. This is very handy if you're editing an anthology series, it makes it much easier to hand wave different versions of continuity and canon if the archives get blown up a little every so often. Even Laumer's own stuff isn't perfectly internally consistent, he's prone to re-writing things and adding a bunch of detail.

e. Individual chapters are hard to link, but here's Laumer's Combat Unit

And a David Drake from the free library, The Tank Lords

Mostly agree with you.
Main reason why I was non-committal on the Bolo stories was that Laumer had a massive heart attack that really hosed him up/gave him mild brain damage.
Laumer's post heart attack work wasn't that good, and was mainly rewrites of his existing Retief + Bolo stories, which Jim Baen kindly published because Jim Baen was a cool dude helping out a friend in massive debt. Buying the Bolo IP rights was a win-win for both parties financially (Keith Laumer and Jim Baen), as it gave other mil-scifi authors a chance to stretch their talents while also helping out a fellow mil-scifi writer.

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Jun 29, 2019

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Larry Parrish posted:

Let us not forget the 100 page essay in the back of the Posleen War spinoff set in Panama featuring sentient anime warship waifus (I'm not kidding) that talks about how the collapse of the USSR was actually a KGB plot to infiltrate the EU and UN

So was this before or after Kantai Collection came out?

Actually on that topic Japan is absolutely loaded to the gills with MilSF and other suitably insane right wing pro imperialist fiction pieces. There was one called Konpeki No Kantai or something (Blue Seas Fleet) where Admiral Yamamoto fell through a portal in time after he was shot down and ended up back before Pearl Harbour happened. So he redesigns his plan to attack the USA, wins the Pacific war with superior Japanese mega technology, and then saves the world from Hitler with the unstoppable might of Japan.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





StrixNebulosa posted:

Bolo stuff is interesting, but I've come to warn against the political screed masquerading as a Bolo novel: Road to Damascus by John Ringo. It's garbage front to back, and you would not believe how evil a welfare system is.

Yeah, his late stuff didn't live up to his earlier work.

all of the Bolo novels suck. Some suck because they;'re about stupid straw men liberals, some because they're violence porn for intelligent space raptors slaughtering hapless humans in loving, exquisite detail.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Mind you, Japan does have good milSF as well. Legend of the Galactic Heroes blows most Western offerings out of the water, and the Gundam franchise includes some solid contributions to the genre.

PupsOfWar
Dec 6, 2013



Larry Parrish posted:

I kind of like Glynn Stewart but hes not a good author. Like I love the concept of the Duchy of Terra series but its yet another 'humans are the best at everything so once they beg, borrow, and steal some technology from the elder races they become nearly unstoppable except we dont have the population or territory to just dominate the rest of the universe'

tbf in the last book the humans did get their unique industry nationalized away from them by their squid overlords

Duchy of Terra is one of a couple of mil-SF series i have been meaning to talk about in the KU thread

I agree that it's conceptually good - once you've read a hundred books full of people shouting "humanity will never surrender, alien scum! live free or die!!" and Randy Quaid-ing their fighters into the main guns of alien superdreadnoughts, it's refreshing to see something where humans pragmatically submit to being an alien satrapy and it's presented as the right call. The various alien races are nicely weird, too.

imo the main thing that keeps it from being firmly above-average for this subgenre is Stewart's inability to figure out an intersting PoV character. The initial protagonist is painfully generic (at least with someone like honor harrington you can marvel at the sheer amount of bullshit they represent) and the side PoVs contribute little. The first protagonist's stepdaughter who becomes a protagonist later is probably the best it's been, but she's still fairly bland

Book 1 is a terrific idea for a TTRPG campaign though, and i can respect that
(although i guess its the same concept as Star Control 2)

Kchama posted:


A long time later, a cyborg/android called a PICA that been hidden away wakes up with the memories of a military officer from the fleet that died in the final battles of the Gbaba War, with the mission to help put the colony back on its path to defeating the Gbaba. And the only thing stopping her... now him, as she quickly changes her gender to being a man with PICA Powers, is the evilll but also uselessly corrupt church that controls much of the world.


The greatest indictment of weber as a writer is his total disinterest in exploring any kind of interesting personal drama even when he himself has set it up.

In Safehold for instance there was immense opportunity to explore various identity issues w/ the unique protagonist nimue/merlin - whether posthuman identity, gender identity or cultural identity.

