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Worlds Without End Blog

Lock ‘n Load! – Military SF at Worlds Without End Posted at 11:38 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Starship TroopersOne of the most frequent requests we get here at Worlds Without End is for more Military SF. You military fans have been after us from the get go. “Why no Mil-SF?” “Where are the Davids?” (Weber, Drake and Feintuch) “You guys must hate Military SF, America and kittens too…”

No, it’s nothing like that I promise. While I freely admit we’ve been under-budget on our “Davids” we did have a decent selection of Mil-SF in the bag: The Forever WarEnder’s Game, Starship Troopers, Downbelow Station, Old Man’s War and Dorsai! to name a few. Some of those books got added to our DB as a result of the awards we cover. Others got added when we started paying attention to the Book Lists as well.

Those books weren’t enough to stop the emails though, so I went looking for a Military Science Fiction award to bolster our military cred. I wanted to add the best Mil-SF available instead of just dumping in a bunch of books from a sub-genre that I don’t know much about. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find a single award dedicated to Mil-SF. That just blew me away. It’s a huge sub-genre with a massive following, surely there was an award…. No? Well, OK, how about a “best of” list from some fan organization or genre luminary then? Nope. Nada. What’s a guy to do?

Luckily, I came across an article by SF author Mike Resnick called Military Science Fiction: A Brief History (posted here with the author’s permission) that gave me some direction. It’s an overview of Military SF from E.E. “Doc” Smith to Mr. Resnick’s own Starship Series and I determined that I’d add all the books he mentions in his article to the WWEnd DB. So far I’ve added over 40 new books across 10 Military SF series. Not a bad start methinks.

With the LightningsRCN Series
David Drake
With the Lightnings (1998)
Off Armageddon ReefSafehold Series
David Weber
Off Armageddon Reef (2007)
Midshipman’s HopeSeafort Saga
David Feintuch
Midshipman’s Hope (1994)
Starship: MutinyStarship Series
Mike Resnick
Starship: Mutiny (2005)
Trading in DangerVatta’s War
Elizabeth Moon
Trading in Danger (2003)


The Depths of Time Chronicles of Solace Trilogy
Roger MacBride Allen
The Depths of Time (2000)
March Upcountry Empire of Man Series
David Weber and John Ringo
March Upcountry (2001)
The Tank LordsHammer’s Slammers
David Drake
The Tank Lords (1997)
On Basilisk StationHonor Harrington Series
David Weber
On Basilisk Station (1992)
A Hymn Before BattlePosleen War Series
John Ringo
A Hymn Before Battle (2000)

So, what do you think? Are you a fan of Mil-SF? What books or authors am I missing? If you know of any awards or authoritative lists let me know.


Wintermute   |   29 Sep 2010 @ 15:46

Super impressive number of additions to the repository. The only book I can think of that I have read that is war related… was Dune and the whole Dune Series (from what I gather because I only read the first book but it appears to foreshadow war throughout the series). So Dune would be a military sci-fi book… if you consider Dune sci-fi that is because I say it is 90 fantasy and 10 sci-fi. Keep up the great work!

Robert A.   |   27 Oct 2010 @ 23:24

I’m reading The Cobra Trilogy by Timothy Zahn right now, it’s pretty good so far.

Carl V.   |   29 Nov 2010 @ 13:26

I would consider John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series to fit very nicely in here, and I recently started reading Tanya Huff’s Valor series and am loving it so far. It too is military science fiction.

Mark   |   30 Nov 2010 @ 23:26

IMO, among the best of the best in the military-science fiction genre is Dan Abnet. If you haven’t read any of his "Gaunt’s Ghosts" novels, set in the Black Library’s Warhammer 40,000 universe, you’re missing some of the best fiction out there.

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