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Worlds Without End Blog

Baen Reader’s List of Recommended Military SF Posted at 12:49 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Baen Books

Late last year I set out to do someting about the shortage of Military SF on WWEnd. I looked around the internets for an award or a "best of" list but could not find anything of significance. At the time I was reading the Starship: Mutiny by Mike Resnic so I wrote to him for help. He very kindly gave us permission to post his essay, Military Science Fiction: A Brief History, which contains a large number of books that I added to our database. It was a great start but I was still looking for more so Mr. Resnick suggested I ask David Drake, the Dean of Military SF, for advice. Mr. Drake sent me the Baen Reader’s List of Recommended Military SF. Huzzah! I finally had what I was looking for.

The Baen list is the result of a poll conducted by Toni Weisskopf, Editor of Baen Books, the leading publisher of Military SF in the industry. Participants of Baen’s Bar, THE forum for fans of Military SF, came up with the list after much discussion and Miss Weisskopf hammered the list into a top 100 with one additional book added at the request of David Drake. Told you he was the Dean. With the list comes an excellent introduction that goes into more detail on the selection process.

Take a look and let us know what you think.  Are you a MilSF fan? There’s enough military action in this list to satisfy the hard-core fans and will provide some much needed guidance for us novices wanting to explore the sub-genre further. Many thanks to Mike Resnick and David Drake for their help and to Toni Weisskopf for putting it all together.


Wintermute   |   18 Jul 2011 @ 14:19

Congratulations on following this thread to its conclusion, we’ve all been rewarded as a result. Some may say, "Wha?! Another list?" I say they are crazy, never enough lists. When I started going through the list I thought it curious that D. Drake’s books ended up placing in back-to-back-to-back. Then I check the next row. And the next row. And the next row. He took every single spot! I had to read the Baen explanation of the list before I understood what was going on. My only thought would be to use the last paragraph of the Baen explanation to order the list based on those which got the top votes. So the first handful of books would be the most prominent. Hazaa!

Dave Post   |   18 Jul 2011 @ 15:09

@Wintermute: Thanks man. I think it’s a pretty cool list. A little something for everyone is what we’re striving for here so the MilSF list helps expand our appeal. This one is a recommendation list so placement is not important like it would be if we’re going strictly by vote tally. I wanted to keep the list in the order it was given in though I did swap a few around amongst the series to get them in the right series order since that was the intent in the description.

gallyangel   |   18 Jul 2011 @ 23:09

What, no Alien Legion? Joking aside, I was amazed that 9 authors accounted for 76 books on the list. That’s a small club! I wonder if say, the Gundam series or Star Blazers played a role in the development of this sub-genre? Both have been around in Japan and the US for years. They’re the quintessential of Japan’s efforts in this sub-genre.

Emil Jung   |   20 Jul 2011 @ 04:06

Cool list, thanks Dave! Dominated by a few authors, but good to some really good stand-alone novels, even a few fantasy works. I wonder if "Embedded" would make the list if Baen were to redo the process.

gallyangel   |   29 Jul 2011 @ 01:22

I wonder if Hubbard’s Final Blackout got any consideration? It’s alternative history. I wonder if the sub-genre, the author, or when it was published cast the cloak of irrelevancy over it? Not a bad piece certainly.

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