There's a bit in one of the early books (and i only read 3 books so it had to be one of them) where merlin gets horny watching king caleb and some of his bros frolic on the beach.

My brain fired up like "Whoah, we're actually going to deal with Merlin trying to figure out his sexuality and reckoning with his sex change, that's uncharacteristically interesting from a Weber book...especially since he's arranging a dynastic marriage for caleb currently...what would be the implications be for his work as a vizier if he harbored a secret attraction to his liege?"

and then of course it lasted for 1 sentence and didn't come back up during the 3,000 pages of Safehold i read, and in practice nimue/merlin is not any more complex than your standard weber protagonist despite being, in a literal sense, incredibly layered

Larry Parrish posted:


Let us not forget the 100 page essay in the back of the Posleen War spinoff set in Panama featuring sentient anime warship waifus (I'm not kidding) that talks about how the collapse of the USSR was actually a KGB plot to infiltrate the EU and UN

that essay was by kratman im pretty sure

like, im sure ringo agrees with it, but credit where credit is due

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Darth Walrus posted:

Mind you, Japan does have good milSF as well. Legend of the Galactic Heroes blows most Western offerings out of the water, and the Gundam franchise includes some solid contributions to the genre.

Favorite dumb fun detail about the Gundam novel by Tomino: big bad Char has velcro boots so he can walk around in his ship properly. Picturing the sound of that as he walks is great.

The rest of it is surprisingly good "war sucks" stuff.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





Aerdan posted:

... David Weber explicitly said the whole point of the Safehold series was to explore religious strife in the circumstances he set up there. Maybe look to see what the author says about their dumb mil-scifi before reading (and then complaining about) it.

Maybe he says that now but he had a different tune when he the first book and everything about the first book's marketing supports that it isn't what he intended. He straight up says in an interview that it was suppose to basically be a 'last defender of elfland' book with high technology, and specifies that there's no religious commentary with the Church, and it could as well be fascism or communism oppressing people.

None the less, he didn't do a good job no matter what his intentions were, and in fact a good majority of my complaints stand anyways.

StrixNebulosa posted:

Favorite dumb fun detail about the Gundam novel by Tomino: big bad Char has velcro boots so he can walk around in his ship properly. Picturing the sound of that as he walks is great.

The rest of it is surprisingly good "war sucks" stuff.

EDIT:I hosed UP and said he fought in the war when he just lived through it because I'm done. Putting this here so people know I hosed up.

PupsOfWar posted:


The greatest indictment of weber as a writer is his total disinterest in exploring any kind of interesting personal drama even when he himself has set it up.

In Safehold for instance there was immense opportunity to explore various identity issues w/ the unique protagonist nimue/merlin - whether posthuman identity, gender identity or cultural identity.

There's a bit in one of the early books (and i only read 3 books so it had to be one of them) where merlin gets horny watching king caleb and some of his bros frolic on the beach.

My brain fired up like "Whoah, we're actually going to deal with Merlin trying to figure out his sexuality and reckoning with his sex change, that's uncharacteristically interesting from a Weber book...especially since he's arranging a dynastic marriage for caleb currently...what would be the implications be for his work as a vizier if he harbored a secret attraction to his liege?"

and then of course it lasted for 1 sentence and didn't come back up during the 3,000 pages of Safehold i read, and in practice nimue/merlin is not any more complex than your standard weber protagonist despite being, in a literal sense, incredibly layered

That's def in either book one or two, and as far as I remember that's about all that happens for the rest of the series, though it all kinda blurs together. Merlin ends up hooking up with a lady because well, from then on Merlin's basically a generic straight guy. Later on he makes a duplicate of Nimue who is made shorter and more feminine and is treated as Merlin's little sister.

Kchama fucked around with this message at 22:45 on Jun 29, 2019

PupsOfWar
Dec 6, 2013



even if weber intended Safehold as a meditation on religious strife, i didn't see where he did anything w/ that topic that he hadn't already done much more economically in the third Dahak novel
(we could say this about most of safehold, come to think of it - the third Dahak novel expanded ad infinitum)

granted, again, i only read 3,000 pages of safehold

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





PupsOfWar posted:

even if weber intended Safehold as a meditation on religious strife, i didn't see where he did anything w/ that topic that he hadn't already done much more economically in the third Dahak novel
(we could say this about most of safehold, come to think of it - the third Dahak novel expanded ad infinitum)

granted, again, i only read 3,000 pages of safehold

I haven't read any of Dahak, but it does get brought up in the interview with Weber after the first Safehold book, where he lays out what the premise of Safehold was to him:

David Weber posted:

In the Safehold series, unlike Mutineers' Moon, I was deliberately setting out to create a series, and I knew that I wanted to come up with a sort of fusion of high technology with the feel of a "last defender of elfland," but without the urban fantasy matrix. The notion of a hero/heroine living in a cybernetic body, not even certain in his own mind that he's really still alive, grew naturally for me out of that initial basic premise. However, that left me with the question of why? What set of circumstances could create a situation in which my PICA hero came into existence? And given those circumstances, and the personality of Nimue Alban, how was "Merlin" going to react? What sort of strategy could he devise? What sort of flesh-and-blood humans would he end up working with? How much would they know? How much would heŚcould heŚtell them?

And, of course, there are the moral dimensions. What decisions does Merlin make? What choices? And what price is he prepared to pay ... or to demand of the people about him?

He really didn't do a good job with this at all, to be honest.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012

by Reene


almost as if Weber is a hack piece of poo poo

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Darth Walrus posted:

Mind you, Japan does have good milSF as well. Legend of the Galactic Heroes blows most Western offerings out of the water, and the Gundam franchise includes some solid contributions to the genre.

Arguably, the entire nation of Japan had a *cough*deadly fascination*cough* with military fiction for forty or so years last century.
As thread OP, I have no real problems against japanese mil-scifi or military fiction manga being discussed in here....does anyone else have issues with this?

FuturePastNow
May 19, 2014



College Slice

NoNostalgia4Grover posted:

Arguably, the entire nation of Japan had a *cough*deadly fascination*cough* with military fiction for forty or so years last century.
As thread OP, I have no real problems against japanese mil-scifi or military fiction manga being discussed in here....does anyone else have issues with this?

I'm sure Weber would approve

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Kchama posted:

Maybe he says that now but he had a different tune when he the first book and everything about the first book's marketing supports that it isn't what he intended. He straight up says in an interview that it was suppose to basically be a 'last defender of elfland' book with high technology, and specifies that there's no religious commentary with the Church, and it could as well be fascism or communism oppressing people.

None the less, he didn't do a good job no matter what his intentions were, and in fact a good majority of my complaints stand anyways.


Dudes who fought in a war are usually pretty good at 'war sucks'.


That's def in either book one or two, and as far as I remember that's about all that happens for the rest of the series, though it all kinda blurs together. Merlin ends up hooking up with a lady because well, from then on Merlin's basically a generic straight guy. Later on he makes a duplicate of Nimue who is made shorter and more feminine and is treated as Merlin's little sister.

Tomino was born in 1941. Pretty sure he didn't do much fighting.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





Darth Walrus posted:

Tomino was born in 1941. Pretty sure he didn't do much fighting.

poo poo, you're right. I got mixed up between him living through it and fighting through it, as he's talked about it a fair amount.

Edit: Also dude just seems even older somehow. I thought he was like a decade older than he really is.

FuturePastNow posted:

I'm sure Weber would approve



This is just regular American love for missiles.

Though he should just get a good look at Shin Getter-3.

Kchama fucked around with this message at 22:46 on Jun 29, 2019

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012

by Reene


Gate is Japanese Tom Clancy: The Anime

pmchem
Jan 21, 2010




Do any of the posters in this thread actually like the genre the thread was made to talk about, and can recommend good books/series? or is the purpose of this thread just to say how bad books in the genre are?

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



pmchem posted:

Do any of the posters in this thread actually like the genre the thread was made to talk about, and can recommend good books/series? or is the purpose of this thread just to say how bad books in the genre are?

Yes. Yes. And Yes.
Thread OP has a few series recommendations, skim the re-quotes until you find them.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





pmchem posted:

Do any of the posters in this thread actually like the genre the thread was made to talk about, and can recommend good books/series? or is the purpose of this thread just to say how bad books in the genre are?

I mean there was recommendations of good ones a few posts up. We just also recognize that most of 'em suck and suck hard. Maybe it got lost in my apologizing for loving up and saying dude fought in WW2 instead of having been alive during it.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


pmchem posted:

Do any of the posters in this thread actually like the genre the thread was made to talk about, and can recommend good books/series? or is the purpose of this thread just to say how bad books in the genre are?

I enjoy military sci-fi! Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell is really good space battles, and in Warhammer 40k land Gaunt's Ghosts by Dan Abnett is great infantry in space stuff. What kind of military sci-fi are you looking for?

Ninurta
Sep 19, 2007
Wit to be input later.

NoNostalgia4Grover posted:

A good rule of thumb for Military-Fiction + Mil-SciFi is to track down public library copies of the first book of a series/closest to first book by whatever New2You Mil-Fiction/Mil-SciFi author.
This has saved me lots of money, and as a bonus, librarians tend to toss out the overtly pro Nazi/fascism Military-fiction/Mil-SciFi books fast.
Even Australia must have public libraries.


Mostly forgot about the militant mormonism in Dean Ing's stuff because the thirsty as gently caress rescued child-bride + that obsession with the mutated Russian boar were just so WTF?
Wasn't there multiple versions of the Assassin EMT's as well? Like I remember the main character of Ing's Quantrill series cycling through:
wartime covert SpecOps Assassins.
MicroBomb in Heads deep cover Assassins
Assassin EMT's (aka Search & Rescue, GliderSquad Division)
New Texas Rangers Assassins
US Marshall Assassins

And ramping up the insanity, all those variations on Assassin Death-Squads happened within 3 books.

One thing I did like about the Quantrill series is that it establishes in the first book that the US not only lost WWIV it lost it hard and ended up retreating from Asia in the "Great Bering Turkey shoot" and ended up losing large swathes of the country to Canadians, Anthrax and Mexico along with the nuclear blasted cities. It's a shame about the American(tm) protagonist Mary Sue.

I wish I still had my old copy of Hard Target(for some reason no Used Book store would ever buy it, go figure.) It had a preview of the next book in the series featuring that drat Russian bull and a splash page hyping it. I guess it didn't sell well enough even by Baen standards to see print.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012

by Reene


All of Jack Campbell's books are really good sci fi, although only Lost Fleet really counts as mil sci fi in the traditional sense. I really liked Marko Kloos's Frontlines, Poor Man's War is great, Elizabeth Moon's series is real good, and finally if you count the Barrayar novels Bujold is a good author for it too.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012

by Reene


The thing about mil sci fi is theres a lot of godawful hack bullshit out there and very few actually good ones, and we've all already read the good ones so that just leaves swapping stories about surprise sex/genocide/both filled wish fulfillment novels

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Ninurta posted:

One thing I did like about the Quantrill series is that it establishes in the first book that the US not only lost WWIV it lost it hard and ended up retreating from Asia in the "Great Bering Turkey shoot" and ended up losing large swathes of the country to Canadians, Anthrax and Mexico along with the nuclear blasted cities. It's a shame about the American(tm) protagonist Mary Sue.

I wish I still had my old copy of Hard Target(for some reason no Used Book store would ever buy it, go figure.) It had a preview of the next book in the series featuring that drat Russian bull and a splash page hyping it. I guess it didn't sell well enough even by Baen standards to see print.

Boar, not bull. that drat Russian boar. Ing went very deep into the sex life of that drat Russian boar. So so deep.
Like the fat-evil Diane Sawyer news-anchor lady becoming captivated by Baal the boar in book 2 ala Queen PasiphaŰ and the Minoan bull....and things ending very uh, don't really want to describe this side-plot anymore.

Yeah the Quantrill series featuring the eastern and western seaboards being NBC(Nuclear Biological Chemical) hyper-Anthrax-hyperAIDs deathzones or heavily radioactive was dope as hell.
Want to say in-Quantrill series the western US was mostly heavily radioactive from self-nuking to wipe out the Red Menace Chinese invasion and that eastern seaboard in-series was mostly biological/chemical warfare hyperAnthrax/superAIDS deathzones. The nation of Israel migrating en-masse to a legrange space station just before the Middle-East suddenly turned into radioactive glass was very

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 22:39 on Jun 30, 2019

Ninurta
Sep 19, 2007
Wit to be input later.

So, I have a few MilSF recommendations, now that I've cleansed.

First, Kam Hurley's The Light Brigade came out earlier this year, and is an okay take on Forever War/Starship Troopers. Set a hundred-couple hundred years from now, Earth goes to hell thanks to climate change and Corporate wars. Just as Earth begins to recover it gets attacked by Mars in an event that kills over 500,000 people in Buenos Aires instantly. As a result, We Go To War and, oh yeah, the soldiers are teleported/beamed from Earth to Mars and yes, there are teleporter errors. I enjoyed it overall, Kam is a pretty good author and her prose tends to be snappy. If you want a longer war/series you can check out her Belle Dam series as well.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show...rom_search=true

My second recommendation would be from Frank Chadwick, Chain of Command, which is space navy vs space navy in a relativistic battle over a single space system. It is set in the same universe as his novels How Dark the World Becomes and Come the Revolution where Humanity reaches the stars and finds out that space is full, get in line. Near space is dominated by a very Capitalist, Cartel-like species that are still aligned by nation-state and while they have a proto-Space UN it's about as hosed up as our current global system. Chadwick started as a game designer for GDW so Chain of Command sort of crosses off all of the check marks of overcoming adversity but I found it a good, quick read.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show...rom_search=true

Those are my two most recent MilSF reads that I found worth talking about/recommending. I also finished Yoon Ha Lee's Revenant Gun but it's been a few years since that was published and was discussed in the SF thread. Good book, good conclusion to the trilogy.

The_White_Crane
May 10, 2008


Has anyone else read the Nicholas Seafort books, Midshipman's Hope et al.?

I loved the first book, and found the later ones got successively less engaging.

The big problem for me was that Seafort oscillated wildly back and forth between "Alas, I have broken my oath and am thus irreparably damned to hell!" and "Alas, my oath which I cannot break binds me to a course of action I find more horrible than you can imagine!"

And I always felt that after the first time he damned himself forever to the eternal torments of Satan's fire, he should probably have just gone with his conscience in future dilemmas, rather than whining about how he can't possibly break his solemn vow, and thus had no choice but to send all those civilians to the gallows (or whatever his latest Hard Choice For Hard Men was).

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





The_White_Crane posted:

Has anyone else read the Nicholas Seafort books, Midshipman's Hope et al.?

I loved the first book, and found the later ones got successively less engaging.

The big problem for me was that Seafort oscillated wildly back and forth between "Alas, I have broken my oath and am thus irreparably damned to hell!" and "Alas, my oath which I cannot break binds me to a course of action I find more horrible than you can imagine!"

And I always felt that after the first time he damned himself forever to the eternal torments of Satan's fire, he should probably have just gone with his conscience in future dilemmas, rather than whining about how he can't possibly break his solemn vow, and thus had no choice but to send all those civilians to the gallows (or whatever his latest Hard Choice For Hard Men was).

Hard Choice For Hard Men is one of the things I hate the most. And of course, it's always Correct And Moral to do the Hard Choice, so why is it actually a Hard Choice?

ShinsoBEAM!
Nov 6, 2008

"Even if this body of mine is turned to dust, I will defend my country."


pmchem posted:

Do any of the posters in this thread actually like the genre the thread was made to talk about, and can recommend good books/series? or is the purpose of this thread just to say how bad books in the genre are?

I actually like them and enjoy them even Weber, but I'm pretty sure this thread is the latter.

In the KU thread, I mentioned A Choice of Treasons, A Poor Man's Fight, To Honor you Call Us all being very good in different ways.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

pmchem posted:

Do any of the posters in this thread actually like the genre the thread was made to talk about, and can recommend good books/series? or is the purpose of this thread just to say how bad books in the genre are?

It probably would be a good idea to have some positive recommendations in the OP if possible

blackmongoose
Mar 31, 2011

DARK INFERNO ROOK!


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

It probably would be a good idea to have some positive recommendations in the OP if possible

My only slightly tongue in cheek recommendation post:

90% of mil scifi draws from a reference pool consisting of, in descending order of quality, Xenophon's Anabasis, CS Forester's Aubrey/Maturin series, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, anything by Kipling, Horatio Hornblower, Jane's Fighting Ships, and Wikipedia's entry on World War II. Everything above Hornblower is probably worth reading (depending on your tolerance for old style British racism/imperialism) and they're all better than the derivative works that make up most popular milSF so just read one of them instead.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





blackmongoose posted:

My only slightly tongue in cheek recommendation post:

90% of mil scifi draws from a reference pool consisting of, in descending order of quality, Xenophon's Anabasis, CS Forester's Aubrey/Maturin series, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, anything by Kipling, Horatio Hornblower, Jane's Fighting Ships, and Wikipedia's entry on World War II. Everything above Hornblower is probably worth reading (depending on your tolerance for old style British racism/imperialism) and they're all better than the derivative works that make up most popular milSF so just read one of them instead.

The only good Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court knockoff was Aura Battler Dunbine.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



blackmongoose posted:


90% of mil scifi draws from a reference pool consisting of, in descending order of quality, Xenophon's Anabasis, CS Forester's Aubrey/Maturin series, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, anything by Kipling, Horatio Hornblower, Jane's Fighting Ships, and Wikipedia's entry on World War II. Everything above Hornblower is probably worth reading (depending on your tolerance for old style British racism/imperialism) and they're all better than the derivative works that make up most popular milSF so just read one of them instead.

You mean Patrick O'brien's Aubrey/ Maturin, Forester wrote Hornblower.

Also, don't forget reskinning the life of Belisarius in that list.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





Oh yeah, wasn't there suppose to be a rant about the whole Belisarus and March Upcompany in the pipeworks? By NoNostalgia4Grover? How's that going?

ianmacdo
Oct 30, 2012


Deptfordx posted:

You mean Patrick O'brien's Aubrey/ Maturin, Forester wrote Hornblower.

Also, don't forget reskinning the life of Belisarius in that list.

The nike revolution I think is that is really popular. A small band of professionals kill the poo poo out of a whole stadium (or stadium sized place) full of rebelling regular people.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Some mil-sf I like and you will probably like too:

James Doohan's "The Flight Engineer"

Yeah, that James Doohan. It's about a former fighter pilot (in space), medically disqualified from combat ops gets reposted as a squadron, and then ship's engineer. Yes, still in space. They're upbeat, have characters with personalities, and good space combat. The good guys get saved by a bit of a deus ex machine later in the series, but it was fun read so I'll allow it.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Talking about a military scifi series/author I liked, there's John Hemry. Hemry's probably most famous for the series Stark's War, which was good, but I liked his Paul Campbell series better, starting with "A Just Determination". Campbell is this junior officer on a spaceship who's picked as the captain's legal advisor, and it's sort of "JAG in space".

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quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Kchama posted:

Oh yeah, wasn't there suppose to be a rant about the whole Belisarus and March Upcompany in the pipeworks? By NoNostalgia4Grover? How's that going?

Honestly think I ranted about Belisarius in this thread before, but it was part of a multi-reply post.
Have ranted so many times about Belisarius + Xenophon being crack-cocaine to poo poo Mil-SciFi/Mil-Fiction authors in the main SF+Fantasy it is hard to come up with a new take on it...having said that here's one last try before I'm tapped out on the subject.

So many Military Fiction + Mil-SciFi authors have written at least one overt Belisarius career/Xenophon saga, it is like doing so is a core requirement to getting the Scout Merit Badge that makes them Official Military-Fiction genre authors or Military-ScienceFiction authors, (I picture this imaginary Mil-Fiction/Mil-SciFi genre Scout Merit Badge as the Baen Books logo, inverted, in rainbow colors).

Anyway here's attempt 8, 9? at why Belisarius is redone so many times, poorly, by Military Fiction + Mil-SciFi genre authors.
Belisarius was arguably one of the most winning-est military commanders in recorded history. Belisarius spent most of his time plugging the holes in the Eastern Roman Empire created by Emperor Justinian 1's lifelong obsession of Making the Eastern Roman Empire Great Again.

The forces that Belisarius usually had in battle were scraps of whatever existing ERE forces that could that be safely pried away from other ERE provinces, auxiliary military units from vassal "clients"/nations, and hired at the 23rd hour mercenary units. Orson Scott Card, ugh, of all authors, was able to capture something similar with Ender's Game + the "space battle simulations" winning with half-assed forces against insane odds

In battle, Belisarius relied on a unique blend of tactics, leadership, luck, exquisite sense of timing, and a ungodly amount of bribes paid to key mercenary units on the opposing side.

Most modern military-fiction/Mil-SciFi writers that "rewrite Belisarius" only use 2 or 3 (at most) of those elements in their own versions of Belisarius stories. AKA the main characters tactics + main characters leadership will almost always be emphasized in their Belisarius-lite stories, while one-off timing or sheer dumb luck elements are usually relegated to in-story explaining how the enemy was able to get so close to winning in the first place before the main characters arrived.

By ungodly amount of bribes, I mean Chronicles of Riddick style You Keep What You Kill policies, 72hr free passes of pure mayhem, caravan trains filled with prostitutes + gold, etc.

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